BDSM IS a Feminist Practice

The assertion that BDSM is a reproduction of existing power relations is fundamentally flawed. Inevitably it involves the eroticization of both power and strategic relations, but it stands in stark contrast to expressions of social and political power. The latter are “…stabilized through institutions, [so]…the mobility in power relations is limited…the strategic relations of people are [more] rigid,” (Foucault 169) internalized, and implicit.

Incidentally, the eroticization of strategic relations is not a recent phenomenon: “In this heterosexual life, [normative methods of courtships and romance] come before sex…in order to obtain sex…in S&M those strategic relations are inside sex…” (Foucault 170) In our patriarchal system, the phallus is focalized and placed in a position of privilege, in which, indeed, the ultimate goal of normative heterosexual sex is male ejaculation. “Thus, practices such as fisting challenge and destroy the erotic [predominance] of the penis.” (Invaginations of the Revolution: Binary, Dichotomy, feminiSM) CBT (cock and ball torture) also serves to reconstitute the penis and testes as sites of vulnerability and sensitivity “…to be exploited, instead of [locuses] of social power and domination.” (Invaginations of the Revolution: Binary, Dichotomy, feminiSM) In this way, S&M is a distinctly feminist practice, dismantling the primacy of the phallus as the central erotic object through its manipulation and exploitation, and the recognition of the whole body as a site for pleasure.

For sexy, insight writings on BDSM, check out Pat(rick) VCalifia’s Public Sex: Essays, Speaking Sex to Power: Essays, and Boy in the MIddle: Erotic Stories. Tulip also feautres gorgeous, handmade floggers and whips from Chicago Toolworks. Work it out!

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