NCSF on Twitter   Subscribe to the NCSF RSS Feed   NCSF Blog

"Workshop uncovers healthy side of sexual expression, BDSM"

on Saturday, 12 November 2011. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

The Brown and White

As part of Lehigh’s power and privilege series the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted a workshop on Tuesday Nov. 8 exploring the seemingly taboo sexual expression of BDSM, an acronym that refers to Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadomasochism and Masochism.

BDSM involves the consensual exchange of power in erotic or sexual situations. Although BDSM has been largely viewed with disapproval in mainstream society, it has become more recognized and popularized by recent media attention, including Rihanna’s hit, “S&M.”

The concrete associations with BDSM commonly include whips, chains and handcuffs during erotic situations in order to feel pleasure out of pain.

“I didn’t know that BDSM was a real thing, or a big deal, or even considered a form of abuse,” said Roshni Desai, ’15.

BDSM is a unique way of sexual expression, that to some, might seem like sexual abuse. However, focus of the workshop was to put BDSM in a different light, differentiating it from sexual abuse. It analyzed how the tenants of BDSM go far past the chains and whips into the concepts of power, privilege, and gender equality.

One of the main topics of the workshop was exploring the guiding principles of BDSM. The main principles are safety, to hurt but not harm, to be self-affirming but not self-destructive, to be fully consensual and never under the influence of any form of substance. Along with these principles, BDSM is always negotiated and agreed upon ahead of time, and it can be stopped in any instant for any reason, giving both parties equal control.

These principles alone refute any association between BDSM and sexual abuse. Because of these principles, BDSM provides a mental escape to a place where there is equal power and privilege between both partners, regardless of their gender. So, when looking beyond the whips and chains, to the principles and morals of BDSM, it proves to be a healthy form of sexual expression that is merely just misunderstood by society.

“It is my hope that students will leave the workshop understanding BDSM as a normal and healthy form of sexual expression, that they will be able to differentiate between BDSM behaviors and sexual abuse and that they will begin to explore some of the power and privilege around gender and sexuality,” said Brooke DeSipio,  assistant director of the Women’s Center and host of the event.

Social Bookmarks

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.

Cancel Submitting comment...

Latest Reader Comments

  • in a bdsm community
    it is important to keep verbal abuse and arguments to a minimum.

    bdsm community

    26. July, 2015 |

  • i often think it would be helpful to advise such people in terms they'll understand: if you alienate given sector of the population,...

    Ian

    22. July, 2015 |

  • NCSF posts Media Updates on articles that we want people to comment on. Whether they're positive or negative articles, we help drive...

    NCSF

    25. June, 2015 |

  • Someone dropped the ball on this whole story. How did he get a license in Virginia with what happened in Florida? Simple. He got the...

    Guest

    23. June, 2015 |

  • I agree. I would highly recommend NCSF not repost articles defaming feminists.

    Angela Anderson

    08. June, 2015 |

  • Females didn't 'submit'. They were overtaken without choice.

    Many anthropological studies fail to mention the native ancient...

    Sacchiridites

    04. June, 2015 |