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The acts of sexual play known as BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, & sadomasochism) are a spectrum of sexual acts that involve erotic roleplaying, composed of at least one submissive and one dominant person, although there may be more sexual partners involved. Due to the spectrum of erotic fantasy, the feelings towards BDSM run from hot, cold and every temperature in between. Although BDSM is inherently about power and control, often times it is the way said power and control are being played out that make people feel uncomfortable. Now, I am a strong proponent of BDSM because when done correctly every person involved has a detailed discussion around boundaries, limits and safe guards. It’s all about consent, comfort and pleasure for everyone.

When racism goes beyond race play.

Whether you are someone who is comfortable with race play or not, these imaginative role-plays can be a part of someone else’s erotic fantasy. From Nazi concentration camps to slavery, you name it; someone out there is likely to get off on it. And if that is what one chooses to do in a safe and consensual environment, I am definitely not going to judge.

Psychotherapy is an act of social revolution. It is my job to evaluate how sexuality and other aspects of life, including race, traverse. 

When we talk about BDSM and race, the focus is usually how different levels of power and control intersect between racial groups, i.e. race play through slavery. But what if we looked at racism and BDSM through a different lens: a social-justice perspective? For example, if a MoC (Man of Color) were on his way to a dungeon and he was pulled over with a bag of whips, chains, handcuffs and a mask in his possession, I would imagine that the officer’s perception would likely not be that of curiosity and sexual openness. It could actually put his life in danger, or at the very least result in an arrest.

White Privilege, like with everything else on the planet, has found its place in BDSM.

I think it’s important to remember that racism intersects with all things, including sex. In a country like the U.S., where racism is literally the backbone of all systems, something that seems as simple as erotic play offers a level of privilege to some that isn’t always acknowledged. My example may be very specific, but the point of this post is to shine light on the general notion that racism seeps into all aspects of life, and if you aren’t someone who has to deal with it everyday, blind spots reduce our ability to, at the very list, bare witness to the experiences of the marginalized.

What are your thoughts? Have you noticed the intersection of racism in other aspects of sex? I’d like to hear your experience and/or perspective!

Kristin

 

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One thought on “Beyond Race Play: BDSM & Racism

  1. And shine light on it you have. I don’t know much about BDSM. It’s not really my thing, however, this is a very interesting perspective that I hadn’t considered before. Thanks.

    Posted on June 5, 2017 at 5:20 am