Knowledge

This section contains recommendations of books for LGBTIQ and gender and sexual diversity therapists and clients, and provides links to other suitable organisations.

If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or any other gender or sexual preference and are seeking literature about the societal and personal issues surrounding sexuality and gender, or if you are a therapist who is working with clients such as this and looking for texts to gain a greater understanding, then start your search here.

Once you have found what you are looking for, we highly recommend that you check out Gay’s The Word, a friendly and well stocked bookshop in central London that should meet your requirements. If you do not live in London, consider supporting us by visiting our Amazon shop and purchasing books from there.

We are currently in the process of transferring all of our resources from our old site into these pages, and will continue to add books and material regularly, so this section will continue to grow and expand. Please do visit again if you cannot find what you are looking for just yet. We are also open to suggestions, so if you would like to recommend an appropriate book or link, feel free to contact us.

Safe, Sane, and Consensual - Contemporary Perspectives on Sadomasochism

Safe, Sane, and Consensual - Contemporary Perspectives on Sadomasochism Image

Edited by Darren Langdridge and Meg Barker. Palgrave Macmillian, 2007

Key Elements: Using contributions from different authors in each chapter this book explores all of the elements of sadomasochism. Historical, psychological, social, and transcendental perspectives on sadomasochism are given from the points of views of contributing authors who have experienced it and/or approach the topic from a non judgmental and informative point of view.

Part One- Introducing Sadomasochism

Chapter One-Situating Sadomasochism
Highlights historical psychological perspective of evaluating sadomasochism. Still classified as a psychological disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Psychiatric Association. (DSM-IV). It rests alongside child sexual abuse and rape as an individual sexual pathology. This chapter explores how throughout the book sadomasochism (S/M) is being evaluated by different academics, post feminist social scientist, psychologists, and others. The terminology and structure of the book are both also explained in this chapter.
Chapter Two-The Cultural Formation of Sadomasochism. History and Analysis
This chapter looks at S/M as part of a wider cultural context that includes sexual cultural evaluation. It defines sexual culture theory, sexual culture function model, and sexual culture formation model. It also contains a historical overview of S/M practice. S/M is defined using a broad perspective that includes consent, erotism, and interpersonal interactions, the dynamics of power and a cultural evaluation of S/M throughout history starting from the 1600s. This chapter also contains a summary of S/M’s role in contemporary culture and the role that S/M plays in industrial society.
Chapter Three- Themes of S/M Expression
Explores the following topics:
Roles
Those that are dominant, “top”,”master”,”mistress”,”owner”,”dominatrix” and those that are submissive, “slave”,”bottom”,”property”, “property” ,”owned”
Commonalities
Negotiation and setting limits, hard limits, soft limits, and how to negotiate is part of the relationship building including the five common features of S/M Bondage
How it is used as a method of power by limiting the movement of a partner, how bondage is used with clothing, how bandage is used on specific parts of the body, where the bondage takes place and what is used
Discipline
Both psychological and physical Dominance and Submission what goes between the individuals who are dominant and those who are submissive, how the roles are used in sexual acts and the various relationships that can form between those playing the different roles
Symbols
The symbols used in S/M relationships including piercing, collars, being marked, it mentions contracts, and tattooing
Physical Pain
The pain in the context of an S/M relationships, and the role of “intensity”, different types of pain, “stingy” or “thuddy” types of stimulation and body parts bruising, branding, and tattooing are also discussed.
Humiliation
How the different forms of humiliation vary from person to person, the different forms of humiliation and how types of humiliation can change from time to time and the “cuckholding” or “cuck”
Fetishes
Sexual arousal to an inanimate object, the common objects, objects, and body parts
Relationships
The different types of S/M relationship that exist – dominant and passive, dominant and dominant, male submissive, couples, the use of a permanent third partner through “V” where one partner has sex with two individuals who do not have sex with each other or through “Δ” where three partners have sex with each other.
Chapter Four – Is SM Pathological
This chapter tries to answer the question of whether or not S/M is pathological and it looks at the parameters being used to define “normal” sexual relationships. S/M is measured against the DSM IV criteria, the legal complications of S/M, and the relationships of those who engage in S/M. Chapter Five- Sadomasochism and The Law The legal context of S/M and the law, the law and bodily harm, autonomy and consent, and privacy rights.

Part Two – Theorizing Pain and Injury

Chapter Six – Speaking the Unspeakable: S/M and the Eroticization of Pain
The focus of this chapter is to identify the possible relationships between pain and pleasure. Is there a shared or common language used to express pain? Is torture the only context of pain?
Chapter Seven-The Bodily Practices of Consensual S/M, Spirituality and Transcendence
The relationship between S/M and the wider socio-cultural phenomena includes mysticism and spirituality in a cultural historic context this section is drawn from the chapter’s author thesis. The transcendent sexual experience is mentioned. Grounded theory has been used in many of the works sighted. The link between S/M and sexual practices in order to achieve spiritual liberation is also explored. The chapter attempts to emphasis the spiritual transcendental elements of consensual S/M.
Chapter Eight- Beyond Safety: Erotic Asphyxiation (E/A) and the Limits of S/M Discourse (asphyxiophilia, hypoxyphilia, breath play or breath control play)
E/A and pushing sexual boundaries is base of the chapter and it looks at what others in the S/M community thinks about E/A. The questions of whether it is too dangerous or too destructive is explored and what the S/M community thinks of E/A.

Part Three Empirical Research

Chapter Nine – Sexual Fantasies of S/M Practitioners: The Impact of Gender and S/M Role on Fantasy Context
Sexual fantasies are acknowledged as a healthy element of sexuality and this chapter explores the relationship between S/M and sexual fantasy. Freud and Jung are mentioned and the argument that S/M includes elements of Carl Jung’s theory of the unconscious into sexual play. S/M as a tool to actualize fantasy is outlined that includes research that explores power and S/M roles, fantasies, gender and sexual scripts, power, and pleasure

Chapter Ten – On Becoming a Gay SMer: A Sexual Scripting Perspective
This chapter looks at how someone becomes a gay SMer. How the initial awareness is transformed into live gay SM interactions. Sexual scripting is mentioned (the formation of an individuals sexual identity) of which there are three parts: “intrapsychic”,”interpersonal”,”cultural scenarios”. Finally it discusses whether or not there is a single pattern or process in becoming a gay SMer.
Chapter Eleven- Playgrounds and New Territories: The Potential of BDSM Practices to Queer Genders
(BDSM is a broader term which stands for bondage, discipline, domination, submission, and sadomasochism)
This chapter is an analysis of the complex power structure BDSM/Queer Genders through explanation of the following: the dyke+BDSM communities in Western Europe and the USA the queering genders in the dyke + BDSM communities queer playgrounds exploring gender (through roles and fantasy) the expansion of the concept of gender or genderfucking creating sub-cultural skills through renaming/reassigning recognition, and integration It concludes with the yuppie consumption of S/M culture.

Part Four – Therapeutic Perspectives

Chapter 12 – The Power of Play: The Potential and Pitfalls in Healing of BDSM
The representation of BDSM in mainstream Western countries is evidenced in sexual stories. This chapter explores how BDSM can function as a healing narrative; BDSM is explored as a source of therapeutic value through looking at the emerging healing narrative of BDSM. The potential constraints of BDSM as a healing narrative are also discussed.
Chapter 13- Shadowplay: S/M Journeys to Our Selves
A personal account of S/M play and a journey from abuse to healing by having used S/M role playing based on Jung’s theories
Chapter 14 – Some Beneficial Aspects of Exploring
Personas and Role Play in the BDSM Context Defining the three salient definitions of BDSM role, persona, and archetype. The risks of role playing are also covered.

Part Five – Bridging the Academic/Activist Divide

Chapter 15 – CARAS: An Initiative to Link Alternative Sexually Communities and Academic Researches
(CARAS is Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities) The objectives, methodology, analysis, and results of the organization are discussed in this chapter. This chapter also includes how CARAS works to address bias in research; the chapter provides background information on the organization and its role in opening a discussion around bias in sexual research through closing the gap between alternative sexual communities and the academic research community.
Chapter 16-Turning the World Upside Down: Developing a Tool for Training about S/M
This chapter is about working past the blocks that we have regarding S/M through exploring the norms and cultural perspectives of S/M.
Chapter 17- Who Is In Charge in an S/M SCENE?
The focus on this chapter is the power structure in the BDSM world, and includes three different parts Experiences of a Pro-Domme How to conduct a professional S/M session from beginning to end Total Power Exchange in a Modern Family A personal perspective on S/M in a wider cultural context.

Safe, Sane, and Consensual - Contemporary Perspectives on Sadomasochism

Safe, Sane, and Consensual - Contemporary Perspectives on Sadomasochism Image

Edited by Darren Langdridge and Meg Barker. Palgrave Macmillian, 2007

Key Elements: Using contributions from different authors in each chapter this book explores all of the elements of sadomasochism. Historical, psychological, social, and transcendental perspectives on sadomasochism are given from the points of views of contributing authors who have experienced it and/or approach the topic from a non judgmental and informative point of view.

Part One- Introducing Sadomasochism

Chapter One-Situating Sadomasochism
Highlights historical psychological perspective of evaluating sadomasochism. Still classified as a psychological disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Psychiatric Association. (DSM-IV). It rests alongside child sexual abuse and rape as an individual sexual pathology. This chapter explores how throughout the book sadomasochism (S/M) is being evaluated by different academics, post feminist social scientist, psychologists, and others. The terminology and structure of the book are both also explained in this chapter.
Chapter Two-The Cultural Formation of Sadomasochism. History and Analysis
This chapter looks at S/M as part of a wider cultural context that includes sexual cultural evaluation. It defines sexual culture theory, sexual culture function model, and sexual culture formation model. It also contains a historical overview of S/M practice. S/M is defined using a broad perspective that includes consent, erotism, and interpersonal interactions, the dynamics of power and a cultural evaluation of S/M throughout history starting from the 1600s. This chapter also contains a summary of S/M’s role in contemporary culture and the role that S/M plays in industrial society.
Chapter Three- Themes of S/M Expression
Explores the following topics:
Roles
Those that are dominant, “top”,”master”,”mistress”,”owner”,”dominatrix” and those that are submissive, “slave”,”bottom”,”property”, “property” ,”owned”
Commonalities
Negotiation and setting limits, hard limits, soft limits, and how to negotiate is part of the relationship building including the five common features of S/M Bondage
How it is used as a method of power by limiting the movement of a partner, how bondage is used with clothing, how bandage is used on specific parts of the body, where the bondage takes place and what is used
Discipline
Both psychological and physical Dominance and Submission what goes between the individuals who are dominant and those who are submissive, how the roles are used in sexual acts and the various relationships that can form between those playing the different roles
Symbols
The symbols used in S/M relationships including piercing, collars, being marked, it mentions contracts, and tattooing
Physical Pain
The pain in the context of an S/M relationships, and the role of “intensity”, different types of pain, “stingy” or “thuddy” types of stimulation and body parts bruising, branding, and tattooing are also discussed.
Humiliation
How the different forms of humiliation vary from person to person, the different forms of humiliation and how types of humiliation can change from time to time and the “cuckholding” or “cuck”
Fetishes
Sexual arousal to an inanimate object, the common objects, objects, and body parts
Relationships
The different types of S/M relationship that exist – dominant and passive, dominant and dominant, male submissive, couples, the use of a permanent third partner through “V” where one partner has sex with two individuals who do not have sex with each other or through “Δ” where three partners have sex with each other.
Chapter Four – Is SM Pathological
This chapter tries to answer the question of whether or not S/M is pathological and it looks at the parameters being used to define “normal” sexual relationships. S/M is measured against the DSM IV criteria, the legal complications of S/M, and the relationships of those who engage in S/M. Chapter Five- Sadomasochism and The Law The legal context of S/M and the law, the law and bodily harm, autonomy and consent, and privacy rights.

Part Two – Theorizing Pain and Injury

Chapter Six – Speaking the Unspeakable: S/M and the Eroticization of Pain
The focus of this chapter is to identify the possible relationships between pain and pleasure. Is there a shared or common language used to express pain? Is torture the only context of pain?
Chapter Seven-The Bodily Practices of Consensual S/M, Spirituality and Transcendence
The relationship between S/M and the wider socio-cultural phenomena includes mysticism and spirituality in a cultural historic context this section is drawn from the chapter’s author thesis. The transcendent sexual experience is mentioned. Grounded theory has been used in many of the works sighted. The link between S/M and sexual practices in order to achieve spiritual liberation is also explored. The chapter attempts to emphasis the spiritual transcendental elements of consensual S/M.
Chapter Eight- Beyond Safety: Erotic Asphyxiation (E/A) and the Limits of S/M Discourse (asphyxiophilia, hypoxyphilia, breath play or breath control play)
E/A and pushing sexual boundaries is base of the chapter and it looks at what others in the S/M community thinks about E/A. The questions of whether it is too dangerous or too destructive is explored and what the S/M community thinks of E/A.

Part Three Empirical Research

Chapter Nine – Sexual Fantasies of S/M Practitioners: The Impact of Gender and S/M Role on Fantasy Context
Sexual fantasies are acknowledged as a healthy element of sexuality and this chapter explores the relationship between S/M and sexual fantasy. Freud and Jung are mentioned and the argument that S/M includes elements of Carl Jung’s theory of the unconscious into sexual play. S/M as a tool to actualize fantasy is outlined that includes research that explores power and S/M roles, fantasies, gender and sexual scripts, power, and pleasure

Chapter Ten – On Becoming a Gay SMer: A Sexual Scripting Perspective
This chapter looks at how someone becomes a gay SMer. How the initial awareness is transformed into live gay SM interactions. Sexual scripting is mentioned (the formation of an individuals sexual identity) of which there are three parts: “intrapsychic”,”interpersonal”,”cultural scenarios”. Finally it discusses whether or not there is a single pattern or process in becoming a gay SMer.
Chapter Eleven- Playgrounds and New Territories: The Potential of BDSM Practices to Queer Genders
(BDSM is a broader term which stands for bondage, discipline, domination, submission, and sadomasochism)
This chapter is an analysis of the complex power structure BDSM/Queer Genders through explanation of the following: the dyke+BDSM communities in Western Europe and the USA the queering genders in the dyke + BDSM communities queer playgrounds exploring gender (through roles and fantasy) the expansion of the concept of gender or genderfucking creating sub-cultural skills through renaming/reassigning recognition, and integration It concludes with the yuppie consumption of S/M culture.

Part Four – Therapeutic Perspectives

Chapter 12 – The Power of Play: The Potential and Pitfalls in Healing of BDSM
The representation of BDSM in mainstream Western countries is evidenced in sexual stories. This chapter explores how BDSM can function as a healing narrative; BDSM is explored as a source of therapeutic value through looking at the emerging healing narrative of BDSM. The potential constraints of BDSM as a healing narrative are also discussed.
Chapter 13- Shadowplay: S/M Journeys to Our Selves
A personal account of S/M play and a journey from abuse to healing by having used S/M role playing based on Jung’s theories
Chapter 14 – Some Beneficial Aspects of Exploring
Personas and Role Play in the BDSM Context Defining the three salient definitions of BDSM role, persona, and archetype. The risks of role playing are also covered.

Part Five – Bridging the Academic/Activist Divide

Chapter 15 – CARAS: An Initiative to Link Alternative Sexually Communities and Academic Researches
(CARAS is Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities) The objectives, methodology, analysis, and results of the organization are discussed in this chapter. This chapter also includes how CARAS works to address bias in research; the chapter provides background information on the organization and its role in opening a discussion around bias in sexual research through closing the gap between alternative sexual communities and the academic research community.
Chapter 16-Turning the World Upside Down: Developing a Tool for Training about S/M
This chapter is about working past the blocks that we have regarding S/M through exploring the norms and cultural perspectives of S/M.
Chapter 17- Who Is In Charge in an S/M SCENE?
The focus on this chapter is the power structure in the BDSM world, and includes three different parts Experiences of a Pro-Domme How to conduct a professional S/M session from beginning to end Total Power Exchange in a Modern Family A personal perspective on S/M in a wider cultural context.

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