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"Shades of Black BDSM"

on Friday, 26 October 2012. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Ebony

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of E. L. James’s erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey (it’s sold over 40 million copies). What I’ve noticed is that the voices of a few “shades” of people have been missing from mainstream discourse about the books: namely, Black folks.

The book contains explicit scenes of acts associated with the BDSM lifestyle (bondage, discipline, Dominance/submission and sadomasochism). I’ve often heard brothers and sisters dismiss this…let’s say “alternative” way of life as “something White folks do,” but the fact is African-Americans participate too. Some people of color simply like to push the boundaries of standard or “vanilla” sexual behavior (as it is called in the lifestyle).

In fact, there is a growing community of those of us actively engaging in BDSM. We, too, have proudly chosen to incorporate certain sexually alternative behaviors into our lives that allow us to freely express ourselves and indulge in kinkier pleasurable acts. Black BDSMers see ourselves as different, yes, but different ain’t bad.

WHAT IS BDSM, REALLY?

To go deeper (pardon the pun), BDSM is the broad term for a sexual lifestyle wherein informed adults discuss, negotiate and consent to their roles and participation in activities generally based on hierarchical relationships. Generally, two people come together and establish a dynamic where one person is the dominant partner (or the “top”) and the other is the submissive partner (the “bottom”) in anything from a one-time-only enactment of kinky “scenes” to lifelong partnerships. ...

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