I was recently reminded of a stint I did one summer as a mime. It was the summer I was either 20 or 21, when I was still looking for the bad guys who could give me rough sex. I never found a bad guy I wanted to actually have a relationship with, no matter how good the sex was. But the nice guys who were excellent relationship material did nothing for me in bed.
My discovery of BDSM eventually solved that little problem. However, I've realized spending so much time as a mime taught me a few things about objectification. The people who said things like "Mimes freak me out", or "All mimes should die a painful death", right in front of me, were seeing me as more of an object than a person. I didn't get off on this, it wasn't sexual, but there was much to learn about what made ordinary people feel they could say those sorts of things, with the mime standing right there, and consider it acceptable.
I stumbled, by accident, on a bit of knowledge. Sometime in the first week or two I encountered a young lady who seemed to be more freaked than I was used to seeing. I decided to talk to her, and said something like, "It's okay, I'm just a person with make-up on, please don't be afraid." Hearing me speak turned me into a person. It's not like she didn't know, intellectually, I was a person in a costume and make-up, as I don't believe she was much younger than I was, but hearing the words come out of my mouth overcame whatever phobia my costume was triggering.
I tried it the next time someone said something not-so-nice in front of me. I don't remember what I said, something witty, designed to get a laugh. It worked again - I turned into a person in their view, as opposed to an object.
When I talked to them, some people would say, "Mime's aren't supposed to talk!", and I'd shrug my shoulders and say, "I've never been so good at following the rules". They'd say, "What's with the imaginary box?" and I'd say, "You don't see it? It's right here? Is that why people like seeing me get in and out of it so much? You don't see the box?" That one edged me back towards object - I was still talking, but I'd just taken myself out of the human category again.
I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. A certain level of objectification does get me off. I've had it taken to extremes, and while it may not always work for me as it's happening, the memory of it is a big turn on. Speech restrictions can turn you into an object quickly, as can hoods and masks and even blindfolds.
I play around with speech restrictions in Safeword: Matte a bit. It's one of those things the Dom requires in a lot of scenes, but the submissive isn't so sure she's happy with. When she first agrees to it, she has no idea how much of her freedom and autonomy it will take away. She doesn't think of it in terms of it objectifying her, but if you step back and look, it's a big part of what speech restriction does.
Safeword: Quinacridone, due out sometime in 2012, is going to delve heavily into objectification. I've been looking for an extra twist for the story, and I believe I may have it. Finally.
Do you enjoy objectification? What does it take to make you feel objectified? What pushes it too far? What about fantasy? Do you enjoy seeing fictional submissives being objectified? Again, what takes it too far, so it goes past hot and into squick territory?