How is it that BDSM play is deeply connecting? What can we learn about how people in general construct intimacy with others in their lives by analyzing sadomasochistic communities? On this special episode of Kink On Tap, sociologist Dr. Staci Newmahr joins us to discuss her new book, Playing on the Edge: Sadomasochism, Risk, and Intimacy. Drawing on disciplines as far ranging as criminology to gender theory and beyond, Dr. Newmahr offers a rigorous conceptual framework in which to understand “What It Is That We Do,” the value of risk itself, and even the fluidity of identity.
Unlike the typical fare of sexuality news and articles and a roundtable discussion, this time I sat down one-on-one with Dr. Staci Newmahr to talk about her ethnography of the people in “Caeden,” a public BDSM community in America, for the entire 2-hour show. The book—and, therefore, this show—has personal and sentimental meaning to me not only because it articulates in academic language much of what I’ve been experiencing in my time as a part of numerous BDSM communities, but also because Staci is a personal friend. Her book therefore chronicles some of my own time in “Caeden,” and offered me a window into my own (often painful) past.
Although Kink On Tap is still not returning to weekly shows, that doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff coming up! First of all, if you have questions for Staci or comments about our conversation, leave a comment or fill out the Feedback form on our website. Also, there are a number of fantastic events scheduled where I hope you’ll say hi to me, including KinkForAll Providence 2 in Rhode Island and the Atlanta Poly Weekend (where I’m slated to give a presentation on anti-censorship best practices for sex-positive publishers) in Georgia.
Finally, if you like Kink On Tap or any of my other work, you can help me keep doing it by chipping a few dollars into the hat at the Kink On Tap Donate page, or bringing me to speak with your students or community group. Your contributions and invitations really do help a lot!