Sadomasochism and the BDSM Community in the United States: Kinky People Unite chronicles the development of sadomasochistic sexuality and its communities in the United States from the post-war period to the present day.
Having evolved from scattered networks of sadomasochists to a coherent body bound by shared principles of "safe, sane, consensual," activists worked to transform popular perceptions of their community, end its routine harassment by law enforcement and win inclusion in American society. Often paralleling the work of LGBTQ activists, people who engaged in BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism) transformed both their own sexual practices and how outsiders perceived them, successfully changing popular perceptions of them from fascists, murderers, and outlaws to people living an alternative lifestyle. The development of this community highlights the interactions of people of different sexual orientations within a sexual community, the influence of various campaigns for sexual freedom, and the BDSM community's influence on popular perceptions of sexuality and sexual freedom. The text’s historical perspective gives depth and texture to a specific dimension of American history of sexuality.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars in the history of sexuality. Its clear and direct approach offers an important and useful chronology of a movement that has long been neglected.
Table of Contents
1 Building BDSM Networks, 1946–69 12
2 The First BDSM Groups, the 1970s 40
3 “Somewhere to Go:” BDSM Groups Proliferate, 1980–86 69
4 Creating a National BDSM Organization, 1987–89 97
5 A United, Politically Active BDSM Community, the 1990s 125
6 Success and Fragmentation: The BDSM Community in the New Millennium 156
Stephen K. Stein is Associate Professor of History at the University of Memphis, USA. He works in the histories of the US military, technology, and sexuality.