Tomatoes Can Be Torture, Part 1

The first time I met Phantom and Femcar (not their real names), I was in the audience of their class at a BDSM event. I've been to hundreds of kinky classes around the country, on topics ranging from predicament bondage to master-slave relationships. People gravitate toward the topics that interest them, but I think that it's also important to check out those classes you think you won't enjoy or won't learn from. This was one of those classes. It was called Erotic Humiliation.

Humiliation is a form of s/m play for some people; as part of the dominant-submissive dynamic, a submissive wants to be embarrassed, degraded, or even verbally abused. I know a woman who likes to be called a bitch, a whore, and a filthy slut as people do nasty things to her. Hell, I like that too, in the right situation. I've met a guy who wants to be led around a party on a leash while wearing a diaper. Humiliation, I get it.

I went to Erotic Humiliation with an open mind, but I can't say I had no expectations. Months earlier at another event, I heard a woman recount her experience at the same class and it sounded, well, a little outrageous. There was something about a kiddie pool and a tarp, pissing, messy food, and some disclaimer in the program that said no latecomers were allowed. I was disturbed and confused by her description of the scene, but also intrigued. I showed up to the class prepared to sit up front and determined to really listen, really watch, even if something freaked me out.


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  • When Phantom and Femcar stepped to the front of the room, my first impression was, this cannot be the couple I've heard so much about. Phantom was a stocky, sandy-haired fellow with a warm smile that said "I give good hugs." Femcar was a tiny woman with long straight hair and pale skin with freckles. Not only did they look normal, it turns out they were: As they began to tell their story, I learned that they have been together for more than 21 years (married for 16), have several children, and live in the suburbs. She started surfing the Web, stumbled on BDSM sites and chat rooms, and got hooked. The stuff really turned her on, and she wanted to try it in the real world. She went to him and said, "I really want to do this. No, I need to do this."

    He agreed to try it out. Femcar quickly discovered that she wasn't into the pretend power play of "Surrender your will to me, slave! (Wink, wink, I really respect you, your body, and your limits.)" She wanted to go way past all that. She wanted to be degraded, used, objectified, and humiliated. She admits she has a huge ego, and she wanted to see what it would be like to strip that ego away, to chip away at the layers and uncover what was underneath. She needed to let her beast out—the being inside her that is driven only by instinct and desire, with no manners, pretensions, or facades. The only way for her to tap into that part of her was to be treated as if she were less than a human being—useless, worthless. She relayed all this complicated, intense, deeply personal stuff to the audience in a quiet yet strong and articulate voice. Phantom was honest about his initial hesitation to do what she wanted ("How can I degrade the mother of my kids?"). But then an interesting thing happened: he tapped into a deep, dark place within himself that he didn't know existed. He met his inner sadist, a bad guy lurking in his psyche. That guy was dark, depraved, and, surprising them both, ready to do battle with her beast. I was struck by how clear she was about what she craved and where it took her.

    They fielded some questions; then the mood shifted and the demonstration part began.

    Phantom turned to Femcar and grabbed her by her hair, dragged her over to a wood frame and tied her to it. He pushed her around and pulled at her clothes, stripping them from her small frame. It was not light roughhousing, but more like a 190-pound guy showing a 100-pound woman how he could do serious damage to her. That image alone was unsettling. Femcar started to get small. The bright, bold woman who stood before us moments ago was shrinking before our eyes. Her posture changed; she became limp. He brought out an enema bag and proceeded to give her an enema. I was beginning to see where the kiddie pool and the tarp would come in handy. Then he stepped about 10 feet back from the frame, to a table which had a variety of items laid out on it, mostly canned food with the tops already opened.

    He dug his hand into one can and came out with a handful of what looked like stewed tomatoes. Then he threw it at her. And I don't mean he tossed it like a softball to a kid, I mean he hurled the tomatoes at her and they hit her right in the face. Then came more tomatoes, canned corn, barbecue sauce, sometimes he'd go up close and just smear the stuff all over her. He invited audience members to join him. Several men got up and started flinging food at her. She was tied up, so it was impossible for her to duck or move out of the way. Somewhere in the middle of this, the enema took effect. He told her to just shit it out right there in front of everyone.

    OK, I thought, these two are serious. Then he started peeing on her and once again, invited others to do the same. All I could think was, who are these guys? Their behavior just disturbed me. None of them seemed ambivalent, they just stepped right up, whipped out their dicks, and started calling her names. It's like someone gave them permission to be brutes and they went for it.

    By then, Femcar was covered in food and piss, wallowing in the purple plastic pool. She started to moan and the noises coming from her were like nothing I have ever heard before: deep, guttural, weird. She sounded like an animal. The sounds built, her body started to tense, and I thought she was having an orgasm. It was raw and profound. Watching it unfold, I almost felt like I was intruding.

    Next column: Part 2

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