Lips that taste of tears, they say, are the best for kissing.
– Dorothy Parker
Also known as dacrylagnia, dacryphilia is a form of paraphilia (sexual arousal from something outside of the normative) in which one is aroused by tears, or sobbing. BDSM Dictionary
While reading more about dacryphilia for this posting, I noticed that number of sources linked dacryphilia not only to tears, but the display of strong emotion. Some sites went so far as to link it to pleasure received from the release that accompanies crying – like an emotional catharsis. Once again, we see another fine line in the kinkoverse. Sexual arousal can follow intense experiences; anger, aggression, crying; but is it the tears themselves causing arousal, or simply the surge of emotion, or sense of passion too few feel in their daily lives?
Like rough body play, play that contains crying can be hard for people to watch. So often tears are associate with negative things, it can be heartbreaking to sit back and observe someone we perceive to be in emotional distress; particularly if they are someone we care for. It’s times like this I wish I could get inside the head of someone with a dac fetish, I’m willing to wager there is an internal struggle between being the protector, and the bully. After all, some of the rawest, and most honest emotions come from dark places; intense pain, or psychological play (like degradation or humiliation – and not in that fun Who’s a dirty whore? way). For many criers the tears simply will not come until a line has been crossed (as it was put in the FetLife Dacryphilia group “willing participants rarely cry”. But there is a difference between shoving someone over the line then pulling them back, and kicking them over that line, then metaphorically kick them when they’re already down.
I wonder how easily can the top tell the difference between crying from a good place vs a bad place, and at the time, do they even care? Do they feel guilt or shame for their arousal at the distress of another? Is this a type of play that requires after care for the top? What if it’s in a non-sexualized context?
Yes, there are lots of questions.
From the giving side of the power exchange, the appeal is easily understandable. Emotional control, especially in public, is something people fight so hard to maintain. To be pushed to a place where we can let that particular control go is seductive. I often wonder when I hear people say they want to be broken if they really mean they want a space safe enough to have an emotional breakdown in.
If you’re looking to learn more about dacryphilia, you’re going to have your work cut out for you. Psychology sites have a lot to say about the emotional aspect of tears, but little about dac. SSBB will bring up lots of result for tears, but it’s mostly scene reports, or posts asking for someone who will make them cry. I’d recommend joining the Fetlife Dacryphilia Group, or striking up a conversation with that top you’ve seen grinning ear to ear as their bottom bawls before them.