The Harvard Independent
BDSM. For some the concept repulses, for others it excites. Encompassing a wide variety of kinky activities, BDSM is usually thought to exist on the peripheries of sexual practice — a voyeur’s sport rather than a participant’s. Yet, 22% of Sex Survey respondents regard themselves as kinky or very kinky, and a full third of respondents’ reported kinks lie in the BDSM category. Clearly, Harvard students aren’t afraid to get freaky, and neither is Harvard’s very own munch (informal lunch for kinksters) group, which is currently seeking student organization recognition. The Indy sat down with a freshman member of Harvard’s kink community this weekend to discuss all things BDSM. From safe words to sadism, here’s what she had to say:
Indy: How do you define BDSM?
Kinky: A good place to start is the acronym: bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism. I guess that if I’m explaining it to people, it’s playing with power, or pain, or both. It includes everything from spanking and biting to suspending people from things with rope, with piercings. There’s playing with knives, or master and slave relationships where one person is completely in control. There’s a really wide range of things, and I think the purpose of the BDSM label is really to build a community around doing some of the things that are less mainstream. It serves the purpose of uniting people.
Indy: What’s really interesting and, perhaps, not generally known about BDSM is the amount of community that actually goes into it. There’s the kink community in general, and then there is a kink community here at Harvard. What does the community here look like?
Kinky: We’re organized around an e-mail list that announces munch events, speakers, workshops, movie nights, shopping trips — it’s all pretty new. There are people who do unofficial parties, but that’s of course outside of any Harvard sanctioning. The community is new, but I think that in terms of diversity, you’d be surprised. There’s quite a lot of it. Having people who you might know come out to you as kinky…one of the things about having different sexual interests is that people tend to feel alone and that they’re on the fringes of society when, in fact, there are a lot of people who like things that fall under the category of BDSM — and these are things you’d read about in Cosmo. ...
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