BDSM Criminal and Civil Law in the Kingdom of Spain

Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco. Furthermore, the town of Llívia is a Spanish exclave situated inside French territory. With an area of 504,030 km², it is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union after France.

There are a lot BDSM Organisation in Spain.
Prostitution exists in a legal vacuum. Sex workers are not penalized, instead the pimps are the ones who are punished. With 90% of prostitutes in Spain said to be illegal immigrants, brought into Spain through illegal human trafficking, the circumstances of many prostitutes leave them in legal limbo.
Gay can get married here and can adopt kids.
Sexual assualt imprisonment of one to four years.
sexual abuse imprisonment of four to 10 years.
CRIMES OF exhibitionism and sexual provocation imprisonment from six months to a year or a fine of 12 to 24 months.

Of sexual assault.
Article 178.

Which would be detrimental to the sexual freedom of another person, by violence or intimidation shall be punished as sexual assault responsible for the imprisonment of one to four years.

Article 179.

When sexual assault is to vaginal intercourse, anal or oral, or introduction of bodily members or objects for some of the first two tracks, the offender shall be punished as guilty of rape with a prison sentence of six to 12 years.

Article 180.

1. The above behaviors will be punished with imprisonment from four to ten years for abuse of Article 178, and twelve to fifteen years for Article 179, where one of the following circumstances:

When violence or intimidation are of a particularly degrading or humiliating.

When the offense is committed by the joint action of two or more people.

When the victim is particularly vulnerable because of their age, illness or situation, and in any case when it is under thirteen years.

When, for the execution of the crime, the person responsible has availed of a relationship of superiority or relationship, to be ascendant, descendant or sibling, by nature or adoption, or marriage with the victim.

When the author makes use of weapons or other dangerous also likely to produce death or any of the injuries provided for in Articles 149 and 150 of the Penal Code, without prejudice to the penalty that may correspond to the death or injury.

2. If you concur two or more of the above circumstances, the penalties provided in this article shall be imposed in the upper half.

Of sexual abuse.
Article 181.

1. Which, without violence or intimidation and without consent, carried out, acts against sexual freedom or indemnity from another person, is disciplined, responsible for sexual abuse, imprisonment of one to three years or a fine of eighteen twenty-four months.

2. For the purposes of the preceding paragraph, are considered non-consensual sexual abuse of children running about thirteen years, people who are bereft of meaning or mental disorder which abusare.

3. The same penalty is applied when consent is obtained taking advantage responsible for a position of superiority manifested abridging the freedom of the victim.

4, The penalties mentioned in this article shall be imposed at the upper If the circumstances 3 or 4 of those provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 180 of this Code.

Article 182.

1. In all cases in the previous article, when sexual abuse is to vaginal intercourse, anal or oral, or introduction of bodily members or objects for some of the first two tracks, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment of four to 10 years.

2. The penalty prescribed in the preceding paragraph shall be in the top half when the circumstances attend 3 or 4 of those provided for in Article 180.1 of this Code.

Article 183.

1. Which, speaking deceit, commits sexual abuse with a person over the age of thirteen and under sixteen shall be punished with imprisonment of one to two years or a fine of twelve to twenty four months.

2. When the abuse is to vaginal intercourse, anal or oral, or introduction of bodily members or objects for any of the first two passages, the penalty shall be imprisonment from two to six years. The penalty shall be in the top half of the circumstance if it is entered 3 or 4, those provided for in Article 180.1 of this Code.

Article 184.

1. Who requests sexual favors in nature, for himself or for another, in the field of employment, teaching or service delivery, continued or habitual, and such behavior causes distortion to the victim of an objective situation and seriously intimidating, hostile or humiliating, will be punished as the perpetrator of sexual harassment, to imprisonment for three to six months or a fine of six to 10 months.

2. If found guilty of sexual harassment had committed the advantage of a position of power work, teaching or hierarchical, or with the express or tacit announcement to cause the victim a bad related to the legitimate expectations that it may have in the field of indicated relationship, the penalty is imprisonment for five to seven months or a fine of 10 to 14 months.

3. When the victim is particularly vulnerable because of their age, illness or condition, the penalty shall be imprisonment from five to seven months or a fine of 10 to 14 months in the cases referred to in paragraph 1 and to imprisonment for six months a year in the cases provided for in paragraph 2 of this article.

CRIMES OF exhibitionism and sexual provocation.
Article 185.

Which implements or makes another person to execute acts of lascivious exhibition to minors or incompetent, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to a year or a fine of 12 to 24 months.

Article 186.

Which, by any direct means, sells, disseminates or exhibits pornographic material to minors or incompetent, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to a year or a fine of 12 to 24 months.

Of offenses relating to prostitution and corruption of minors.
Article 187.

1. Who induces, promotes, encourages or facilitates the prostitution of a minor or incompetent, shall be punished with imprisonment from one to four years and a fine of twelve to twenty-four

2. Incur the penalty of imprisonment specified in its upper half, and also in absolute disqualification of six to twelve years, performing the acts advantage of their position of authority or official agent from the public.

3. Higher penalties are imposed to the extent provided in the preceding paragraphs, in their respective cases when the offender belongs to an organization or association, including transient, which engages in the conduct of such activities.

Article 188.

1. That by using violence, intimidation or deception, or abuse of a position of superiority or of need or vulnerability of the victim, elderly person into prostitution or remain in it, is punished with prison sentences of two to four years and a fine of 12 to 24 months. In the same penalty shall be profiting from the prostitution of another person, even with the consent of the same.

2. Corresponding penalties are imposed in the upper half, and also the disqualification penalty of six to 12 years, which made the conduct described in the preceding paragraph advantage of their position of authority or official agent from the public.

3. If such conduct were made on minor or unable to initiate or maintain in a situation of prostitution, shall be liable to charge the higher penalty due pursuant to the preceding paragraphs.

4. The penalties prescribed shall be imposed in their cases without prejudice to the corresponding by sexual abuse or assault on the prostitute.

Article 189.

1. Shall be punished with imprisonment from one to four years:

Anyone who uses a minor or unable purposes or exhibitionist or pornographic performances, both public and private, or to make any kind of pornographic material, whatever its medium, or Funding will any of these activities.

The person who produces, sells, distributes, exhibited to or facilitates the production, sale, distribution or display of any pornographic material through the production of which have been used for minor or incompetent, or possess for these purposes even if the material having its origin abroad or is unknown.

2. Which holds for its own use pornographic material whose production had been used minors or incompetent, shall be punished with imprisonment from three months to one year imprisonment or a fine of six months to two years.

3. Shall be punished with imprisonment of four to eight years to perform the acts referred to in paragraph 1 of this article where one of the following circumstances:

When using children under 13 years.

When the facts are of a particularly degrading or humiliating.

When the facts of particular gravity taking into account the economic value of the pornographic material.

When pornographic material depicting children or unable to be victims of physical or sexual violence.

When the offender belongs to an organization or association, including transient, which engages in the conduct of such activities.

When the offender is an ascendant, guardian, conservator, guardian, teacher or other person who, in fact or in law, the minor or incompetent.

4. Which to involve a minor or incapacitated in a behavior of a sexual nature that adversely affects the evolution or development of the personality of it, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to a year.

5. Which he has under his authority, guardianship, foster care or a minor or incompetent, with knowledge of the state of prostitution and corruption, do their best to prevent its continuation in that state, or is not the authority responsible for the same purpose if no means to the custody of the minor or incompetent person shall be punished with imprisonment of three to six months or a fine of six to 12 months.

6. The prosecution will promote appropriate actions in order to deprive the custody, guardianship, custody or foster care, where appropriate, the person who commits any of the acts described in the preceding paragraph.

7. Shall be punished with imprisonment from three months to one year or a fine of six months to two years if he produces, sells, distributes, exhibited to or facilitate by any means pornographic material not having been used directly or disabled children are use your voice or image altered or modified.

8. In the cases mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, it may impose the measures provided for in section 129 of this Code when the offender belongs to a company, organization or association, including transient, which engages in the conduct of such activities.

Article 190.

The conviction of a foreign judge or court imposed for crimes under this chapter shall be equated to the judgments of Judges or Spanish courts for the purposes of applying the aggravating circumstance of recidivism.

Article 191.

1. To proceed for the crimes of assault, harassment or sexual abuse, will be accurate reporting of the aggrieved person, his legal representative or complaint of public prosecutor, acting weighing the legitimate interests at stake. When the victim is a minor, incompetent or a disabled person, simply the complaint of the prosecution.

2. In these crimes forgiveness of the victim or the legal representative does not extinguish the criminal action or responsibility of that class.

Article 192.

1. The parents, guardians, conservators, guardians, teachers or any other person in charge of fact or law of the minor or incompetent person, when acting as perpetrators or accomplices in the perpetration of crimes covered by this Title, shall be punished with the penalties attached to them in its upper half.

This rule does not apply when the matter contained therein is specifically referred to in the crime in question.

2. The judge or court may reasonably impose, in addition, the penalty of disqualification for the exercise of rights of custody, guardianship, custody, employment or public office or exercise of profession or trade, for the period of six months six years.

Article 193.

In prosecutions for crimes against sexual freedom, as well as delivery for civil liability shall, as appropriate, to proceed in order to parentage and fixing food.

Article 194.

In the cases established in Chapters IV and V of this Title, when performing the acts are local establishments or utilizaren open or not the public, may be ordered into the sentence his temporary or permanent closure. The temporary closure, which may not exceed five years, may be adopted as a precautionary measure…

Artículo 178.

El que atentare contra la libertad sexual de otra persona, con violencia o intimidación será castigado como responsable de agresión sexual con la pena de prisión de uno a cuatro años.

Artículo 179.

Cuando la agresión sexual consista en acceso carnal por vía vaginal, anal o bucal, o introducción de miembros corporales u objetos por alguna de las dos primeras vías, el responsable será castigado como reo de violación con la pena de prisión de seis a 12 años.

Artículo 180.

1. Las anteriores conductas serán castigadas con las penas de prisión de cuatro a diez años para las agresiones del artículo 178, y de doce a quince años para las del artículo 179, cuando concurra alguna de las siguientes circunstancias:

Cuando la violencia o intimidación ejercidas revistan un carácter particularmente degradante o vejatorio.

Cuando los hechos se cometan por la actuación conjunta de dos o más personas.

Cuando la víctima sea especialmente vulnerable, por razón de su edad, enfermedad o situación, y, en todo caso, cuando sea menor de trece años.

Artículo 181.

1. El que, sin violencia o intimidación y sin que medie consentimiento, realizare actos que atenten contra la libertad o indemnidad sexual de otra persona, será castigado, como responsable de abuso sexual, con la pena de prisión de uno a tres años o multa de dieciocho a veinticuatro meses.

2. A los efectos del apartado anterior, se consideran abusos sexuales no consentidos los que se ejecuten sobre menores de trece años, sobre personas que se hallen privadas de sentido o de cuyo trastorno mental se abusare.

3. La misma pena se impondrá cuando el consentimiento se obtenga prevaliéndose el responsable de una situación de superioridad manifiesta que coarte la libertad de la víctima.

4, Las penas señaladas en este artículo se impondrán en su mitad superior si concurriere la circunstancia 3 o la 4, de las previstas en el apartado 1 del artículo 180 de este Código.

Artículo 182.

1. En todos los casos del artículo anterior, cuando el abuso sexual consista en acceso carnal por vía vaginal, anal o bucal, o introducción de miembros corporales u objetos por alguna de las dos primeras vías, el responsable será castigado con la pena de prisión de cuatro a 10 años.

2. La pena señalada en el apartado anterior se impondrá en su mitad superior cuando concurra la circunstancia 3 o la 4 de las previstas en el artículo 180.1 de este Código.

Artículo 183.

1. El que, interviniendo engaño, cometiere abuso sexual con persona mayor de trece años y menor de dieciséis, será castigado con la pena de prisión de uno a dos años, o multa de doce a veinticuatro meses.

2. Cuando el abuso consista en acceso carnal por vía vaginal, anal o bucal, o introducción de miembros corporales u objetos por alguna de las dos primeras vías, la pena será de prisión de dos a seis años. La pena se impondrá en su mitad superior si concurriera la circunstancia 3, o la 4, de las previstas en el artículo 180.1 de este Código.

Artículo 184.

1. El que solicitare favores de naturaleza sexual, para sí o para un tercero, en el ámbito de una relación laboral, docente o de prestación de servicios, continuada o habitual, y con tal comportamiento provocare a la víctima una situación objetiva y gravemente intimidatoria, hostil o humillante, será castigado, como autor de acoso sexual, con la pena de prisión de tres a cinco meses o multa de seis a 10 meses.

2. Si el culpable de acoso sexual hubiera cometido el hecho prevaliéndose de una situación de superioridad laboral, docente o jerárquica, o con el anuncio expreso o tácito de causar a la víctima un mal relacionado con las legítimas expectativas que aquélla pueda tener en el ámbito de la indicada relación, la pena será de prisión de cinco a siete meses o multa de 10 a 14 meses.

3. Cuando la víctima sea especialmente vulnerable, por razón de su edad, enfermedad o situación, la pena será de prisión de cinco a siete meses o multa de 10 a 14 meses en los supuestos previstos en el apartado 1, y de prisión de seis meses a un año en los supuestos previstos en el apartado 2 de este artículo.

Artículo 185.

El que ejecutare o hiciere ejecutar a otra persona actos de exhibición obscena ante menores de edad o incapaces, será castigado con la pena de prisión de seis meses a un año o multa de 12 a 24 meses.

Artículo 186.

El que, por cualquier medio directo, vendiere, difundiere o exhibiere material pornográfico entre menores de edad o incapaces, será castigado con la pena de prisión de seis meses a un año o multa de 12 a 24 meses.

Artículo 187.

1. El que induzca, promueva, favorezca o facilite la prostitución de una persona menor de edad o incapaz, será castigado con las penas de prisión de uno a cuatro años y multa de doce a veinticuatro

2. Incurrirán en la pena de prisión indicada, en su mitad superior, y además en la de inhabilitación absoluta de seis a doce años, los que realicen los hechos prevaliéndose de su condición de autoridad, agente de ésta o funcionario público.

3. Se impondrán las penas superiores en grado a las previstas en los apartados anteriores, en sus respectivos casos, cuando el culpable perteneciere a una organización o asociación, incluso de carácter transitorio, que se dedicare a la realización de tales actividades.

Artículo 188.

1. El que determine, empleando violencia, intimidación o engaño, o abusando de una situación de superioridad o de necesidad o vulnerabilidad de la víctima, a persona mayor de edad a ejercer la prostitución o a mantenerse en ella, será castigado con las penas de prisión de dos a cuatro años y multa de 12 a 24 meses. En la misma pena incurrirá el que se lucre explotando la prostitución de otra persona, aun con el consentimiento de la misma.

2. Se impondrán las penas correspondientes en su mitad superior, y además la pena de inhabilitación absoluta de seis a 12 años, a los que realicen las conductas descritas en el apartado anterior prevaliéndose de su condición de autoridad, agente de ésta o funcionario público.

3. Si las mencionadas conductas se realizaran sobre persona menor de edad o incapaz, para iniciarla o mantenerla en una situación de prostitución, se impondrá al responsable la pena superior en grado a la que corresponda según los apartados anteriores.

4. Las penas señaladas se impondrán en sus respectivos casos sin perjuicio de las que correspondan por las agresiones o abusos sexuales cometidos sobre la persona prostituida.

Artículo 189.

1. Será castigado con la pena de prisión de uno a cuatro años:

El que utilizare a menores de edad o a incapaces con fines o en espectáculos exhibicionistas o pornográficos, tanto públicos como privados, o para elaborar cualquier clase de material pornográfico, cualquiera que sea su soporte, o financiare cualquiera de estas actividades.

El que produjere, vendiere, distribuyere, exhibiere o facilitare la producción, venta, difusión o exhibición por cualquier medio de material pornográfico en cuya elaboración hayan sido utilizados menores de edad o incapaces, o lo poseyere para estos fines, aunque el material tuviere su origen en el extranjero o fuere desconocido.

2. El que para su propio uso posea material pornográfico en cuya elaboración se hubieran utilizado menores de edad o incapaces, será castigado con la pena de tres meses a un año de prisión o con multa de seis meses a dos años.

3. Serán castigados con la pena de prisión de cuatro a ocho años los que realicen los actos previstos en el apartado 1 de este artículo cuando concurra alguna de las circunstancias siguientes:

Cuando se utilicen a niños menores de 13 años.

Cuando los hechos revistan un carácter particularmente degradante o vejatorio.

Cuando los hechos revistan especial gravedad atendiendo al valor económico del material pornográfico.

Cuando el material pornográfico represente a niños o a incapaces que son víctimas de violencia física o sexual.

Cuando el culpable perteneciere a una organización o asociación, incluso de carácter transitorio, que se dedicare a la realización de tales actividades.

Cuando el responsable sea ascendiente, tutor, curador, guardador, maestro o cualquier otra persona encargada, de hecho o de derecho, del menor o incapaz.

4. El que haga participar a un menor o incapaz en un comportamiento de naturaleza sexual que perjudique la evolución o desarrollo de la personalidad de éste, será castigado con la pena de prisión de seis meses a un año.

5. El que tuviere bajo su potestad, tutela, guarda o acogimiento a un menor de edad o incapaz y que, con conocimiento de su estado de prostitución o corrupción, no haga lo posible para impedir su continuación en tal estado, o no acuda a la autoridad competente para el mismo fin si carece de medios para la custodia del menor o incapaz, será castigado con la pena de prisión de tres a seis meses o multa de seis a 12 meses.

6. El ministerio fiscal promoverá las acciones pertinentes con objeto de privar de la patria potestad, tutela, guarda o acogimiento familiar, en su caso, a la persona que incurra en alguna de las conductas descritas en el apartado anterior.

7. Será castigado con la pena de prisión de tres meses a un año o multa de seis meses a dos años el que produjere, vendiere, distribuyere, exhibiere o facilitare por cualquier medio material pornográfico en el que no habiendo sido utilizados directamente menores o incapaces, se emplee su voz o imagen alterada o modificada.

8. En los casos previstos en los apartados anteriores, se podrán imponer las medidas previstas en el artículo 129 de este Código cuando el culpable perteneciere a una sociedad, organización o asociación, incluso de carácter transitorio, que se dedicare a la realización de tales actividades.

Artículo 190.

La condena de un Juez o Tribunal extranjero, impuesta por delitos comprendidos en este capítulo, será equiparada a las sentencias de los Jueces o Tribunales españoles a los efectos de la aplicación de la circunstancia agravante de reincidencia.

Artículo 191.

1. Para proceder por los delitos de agresiones, acoso o abusos sexuales, será precisa denuncia de la persona agraviada, de su representante legal o querella del Ministerio Fiscal, que actuará ponderando los legítimos intereses en presencia. Cuando la víctima sea menor de edad, incapaz o una persona desvalida, bastará la denuncia del Ministerio Fiscal.

2. En estos delitos el perdón del ofendido o del representante legal no extingue la acción penal ni la responsabilidad de esa clase.

Artículo 192.

1. Los ascendientes, tutores, curadores, guardadores, maestros o cualquier otra persona encargada de hecho o de derecho del menor o incapaz, que intervengan como autores o cómplices en la perpetración de los delitos comprendidos en este Título, serán castigados con la pena que les corresponda, en su mitad superior.

No se aplicará esta regla cuando la circunstancia en ella contenida esté específicamente contemplada en el tipo penal de que se trate.

2. El Juez o Tribunal podrá imponer razonadamente, además, la pena de inhabilitación especial para el ejercicio de los derechos de la patria potestad, tutela, curatela, guarda, empleo o cargo público o ejercicio de la profesión u oficio, por el tiempo de seis meses a seis años.

Artículo 193.

En las sentencias condenatorias por delitos contra la libertad sexual, además del pronunciamiento correspondiente a la responsabilidad civil, se harán, en su caso, los que procedan en orden a la filiación y fijación de alimentos.

Artículo 194.

En los supuestos tipificados en los capítulos IV y V de este Título, cuando en la realización de los actos se utilizaren establecimientos o locales, abiertos o no al público, podrá decretarse en la sentencia condenatoria su clausura temporal o definitiva. La clausura temporal, que no podrá exceder de cinco años, podrá adoptarse también con carácter cautelar.

Sex Slavery and Queer Resistance in Eastern Europe

Two decades into transition from the communist system, eastern Europe is undergoing an economic and ideological crisis. Unemployment, poverty, and homelessness are mounting. Fragile and very limited democracy wants to pass for macho. It is categorically straight, and in general, hostile to minorities.

The Holocaust and communism put an end to multiculturalism, and after 1989 ‘resurrected’ states invested in their mythic identity and monolithic ‘national spirit.’ The Baltics, when independent, desired to build mono-ethnic nation-states, which resulted in Russians being stripped of citizenship in Estonia. A number of post-communist countries overflow with hatred towards their Roma population. Liberalization processes initiated by legal reforms attendant to EU membership have not changed these underlying social animosities. Indeed, the EU’s envoy to Slovakia, Eric Van der Linden, neatly illustrated that political Europeanization can provide one more platform for the same manifest racism when he called for the removal of Roma children from their parents and forcible placement in boarding schools to learn “European values.” (New York Times, May 14, 2004)

The new republics are far from welcoming strangers: they fear their purity may be soiled by inclusion of others and excel in entrenching themselves against foreign infections. As it invents new social defenses against contagion, eastern Europe is engaged simultaneously in a master-slave dialectic with the US and the EU: civic sadomasochism, one that inflicts and welcomes social pain, characterizes its bodies politic. Eastern Europe today is filled with growing legions of unemployed and poor, the disposable people, the neo-slaves — Turgenev’s lishnye ludi of the nineteenth century. The economics and poetics of sadomasochism persist now as then; the serfdom of eastern Europe continues and its international slavery deepens.

Anti-capitalism protest poster from capitalism in eastern Europe is new slavery: political and military slavery to the U.S., economic slavery to corporations, and cultural slavery to coca-colonization. This old-new Second World remains a dumping ground of goods and a cheap-labor workshop for the West, one with the added advantage of breeding reliable cannon fodder for imperialist wars. And don’t we enjoy slavery? Montaigne’s partner, Étienne de La Boétie, wrote about volonté de servir. The master seduces us, writes La Boétie in the sixteenth century, but aren’t we seduced too? The very name “masochism” comes from eastern Europe, the borderlands of Ukraine and Poland where Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was born and bred and returned to this area in his erotic fictions, among them Venus in Furs. Sacher-Masoch wrote about sex slavery in the seductive thrall of femmes fatales who are in turn slaves of the male imagination. Today the seductions of free-market capitalism involve volonté de servir and eastern bodies/labor organized to offer servitude to western capital. The pleasures are neither equal nor voluntary; we live amid scenarios of civic sadomasochism.

The Poetics of Civic Sadomasochism

Eastern Europe’s subordination is a feminized or festishized position: domestic slavery in the world order. East Europeans are trained in capitalism and militarism while they are slowly initiated to the ‘free world’ of the EU and NATO. This is their coming of age. The rites of passage for eastern Europe require a great deal of preparation, meeting of criteria, schooling, and proper cultural dress. Under the paternal instruction of Westerners, Easterners are expected to mature in their Foucauldian ‘docile bodies.’ (No wonder that Foucault started his career on a diplomatic mission in Poland.) Eastern Europe is perceived as recipient of aid, discipline, and limited empowerment. It is not an agent, but a submissive partner in global sex.

If eastern Europeans are exploited, at the same time, they (we) dehumanize others. Desire coupled with repulsion dehumanizes and demonizes its object. The slaves of our desire-revulsion are turned into refuse. The desired bonding with the West is a same-sex fantasy, a repressed homosexuality within, which results in homophobia without. It is a combinatory hallucination of Hollywood and the Catholic Church — a gay homogeny that denies itself and denies the rights of others. Male bonding with the West consists in sadomasochistic bondage, a fantasy that war realizes. Intervening in Iraq, the US bonded with Poland, culminated same-sex military desires, and realized male dreams of torturing and killing and fucking — each other and together. Poland is the bottom here, the slave; but the slaves of America, Poland’s masters, are tops at home. The violent dominances of the Al Ghraib prison’s forced and staged homosexual scenes were being played out through international and domestic symbolism long before these dull military jailors employed them literally.

Eastern Europe is riveted by war, sadomasochism, and psychomachia. Poland is brutalized and brutalizes itself. Poland spreads its buttocks for the US and at the same time rapes its own minorities; Poland is colonized and colonizes; Poland is penetrated and penetrates unwilling partners. This is (self-) enslavement; it is reification of humanity coupled with xenophobic dumping to create ‘human refuse,’ and these are the same processes as create a domestic regime of legal tolerance for sexual enslavement. The proletarianization of Poland, slavery of women and sexual minorities, violent hate of numberless ‘others,’ theocracy is coupled with militarism, involvement in the Iraq invasion, economic globalization, coca-colonization. The transition has been from communism to fundamentalism-cum-McWorld.

Hegel’s dialectic of master and slave is particularly relevant. Ukrainian-born Alexandre Kojève’s reading of Hegel accentuated what we read here as civic sadomasochism. Freud, from out of a mittel-Europe ripped ceaselessly by masculinist militarism, defined armies as libidinous union. With such a libidinal anchor, the army reiterates the primal horde, its violence, and male sexual competition. Kristeva argues that society has changed into the dialectic of master and slave. In our view, sadomasochism rules that dialectic. The sexuality of militaries and paramilitaries prevails in eastern Europe.

This is fala, the ‘wave,’ an unofficial system of dependency upon surveillance, control, abuse, and torture of — as if Gramsci had predicted it — the subaltern. The slavery of Eastern Europe, the fala, is degradation. It is a mafia-esque S&M pecking order that originated in militaries, entered schools, and now is a social system of the Second World. Fala reflects eastern Europe’s feudalism (serfdom ended in 1861 in Russia and in 1864 for Russian Poland) and the traditional sex roles of eastern Europe, restored by the transition.

Fala is sadomasochistic and systemic; it dwells on sexual intimidation, individual and mass. It employs bullying, torture, and ritual S&M for sexual subjugation; it is a duel between competing desires. Voluntary or involuntary, penile or penal servitude — the slavery of Eastern Europe is sexual humiliation. Both the sadist and the masochist feel in charge, in control. Theodor Reik writes about the hubris of the masochist, but maybe sadism and masochism are reversible and forever combined. “Ein Sadist ist immer ein Masochist. Ein Masochist ist immer ein Sadist,” according to Freud’s diagnosis.

Eastern Europe co-opts the sadomasochism — sadism and masochism in one — of militarized global culture; eastern Europe both receives and inflicts globalist pain. Poland delights in suffering: partitions, hopeless uprisings, failed fights. Gloria victis was the old national slogan: glory to those who failed. It has been renewed by the all-male eastern European political triumvirate of party, militia, and mafia who use fala, either implicitly or explicitly, to evoke fear and exert control. Their passionate sadomasochistic affair with the US has only reinvigorated the fala with US-manufactured social Viagra for extra energy.

Maltreatment of the subaltern in the army, prisons, and schools produces a sadomasochistic language. Not only Russia, but also Poland has adopted the intensely lewd, ithyphallic, S&M language of the prisons. Its use is, as Victor Erofeyev writes, a linguistic show of power; the language reflects the full spectrum of ethnic and gender hatreds. Not only is kurwa (lowest bitch, cheapest hooker) a common conversational filler (the current hit of Poland’s cinema dialogs is “what do you, kurwa, know about killing?”), but a number of verbs like jebac name ‘fucking, beating, thrashing’ inside one term. Gazeta Wyborcza, the most mainstream of newspapers, calls gays pedaly (fags). Prejudice is cultivated through a nonchalant etiquette of linguistic brutalization; language itself has become fala.

Pervasive abusive language is indicative of gender-class abjection, of opinions on the proper uses for bitches, faggots, and kikes. In Poland, lesbians and gays are denied human rights because their claims of humanity are refused. The social transition has gone wrong: it is majoritarian absolutism. Totalitarianism gave way to fundamentalism. Transition has meant liberalization (free elections, travel) without sexual freedom. Mainstream media, in particular the state media, foreground mainstream sexuality. There is no Queer Eye for the Straight Pole here. Poland’s body politic is heterosexual, or rather, heterosocial. Sexophobia under communism has heightened in post-communism. There is a rising resentment against women and homosexuals, and the immobility of Polish politics blocks inclusion of sexual minorities.

Aging Dissidents in Status Quo Drag

In eastern Europe the once-dissident class, whether the elegant Havel or the stumbling Walesa, now do not dissent but conform; they have been seduced by the West. They are ready to seduce their own societies, in whose maturity they do not believe, in order to submit them to Western repression. But they also remain slaves to their own traditions of feudalism and strict class hierarchies of the inter-war and even the communist period. Populists and ex-dissidents argue that eastern Europe is a special case due to successive and prolonged political repressions. Yet as Renata Salecl notes, eastern Europeans insist on preservation of cultural difference when it is an advantage in preserving their traditional patriarchal structures.

Lech Walesa image courtesy Nostalgia Central.Polish dissidents delight in their own men’s house culture. They were never pacifist or feminist. Their aim was to re-decorate status quo ante communism, to reproduce the male-dominated past beneath a post-modern pastiche. Machismo could be restored and it was in 1989: man-to-man, but heterosexist law and order. Men fuck-kill men in secret, but reject the rights of gays; these same men reject the rights of women too.

Dissidents share with skinheads of the resurgent militias a phobia of women and gays; a homosocial principle runs deep between them. From scouting to patriarchal education to sport, dissidents move within a cult of maleness. Domination, submission, and re-achievement of domination marks their historiographic trajectory. They submit to the West and the Church while they dream of dominating women; they dominate bodies to the point of denying women’s control of their own bodies (abortion). In their boasts, dissidents are lady-killers; in their writings, they are squeamish, priggish, and prudish. Their puritanism complements the patriarchal teachings of the Church. The club of dissidents follows the homosociality of the Church and the army; it is a herd of sameness. Here one can wrestle to become master and/or slave; here one can gratify hostility and a hankering for fellow-men. There is no place for women and gays who lead the nation — and Western culture — astray.

Dissidents aimed to break single-party communist domination but enslaved themselves to the ideology and practice of ‘free market democracy,’ that is, economic imperialism. Their anti-communist militancy changed into pro-US militancy, by no means a necessary political logic. Rather, the official dissident class has always been nostalgic for elitist nostrums of the Western tradition, for a humanistic canon that protected class status. Before 1989, dissidents limited their politics to fighting the system and found an alternative in the repressions of the opposing camp; women or minorities with their rights need not apply. They believed in the power of high culture, Church, and perennial truths. Analyses of class, the unconscious, gender and sexuality were beyond their pale.

Eastern European herself, Julia Kristeva had no illusions about anti-communist dissidents when she wrote in 1977 that the political dissident “still remains within the limits of the old master-slave couple.” Some dissidents “retain a certain nostalgia for community and law, and find a substitute in orthodox religion.” In their self-regard as the last keepers of the flame of Western culture, this ex-dissident class renders themselves slavish imitators and the perfect submissives in a sadomasochistic drama.

Poland in Imperial Leather

On May 1, as Poland joined the European Union, it was relishing its sadomasochistic affair with the United States. Even as Poland is in the midst of economic and political crises, marching out with American crusaders has raised national hopes. As Poland dresses in imperial leather and sends the army abroad, on the home front global moral salvation is the message of the day. “I give you a challenge, Poland. Please be a world leader in solving homosexuality,” US ‘conversion therapist’ Richard Cohen told Poland on fundamentalist Radio Maryja. Cohen’s message was heard not only on radio, but also in the halls of the Polish parliament, as the far-right League of Polish Families invited Cohen to give a presentation there.

In this New Straight Order, true male friends know their subordinate duties; Patroclus stands to fight alongside his lover Achilles. President Bush demanded loyalty from its leading ‘New Europe’ ally after fey Spain’s limp socialist-led withdrawal, and the Polish president let fade his remarks that Poland had been “misled” on Iraq. With its flag flying at Camp Babylon, Poland is truly under the hallucination of globalist conversion therapy. How is Poland, a country with twenty per cent unemployment and widespread poverty, to lead the world in military support of US policy? Bush and hetero-macher Cohen together mislead the world into believing that dominant hatreds are right.

Yet in spite of the pope’s opposition to intervention in Iraq, the Polish Church endorses it. Erotic pictures of Polish boys in the media accompany images of chaplains blessing the men before action. A Polish news channel broadcast Christmas midnight mass at Camp Babylon. A media trumpeteer for Bush’s war policy, the Polish status-equivalent of the New York Times, Gazeta Wyborcza returned to its prejudices of the 1990s. Propagandistically pro-American when Poland occupied Iraq, Gazeta Wyborcza offered platitudes of pro-intervention propaganda. When Saddam was captured, Gazeta ran a caption under a front-page photograph of him being examined: #8212; One of the most brutal dictators in world history was pulled out #8212; dirty, hairy and tired #8212; from a ground hole near Tikrit. Yesterday the entire world saw how an American doctor checked whether he has lice and looked into his mouth. #8212; Gazeta Wyborcza used the rhetoric of penetration into the dirty, abject other. Medical, media, military and sexual penetration is carried out #8212; violently, visually and tactilely #8212; by a medic, a journalist and #8212; the entire world #8212; with its scopophilia. The penetration is globalized as #8212; one of the most brutal dictators in world history #8212; is humiliated. The abjection of Saddam is symbolic and all too physical: he was made passive, examined for lice, looked inside and penetrated. While participating in such propaganda, the Gazeta neglects the grave crises of Polish society: intractable unemployment, massive discrimination and violence against women, and the spread of working-class neo-slavery. Generally, with very little critical reporting, the media support the neo-slavery superstructure and base of Poland.

Poland’s state TV glamorizes, eroticizes, and homoeroticizes the image of Polish troops in Iraq: young men in fatigues, young men without fatigues, young men shirtless, young men under the shower. A gang strip-tease of a Polish platoon. Cameraderie is cultivated soldier-to-soldier, but esprit de corps enlarges into international pacts and the homosociality of NATO into which eastern Europe is now being admitted. Mateship is mating; it produces the manpower needed for sex and war. This is the place to crack the whip — between Johnny and Janek, between Washington and Warsaw.

Every Sunday evening Poland’s national TV broadcasts a documentary (or rather, a reality TV serial) entitled The very title denominates Iraqi territory as a Polish colony, as Babylon colonized by the Internet country domain ‘pl’ for Poland. In its latest installment, featured Polish troops caring for Iraqi children, bringing them sweets, mascots, and exercise books. “Good mistah,” says an Iraqi kid of a Polish soldier, much like the “Mistah Kurtz” of Polish writer, Joseph Conrad. The colonized are infantilized: children are children and they dominate the film. But the larger message is that not only are all Iraqis children, indeed all Arabs are children. Colonial militarism demands subordinate subjects for its pedophilic mission civilatrice, and Iraq provides a fresh supply.

These are systemic manifestations of the construction of a cultural market for domination and subordination, a symbolic slave market. This market held alongside the imperial parade-ground desires not only external but internalized sameness, especially gendered and sexual. Control of sexuality is a crucial ideological feature that determines who will be the masters of this market. Throughout eastern Europe parties of the right continue their crusade against contraception, abortion, and sex education. In Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Croatia, politicians render Catholicism into a sexophobic ideology. Women’s rights are used as tools, if not toys, in the hands of extremists. Women are not true owners of their bodies — the body politic deprives women and gays of the right to equal bodies. Those beyond heteronormativity are perceived as aliens.

After the fall of Communism, this social transit towards majoritarian absolutism in Poland has been facilitated by the forcible and increasing grip of religion-turned-ideology. Adoption of the imperial manner has been aided by the appropriation of religion in support of theocratic political ambitions, a strategy underwritten by ex-dissidents in public office. Women on Waves feminist ship-clinic visiting Poland, 2003.In 1990, religious instruction was introduced into schools without parliamentary debate. In 1992, parliament passed the Respect for Christian Values in Mass Media Act. In 1993, abortion was banned. In 1993, the Polish government signed a concordate with the Vatican; the parliament ratified it in 1998. Polish politicians and ex-dissidents out-pope (and out-Pole) the Polish pope.

Empires of monolithic national-religious spirit, sexual totalitarianism, and free-market capitalism are being built simultaneously.

Sex Slave Proletariat

Eastern Europe has become the sexual playground of the West. Kosovo, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Ukraine are exploited for sexual trafficking, prostitution, and the sex industry. The Czech Republic and western Poland are used for Western tourism, hetero- and homosexual alike. Traffic operates in all directions: an estimated quarter of prostitutes in Germany are from eastern Europe, and one recent MSNBC report estimates that a tenth of Moldova’s female population has been sold into prostitution as a national ‘export product.’

The value hierarchy of sex diminishes eastwards, as bodies become ever-cheaper. Sex slavery couples with national-economic-linguistic servitude: predictably, wealthy Finland has its Estonian slaves. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak notes that the ex-Soviet republic of Estonia is being colonized by Finland. At the same time as Polish “docile bodies” are enslaved by social injustices, Poles are becoming masters of Ukrainian prostitutes. Ukraine is abused by the Poles; Ukrainian prostitutes are in Polish brothels, on Polish streets and highways. In this enchained hierarchy, the terms of sexual proletarianization intensify with distance from rich western European centers of capital.

Western militarization furthers this objectification of women as gratification available for cheap purchase. In Kosovo, The Guardian (May 7, 2004) reports “Western troops, policemen and civilians are largely to blame for the rapid growth of the sex slavery industry in Kosovo over the past five years, a mushrooming trade in which hundreds of women, many of them under-age girls, are tortured, raped, abused and then criminalized.” In Bosnia in 2002, over 180 employees of Dyncorp, a US military contractor for helicopter maintenance, were implicated in a sex slavery ring.

Social reproduction of masculinist violence gains transmission through gender-class, and reproduces unending trauma in its women victims. Integration into the neo-liberal sphere has provided traffickers with a new mode of expanding an annual traffic, one whose dimensions are estimated variously between several hundred thousand to one million women. This is repetition of earlier trafficking history: in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries eastern European Jewish women were so prevalent throughout the Latin American sex industry that polaca was a common term for ‘prostitute.’ Religious and social contempt, dissolving family structures, and desperate poverty created this history, and then repeats itself today. Intensification of economic repression focuses on gender-class targets vulnerable to coercion and violent exploitation. Tina Modotti called women “the proletariat of the proletariat.” The tide of trafficked women’s bodies to service the pyramid of global desire has created an international proletariat of women, and proletariats burn with their own special anger.

Religious Sadomasochism and Counter-Art

Toleration of such civil sadomasochism against the women of eastern Europe reflects the region’s having been taken hostage by an unholy trinity of mafias, clerical parties, and former dissidents-turned-devout. The prevailing public ideology has close kinship with the sadomasochistic ideas of Mel Gibson; his blood-adoring version of Catholicism is used to confirm hatreds of ‘otherness.’ Gibson’s Passion became the favorite of Catholic clergy and congregations. The faithful are bused into movie theaters to weep throughout The Passion of the Christ.

Cardinal Jozef Glemp, head of the Polish Church, found the film “pre-eminent”; the director of the Catholic ultra-right Radio Maryja, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, deemed it “arch-beautiful.” What one sees in the film though is not body beautiful, but a bloody pulp; it represents the fulfillment, according to psychoanalyst Klaus Theweleit, of xenophobic and totalitarian fantasies. And this sadistic scene provides eastern Europe’s phantasmagoria of enslavement and its true path towards liberation.

From the seventeenth century on, Poles believed Poland to be the Messiah of the peoples. The seventeenth-century invention of Poland as the Messiah inaugurated xenophobia in Poland, the repression of ‘others’ — precisely dissenters (dysydenci or innowiercy — ‘other-believers’ in Polish), as they were called. Baroque messianism and hatred of the ‘other-believers,’ Romantic worship of Napoleon, and anti-communist opposition formed the cumulative historical background. In the context of this ever-present tradition, Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ in Poland is no innocent business; its preaching reinforces deeply conservative Catholic monopoly. This is a region of Europe where there is special strength to a calendar and its imagery, from Redeemers to Passions, a region that Emmanuel Levinas saw as saturated with “Christian atmosphere.” As Jewish and feminist art historian Griselda Pollock asks, “What narratives of history can reclaim for memory the forgotten and the lost without subjecting Jewish grief to an alien, Christian or Greek imaginary?”

The “oblivion of Jews and women in culture” (Pollock’s phrase) is particularly grave, in fact tragic, in Poland. But counter-stories and challenges to the causations of such oblivion find little or no public space. Recently a young artist, Dorota Nieznalska, was sued and sentenced for her installation Passion in Gdansk. League of Polish Families members attacked Nieznalska verbally and physically at the Gdansk gallery where her Passion installation was being exhibited last year. The work, an exploration of masculinity and suffering, shows a cross on which a photograph of a fragment of a naked male body, including the genitalia, has been placed. The League sued the artist. In July 2003, a court found Nieznalska guilty of “offending religious feelings.” It sentenced her to half a year of “restriction of freedom” (she was specifically banned from leaving the country) and ordered her to do community work and pay all trial expenses. When the judge read the sentence, League members packing the courtroom applauded ecstatically. The artist has been pursuing legal appeal to get the sentence overturned on free speech grounds.

Dorota Nieznalska: Passion, 2003. Photo: Raster, Polen

Instead of Nieznalska’s artwork, Gdansk, the city of the Solidarity movement, had Gibson-inspired Easter decoration this year. In St. Bridget’s basilica, former Solidarity shrine, the tradition of sepulchers where the figure of Jesus is entombed on Good Friday foregrounded the anti-Jewish motto that even Mel Gibson edited out of the English translation of The Passion: “His blood be on us, and on our children.” (Matthew 27: 25) In the country of the unmourned losses of Jews, the prelate of St. Bridget’s added a commentary on the sepulcher: “Jews killed Lord Jesus and the Prophets and they persecute us, too.” With such inscriptions the Catholic faithful are re-imagined as the suffering subjects of a malignant and present force, part of a sadistic continuum from the Bible to the present. The imagination of persecution specifies an imaginative necessity for suffering, the central necessity of sadomasochism.

Tomasz Kozak, Self-Portrait with the Only PropertyOne young artist, Tomasz Kozak, satirizes such national myths; in fact, he psychoanalyzes them. Kozak, a painter, cartoonist and video artist, provides some of very rare homoerotically-informed analyses of eastern European chauvinism and sexuality. 'La Grande Attaque Hystérique - variété (chez un homme),' from Jean Martin Charcot et Paul Richer, Les Démoniaques dans l'art, Paris 1887 (reprint 1984)One of the pieces banned in the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw (predictably, since it banned Andres Serrano’s ‘Piss Christ’ years ago, and last year banned persons under age 21 from an exhibition of Nan Goldin’s queer photography) was Kozak’s painting, entitled ‘Self-Portrait with the Only Property.’ It depicts the only property left to young Poles: their anal sexuality to be penetrated and enslaved. It enters the anal sadomasochism of eastern Europe and plays against representations of hysteria in the iconography of la Salpêtrière’s male patients, where they spread their legs awaiting intercourse and at the same time defend themselves against it. Kozak’s critique of the militaristic values that dominate Poland caricatures the anal examinations conducted by medical draft boards that authorize obligatory conscription-enslavement. It is a position for and against fuck-beat-thrash jebac. Kozak’s work attacks Poland’s militarism and its entry into a global military order; he rejects a national embrace composed, in Shakespeare’s words, of “wars and lechery: nothing else holds fashion.”

Yet it is too simple to continue to enumerate sadistic and masochistic sources of social oppression, as against individual counter-voices. Outlining broader emergent blocs and forms of cultural resistance is a more ambiguous undertaking, since it traces out shadows — powerful shadows, nonetheless — against substance.

Queering the Polish Academy

Democracy does not mean unmitigated majority rule, but recognition and cultivation of minorities. Writing in The Guardian, Brian Whitaker argues “there are always governments seeking to make exceptions to the principle of universality.” Under the umbrella of religious or cultural norms, discrimination is promulgated through the delimitation of cultural contingency. The Polish academy is a major center for advancing rationales for discrimination, as equally it can be a center for its reversal.

In Poland, former dissidents come into social authority now indulge in disputes over the limits of toleration. Their majoritarian tone resonates time and again in Polish debates over education. For example, Andrzej Kozminski, a recent conference panelist discussing the Open the Social Sciences reform report, held that although the idea of diversity is worth pursuing, it should be cleansed of dziwactwa (‘eccentricities, quirks, queers’). Another speaker, Andrzej Flis, called the contemporary position of universities “pathological” when, as he claimed, “a self-respecting faculty at a decent university must have an African-American, a few women, including a lesbian or a mute. A key for recruiting has been established that foregrounds characteristics which are absolutely inessential to the production of knowledge.”

Recently in an essay in the influential daily Rzeczpospolita, political philosopher Ryszard Legutko called scholars of queer studies ‘parasites’ — a recourse to Stalinist terminology, when political enemies routinely were accused of social parasitism. This was the same philosophy professor who authored a collection of essays nonchalantly entitled I Don’t Like Toleration. The Rzeczpospolita essay referred to gays as “people of a disturbed sphere of sexual desire” and mocked LGBT studies: “There is a mania of looking for homosexual subtexts in many creators of culture. No small legion of university parasites tries to make careers on such research.”

'Torment of the Prostitutes,' an 18th-century Russian mural.Despite the historical pronouncements of its narrow-minded religio-ethnic nationalists, eastern Europe has not nearly the tradition of civic antagonism towards homosexuality that they posit. Both Samuel Collins and Adam Olearius, seventeenth-century English travelers in eastern Europe and Russia, commented on the relative open-ness and tolerance of homosexuality and expressed surprise that “Sodomy and Buggery” (Collins) were not capital offenses as in England. Neither does ‘eastern Europe’ represent a monolithic sexual culture inasmuch as Orthodox canon law, influenced by Hellenistic and early Christian gender concepts, has been significantly more tolerant than the Catholic Church (although it should be noted that last year, in a fit of official pique, the Russian Orthodox Church defrocked a priest in Nizhny Novgord who married two gay men and demolished the ‘desecrated’ Chapel of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God where the ceremony was held). The Polish academy, historically aligned with and sponsored by the Church, has adopted the less-tolerant Catholic tradition.

The consequences of anti-gay public attacks by senior academics arrived immediately. The day of publication, the chair of the Department for Polish Culture at Warsaw University denied lecture halls for the continuation of a series of extracurricular lectures in queer studies, entitled “Homosexuality in Culture” and organized at the initiative of department students. The first and, as it turns out, last lecture was held by Pawel Leszkowicz on the critical art of New York City gay artist and activist, David Wojnarowicz. Lectures were scheduled to include the subjects of literature, cinema, philosophy, ethics and cultural anthropology in LGBT studies and run throughout the semester. It is equally indicative that when Leszkowicz sent his writing on Wojnarowicz’s retrospective in SoHo’s New Museum, he received an e-mail from an editor of Gazeta Wyborcza: “Even if they are called the worst obscurantists in the world, our photo editors do not allow such art in our magazine.”

Yet counter-posed to the attitude of gay-rejectionist venues, a first collection of LGBT essays in Polish, A Queer Mixture, was published and another is forthcoming. Annual international queer studies conferences and an increasing number of interdepartmental queer studies seminars, with funding from university rectors, constitute part of this new visibility. A new wave of queer art is emerging from university art departments and galleries.

The academy provides fora for oppositionalist public intellectuals in Poland, and women scholar-activists provide some of the leading voices of dissent. Last year Maria Szyszkowska, a professor of law and philosophy and senator in parliament, introduced a legislative proposal for registered same-sex partnership bill, one based on Germany’s Act of Life Partnership. While there is very little chance for passage of such an act, the European Parliament may force the government’s hand. Its 2002 report on Fundamental Rights in the EU endorsed same-sex marriage and adoption rights for homosexuals, and the EU’s Court of Human Rights has ruled repeatedly in support of equal rights for gays. The commitment of a parliamentarian and academic such as Szyszkowska towards achieving equal rights represents what can be achieved through the use of academia to reform public policy. This confluence of public culture and grassroots activism inside universities has had and will continue to have profound social effects.

Queer Slave Revolt

In classical Marxist thought slavery is a mode of production that characterizes primitive communities, feudalism, and pre-industrial agrarian societies. It disappears with the advent of industrial modes of production, replaced by wage labor that constitutes a more efficient mode of social organization for extracting surplus value from labor. This analytic model is flawed because it posits a teleological annunciation of slavery’s end. Marx, writing as a journalist observing the American civil war, analyses it flatly as a sectional conflict between Northern industrialism and Southern slave oligarchy. For this model, the inherent feudalism of slavery as a mode of production interferes with creation of a fluid labor force and condemns it to termination by capitalism, which operates through control of labor rather than absolute ownership of bodies. Remnant slaveries are marginal to history under industrialized modes of production. The constitutional abolition of slavery, Marx argued in an 1862 Die Presse article, was only a prelude to “the revolutionary waging of war.” Slavery’s abolition, in such analyses, constitutes a predictive historical dividing line in the progress of national social institutions rather than a moment in a continuing emancipatory contest involving a wide spectrum of slaveries.

In our view, slavery does not fade into history. Complete abolition is no more possible than perfected human liberation. Slavery lies in wait; it emerges in fits and starts; it re-invents itself in continual neo-slaveries; it is part of the human condition. Modes of production foster or diminish enslavements; they do not eliminate the phenomenon. Slavery emerges from powerful psychological forces in the unconscious, and consequently is part of the political unconscious that constantly re-emerges into public expression. Slavery employs, even arguably equals, masochism. It operates through individual and social desires to create obedient submission, and to create in others a will to submit.

Gender-class slaveries express such inherent psychological drives to dominate and enslave in industrial and post-industrial societies. Social and legal regimes of domination and suppression organize to support production imperatives with gratification of sexual desire and the reproduction of labor. Hegemonic and masochistic masculinities re-invent neo-slaveries that delineate subordinate or outlaw legal status for women and queer people. Slavery, defined as permanent legal, social or economic inability to achieve autonomous control of one’s body or independent decision-making, exists as a constantly re-invented mode of dominance. Citation of gender-class cultural tradition, itself of recent origin, provides ideological reinforcement to creation of new-old slaveries that blend elements of domination systems. Regulation of gender and sexuality, whether through religion, economic emiseration, or violence, is crucial to maintaining the massive inequalities of social power created by gender-class slaveries.

Thus the question, will a queer slave revolt bring empowerment? Can women, abused, commodified, and trafficked as sex slaves and quasi-slaves in astonishing numbers, gain a threshold on equality and freedom through social revolt? How can gender-class commonalities join in a shared political program? What practical forms will such revolts take?

Liberal capitalism proceeds under the assumption that there can be no slave revolts because there are no slaves left, that ‘slavery’ is an antiquarian concept or at least a hidden criminal enterprise subject to prosecution. The various Marxist traditions argue that social revolt emerges from disempowered under-classes, the same as are frequently characterized by broadly-shared antipathies towards ‘queerness,’ women’s equality, and heterosexist absolutism. Marxist governments — viz. Cuba and Vietnam — have been as willing to foster sexual commodification and gender-class subordination, particularly via sex tourism, as liberal capitalist governments. Ironically, liberal capitalism and state Marxism have shared a false belief that they have eliminated slavery and their competing rhetoric attributed new forms of slavery to each other. Masochistic gender-class relations of domination and subordination have as much inherent potential of generating revolt as any other fundamental social inequality, irrespective of state political philosophy.

This revolt has been happening. Writing on sex and political economy in Global Sex, Dennis Altman argues that the last thirty years have witnessed a global queer revolution:

It is not clear that the changes in sexuality in, say, post-communist Russia or rapidly industrializing China are any greater than those wrought by the Atlantic slave trade of the eighteenth century or the massive urbanization of nineteenth century Europe. What is different however is a far denser and faster system of diffusing ideas, values and perceptions, so that a certain self-consciousness about and understanding of sexuality is arguably being universalized in a completely new way.

Where there is human revolution, there are subjects in revolt. The rapid diffusion of liberating ideas and universalizing promulgation of a new self-consciousness is the work of a queer revolt against the enslavements of sexual subordination and exploitation.

The same ‘new-ness’ that Altman identifies devolves into specificity of effect within particularistic cultures. Social and political queering of national cultures has become one of the ideological features of emergent globalism. This development has been strongly influenced — but far from exclusively, as right-wing nationalists and religious xenophobes assert — by the Americanization that has provided the leading definitions of globalization processes. Queer cultures and traditions are rooted in particularistic native cultures even as they draw from universalistic global culture. Political resistance to homosexual equality frequently establishes itself on rejection of homosexuality as a ‘foreign’ import; it distinguishes between an ‘authentic’ family structure and sexuality legitimated by state and divine sanction, as opposed to anathematized sexual corruption.

Pink Paint Party - Indymedia ItaliaQueer political culture undertakes a double burden of historicizing itself within national particularisms and legitimizing emergent norms of international human rights. Implicit in the arguments of Altman and others is the problematization of relations between domestic and global queer movements and social egalitarianism, and their present and future effects in relation to politics that promote sexual and gender supremacism. This is not a critique Altman articulates, given his assertion that “I am less convinced that the term (queer) provides us with a useful political strategy or even a way of understanding power relations.” Political strategies and analyses of social power will employ terminology as per their need, but we cannot agree that a queer enunciation of sexualities and power relations will have less than an overwhelming eventual impact.

Poland and eastern Europe are paradigmatic of such politics of culture clash and queer revolt, where public queer-ness constitutes a focal point of visible resistance to violent and masculinist political authority. The region has lengthy histories of political dissent that have encouraged queer-ness as a site of cultural resistance to religious dogma and conservative nationalism. Where under communism political dissidents opposed the regime, so now feminists and gay activists rebel against an oppressive gender-class system. Too, the region is undergoing a simultaneous process of incorporation into EU legal and human rights norms that will have emphatic effect towards equal citizenship. The combination of these processes potentially can provide queer resistance with explosive leverage.

Co-author Tomasz Kitlinski and partner Pawel Leskowicz featured in the Let Us Be Seen media campaign.The public sphere is in expanding contest, as the spread of visible gay organizing testifies. Pan-European organizing is supporting this drive towards social and political visibility. The first Christopher Street parade was organized in Russia in 1992, with the aid of Berlin gay organizations. Similarly, in Poland the current Campaign Against Homophobia and its Let Us Be Seen public advertising campaign is being assisted by the German Green Party.

Widespread violence meeting assertions of queerness and women’s rights indicate the fundamental challenges that these movements embody. Senator Szyszkowska receives death threats; in Lublin, skinheads screamed at her; in Cracow, she was called a witch by the local leader of the League of Polish Families and presented with a broomstick; a Church prelate suggested that she deserved an acid attack. Mass social fears arising in the aftermath of collapse of misty visions of nation translate into violence towards palpable human symbols of difference, those who are not of the nation-that-will-not-be. After witnessing anti-gay/lesbian violence against a demonstration on the Square of the Republic in Belgrade in 2001, Jasmina Tesanowic wrote:

Behind the huge, organized mass of violent, ethnically superior patriots, behind the ultra-nationalist Serb Radical Party, the homophobic organizations, the illiterate democrats, there is a bigger presence: the silent majority, including people in power, from both the former and current regime. These are the people who will say that Serbs have suffered enough disgrace and dishonor, and gays shouldn’t air their shame in public, that digging up dead Albanian bodies is just about enough. These are the people who, to purify national self-esteem, would love to impose religion in schools, restrict abortion, silence the voices of ethnic or sexual minorities.

No less in Poland. On May 2014, a queer demonstration was attacked violently in Cracow. The demonstration was part of the Festival of Gay and Lesbian Culture and it sparked a political controversy even before it began. The city council wanted to ban it. Two Nobel Prize winners and residents of Cracow — the poets Milosz and Szymborska — came to the defense of the gay culture festival. When the demonstration was staged, skinheads from the League of Polish Families attacked demonstrators and tried to throw caustic acid at them. Acid is what is used in eastern Europe to erase memory, minority culture, and diversity. The police defended the demonstration and the Old City of Cracow, under the hill of the royal castle, witnessed a street battle. This clash of cultures was profound and basic: an anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-secularist right arrayed against gay and lesbian activists.

The slaves are revolting.


Guidelines for Domestic Service

At gatherings of Dominants submissive(s) are often utilized to provide domestic service. The purpose of this piece is to provide some basic guidelines for submissive (s) who are called upon or volunteer to provide such service. These are not intended to be all encompassing nor attempt to cover all situations where such service is provided, rather to provide a set of general guidelines to which specifics can be added as required by the host/hostess. The areas covered will include demeanor and presentation of self, duties and responsibilities, and some of the mechanics of service.

Demeanor and presentation of self

1. The submissive will be modest and unobtrusive at all times going about their duties in such a manner as to never call undue attention to themselves. Their purpose is providing service in such a manner as to facilitate the gathering by taking care of their designated duties quietly and as directed.

2. Dress should be appropriate to the purpose of the event. For a social or discussion type meeting attire should be modest but revealing. For a more fetish type event fetish style attire may be appropriate. The general guideline is to present oneself in a pleasing manner but not draw attention to how one is dressed. As a general rule, feet should be bare, the wear of extreme forms of footwear can prevent the server from moving quietly and taking proper service positions.

3. Movement around the room should be planned ahead and done in such a manner as to ensure that notice is not taken of them. If two persons are addressing one another the server should not walk between them, waiting until there is a break or they are acknowledged.

4. Eye contact with a Dominant is to be avoided unless the server is addressed directly. Eye contact can be construed as disrespectful or confrontational. When addressed directly eye contact will be made to demonstrate that the servers attention is focused on what the Dominant is saying and then the eyes will be lowered.

5. The voice should be quiet and well modulated. Expelling one half a breath prior to speaking will reduce the resonance of the voice and the volume. It will also prevent a hissing sound when whispering.


1. The server will coordinate with the host/hostess the time of their arrival to ensure that adequate time is allowed that they can be properly briefed. This briefing should include, what is expected of them, any specific requirements of the host/hostess, the menu and its order of service and the location of necessary equipment and supplies.

2. The server will also familiarize themselves with the physical layout of the room or rooms in which they will be serving so they can plan the best routes to use while serving. A location should be selected where the server will be when not actively engaged in serving or performing other required duties.

3. It is the responsibility of the server to do the utmost to ensure that all their questions are answered and duties are clearly understood prior to the beginning of the event in order to prevent interruptions once it has begun.

Mechanics of Service

1. When taking orders the server will move from guest to guest taking individual orders. The server will kneel on their right knee, the left foot flat on the floor, in front of and slightly to one side of the person from whom they are taking the order (a full kneeling position is not recommended, it is difficult to rise from gracefully) with eyes lowered. This position prevents obstructing the view of the room by the guest from whom the order is being taken. When acknowledged the server will explain the options available and note the desired selection (with servers not experienced with the taking of orders written notes will aid them) then move to the next guest to take their order until all have been obtained.

2. When exiting the presence of the guests the server will move in such a way that their back is never turned to the guests. The physical layout of the room may preclude this in some instances however as nearly as possible this procedure should be followed.

3. The orders should be delivered on a tray and not handled by the server. The server will place the orders on the tray in such a manner that they can present each in its proper sequence. The server will assume the same single knee position as described above and extend the tray so that the guest can take their selection. When the tray is offered the arms should not be fully extended but rather a slight break at the elbows maintained (fully extended arms appear rigid and not graceful and in some cases can cause the tray to wobble or become unbalanced when something is removed from it). The tray should be turned so that guest’s selection is the one closest to them on the tray. When multiple selections are being offered, such as a variety of snacks, the tray should be rotated slightly after each selection has been made so that the other selections become available. If the number of guests requires the use of more than one tray all should be set up prior to the first being presented to reduce the time required for all guests to be served.

4. When not engaged in actively serving the guests the server will retire to the prearranged location and wait until the next prearranged time for service or being summoned. The host/hostess should have an arranged signal for the server to return to the room where the guests are. The location for the server to wait in should be out of earshot of the guests to prevent any sense that their conversation is being overheard.

5. While not actively engaged in serving the server should utilize this time to do some of the preparatory work for the next round of service or begin the preliminary cleanup work to shorten the time required for that following the departure of the guests.

In order to provide improved service for the next event and provide immediate feedback to the server(s) the host/hostess may allow time for the server(s) to be called into the room and receive an evaluation of their service from the guests. This should be moderated so that the event is constructive. A checklist of points evaluated will assist this procedure with a final overall grade or assessment being the final point. Servers are not servants and should be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve for their offer of service.

This material has been extracted from “A Manual for the Formal Training of a Submissive” written by Sergeant Major.

NYC ‘sex-slave’ relationship consensual

(A bit old..)


A man had a consensual relationship with a Wisconsin woman who alleges he held her captive as his sex slave for more than a week after she answered an apartment ad on Craigslist, his lawyer said.

John Hopkins, 45, pleaded not guilty to rape and other charges Friday. Police say Hopkins told the 27-year-old woman she could live with him for free in his Brooklyn apartment if she cooked and cleaned when she answered the ad last month.

Hopkins’ attorney, Andrew Stoll, said Hopkins and the woman knew each other for two years and had a consensual relationship. The woman even wanted to return to the apartment after Hopkins kicked her out for excessive drinking, Stoll said.


But Assistant District Attorney Christopher Laline said in court that Hopkins “set up slave rules” for her, along with a list of punishments if she disobeyed, including flogging her and chaining her to a radiator, forcing her to drink water and preventing her from using the bathroom, and sexually molesting her.

Read more:…

The Psychology of Sadomasochism (S/M)

The relation of love to pain is one of the most difficult prob­lems, and yet one of the most fundamental, in the whole range of sexual psychology. Why is it that love inflicts, and seeks to inflict, pain? Why is it that love suffers pain, and even seeks to suffer it? . . . If we succeed in answering it we shall come very near one of the great mysteries of love. At the same time we shall have made clear the normal basis on which rest the extreme aberrations of love. (Ellis, 1903/1936, p. 66)

Thus, Havelock Ellis started his discussion of the phenomenon now called sadomasochism (S/M). It is no less intriguing today and, unfortunately, not much more is now known than was known then.

The social stigma attached to S/M is so great that few clients will admit to these interests, for fear of what the psychotherapist or phy­sician will think. As will be seen later, the number of practitioners is so great that it is obvious that all clinicians have contact with S/M practitioners. The lack of understanding of the nature of the S/M subculture and practitioner leads the clinician to make assumptions and errors which may alienate the S/M practitioner-client. The present article seeks to describe the S/M practitioner and the com­mon types of presenting problems encountered by a psychothera­pist.


There is no accepted definition of what constitutes S/M behavior and the spectrum of sexual interests of those individuals who adopt an S/M identity is quite broad. Colloquially, we can define S/M as an erotic interest in giving and/or receiving painful (either physi­cally or psychologically) stimulation. It should be noted that the perception of pain is in the judgment of the observer; the recipient may or may not report the experience as painful. From the perspec­tive of the clinician, the colloquial definition is the starting point, though it is clearly inadequate and simplistic. Moser (1979) and Weinberg, Williams, and Moser (1984) discuss the problems with creating an acceptable definition at length.

For the purpose of the present article, an S/M practitioner is an individual who actually takes part in the behavior and self-defines as being involved in S/M or a similar term.1 Additionally, for the purposes of the present article, S/M practitioners engage only in consentual acts among adults. While members of any group can engage in nonconsentual acts, it has been unfairly and incorrectly assumed that S/M practitioners must somehow be forced or co­erced, or force or coerce their partners, into engaging in these activ­ities.


S/M has been ignored by most theorists attempting to explain the etiology of sexual behavior. Most of the theory extant is extrapola­tion of concepts relating to other sexual variances, often developed without the benefit of contact with actual S/M practitioners.

Several theorists have made statements about the etiology of S/M, again without any validation that these theories have any basis even to a clinical sample. An incomplete listing follows: Krafft-Ebing (1886/1965) suggests that S/M is congenital. Freud explains S/M as a transmutation of the death instinct or simply aggression attached to sex (Levitt, 1971). Stekel (1929/1953) suggested that S/M was a form of psychosexual infantilism, while Reik (1941/ 1976) suggested that the masochist is afraid of orgasm or something associated with orgasm. Homey (cited in Levitt, 1971) explains sadism as a neurotic need for superiority and masochism as an at­tempt to find safety and satisfaction through dependency, while Deutch (cited in Ford & Beach, 1951) believes that masochism is normal for women. Thorpe and Katz (1948) suggest sadism stems from early condemnation and shaming, and dissipates castration fears. Additionally, they suggest masochism is caused by a desire for superiority. Maslow (1942/1963) suggests that S/M interests de­velop out of feelings of insecurity. McCary (1967/1973) suggests that S/M interests are a response to feeling disgust for anything sexual or fears of castration. It should be noted that none of these theories has been adequately tested nor has any been shown to apply more to an S/M sample than a non-S/M sample.

There is a considerable amount of psychoanalytic literature on the etiology of sadomasochism (Panken, 1973; Schad-Somers, 1982), and some literature from the behavioral perspective (Annon, 1974/1975). Despite the preponderance of these hypotheses, there is no accepted understanding of what causes an S/M sexual orienta­tion, or for that matter any other sexual orientation, to develop.

As S/M behavior is seen transhistorically (Ellis, 1936) and cross-culturally (Ford & Beach, 1951), we can assume it is part of the repertoire of innate human sexual behaviors. Behavior which appears to be analogous to S/M is also common among mammals. For example, Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, and Gebhard (1953) name 24 different mammalian species which bite during coitus. Addition­ally, Gebhard (1976) remarks “From a phylogenetic viewpoint it is no surprise to find sadomasochism in human beings” (p. 163).


Prior to Krafft-Ebing (1886/1965), S/M was neither a sickness nor a sin (Bullough & Bullough, 1977). It seems that behaviors that we might consider to be S/M were commonly found in ancient mar­riage manuals (Kokkoka, 1150/1965; Nefzawi, 1400/1964; Vatsy-sayana, 450/1964). It was only in the late fifteenth century that the first unambiguous case report of S/M was reported, and then as a medical curiosity rather than a problem (cited by Ellis, 1936). Other case reports written in a similar vein followed, but S/M was still seen as a curiosity rather than pathology. While S/M behavior probably existed before the 15th century, historical accounts do not in­clude enough information to ascertain whether the behavior was done consentually and/or for erotic purposes in order to make an unambiguous categorization.


There have been several recent studies of S/M samples, in an attempt to describe the individuals who engage in the behavior (see Breslow, Evans, & Langley, 1985, 1986; Moser & Levitt, in press; Spengler, 1977). These studies have for the most part not found any significant differences between S/M and non-S/M samples. The S/M samples have tended to be better educated and more affluent, but this skew is probably due to who is likely to participate in this type of research project. It is expected that S/M practitioners span all socioeconomic classes and groups. None of the studies was ran­dom, so it is not known if all sexual orientations are equally repre­sented. Nevertheless, heterosexual men and women, bisexual men and women, and homosexual men and lesbians are represented in these studies.

There is great diversity on the estimates of the number of S/M practitioners in the general population. At least part of this variance is due to the different ways S/M or similar concepts are presented or defined in these general studies of the sexual behavior. The esti­mates range from about 50%, those who report at least some erotic response to being bitten (Kinsey et al., 1953), to approximately 5%, those who report obtaining sexual pleasure from inflicting or receiving pain (Hunt, 1974). It is the present author’s best guess that approximately 10% of the adult population are S/M practition­ers. This number is similar to estimates of the number of homosex­uals in the adult population, but obviously the visibility of these groups is quite different.

There is some question of whether as many women as men are S/M practitioners. This relates to an important theoretical question: Is S/M similar to homosexuality where there are a significant num­ber of men and women involved in the behavior or to fetishism where few or no women are involved in the behavior? The latestdata suggest that a significant number of women are involved in the behavior (Breslow et al., 1985; Moser et al., in press).

S/M practitioners tend to at least try many different sexual behav­iors and are not exclusive in their S/M interest (Moser et al., in press). Most report that they do not need to engage in S/M behavior or fantasy to reach orgasm (Moser et al., in press; Spengler, 1977). Though Breslow et al. (1986) asked the question differently and found that for approximately 70% of their sample, orgasm was eas­ier to achieve if S/M was involved.

It is important to note by its absence any indication that S/M practitioners have any common psychopathology or symptoms. While the studies of this population are still sketchy, no consistent picture of S/M practitioners has emerged in the clinical literature. There have been some limited attempts to use psychological testing to see if an S/M sample differs from a control sample. None of these studies shows any significant difference between the S/M group and the control group (Gosselin & Wilson, 1980; Miale, 1986; Moser, 1979).

S/M practitioners report an interest in assuming both the domi­nant and submissive roles, with relatively few individuals indicat­ing exclusively dominant or submissive interests (Breslow et al., 1985, 1986; Moser et al., in press; Spengler, 1977). There is some indication that more people prefer the submissive role to the domi­nant role, though they engage in both behaviors, but this is not substantiated at this time.

While there is some disagreement, there is little doubt that at least some S/M practitioners are able to sustain long term relation­ships. The role of S/M in these relationships varies in a number of ways. Some couples only engage in S/M during some sexual inter­actions, some always have at least an element of S/M in all sexual interactions, some employ S/M role-plays throughout the relationship but not at all times, and some attempt to live out the S/M roles at all times. Some individuals see S/M as part of foreplay (a sex-style), others see it as part of a lifestyle, while still others fluctuate between these two states (Breslow et al., 1985, 1986).

The roles employed are quite varied. The roles of “master/ slave,” “dominant/submissive,” “guardian/child,” “employer/ servant,” “owner/owned,” etc. are distinct and imply different relationship characteristics and help shape the acceptable acts that take place.

There is evidence that the respondents to the various studies did not believe that their S/M interests were a psychological problem and that they did not wish to change their S/M orientation (Breslow et al., 1986; Moser et al., in press).

While the S/M participants report some concern that their S/M activities will escalate to a dangerous level (Moser et al., in press), this concern seems to be misplaced. Lee (1979) found no incidences of this and no incidences were found after a search of the medical and psychiatric literature.2


S/M behaviors can be generally divided into two types, physical and psychological. Usually, S/M practitioners enjoy some combi­nation of these two types, but some individuals are quite specific about which behaviors they enjoy and which they do not. These preferences are not only within groups like physical, but may be as specific as being beaten with a blue whip 2’3″ long by a blonde woman who speaks soothingly. It should be noted that participation in any of the following behaviors does not mean that an individual is involved in S/M. The following behaviors include behaviors common to some S/M practitioners, but not every S/M practitioner enjoys any or all of these behaviors.

Physical behaviors: The physical behaviors may be further subdi­vided into the following categories: bondage, physical discipline, intense stimulation, sensory deprivation, and body alteration. These categories are not meant to be mutually exclusive.

Bondage or restraint ranges from being held down or tied in such a manner that the person could escape if he or she tried, to behav­iors involving elaborate restraints that leave a person completely immobilized. This category also includes the partial immobilization through the use of handcuffs, leashes, constricting clothes (e.g., corsets), etc.

Physical discipline ranges from slapping to whipping to caning. These behaviors can be of low intensity such that no marks are left, of moderate intensity such that only a redness that will disappear ina few hours or days is left, or of high intensity so that extensive bruising, welts, or other lesions are left for several days or even weeks. Often, the recipient of these blows does not recognize what level of tissue damage has been inflicted nor does the intensity of the pain experienced necessarily relate to the tissue damage inflicted.

Intense stimulation activities include scratching, biting, the use of ice on skin, hot wax on skin, etc. These are activities that pro­duce strong sensations with little or no tissue damage. The range of these behaviors usually involves duration or manner. Scratching someone’s back a few times can be quite pleasing, but scratching someone’s back for an hour can be quite painful. Also included in this category are any behaviors or devices that increase sensation. For example, a spanking on wet skin is more intense than on dry skin; dropping hot wax from several feet above someone is a very different sensation from dropping it from a few inches above them.3

Sensory deprivation can also heighten sensations as well as inten­sify feelings of vulnerability. For example, a blindfold deprives the wearer of knowing when or where the next blow is to be struck. Not being braced for the blow may increase the sensations as well as focusing the recipient on the sensation without any other distrac­tions. Other examples of sensory deprivation devices include hoods, ear plugs, gags, etc.

Body alteration activities involve tattooing, piercing, branding, burns, etc. While many of these activities are meant to be perma­nent, they often are not. These behaviors may be seen as proof of S/M commitment, beautifying, or as sensory enhancements.

It should be noted that the activities that cause more physical damage have the lowest frequency (Moser et al., in press). S/M practitioners want to engage in the behavior. If the behavior dis­abled the recipient, then that person would not be available for S/M interactions in the future. In addition, the dominant partner would gain a reputation for “going too far” and other submissive partners would be hesitant to become involved with that dominant. The result is that most S/M organizations stress and teach safety, and serious injury is rare.

Psychological feelings: Psychological pain is induced by feelings of humiliation, degradation, uncertainty, apprehension, powerlessness, anxiety, and fear. These feelings are often triggered by spe­cific acts for each individual. In the S/M subculture the most com­mon psychological aspect of the interaction is humiliation, but there is no behavior that is universally humiliating to everyone. It is im­portant to note that some people would find submission very humil­iating and not desire it, while obviously some people seek out this feeling. Given that not everyone has the same likes and dislikes, it should not be surprising that S/M participants view these feelings differently.

These psychological feelings are generated by both verbal state­ments and actions taken. For example, verbally berating the sub­missive (e.g., “You are a poor excuse for a slave”), requiring the submissive to do menial or embarrassing acts (e.g., clean the toilet or kissing the dominant’s feet), being left alone in a vulnerable position (e.g., being left alone without money, keys, or identifica­tion), etc.

Both physical and psychological behaviors are devised to empha­size the transfer of power from the submissive to the dominant part­ner. S/M practitioners often report it is this consentuai exchange of power that is erotic to them and the pain is just a method of achiev­ing this power exchange.


S/M practitioners, like members of any other sexual orientation, can have psychiatric problems. These problems may or may not have any connection to the individual’s sexual interests. The deter­mination of whether S/M interests are causing, exacerbating, or irrelevant to the problem is difficult, and requires considerable knowledge of the S/M community and the spectrum of S/M prac­tices. Given that there are few experts on sadomasochism, a non-judgmental approach and a desire to learn more about S/M is essen­tial to anyone dealing with S/M practitioners. Recognition that S/M is not a comfortable subject for the clinician is adequate reason for referral.

The following are types of problems that the author has seen in approximate order of the most frequent to least frequent complaint. Obviously, the reputation of the author would tend to cause some prospective clients either to seek out or avoid the author. Therefore, the ordering should not be construed as a reflection of the actual incidence of the problem among S/M-identified individuals.

(1) Am I normal? By far the most common and easiest problem with which to work, is this one. Many people beginning to explore their S/M desires are concerned that S/M is a pathological condition that leads people to commit heinous crimes and will be detrimental to the quality of their life. It is common for S/M practitioners to believe that their interest in S/M will escalate to a point where dan­gerous activities are commonplace, and major injury is just a matter of time. In fact, this is false; few injuries result from S/M interac­tions (Lee, 1979).4 Reassurance, education, and referral to a sup­port group often solves this problem in as little as one session and rarely more than six sessions.

Untreated, these individuals often present as stating that the S/M lifestyle was problematic for them and they had to give it up. It is important to note that some individuals give up specific sexual be­haviors for a variety of reasons and that is not necessarily contrain-dicated. Nevertheless, denial of one’s sexual orientation is usually considered to be problematic. Individuals who present with this concern should be seen as in a similar state as homosexuals going through the “coming out” process.

(2) Can you make these desires go awayl Some S/M people yearn for a more mundane sexual lifestyle and wish to change their sexual orientation. Unfortunately, sexual orientation is either im­possible or very difficult to change, as studies of people attempting to change homosexual orientation indicate. It is important to point out that you can help individuals add new behaviors to their sexual pattern. Thus, you can help an S/M practitioner eroticize non-S/M behaviors, but attempts to uneroticize S/M behavior is rarely, if ever, lasting or successful. There is also an ethical question of whether this is appropriate or not.

Attempts at reassurance and education are occasionally helpful, but most clients seeking to change their sexual orientation will not be satisfied with anything less than rigorous therapeutic interven­tion. Individuals who present with this problem can be seen as anal­ogous to individuals with egodystonic homosexuality, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition (1980).

(3) The S/M is destroying our relationship. Most couples have at least occasional relationship problems and couples who practice S/M as part of their sexual pattern are no different. It is common for the couple to blame the S/M aspect of the relationship for the prob­lems, but couple therapy often uncovers more mundane causes. In either case, mundane or S/M-oriented causation, traditional couple therapy is often helpful. Knowledge of the S/M subculture is essen­tial for the couple’s therapist to make a meaningful intervention.

It is interesting to note that not all S/M practicing couples are composed of a dominant and submissive partner. Many of the cou­ples experiencing problems are composed of two primarily submis­sive individuals who take turns playing the dominant role with each other. This obviously can become a problem area over time. A smaller number of couples exists where both partners are primarily dominant, but these tend not to engage in S/M acts with each other.

(4) / cannot lead this double life anymore. There are numerous examples among S/M practitioners of discrimination when their sexual behavior became known. People have lost jobs, been disin­herited, lost friends, lost custody of a child, etc., due to their S/M behavior. This has led many individuals to be exceedingly secretive about their S/M activities. Use of pseudonyms, post office boxes, and other devices to confer anonymity are common. This can lead to stress and dissatisfaction with the S/M lifestyle. Denial of S/M interests can eventuate in stress and dissatisfaction with the vanilla (the S/M subculture’s adjective for non-S/M) lifestyle.

Even when fear of being found out is not the overriding fear, there are problems with integrating the S/M lifestyle into the every­day world. Some S/M practitioners would like to live their lifestyle 24 hours a day, but cannot due to demands of earning a living or other commitments. That they are not able to live their S/M lifestyle the way they would like is often described by these individuals as being forced to lead a double life.

This problem is often a difficult problem for the individual to work through. Assisting the client in finding a support group, cou­ple therapy, and creative solutions such as working for other S/M practitioners or in nontraditional jobs where more options are avail­able has been helpful.

(5) / cannot find a partner. While the author has not seen many of these individuals professionally, this may be the most frequent complaint in the S/M community. With a small number of S/M support groups, few women who openly admit their S/M interests, and the difficulty in finding a partner who has complementary inter­ests in both type and intensity of activities, it would seem reason­able that this problem would be a major issue in the S/M commu­nity. On the other hand, this is a general problem that is affecting the entire single population.

It has been the author’s experience that S/M practitioners who complain about the difficulty in finding S/M partners are those who also have problems finding non-S/M partners. Social skill training has been useful in these cases. It should also be noted that many S/M practitioners have been very successful in “bringing out” part­ners, taking people who have never been involved in S/M and turn­ing them into enthusiastic practitioners. It is not known if these converts to S/M would continue engaging in the behavior if the original relationship broke up, but there are indications that they do in at least some cases.

(6) Is it violence or S/M? These cases often come to the author’s attention through a legal route. The question arises in relationship to spousal abuse, child abuse, rape, sexual harassment, etc. It has been the author’s experience that S/M practitioners are not inter­ested in pursuing their sexual interests unless their partner is will­ing. This situation is similar to the distinction between rape and consentual coitus. Nonrapists quickly lose interest in coitus if their partner is unwilling. On the other hand, some S/M participants en­gage in violent acts, either as part of their S/M interests or in spite of their S/M interests.

In these situations, the most important question is “If the victim (this is usually a criminal case) was becoming sexually aroused by being forced, how would that have affected you?” Rapists, socio­paths, etc. report that if the victim was enjoying or aroused by the assault, it would negatively affect their arousal or have no effect. Informal questioning of S/M practitioners suggests that if the person was not enjoying the act, they would stop. This is then a major difference between these two groups. The distinction is important clinically. If the person committing antisocial acts is truly antiso­cial, then the prognosis is not good as successful intervention is rare. If the person is a poorly socialized S/M practitioner, then we have several options. Socialization has been an important treatment goal that has helped the individual refrain from antisocial acts in the future.

In the present author’s experience, the S/M practitioner rarely commits these violent acts. When an S/M practitioner is involved in violent acts, it is usually seen as separate from the S/M component of their life.


While there is a paucity of data concerning the psychological problems of S/M practitioners, some preliminary data has been pre­sented. S/M practitioners have not been shown to have any particu­lar psychiatric problems or even any unique problems associated with their activities that interfere with daily functioning. There is no scientific basis to deny S/M practitioners child custody, adoption opportunities, any job, security clearances, or any other right or privilege in this society.


1. Other terms include D/S (Dominance and Submission), B/D (Bondage and Discipline), kinky sex, corporal punishment, top and bottom play, M/S (Master and Slave), leathersex, etc.

2. There are some incidences of problems occurring from clearly accidental circumstances. For example, someone contracted an infection after having her nipple pierced. Efforts were made to do piercing under sterile conditions by ap­propriately trained personnel; nevertheless an infection occurred. Since the infec­tion was not intentional nor due to negligence, it is classified as accidental. It should be noted that most sports (and sexual) activities have accidental injuries associated with their practice.

3. The hot wax used by S/M practitioners is usually paraffin which does not burn. The more expensive beeswax candles can burn and for that reason are rarely used.

4. It seems likely that any injuries clearly related to an S/M interaction would be reported by the press. Similar events (e.g., reports of light bulbs found in a patient’s rectum or kidnaping of a woman as a “sex slave”) have received more coverage than would be expected by the seriousness of the problem. The lack of stories in the press concerning S/M related injuries and the lack of its mention in other professional journals suggest that the actual occurrence is rare.


Annon, J. (1974/1975). The behavioral treatment of sexual problems (Vol. 1 & 2). Honolulu: Enabling Systems, Inc.

Breslow, N., Evans, L., & Langley, J. (1985). On the prevalence and roles of females in the sadomasochistic subculture: Report of an empirical study. Ar­chives of Sexual Behavior, 14, 303-317.

Breslow, N., Evans, L., & Langley, J. (1986). Comparisons among heterosex­ual, bisexual, and homosexual male sadomasochists. Journal of Homosexual­ity, 13{1), 83-107.

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Maslow, A. (1966). Self-esteem (dominance-feeling) and sexuality in women. In M. De Martino (ed.), Sexual behavior and personality characteristics. New York: Grove Press, Inc. Originally published 1963). (The article was origi­nally published in 1942 in Journal of Social Psychology, 16, 259-294.)

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Miale, J. P. (1986). An initial study of nonclinical practitioners of sexual sado­masochism. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, the Professional School of Psy­chological Studies, San Diego.

Moser, C. (1979). An exploratory-descriptive study of a self-defined SIM (sado­masochistic) sample. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Institute for Ad­vanced Study of Human Sexuality, San Francisco.

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Schad-Somers, S. P. (1982). Sadomasochism. New York: Human Sciences Press, Inc.

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Weinberg, M. S., Williams, C. J., & Moser, C. A. (1984). The social constitu­ents of sadomasochism. Social Problems, 31, 379-389.

Polyamory and Polygamy

 Just about everyone is familiar with the term “polygamy,” and for many people it brings up images of Muslim men with four wives, or Mormon men with multiples wives (“plural marriage”), as seen on the television shows “Sister Wives” and “Big Love,” and in news reports. It should be noted that the largest Mormon church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, long ago officially renounced plural marriage as something for this life. It is numerous smaller Mormon denominations that still practice plural marriage.

Not as many people are familiar with the term “polyamory,” or if they have heard about it, they might have a misconception about it. The general definition of polyamory is having a romantic, dating, courting, or marital relationship or engaging in sex with more than one person (not necessarily together), under agreement by all (not cheating). Polyamory and monogamy are alternatives to each other.

Polyamory can involve heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or people of any sexual orientation, and any gender. So, it could be a man and two women, two men and one woman, three men, three women, etc.

I consider polygamy to be any form of married polyamory, though some polyamorists bristle at the association with polygamy or don’t want official marriages involved in their relationships, and some polygamists bristle at the association with polyamory. Polygamy doesn’t have to mean one man and multiple women (polygyny.) It could mean polyandry (one woman, multiple men), or three or more men, or three or more women, or multiple men and multiple women.

Some people confuse polyamory with cheating, or think it is synonymous with open relationships/marriages, swinging, or swapping. However, cheating is engaging in sex, dating, or romance with someone in a way that violates a prior, existing commitment to, or condition with, another. Not everyone has the same vows or agreements. For example, it is not cheating for a wife to take on another lover alone if her spouse has agreed to it, even if she doesn’t tell her spouse when it happens, as long as that was the agreement between the spouses. An open relationship or marriage is one that is not closed to new participants, whether they are short term or long term participants. Some polyamorists are in closed relationships, some are in open relationships. Swinging is when an established couple, triad, quad, etc. participates as a couple or group in encounters with other couples or groups. It can be a form of polyamory but not all polyamory involves swinging. Swapping usually means when one couple swaps partners with another couple, whether for one time or on an ongoing basis. There are many forms of nonmonogamy, some ethical, some not. Polyamory is an ethical form of nonmonogamy.

The most simple form of polyamory is a “V” in which the person at the angle of the V has two partners, but the people at the ends of the V don’t interact with each other or spend time at the same time with the person who is seeing both of them. There are triangles (triads) in which all three people see each other, either one-on-one or all at the same time. There are “N” relationships, and many other forms of polyamory.

Polyamory does not necessarily mean having more than one sexual partner. It could mean spending time together in other ways normally associated with dating, or living together. It could mean that someone who is into BDSM but has a sexual partner who isn’t has a BDSM partner with whom they do not have sex. When polyamory does involve sex, different people have different agreements. Here are just a few…

“We can each have (insert number here) other partners under theses conditions…” (condom usage, gender, etc.)
“I don’t want to know about it.”
“I want to know about it.”
“I want to know all of the details.”
“I get to watch.”
“I want to be with you at the same time.”
“I want to be with both of you.”
“We will all be spouses.”

You get the idea. The possibilities are almost endless.

That someone is a polyamorist in no way means that they will have sex with anyone and everyone.

Some polyamorists see themselves as necessarily part of the LGBT (“LGBTP”) civil rights movement, not because LGBT aren’t monogamous (many are), but because every polyamorous relationship involves at least one same-gender relationship, even if only as a metamour.

Equality in relationship rights and marriage necessitates that consensual polyamory and polygamy not only be legalized, but protected from discrimination and persecution. Current inequality in the law is harmful. For example, in the US, is legal for people to have a different sexual partner (or several) every day, have children with multiple other partners, and (in most places) live with multiple partners, but it isn’t legal to be married to more than one at the same time. A man can have children with five different women, but can’t be legally married to more than one of those women at the same time, even if all are agreeable. What kind of sense is that?

Some people are polyamorous as part of their identity, and can’t be monogamous no matter how much they are punished (loss of marriage, loss of money, loss of employment, bullying, etc.) As long as they are with consenting adults, why should their relationships be denied equal treatment? With full marriage equality, fewer people will enter into what it supposed to be a monogamous relationship under pressure to be in the closet, and then hurt the other person.

Most people are not lifelong monogamists. Why it is better to have causal sex with a different person every few weeks or months, or get married and divorced over and over again, with or without affairs on the side, than to have honest polyamory and polygamy? If someone wants or needs monogamy, they should be free to have it; if someone wants or needs polyamory, they should be free to have it. People should be free to choose the relationships in which they will best function.

Women should be free to choose to be in a polygynous marriage as long as they are as free as men to not marry and to divorce, as long as women are just as free to marry another woman, multiple women, multiple men, or men and women. An adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any and all consenting adults.

Female Kuwaiti Muslim politician trying to revive sex slavery

A female Kuwaiti Muslim politician has called for reviving the institution of sex slavery.

A brief English report appeared over the weekend in the Kuwait Times (nothing, of course, in the MSM):

Muslim men who fear being seduced or tempted into immoral behavior by the beauty of their female servants, or even of those servants “casting spells” on them, would be better to purchase women from an “enslaved maid” agency for sexual purposes. She [Mutairi] suggested that special offices could be set up to provide concubines in the same way as domestic staff recruitment agencies currently provide housemaids. “We want our youth to be protected from adultery,” said al-Mutairi, suggesting that these maids could be brought as prisoners of war in war-stricken nations like Chechnya to be sold on later to devout merchants.

The Arabic news website, Al Arabiya, has the sordid details, including a video of Mutairi addressing this topic. I summarize and translate various excerpts below (note: I am not making any of this up):

The Kuwaiti female activist begins by insisting that “it’s of course true” that “the prophet of Islam legitimized sex-slavery.” She recounts how when she was in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, she asked various sheikhs and muftis (learned, authoritative Muslims) about the legality of sex-slavery according to Sharia: they all confirmed it to be perfectly legal; Kuwaiti ulema further pointed out that extra “virile” men—Western synonyms include “sex-crazed,” “lecherous,” “perverted”—would do well to purchase sex-slaves to sate their appetites without sinning.

Here’s a particularly interesting excerpt from her taped speech on the rules governing sex-slaves:

A Muslim state must [first] attack a Christian state—sorry, I mean any non-Muslim state—and they [the women, the future sex-slaves] must be captives of the raid. Is this forbidden? Not at all; according to Islam, sex slaves are not at all forbidden. Quite the contrary, the rules regulating sex-slaves differ from those for free women [i.e., Muslim women]: the latter’s body must be covered entirely, except for her face and hands, whereas the sex-slave is kept naked from the bellybutton on up—she is different from the free woman; the free woman has to be married properly to her husband, but the sex-slave—he just buys her and that’s that.

She went on to offer concrete suggestions: “For example, in the Chechnyan war, surely there are female Russian captives. So go and buy those and sell them here in Kuwait; better that than have our men engage in forbidden sexual relations. I don’t see any problem in this, no problem at all.”

Mutairi suggests the enslaved girls be at least 15 years-old.

There is no other religion that promotes this sort of thing in the 21st century. None whatsoever.

Italo Calvino y el aborto

En 1975, el periódico italiano Corriere della Sera abrió sus páginas a una polémica sobre el aborto en la que participaron, entre otros, Pasolini, Manganelli y Claudio Magris. El artículo de este último, titulado “Los ingenuos”, en contra de la interrupción del embarazo, provocó una respuesta personal de Italo Calvino al que hasta entonces había considerado su amigo. Ésta es la carta:

“Estimado profesor Magris:

Me ha decepcionado mucho leer su artículo. Me lastimó en demasía que usted lo hubiera escrito y enterarme de que usted piensa así. Traer a un niño al mundo tiene sentido sólo si el niño es deseado consciente y libremente por sus padres. De otro modo, se trata simplemente de comportamiento animal y criminal. Un ser humano se convierte en humano no sólo por la convergencia causal de ciertas condiciones biológicas, sino a través del acto de voluntad y amor de otras personas. Si este no es el caso, la humanidad se convierte -lo cual ya ocurre- en lo más parecido a una madriguera de conejos. Una madriguera constreñida a las condiciones de artificialidad en las que existe, con luz artificial y alimentos químicos.

Sólo aquellas personas que están convencidas al cien por cien de poseer la capacidad moral y física no sólo de mantener a un hijo sino de acogerlo y amarlo, tienen derecho a procrear. De no ser el caso, deben primeramente hacer todo lo posible para no concebir y si conciben, el aborto no representa sólo una triste necesidad sino una decisión altamente moral que debe ser tomada con completa libertad de conciencia. No entiendo cómo puedes asociar la idea del aborto con el concepto de hedonismo o de la buena vida. El aborto es un hecho espeluznante.

En el aborto la persona que es vulnerada física y moralmente es la mujer. También para cualquier hombre con conciencia cada aborto es un dilema moral que deja una marca, pero ciertamente aquí el destino de una mujer se encuentra en una situación desproporcionada de desigualdad con el hombre, y cada hombre debería morderse la lengua tres veces antes de hablar de estas cosas. Justo en el momento en que intentamos hacer menos bárbara una situación en la cual la mujer está verdaderamente aterrada, un intelectual usa su autoridad para que esa mujer permanezca en este infierno. Déjame decirte que eres verdaderamente responsable, por decir lo mínimo. Yo no me burlaría tanto de las “medidas de higiene profiláctica”, ciertamente nunca te has sometido a rasgarte el vientre. Pero me encantaría ver tu cara si te forzaran a una operación en la mugre y sin los recursos que hay en los hospitales.

Lamento que tal divergencia de opiniones en estas cuestiones éticas básicas haya interrumpido nuestra amistad.”.