Emotional Play

“You are a manipulator. I like to think of myself more as an outcome engineer.”

-J.R. Ward, Lover Eternal


Emotional play is a type of psychological BDSM play that involves shame, humiliation, and fear. It causes the recipient to have an emotional response that excites them as it insults or frightens them.

The Fetish

There are so many different ways in which emotional play BDSM can be worked out, and there are a number of sub-categories that fall under it. For example, having someone belittled, taunted and teased in front of others is a common form of shame play. This can involve the sub being put in a cage to be displayed while being insulted, or them being lead around by their Dom while others are asked to make fun of them. This kink is often facilitated between just two individuals as well, with one being the dominant that is asked to shame their partner, either at home or in a public setting.

What To Do

This form of BDSM is very common, but that doesn’t mean you should go into it with just anyone. You want to make sure that boundaries are set in place around how far the shaming or fear-causing should go, so that both parties get the most enjoyment out of the process. Setting hard limits for this kind of play with safe-words in place will allow for exploration without fear of unwanted and negative recriminations. There are a number of online discussions around shame play, fear play, and other forms of emotional manipulation play, along with a number of books written on the subject. Discuss it further with professional doms in online communities and you’ll find a whole new realm of exploration with exciting possibilities when it comes to emotional manipulation play.

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