Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities

David M. Ortmann and Richard A. Sprott. Rowman & Littlefield, $34 (176p) ISBN 978-1-4422-1735-5
Written by a psychotherapist who specializes in kink-friendly sex therapy and a research psychologist, this book offers a nonjudgmental glimpse into the world of BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/ submission, sadism/masochism). In a supportive tone, Ortmann and Sprott discuss the way society misunderstands a potentially healthy set of sexual behaviors, employing largely Jungian analysis to explain the appeal of kinky play and including a generous selection of fascinating case studies drawn from Ortmann’s private practice. The book provides encouragement for people who feel marginalized by their sexual preferences (and includes a guide to finding a sex therapist). The authors definitively dismiss popular claims that BDSM practitioners are mentally unwell or that their behaviors result from abusive childhoods. Instead, they describe the eroticism of power, the playacting of shame, and even show how this kind of play can serve as its own form of therapy. Ortmann and Sprott highlight the difference between the appearance of a behavior and its “psychological meaning and impact.” The heart of the work is the individual stories of Ortmann’s clients, chief among them the moving stories of BDSM practitioners “coming out” as “kinky” to the people in their lives. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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