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Wikipedia: BDSM

The Uncomfortable Language of Kink

Jessica and Stevie: Guessing Kinky Terms

Huffington Post: Kink and Consent

US News: What's Wrong with 50 Shades of Grey?

BDSM: Part of Radical Queer History

National Coalition of Sexual Freedom

Photo Shoot: Leather Dads on Parade

Video Tips: Types of BDSM Play for Beginners

Tabook: Cute Bondage Cartoon

Sex Talk Realness: BDSM

YouTube Video: BDSM 101


Kink Lifestyle

 

The Kink (or Kinky) Lifestyle, often referred to as BDSM, represents a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, role-playing, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics. BDSM practitioners generally feel free to engage in erotic improvisation and to act out sexual fantasies. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who don't consider themselves BDSM practitioners, inclusion in the BDSM community and/or subculture is usually dependent on self-identification and shared experience. Interest in BDSM can range from one-time experimentation to an active lifestyle. It is sometimes referred to as kink sexual identity.

The term BDSM derives from combining the term B&D (bondage and discipline) with S&M (sadomasochism or sadism and masochism), or as a compound initialism from B&D, D&S (dominance and submission), and S&M. Regardless of its origin, BDSM is used as a catch-all phrase to include a wide range of activities, forms of interpersonal relationships, and distinct subcultures.

 

BDSM is typically included under the sexual minorities umbrella to include individuals with alternative sexual expression. Researchers estimate that 5-10 percent of the US population engages in BDSM activities for sexual pleasure on at least an occasional basis. The BDSM community is made up of a good mix of heterosexual and homosexual practitioners. Here is a breakdown on the sexual orientation of BDSM people:

--Heterosexual 41%
--Bisexual 35%
--Gay/Lesbian 22%
--Other 7%

BDSM communities generally welcome anyone with a non-normative streak who likes to engage in kinky activities and exotic forms of sex play (usually referred to as fetishism) that might include such acts as spanking, whipping, pinching, flogging, binding, and more. Most activity centers on dominance and submission. Incidents are mild or staged activities that involve no real pain or violence. There is never an intent to exploit, demean, abuse, or harm a participant.

 

The BDSM community includes a variety of subcultures, including individuals who engage with leather, rubber, and latex. Others might engage with animal costumes (furries, ponies).

 

Revealing My Kinks

The Uncomfortable Language of Kink

Huffington Post: Kink and Consent
Learning the Ropes in BDSM: Whips, Chains, Pleasure, Pain

Kinky Bondage Toys

Video Chat: Common BDSM Terms

National Coalition of Sexual Freedom

Sexplanations: Bondage 101

Submissive: Yes, No, and Maybe List

Sex Talk Realness: BDSM

Video Chat: Fetish and Kink

Tabook: Cute Bondage Cartoon

Do's and Dont's of Kinky Sex

Video Advice: BDSM Play and Safety Tips

 

BDSM Activity: Whips and Chains

Since the popularity of the book, Fifty Shades of Grey (by E.L. James, 2011), there has been an increase in the number of people who are curious about BDSM. This phenomenon has given rise to newcomers who might not be aware of the cultural norms and protocols that have been established in the BDSM community.

BDSM activities are between consenting adults and might include such elements as tickling, teasing, spanking, paddling, hair pulling, pinching, bondage, biting, scratching, torture, punishment, begging, flogging, whipping, slapping, hand cuffs, ropes, chains, wax dripping, crossdressing, leather clothes, rubber or latex clothes, hoods and masks, collaring, and intricate role play. These activities, usually applied mildly and lightheartedly, are intended for fun and sexual exhilaration.

 

Sometimes these activities are carried out in specialized venues or dedicated kink zones called "dungeons." They are generally equipped with assorted torture apparatus, swings, shackles, stirrups, harnesses, yokes, racks, cages, and other restraining devices to facilitate a precisely calibrated, ritualized, or theatrical event. 

 

 

 

BDSM activity often centers on dominant and submissive play (master/slave, top/bottom, boss/secretary, teacher/student, owner/pet, bears/cubs). Dominant practitioners might be called Daddy Doms or Mommy Doms. Submissive practitioners might be called Babygirls or Leatherboys. Sometimes BDSM involves regressive activities in which a person acts like a baby and seeks to be mothered (Age Play, Infantilism). Sometimes BDSM involves role play or costume play (Cosplay), in which participants dress up like specific characters. Sometimes BDSM involves dressing up and acting like animals (Puppy Play, Cat Play, Pony Play) and as manifest in the Furries Community and Furry Fandom subculture.

The BDSM community insists that activities should always be safe, sane, and consensual. BDSM activities almost always involve planned or structured experiences. They can be staged or scripted scenes (sessions) or role plays. Activities are said to be conducted in a controlled environment. Oftentimes the activities are negotiated and agreed upon in advance and committed to a formal contract.
 

Do's and Dont's of Kinky Sex

Dominant Guide

Sexplanations: Bondage 101

Biggest Fetish Street Fair in Europe

Alice Little: Flogging 101

BDSM: Part of Radical Queer History

Learning the Ropes in BDSM: Whips, Chains, Pleasure, Pain

National Coalition of Sexual Freedom

Video Advice: BDSM Play and Safety Tips

Advocate: Photos of Kink and Leather on the Streets of LA

Sex Talk Realness: BDSM

Revealing My Kinks

BDSM and Better Mental Health

Video Tips: Types of BDSM Play for Beginners

25 Facts About BDSM That You Won't Learn From 50 Shades of Gray

Submissive: Yes, No, and Maybe List

Kinky Bondage Toys

Jessica and Stevie: Guessing Kinky Terms

Three Couples Try Bondage for the First Time

Video Chat: Meaning and Types of BDSM Collars

Tabook: Cute Bondage Cartoon

 

Sometimes sessions might involve high-risk or "edgeplay" activities. Typically, a "safe word" is utilized ("red" is a popular word) as a signal to give participants a chance to slow down or stop at any time during the proceedings.

The BDSM umbrella also includes couples who engage in swinging and polyamory.

BDSM clothing might utilize such fabrics as leather, rubber, or latex. The strong fashion influence of BDSM is evident in such groups as motorcycle gangs, heavy metal, glam rock, goth, and punk.

The BDSM community mandates that activity should never involve children. It should never cause permanent harm or injury. It should never cross over into exploitation, abuse, rape, incest, domestic violence, or any criminal acts.

 



BDSM Principles

SAFE | SANE | CONSENSUAL

In the BDSM community, safe, sane, and consensual (SSC) are the three key words that represent the common principles guiding relationships and activities. BDSM activities should be:

Safe - Being responsible. Taking care of each other. Being knowledgeable about safety concerns. Attempts should be made to identify and prevent risks to health. Don't be reckless. Minimizing dangers. Protecting yourself and your partner from STDs and other hazards.

Sane - Activities should be undertaken in a sane and sensible frame of mind. Establishing trust. Using good judgment. Activities should be reserved for mentally and emotionally healthy individuals. Knowing the difference between fantasy and reality.

Consensual - All activities should involve the full consent of all parties involved. Respecting limits and honoring agreements. Observing rules and protocols. No pressuring.

 

RACK and PRICK

Two other acronyms used by the BDSM community are RACK and PRICK.

 

RACK - Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. Risk-Aware, simply stated, means that you are “aware of the risk.” You should be able to name said risks and know how to prevent harm. Consensual means that everyone is on board with what you’re about to do or what you’re currently doing.

PRICK - Personal Responsibility, Informed, Consensual Kink. Personal Responsibility means that all kinksters should take personal responsibility for their actions. Informed means (or implies) that you understand what is about to happen (risks and all). Consensual means that all participants have granted their permission.

 

BDSM Terms and Definitions

Age Play - Usually referring to mommy/baby role play, implying a nurturing relationship
Animal Play - Acting like or dressing like an animal (puppy, cat, pony, furry)
Bondage - Acts involving the physical restraint of a partner
Bottom - One who receives physical sensation from a top in a scene... The one done-to rather than the doer
Collared - Submissive or slave who is owned in a loving intimate relationship
Collaring - Formal acceptance by a dominant, of a submissive's service, or the "ownership"
Consent - Mutual agreement to the terms of a scene or ongoing BDSM relationship
Contract - Written agreement between the dominant and submissive, outlining what structure, guidelines, rules and boundaries to the relationship are agreed upon by the participants

 

Dom (Dominant) - Person who exercises control... Contrast with submissive
Domme - Woman who exercises control (Dominatrix)
Fetish - Specific obsession or delight in one object or experience
Furry - Acting like or dressing like an animal

Impact Play - Any activity where sensation is created across the body by flogging, spanking or slapping

Masochism - Act of receiving pain for sensual/sexual pleasure
Masochist - Person who enjoys pain, usually sexually
Munch - Meeting or get-together of a group of BDSM people, usually in a "vanilla" setting in street-appropriate attire
OTK - Over the knee... Refers to spanking or paddling
Rope Bunny - Woman who enjoys being bound with rope for sexual pleasure

Spanking - Erotic spanking of another person for the sexual arousal or gratification of either or both parties
Sadism - Act of inflicting pain
Sadist - Person who enjoys inflicting pain, usually sexually
Safeword - Codeword a bottom can use to force BDSM activity to stop
Sub (Submissive) - Person that gives up control
Switch - Person who alternates between "top" and "bottom" roles

Top - Person "doing the action"... Contrast with bottom, person receiving the action
Vanilla - Someone who is not into BDSM... Sexual behavior which does not encompass BDSM activity... Sometimes a derogatory term to refer to "straight" people

 

Wikipedia: BDSM

Sexplanations: Bondage 101

BDSM Submissive: Yes, No, and Maybe List

Video Chat: Common BDSM Terms

Revealing My Kinks

Photo Shoot: Leather Dads on Parade

Learning the Ropes in BDSM: Whips, Chains, Pleasure, Pain

Jessica and Stevie: Guessing Kinky Terms

Family and Pride in the BDSM Community

Alice Little: Flogging 101

BDSM: Part of Radical Queer History

Photo Shoot: Leather Dads on Parade

The Uncomfortable Language of Kink

Kinky Bondage Toys

Video Chat: Fetish and Kink

Tabook: Cute Bondage Cartoon

Huffington Post: Kink and Consent

US News: What's Wrong with 50 Shades of Grey?

Huffington Post: BDSM Articles

Video Chat: Meaning and Types of BDSM Collars

Advocate: Photos of Kink and Leather on the Streets of L

 

BDSM Contract

BDSM practitioners utilize a "contract" to ensure their activity and interaction is consensual, safe, and sane. It is a written agreement between the dominant and submissive. It can be formal, and is usually composed after much negotiation by the dominant and the submissive, outlining what structure, guidelines, rules and boundaries to the relationship are agreed upon by the participants.

 

Society of Janus

The Society of Janus is a San Francisco, California based BDSM education and support group, and is the second oldest BDSM organization in the United States. It was founded in August 1974 by the late Cynthia Slater and Larry Olsen.


The Society of Janus is nonprofit, volunteer run and is devoted to the art of safe, consensual and non-exploitative adult power exchange. They publish a bimonthly newsletter called Growing Pains and a monthly schedule of BDSM events called Rapid Release which are mailed to members.

In 2014, the Society of Janus held their 40th Anniversary Dinner, Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Play Party, which was awarded "Best Organization Anniversary Event" at The SF Leather Community Awards for that year.

 

Society of Janus

Leather Hall of Fame Inductee: Society of Janus

Revolvy: Society of Janus

 

National Coalition of Sexual Freedom

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is a sex-positive advocacy and educational organization founded in 1997 in the United States. It claims to represent 50 coalition partners and over 100 supporting organizations. NSCF advocates on behalf of adults involved in "alternative lifestyles" with respect to sexuality and relationship composition, specifically for tolerance and non-discrimination of those so identified, as well as education for adults involved in such lifestyles. The organization's main office is in Baltimore, Maryland, with members, coalition partners, board, and volunteers based across the United States.

The NCSF's mission is: "The NCSF is committed to creating a political, legal and social environment in the US that advances equal rights for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions. The NCSF aims to advance the rights of, and advocate for consenting adults in the BDSM, Leather, Fetish, Swing, and Polyamory communities. We pursue our vision through direct services, education, advocacy, and outreach, in conjunction with our partners, to directly benefit these communities."
 

National Coalition of Sexual Freedom

NCSF Statement on Consent

NCSF Article: What Professionals Need to Know About BDSM

 

 

Kinky Media

 

VIDEO

 

Evie Lupine / BDSM, Sex, and Alternative Lifestyles

Evie Lupine YouTube Channel

 

Madame Posh / BDSM and Kinky Lifestyle Education

Madame Posh YouTube Channel

 

Morgan Thorne / BDSM Skills and Tutorials

Morgan Thorne YouTube Channel

 

BOOKS

 

Fifty Shades of Grey / Book Series by E.L. James (2011-12)

The Story of O / Book by Anne Desclos (1954)

Nine & Half Weeks / Book by Elizabeth McNeill (1978)

Dezemberkind / Book by Leander Sukov (2004)

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty / Book Series by Anne Rice (1983)

Gor Series / Gorian Novels by John Norman (1966-13)

 

FILMS

 

Fifty Shades of Grey / US Film starring Dakota Johnson & Jamie Dornan

The Secretary / US Film starring James Spader & Maggie Gyllenhaal

Nine & Half Weeks / US Film starring Kim Basinger & Mickey Rourke

Quills / US Film starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslett, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine

Preaching to the Perverted / British Film

The Piano Teacher / French Film

 

Wikipedia: BDSM

Sexplanations: Bondage 101

BDSM Submissive: Yes, No, and Maybe List

Video Chat: Common BDSM Terms

Revealing My Kinks

Photo Shoot: Leather Dads on Parade

Learning the Ropes in BDSM: Whips, Chains, Pleasure, Pain

Jessica and Stevie: Guessing Kinky Terms

Family and Pride in the BDSM Community

Alice Little: Flogging 101

BDSM: Part of Radical Queer History

Photo Shoot: Leather Dads on Parade

The Uncomfortable Language of Kink

Kinky Bondage Toys

Video Chat: Fetish and Kink

Tabook: Cute Bondage Cartoon

Huffington Post: Kink and Consent

US News: What's Wrong with 50 Shades of Grey?

Huffington Post: BDSM Articles

Video Chat: Meaning and Types of BDSM Collars

Advocate: Photos of Kink and Leather on the Streets of L

 

 

BDSM Misconceptions

Myth: BDSM is mostly about the "dominant" partner getting his/her way with a passive, exploited "submissive"

Fact: BDSM community emphasizes the use of negotiation and the creation of scripts. This view fails to recognize that submissive individuals consent for pleasure. It also fails to recognize the simple metaphysics that 'fulfilling the masochists needs" is central to finding and keeping the submissive partner. Frequently one hears of Topping from the Bottom, where the submissive partner manipulates the relationship, while appearing passive, submissive and obedient.

Myth: BDSM is about physical pain

Fact: Kinky preferences are highly variable and not all forms induce pain. Although pain can be involved, it is in a sexual nature. Pain is experienced in the context of love, trust, and arousal.

Myth: BDSM activities inevitably escalate to extremes and/or become addictive

Fact: We see a "making up for lost time" phenomenon with some individuals who are late in coming out. However, this high level of activity usually levels off, though this level may be "occasional" for some and "24/7" for others.

Myth: BDSM is self-destructive

Fact: This is simply inaccurate and not supported by any evidence. Self-destructive behaviours are experienced no more frequently by BDSM practitioners than the general public. On that note, anything pleasurable is subject to abuse and BDSM is no exception.

Myth: BDSM stems from childhood abuse

Fact: There is no evidence for this claim, and it has been disproven by various research.

Myth: BDSM is an avoidance of intimacy

Fact: BDSM is no more or less prone to intimacy amplification or aversion than more standard sexual practices.

Myth: BDSM is separate from "vanilla" sex

Fact: For most practitioners, BDSM activities and "regular" intercourse are often combined or intertwined in one way or another.
 

 

Books on the Subject

 

Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook by Michael Makai

Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance & Submission by Gloria Brame, John Jacobs, William Brame

S&M 101 by Jay Wiseman

Master's Manual: Handbook of Erotic Dominance by Jack Rinella

Erotic Slavehood by Christina Abernathy

Come Hither: Common Sense Guide to Kinky Sex by Gloria Brame

Diary of a Submissive by Sophie Morgan

When Someone You Love is Kinky by Dossie Easton

Defense of Masochism by Anita Phillips

Radical Ecstasy by Dossie Easton

 

SM 101: Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman

What Professionals Need to Know About BDSM

Video Chat: Meaning and Types of BDSM Collars

Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play, Erotic Edge by Tristan Taormino

50 Shades of Kink: Introduction to BDSM by Tristan Taormino

Video Tips: Types of BDSM Play for Beginners

Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures by Peggy Kleinplatz & Charles Moser

Video Advice: BDSM Play and Safety Tips

Playing Well With Others: Field Guide to Kink, Leather & BDSM Communities by Harrington & Williams

SM 101: Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman

What Professionals Need to Know About BDSM

Video Chat: Meaning and Types of BDSM Collars

Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play, Erotic Edge by Tristan Taormino

50 Shades of Kink: Introduction to BDSM by Tristan Taormino

Video Tips: Types of BDSM Play for Beginners

Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures by Peggy Kleinplatz & Charles Moser

Video Advice: BDSM Play and Safety Tips

Playing Well With Others: Field Guide to Kink, Leather & BDSM Communities by Harrington & Williams

 

 

Leather Subculture

 

The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities that involve leather garments, such as leather jackets, vests, boots, chaps, harnesses, or other items. Wearing leather garments is one way that participants in this culture self-consciously distinguish themselves from mainstream sexual cultures. Leather culture is most visible in gay communities and most often associated with gay men (enthusiasts are nicknamed "leathermen"), but it is also reflected in various ways in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight worlds. Many people associate leather culture with BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sado/Masochism, also called "SM" or "S&M") practices and its many subcultures. But for others, wearing black leather clothing is an erotic fashion that expresses heightened masculinity or the appropriation of sexual power; love of motorcycles, motorcycle clubs and independence; and/or engagement in sexual kink or leather fetishism.

 



Gay male leather culture has existed since the late 1940s, when it likely grew out of post-WWII biker culture. Early gay leather bars were subcultural versions of the motorcycle club with pioneering gay motorcycle clubs including the Satyrs, established in Los Angeles in 1954. Oedipus, also established in Los Angeles in 1958, and the New York Motorbike Club. Early San Francisco clubs included the Warlocks and the California Motor Club, while early clubs in Sydney included the South Pacific Motor Club. Leather Clubs for gay men started in Amsterdam and Berlin in the 1950s, and in Sydney from 1970.


In 1964 an article on Life magazine with a significant amount of prejudice, drew attention to the gay leather community. The "Tool Box" bar in San Francisco was the target of the prejudice, although not specified, it was heavily speculated. The fourteen page article titled, "Homosexuality in America" also brought leather subculture to the attention of isolated and closeted gays.

 



These gay clubs, like the clubs of straight motorcycle culture in general, reflected a disaffection with the mainstream culture of post-World War II America, a disaffection whose notoriety — and therefore appeal — expanded after the sensationalized news coverage of the Hollister "riot" of 1947. The 1953 film The Wild One starring Marlon Brando wearing jeans, a T-shirt, a leather jacket, and Muir cap, played on pop-cultural fascination with the Hollister "riot" and promoted an image of masculine independence that resonated with some gay men who were dissatisfied with a culture that stereotyped gay men as effeminate. To that end, gay motorcycle culture also reflected some men's disaffection with the coexistent gay cultures more organized around high culture, popular culture (especially musical theater), and/or camp style. Perhaps as a result, the leather community that emerged from the motorcycle clubs also became the practical and symbolic location for gay men's open exploration of kink and S&M.

 

Wikipedia: Leather Subculture

BDSM Wiki: Leather Culture

Photo Shoot: Leather Dads on Parade

Wikipedia: Sexual Fetishism

Biggest Fetish Street Fair in Europe

 

Cosplay

Cosplay, or "costume play," is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers (or cosers) wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture. A broader use of the term "cosplay" applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. Any entity that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject and it is not unusual to see genders switched. Favorite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, live-action films, television series, and video games.

The rapid growth in the number of people cosplaying as a hobby since 1990s has made the phenomenon a significant aspect of popular culture in Japan and some other parts of Asia and in the Western world. Cosplay events are common features of fan conventions and there are also dedicated conventions and local and international competitions, as well as social networks, websites and other forms of media centered on cosplay activities.

 


 

Cosplay costumes vary greatly and can range from simple themed clothing to highly detailed costumes. It is generally considered different from Halloween and Mardi Gras costume wear, as the intention is to replicate a specific character, rather than to reflect the culture and symbolism of a holiday event. As such, when in costume, some cosplayers often seek to adopt the affect, mannerisms, and body language of the characters they portray (with "out of character" breaks). The characters chosen to be cosplayed may be sourced from any movie, TV series, book, comic book, video game, music band, anime, or manga. The costumes may represent fantasy or fictional characters, video game characters, cartoon characters, or superheroes. Sometimes cosplayers take a creative twist and incorporate genderbending, crossplay, mashup, or drag.

 

And sometimes a cosplayer will make up a unique persona and invent a character. This is called "OC" or "Original Character."

 

Con Goer - Convention attendees. Con-goers are usually from the area the convention is being held in, but in cases with large conventions such as Comic-Con, can be from anywhere around the world. Con-goers, while sometimes normal in everyday life, are often possessed with a bout of insanity at conventions. These bursts can last the length of the convention and may include fangirlism or fanboyism, sudden and inexplicable extraverted behaviors, offers for free hugs, and/or glomping.

Glomp - A hug mixed with a tackle. Glomping is incredibly popular at conventions, but sometimes quite dangerous. It is a sign of intense excitement to see someone, but can sometimes cause mass mayhem. Tumbling to the ground after a strong glomp has been known to cause accidents. Because of this, glomping is banned at many conventions. Most of the time, glomping is reciprocated, but is occasionally performed without the other party’s desire or consent.

 



LARP - Short for “Live Action Role Play.” It is a performance where cosplayers physically act out their character’s actions. These can be simple, like a group friends playing around together at home for a few hours. In other cases, they can be very advanced, where a team of event organizers plan out various circumstances for a large group – sometimes thousands of people – that can last for days.

Furry - Someone who is interested in anthropomorphic creatures. The precise definition has not been agreed upon, even by furries themselves, so a furry can be anyone who is mildly interested in human-like animals to someone who sincerely wishes to be one. As it pertains to cosplay, furry is a specific type of Kigurumi. The term furry is only applied when someone is cosplaying an animal or animal-like creature, such as a Pokemon. Furries wear full body suits and facial coverings that canvass their entire head.

Con Funk - The stench of unwashed con-goers. Because many con-goers cosplay every day in thick outfits – sometimes the same outfit every day – heat, sweat, and body odor easily builds at conventions. Some con-goers also sleep in their cars to avoid hotel room fees or are too busy partying to sleep at all; this leaves them with no access to or no time to use a shower. Con funk is present at every convention and can only be evaded by avoiding large crowds and carrying body spray at all times.


PBS Video: Queer Black Cosplayer

Cosplay Explained

Video: What is Cosplay?

Cosplay Terminology

Mental Floss: Cool Cosplay Terms

Famous Cosplayers

Video: Overview of Cosplay Culture

Cosplay Dictionary

Video Talk: What Does it Mean to be a Cosplayer?

 

Furries

The Furries Community or Furry Fandom are enthusiasts for animal characters with human characteristics, in particular a person who dresses up in costume as such a character or uses one as an avatar online. The Furry Fandom is a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Furry fandom is also used to refer to the community of people who gather on the Internet and at Furry Conventions.

 



Anthropomorphic animal characters created by Furry Fans, known as Fursonas, are used for role-playing in MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) and on internet forums. 


Role-playing also takes place offline, with petting, hugging, and "scritching" (light scratching and grooming) common between friends at social gatherings. Fursuits or furry accessories are sometimes used to enhance the experience.

When compared with the general population, homosexuality and bisexuality are over-represented in the furry fandom by about a factor of 10. Of the US population, about 1.8% of persons self-identify as bisexual and 1.7% as homosexual according to a 2011 study from scholars at UCLA. In contrast, according to four different surveys 14–25% of the fandom members report homosexuality, 37–52% bisexuality, 28–51% heterosexuality, and 3–8% other forms of alternative sexual relationships. Approximately half of the respondents reported being in a relationship, of which 76% were in a relationship with another member of furry fandom. Examples of sexual aspects within furry fandom include erotic art and furry-themed cybersex. The term "yiff" is sometimes used to indicate sexual activity or sexual material within the fandon. This applies to sexual activity and interaction within the subculture whether in the form of cybersex or offline.

 

Vox: Questions About Furries You are Embarrassed to Ask

Psychology Today: What's the Deal with Furries?

Vanity Fair: Pleasures of the Fur

Inside the Life of a Furry
 

Fetish Information

Definitions


Sexual fetishism or erotic fetishism is a sexual focus on a nonliving object or nongenital body part. The object of interest is called the fetish. The person who has a fetish for that object is a fetishist. A sexual fetish may be regarded as a non-pathological aid to sexual excitement, or as a mental disorder if it causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life. Sexual arousal from a particular body part can be further classified as partialism.

 



While medical definitions restrict the term sexual fetishism to objects or body parts, fetish can also refer to sexual interest in specific activities in common discourse.

In common parlance, the word fetish is used to refer to any sexually arousing stimuli, not all of which meet the medical criteria for fetishism. This broader usage of fetish covers parts or features of the body (including obesity and body modifications), objects, situations and activities (such as smoking or BDSM). Paraphilias such as urophilia, necrophilia and coprophilia have been described as fetishes.

Originally, most medical sources defined fetishism as a sexual interest in non-living objects, body parts or secretions. The publication of the DSM-III in 1980 changed that by excluding arousal from body parts in its diagnostic criteria for fetishism. In 1987, a revised edition of the DSM-III (DSM-III-R) introduced a new diagnosis for body part arousal, called partialism. The DSM-IV retained this distinction. Martin Kafka argued that partialism should be merged into fetishism because of overlap between the two conditions, and the DSM-5 subsequently did so in 2013. The ICD-10 definition is still limited to non-living objects.

Types of Fetishisms

In a review of 48 cases of clinical fetishism, fetishes included clothing (58.3%), rubber and rubber items (22.9%), footwear (14.6%), body parts (14.6%), leather (10.4%), and soft materials or fabrics (6.3%). A 2007 study counted members of Internet discussion groups with the word "fetish" in their name. Of the groups about body parts or features, 47% belonged to groups about feet (foot fetishism), 9% about body fluids, 9% about body size, 7% about hair (hair fetish), and 5% about muscles (muscle worship). Less popular groups focused on navels (navel fetishism), legs, body hair, mouth, and nails, among other things. Of the groups about objects, 33% belonged to groups about clothes worn on the legs or buttocks (such as stockings or skirts), 32% about footwear (shoe fetishism), 12% about underwear (underwear fetishism), and 9% about whole-body wear such as jackets. Less popular object groups focused on headwear, stethoscopes, wristwear, and diapers (diaper fetishism).

 



Diagnosis

The ICD-10 defines fetishism as a reliance on non-living objects for sexual arousal and satisfaction. It is only considered a disorder when fetishistic activities are the foremost source of sexual satisfaction, and become so compelling or unacceptable as to cause distress or interfere with normal sexual intercourse. The ICD's research guidelines require that the preference persists for at least six months, and is markedly distressing or acted on.

Under the DSM-5, fetishism is sexual arousal from nonliving objects or specific nongenital body parts, excluding clothes used for cross-dressing (as that falls under transvestic disorder) and sex toys that are designed for genital stimulation. In order to be diagnosed as fetishistic disorder, the arousal must persist for at least six months and cause significant psychosocial distress or impairment in important areas of their life. In the DSM-IV, sexual interest in body parts was distinguished from fetishism under the name partialism (diagnosed as Paraphilia NOS), but it was merged with fetishistic disorder for the DSM-5.

The ReviseF65 project has campaigned for the ICD diagnosis to be abolished completely to avoid stigmatizing fetishists. Sexologist Odd Reiersøl argues that distress associated with fetishism is often caused by shame, and that being subject to diagnosis only exacerbates that. He suggests that, in cases where the individual fails to control harmful behavior, they instead be diagnosed with a personality or impulse control disorder.

Treatment

According to the World Health Organization, fetishistic fantasies are common and should only be treated as a disorder when they impair normal functioning or cause distress. Goals of treatment can include elimination of criminal activity, reduction in reliance on the fetish for sexual satisfaction, improving relationship skills, or attempting to remove deviant arousal altogether. The evidence for treatment efficacy is limited and largely based on case studies, and no research on treatment for female fetishists exists.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one popular approach. Cognitive behavioral therapists teach clients to identify and avoid antecedents to fetishistic behavior, and substitute non-fetishistic fantasies for ones involving the fetish. Aversion therapy can reduce fetishistic arousal in the short term, but is unlikely to have any permanent effect.

Antiandrogens and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be prescribed to lower sex drive. Cyproterone acetate is the most commonly used antiandrogen, except in the United States, where it may not be available. A large body of literature has shown that it reduces general sexual fantasies. Side effects may include osteoporosis, liver dysfunction, and feminization. Case studies have found that the antiandrogen medroxyprogesterone acetate is successful in reducing sexual interest, but can have side effects including osteoporosis, diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, feminization, and weight gain. Some hospitals use leuprolide acetate and goserelin acetate to reduce libido, and while there is presently little evidence for their efficacy, they have fewer side effects than other antiandrogens. A number of studies support the use of SSRIs, which may be preferable over antiandrogens because of their relatively benign side effects. None of these drugs cure sexual fetishism, but they can make it easier to manage.

Relationship counselors may attempt to reduce dependence on the fetish and improve partner communication using techniques like sensate focusing. Partners may agree to incorporate the fetish into their activities in a controlled, time-limited manner, or set aside only certain days to practice the fetishism. If the fetishist cannot sustain an erection without the fetish object, the therapist might recommend orgasmic reconditioning or covert sensitization to increase arousal to normal stimuli (although the evidence base for these techniques is weak).

 

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