I’ll wear a mask for you. The Italian BDSM between public events and online communities

Author/s Manolo Farci
Publishing Year 2016 Issue 2016/51 Language Italian
Pages 20 P. 100-119 File size 228 KB
DOI 10.3280/SC2016-051007
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In this essay, I explore the relevance of Internet-mediated communities for those sexual minorities, who never really had a chance to achieve visibility and broad recognition in the mass media system. One of the most misrepresented sexual communities are the BDSM practitioners, an overlapping abbreviation that denotes a set of erotic preferences or roleplaying involving bondage, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other interpersonal dynamics. The work employed a classic participant observation, by spending three years to attend, observe, and participate in a wide variety of fetish-themed events and study the online community BDSM forum LaGabbia.com. Our findings suggest that the BDSM community has developed a culture of open discussion about sexual fantasies and practices in a mostly uncensored way. This culture not only provides its members with the possibility for self-exploration of their sexual identity, but entails a simultaneously discursive and material understanding of the BDSM as recreational leisure in contrast to traditional psychopathologic explanations.

Keywords: BDSM, Internet, subaltern counterpublics, sexual subcultures.

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Manolo Farci, Indosserò una maschera per te. La comunità BDSM in Italia tra eventi pubblici e spazi in rete in "SOCIOLOGIA DELLA COMUNICAZIONE " 51/2016, pp 100-119, DOI: 10.3280/SC2016-051007