The Case for Kink

My latest article “The Case for Kink” just got posted on Carnal Nation. Here’s the opening, but you’ll have to go to the site for the rest of it (the link is below).

One of the criticisms that gets leveled at BDSM players is the claim that BDSM is violence and that it reinforces social oppressions such as sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. There’s even a Facebook group called the Sex-Positive Leftists Critical of BDSM. In my experience, these sorts of arguments often have just enough accuracy in some of their claims that it’s hard to tease out the distortions, misunderstandings, and plain old lies. This can be really challenging, especially for newcomers to the world of kink, because it can be quite shaming to read that someone thinks that your desires and fantasies are rooted in oppression. So I’m going to take a look at some of the claims that these folks make and offer a different perspective.

Before I get into that, though, I want to start by saying that in most of the anti-BDSM writing that I’ve come across, it’s rare to see language that reflects the diversity of human sexuality. Whenever I hear someone talk about sex as if everyone has the same desires or experiences, I take it with a grain of salt. It’s simply more accurate to use “some/many/most language because there’s nothing about sex that everyone experiences in the same way. So for anyone to call themselves “sex-positive and then use language that rests on an assumption that people are the same is, I think, a contradiction, and I see it in most of the anti-BDSM blogs that I’ve seen.

For the rest of the article, go to

If you haven’t checked Carnal Nation out, it’s a great site. They have lots of fascinating articles, some of the best advice columns that I’ve seen, an excellent calendar of SF Bay Area sexuality events (with plans, I’m told, to expand to other cities), and toy reviews (disclaimer: Good Vibrations gives them sample products to review). All in all, a fab site run by fab people. Check them out. Add them to your google reader feed, follow them on Twitter or just go to


Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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