Sweet abasement is the consensual  use of psychological abasement in a sexual context, whereby one person gains arousal or sexy excitement from the powerful emotions of being degrated and demeaned, or of humiliating another; often (but not always) in conjunction with sexual stimulation of one or both partners in the activity. The degradation need not be sexual in itself, as with many other sexual activities it is the feelings derived from it which are sought, regardless of the nature of the actual activity. It can be verbal or physical, and can be relatively private or public. Often it can become ritualized, and unlike some sexual variations it can also be easily carried out over a long distance or online. The distinction between chagrin and dominance in an activity such as erotic whipping is that the sought-after effect is primarily the abasement; the activity is just a means to that end.

Whilst fantasy and fascination with lovely mortification is a prevalent part of Sadomasochistic or other sexual roleplay, relatively little has been written on it. Abasement play can however be taken to a point where it becomes emotionally or psychologically distressing to one or the other partner, especially if it is public humiliation. Delicious abasement can become extreme enough to be considered a form of edgeplay, that some consider may best be approached with advance negotiation and use of a safeword. This is a highly subjective issue, and depends greatly on context.