BDSM : paradoxernas praktiker

Detta är en avhandling från Malmö högskola, Hälsa och samhälle

Sammanfattning: BDSM, i.e. Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission and Sadism and Masochism is an acronym used to describe a variety of (sexual) behaviours including an implicit or explicit erotic power exchange. The aim of the thesis is to understand BDSM as a dynamic, complex and collective phenomenon. It focuses on how practitioners, through their stories, give meaning to their experiences. A theoretical framework that includes both poststructuralism and symbolic interactionism is used. Ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in 2012 and 2013 within different BDSM communities in Sweden. The fieldwork included interviews, observations and participation in meetings, workshops, pub evenings and club ventures. In total, 29 persons, defining themselves as practitioners of BDSM, were interviewed. The thesis shows how different interpretations and political-ideological perspectives have shaped the social reality, which constitutes BDSM today. This process has taken place in different discursive arenas; from medicine and research to political activism, literature, film and media. Existing discourses, where power and violence are central, are challenged by counter discourses, where resistance against heteronormative norms and sexuality are significant. BDSM is seen as ways to achieve feelings of security and belonging. The practice enable strong emotions, bodily sensations, altered states of consciousness and spiritual experiences. Acts, which could be seen as incorrect and immoral, are made morally defensible within the BDSM context. The discourses both enable and limit the practitioners, and the thesis highlights both ambivalences and paradoxes in the practices.

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