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The Social World of BDSM: A Descriptive Phenomenological Investigation

By Emma L. Turley


The qualitative research presented in this poster takes a descriptive phenomenological approach to understanding the lived experiences of those who participate in consensual bondage, discipline, dominance & submission and sadism & masochism (BDSM). The research presented here is taken from the first stage of a two stage PhD thesis. Stage one of the empirical research aimed to examine participants’ lived experiences of the social world of BDSM. This stage of the work was intended to be broad and exploratory in order to gain insight into this complex phenomenon, and also to draw conclusions that would guide the next phase of the research. Semi-structured interviews were employed for the purpose of gaining rich data, which was then analysed using the descriptive phenomenological method. In this poster I present some of the main findings arising from the analysis of the first stage of empirical work. This poster will focus on Tom’s experience of consensual BDSM. I will present the essential structures of the experience as follows; Aspects of Character, Authenticity of Role and Detachment from Humanity

Topics: GN, H1
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