Humiliation hasn't been a part of what we do - or what he does to me. Maybe it is just deeply ingrained that a man doesn't treat a woman that way; it took him some time to become comfortable with hitting me, maybe causing emotional distress feels even more wrong. Maybe he has a sense that it would have the potential to really damage me. Maybe it would. Maybe it is hard for him to reconcile wanting to be with me if he views me as something i should be ashamed of. Maybe it's just simply not in his wiring; if it doesn't do anything for him, there are plenty of other means at his disposal to get what he wants out of me.....
He does however tease me. I have no idea how he manages it, but his teasing sometimes walks a very thin line between hurtful and absolutely effective. I think he can do it because he knows exactly where my insecurities lie, and which ones are flexible and which ones are rock solid. He can tease me no end about being short, I am, and i'm not at all insecure about it. Even a hint of a jab at my figure however would be devastating. Those are the easy ones. There are insecurities i have that are harder to predict though. Even i can't tell you why i sometimes am quite at ease with certain things and other times filled with self doubt.
For example, he does tease me about my neediness, about the fact that i am nearly constantly wanting or even aroused, that i hint around, that i come to him using whatever tricks i think i can get away with to let him know what i want. He makes a big show of turning me down and rolling his eyes and acting put upon. It does make me pause and wonder about myself. Maybe teasing me about being needy is really the same as calling me a slut or a whore. The implication is certainly the same. I know that he loves me needy though. He may get genuinely frustrated when my efforts to sway him are poorly timed, but he is thrilled to have me ready when he wants and to be able to play with me and manipulate me by my libido.
If he called me dirty names, or made me refer to myself that way - i don't know if it would feel humiliating or just artifical and contrived, like he was doing something he had read somewhere, not what he really wanted. Of course, maybe the fact of seeming so out of character and artificial would be the source of the humiliation. Being made to do something i didn't believe he would ever ask of me, and not being allowed to question him about it, has had very interesting effects on me in other situations.
He also teases me about being kinky and about my kinks specifically - that i want to be hurt til i cry, that i need him to overpower me and subdue me, that restraining my body unleashes it. This is right there at the edge of my insecurities. I do still wonder why i'm wired this way. And i still really wonder why he isn't put off or even disgusted by me being this way. It isn't normal, why should he have to put up with it, what must he really think of me? It's a really fine line: too far and it would push me into a tailspin of self doubt. As backwards as it seems, i think the balance he strikes helps strengthen my trust that it's ok, that he really likes all this too, that it's like being short, it's just who i am.
So is it (the right kind of) humiliation if it picks at an insecurity? If not, if it only picks at an area that a person "should" feel shame about, but knows the other person actually revels in - why is that still effective? I know this ignores a huge chunk of the spectrum of humiliting possibilites, like being made to do or endure things that are shaming. Maybe those aren't a consideration for us because it is of no interest to him, maybe i couldn't handle it anyhow, if simply being teased is challenging enough.