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Olga Wolstenholme's picture

When is it OK to Reveal a Secret?

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  • Clarisse Thorn's picture

    One split in the BDSM subculture: the desire for transgression vs. the dislike of stigma

    (Image courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society)

    I'm behind on everything, and every time I manage to take a day where I swear I'll catch up, I get sidetracked by some other huge thing. But this Thursday I'll be presenting at a conference hosted by Chicago's very own LGBT community center, Center on Halsted: "The 2009 Alternative Sexualities Conference: Cultural Competence and Clinical Issues". I, and some other people in the community, will be speaking about the role of communities in the BDSM experience. I can't possibly get sidetracked from that, and I'm pretty excited about it!

    Now I've said before, and I say as often as I can, that BDSM communities are filled with many different voices -- plus, there are many BDSM communities out there, not just one. I hope no one ever takes me as "speaking for BDSM" or accurately describing every possible BDSM community out there. But there are some elements common in the BDSM subculture, and some very general splits that I often find myself noticing within it. (I do welcome other voices, ideas, additions, or disagreements with what I'm about to say! Feel free to leave comments! Especially disagreements -- I relish getting different perspectives on the BDSM scene and questioning my own assumptions. Absolutely relish it. Delicious.)

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