A gesture of helplessness.

Helplessness is the absence of power. It can be a fact and/or an emotion.

A person can feel helpless when he or she is, for example, restrained, locked up, or otherwise unable to move, stand up, or go away. The feeling of helplessness is related to the feelings of smallness, weakness, dependence, fear, shame, embarrassment or humiliation.

Persons who are helpless can not help themselves. They have to ask or beg if they want something, and there is nothing else they can do if their wish is not granted.

Eroticization of power and helplessnessEdit

Power and helplessness are two sides of the same coin - they depend on each other. Both feelings are often eroticized. Children usually have a fascination with power and an equally great fear with helplessness. This topic is often acted out in games that involve playful fighting, physical contact, overpowering, or roleplay.

In BDSM, helplessness of the bottom is experienced as erotic and is therefore usually a desired goal of both parties. Bondage is the most common tool to achieve it; gags or blindfolds can increase the feeling of helplessness further. The helplessness of the bottom emphasizes the power of the top and thus the power exchange.

Situations of helplessness, and the corresponding emotion, are extremely common in spanking fiction such as spanking stories, novels, comics or videos, as they are known for their powerful impact on the readers and audience of such works.


"Bertrand Russell has written that a child dreams about power as grown-ups dream sexual wish dreams." - Astrid Lindgren, Swedish writer, in a 1985 interview

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