WHO drops BDSM, fetishism, transvestism off the “sick” list! Part 4

I just want to explain why perverts should be carrying me round in a sedan chair for the rest of my life. 

The sedan chair life. I’d prefer my porters to be less male and less dressed, but the technology is right.

The first Australian Survey on Sexual Health and Attitudes (ASHR) findings were reported in 2003.

At that point I became part of the story. I was struck by the presence of a question about bdsm in a national survey, and by the utter beauty of the huge, randomly selected sample that the Australian researchers had reached. I love data!

However, I learned that the ASHR team had made no analysis of how the responses of people who had participated in bdsm in the last year differed from those who hadn’t.

So I contacted them. I explained that I was fascinated that they had a data set that could for the first time test the claim that bdsm is pathological, using a large-scale sample of the population in general. I met with the Australian team, Anthony Smith, Chris Rissel, Juliet Richters, Andrew Grulich, and Richard de Visser, who were a little amused by my very specific enthusiasm for their bdsm data.

Anyway, I suggested further data analysis to compare the responses of their bdsm and non-bdsm respondents, focusing on indications of mental and social health like the response to questions about education, career and income, whether people were in a relationship, how they reported their sexual happiness, and their self-assessment of their own physical and mental health. The data could also reveal whether bdsm people were more or less likely than non-bdsm people to have been forced into sexual activity when they were children, or as adults.

The team thought this analysis would probably turn up something that they could publish in a scientific journal, even if they weren’t as interested in bdsm as I was. None of us expected that the findings would make anything like the media impact that resulted. 

This is from The Age, in Victoria, Australia. But we were in The Times, the NY Times, the LA Times, probably every major newspaper in the world

The key finding was that bdsm people showed no sign of being socially or personally dysfunctional, and every sign of being well-adjusted and happy. This made TV news and newspaper headlines across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Mid-East, Australasia, Africa and so on. Much of the coverage was written in newspaper-ese, with headlines like: “Smack happy”, “You can’t beat bdsm”, “Bound to be happy”, and so on.

There was a lot of that sort of thing. Our news cheered many people who enjoy bdsm, but we made the world’s sub-editors absolutely ecstatic.

From my point of view the results contained their share of disappointments. For example, since bdsm relies on verbal and symbolic communication for much of its power, I’d expected that people attracted to bdsm would be more educated than average. However, there turned out to be no significant differences between bdsm participants and others, in terms of educational attainment.

So my self-flattering expectations were as wrong as those of the people who expected to find us haunting the mental hospitals and the jails.

Thomas’s pina colada milkshake is better than yours. Splooshie!

That’s the beauty of evidence. It’s a piece of piss to make up theories that “justify” bigotry. But evidence is a hard-shelled beast. Watching beautiful theories encountering evidence can be as messy as watching a wagon loaded with pina colada hitting an armadillo.


Wicked Wednesday: Janie’s Drop 4

The previous episode is here.


Janie spent Friday night, after her punishment, being taught to pleasure a woman. Monica kept the terrible leather paddle in her hand while Janie served her, and Janie felt it often.

There were so many things in cunnilingus that she could do wrong, she discovered. She had to discover, focus on and follow the rhythms of Monica’s desire, serving her, pleasuring her, responsive to her every change in timing or intensity.

When she was mistaken Monica used the paddle on her bottom, harshly and frequently.

She never showed Monica any lack of enthusiasm. That terrible session when she bent over the trestle while Monica paddled her: that was enough to make her forget any scruple, any distaste, any lack of pleasure in applying her tongue, her lips and nose to Monica’s cunt. Paul had sometimes punished her more painfully, but never so coldly. She was terrified of being so ruthlessly and painfully thrashed again.

In the meantime Monica lounged under her, sometimes holding Janie’s hair and pushing her head down, sometimes squeezing her face between her strong thighs. Sometimes Monica gasped with pleasure, and there was a respite from that agonising paddle.

But only for a few seconds, and never with a word of praise. 

Janie served her Mistress’s pleasure, every muscle in her body, and all of her concentration, directed at pleasing her Mistress and avoiding punishment. She would do nothing that incited Monica to punish her.  

At last Monica announced she was satisfied. (She’d come four times, Janie thought rebelliously: she bloody well ought to be satisfied. Then she turned white with terror, just for having that thought. Somehow, she feared that Mistress might know.)

Monica ordered her onto her bed, on her hands and knees, thighs widely spread, bottom arched up. Her Mistress put a blindfold round her eyes. She was aware of rustling sounds and then a click behind her.

And then a presence, cocklike, pressing at her cunt, and pushing forward. Monica was riding her, fucking her, with a strap-on. At first she wondered what could be in it for her Mistress, since she could receive no sensation from a silicon cylinder. 

But then there was a tiny sound, and the cylinder inside her began to buzz, slowly at first and then insistently. The cylinder began to drive into her, and nearly out again, and in. Her Mistress was fucking her, her hips swinging, the device in her cunt driving Janie higher and higher. Janie made a joyous sound: so much pleasure she wanted to sing.

Then there was a flash of pain: a riding crop striking hard on her left flank, then again on her right. 

“No, Janie, you haven’t earned an orgasm. I could feel you getting near, little slut. But you’re to control yourself. You’re here to serve, not to get off, little slavegirl. You may not come, is that clear?”

Her cunt clasped that strap-on. It still pushed her, relentlessly, to pleasure and release. Please, she wanted to say: oh, please, I want it so much. Please let me come. Please. But she said, “Yes, Mistress.”

“You have a lot to learn, Janie. Still, a little fear seems to improve you. At least you’re likely to be trying.”

The next episode is here.

Masturbation Monday: Stephanie the Sir-sayer

“Stephanie, my sweetlove, put your knees under Maires’s shoulders. And get your cunt nice and comfortable.”

Stephanie considered. She said, for the first time, “Yes, sir.” She was just trying it out, to see how it felt to say it. But hearing from her it was powerful magic.

Sincere or not, I felt it right through my body. I took her hand and put it on my cock. She squeezed. “Oh! It’s not quite dead!”

“Say, ‘sir’ again.”

Stephanie looked at me, eyes unnaturally wide, then dropped her gaze submissively. She breathed, “Oh, yes, sir.”

I knew she was taking the piss, but that didn’t seem to matter. She tightened her grip on my cock, which answered her. “Oh my god, it’s not dead at all. It’s just like ET! Sir.”

I grinned. I said, “You can play all the games you like. But the truth is, you already half mean it, Stephanie.” She looked away for a second.

“You might be right. Sir.” 

I tried so hard not to look smug. Really I did. “Now, I gave you an order. It’s an order that gets your cunt licked. So…”

“Yes! Sir!”

And she scrambled, straddling Maires, and lowered her body slowly until a little gasp told me she’d made contact with Maires’s tongue. I imagined Maires smiling, buried as she was in beautiful woman, tongue working hard to please her new sister.

Stephanie trembled slightly as Maires licked up at her cunt. This was completely new, for her, and wonderful.

Her ass was sweetly poised, in one of the classic spank-me positions. It trembled a little, too. 

That ass seemed so intensely inviting to me, even if Stephanie had probably forgotten, for the moment, that I existed.

But there was her gorgeous arse, jiggling up and down in response to Maire’s tongue. There were no games, now: I was simply hard.

Yes, I decided, this was a very good time to introduce something else new. New for Stephanie, at least. I rolled off the bed onto the floor, and took the belt from my jeans.






WHO drops “diseases” BDSM, fetishism and transvestism off the sick list! Part 3

The World Health Organisation (WHO) produces an International Classification of Diseases and Associated Health Problems (ICD). This is a diagnostic manual for the medical profession, internationally, and it also has a lot of impact on people making laws and social policy in countries around the world. 

Recently, a new version of the ICD was released, that, for the first time, dropped bdsm, fetishism and transvestism from its list of “paraphilic disorders”. The word “paraphilic” essentially means “it’s sexual but they’re doing it wrong.” 


Why the change? There’s been pressure on WHO from assorted advocacy groups representing LGBTQ people, and bdsm activists, to get their ICD changed, so it doesn’t enable and encourage legal discrimination against people in any of those categories. So WHO knew they should take a look at the issue. 

But what made the change possible, or inevitable, was the research. Most of the “bdsm, fetishism and transvestism is bad” came from religious and other prejudice against people who are different, and that side of it had no intellectual content at all.

Really, Freud just wanted to look like Hemingway

A lot of the “theory” that supported the view that bdsm, in particular, but also fetishism and transvestism, were bad came from the Freudian tradition, for reasons I explained in my previous post. 

It’s not that the Freudians of today are especially likely to be bigots, or that people who aren’t Freudians now take Freudian writing very seriously. However, for historical reasons the vast bulk of academic writing on bdsm, at least until around 2004, was Freudian and hostile to bdsm in particular.

Naturally, a committee reviewing that literature may not take any one essay seriously, but they have to note that the majority academic stance has been one of hostility to sexual “deviance”.  

The Australian nation-wide studies

But more recent research was starting to contradict that view. There are studies showing that men who took part in bdsm were less likely to accept “rape myths” than men who weren’t into bdsm, for example. 

Australians are much like the rest of the world. Except that they get their orgies and their sports events confused.

But the single most important piece of research was from Australia: The Australian Study of Sexual Health and Attitudes. That’s because they didn’t do qualitative research, or get your sample from a small bdsm community.

That kind of research is valuable if your goal is to increase understanding, but it doesn’t have much political impact. 

The Australian surveys in 2002 and 2014 were nation-wide random sampling surveys, each with a sample size of 20,000 people. There was simply no room for making any suggestion of selection bias. The surveys found that about 5% of the population, or 1 in 20 people, had taken part in bdsm, or bdsm-lite bedroom games like “teacher and naughty schoolgirl”, in the last year. 

When the survey result were analysed to compare the people who said they’d taken part in bdsm with the people who hadn’t, every single prediction based on the Freudian “explanation” of bdsm went crashing down in flames. 

People who’d taken part in bdsm in the last year (from here on I’m going to call them “bdsm people”, or “us”) were no more likely to have spent any time in prison. Their education and income level was simply normal, no better or worse than average. Their reported enjoyment of sex was slightly higher than average. (They were probably reporting that enjoyment accurately, because they did tend to have sex slightly more often than average.)

In other news, bdsm people were no more likely than the rest of the population to have been sexually coerced, either in the last year, or ever in their life, including when under-age. (There goes the “bdsm is caused by childhood sexual abuse” theory.) 

Respectable couple. Payin their taxes and lovin their bdsm

So bdsm people were as healthy, as sane, as optimistic, and so on, as the rest of the population. We’re upstanding citizens. We don’t commit crimes, or wind up in hospital, any more than the rest of the population.

Only two differences emerged: we tended to skew slightly younger than the population who hadn’t done bdsm in the last year, and we were noticeably randier. 

(The 2013 survey came up with essentially the same result.) 

So there is simply no factual basis, or social interest, in treating bdsm as a disease or disorder.

It simply wasn’t a sustainable position, intellectually, economically or politically. Once there was political pressure on it, and research, it had to change.

There hasn’t been a similar study that’s asked about fetishism or transvestism. But that Australian research project shifted the WHO committee more than anything else.

Couldn’t find a pic of Freud pulling something out of his arse. But have you noticed that guys with cigars tend to look like assholes?

It had been demonstrated that virtually the entire academic literature on sexual “problems” was essentially bullshit, utterly discredited by empirical research, and based largely on ideas that Freud had (excuse the slightly Freudian expression) pulled out of his arse.  

So the WHO committee had both the political will and the intellectual weaponry to make the change and stand by it. 


I have a contact who’s in contact with the people reviewing the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases and Associated Health Problems (ICD).

This account is drawn from what that person told me, with some other sources.

There’s one more post about this to come. 

Wicked Wednesday: Janie’s drop #3

The previous episode in this story in here.

Monica said, “Janie, I’m going to a party tomorrow. I’m bringing you.”

Janie blinked. “Uh?” 

“It’s a party you’re dressed for, just as you are.”

Janie nodded. To see how the words felt, she said, “Yes, Mistress.” They felt alien.

Monica didn’t react. “When I told you to to undress, Janie, did you obey immediately?”

Her heart sank. “No, Mistress.”

“Did your Master instruct you that you were to obey me as if I were he?”

She knew this woman was going to punish her. She so hoped this woman, her temporary Mistress, wouldn’t punish her. But it would do no good to beg.

“Yes, Mistress, he did. In the moment I forgot. I’m very sorry, Mistress.”

“Indeed. You knew better. I don’t want you embarrassing me with behaviour like that tomorrow. What would Paul do?”

Janie thought. She’d disobeyed, though only briefly. “Cane me, Mistress. Six strokes.”

“Appropriate. I’ll use the leather paddle. But ten strokes.”

Silence stretched on. Then Janie remembered: “Thank you, Mistress!” She sounded squeaky.

“Just in time, Janie. Bring the trestle to the middle of the room.”

“Yes, Mistress.” Janie hurried.

Then there were words, the beginning of a ritual. She’d never expected to hear a woman speak them to her “Bend over, Janie.”

Janie turned to face the trestle. She placed her feet apart, so they touched the trestle’s back legs, exposing herself to her punisher. There were grips, low on the legs on the other side. She lowered the upper half of her body, and held on tight. 

“I’m not going to call you a good girl for obeying me, Janie. That’s a given from you, the bare minimum.” The paddle cracked across her buttocks, and she cried out. Paul would have said something loving, to help her get through her punishment. And she always knew she’d be given an orgasm afterwards,  

But the paddle landed again. It was so hard and hot, nearly as bad as a hard stroke from Paul’s cane. Janie cried out again, abandoning herself to punishment, holding on tight. “You will learn to obey me, Janie.” 

On the third stroke, which landed low and hard, Janie began to sob. There were tears running from her eyes, down and into her eyebrows. “Without expecting praise or reward.” 

There was a pause. Janie knew Mistress would be watching the colour rise and deepen on her bottom. Enjoying it, like a connoisseur.

Janie wondered if she were a connoisseur of being punished. Paul was warm and loving, even when he hurt her. This was colder, and more impersonal. Still – she hated to admit it – there was something hot in that.

Then the paddle cracked down again, loud, and burning like fire. “If I have to teach you this lesson again, Janie, you’ll get ten with the cane as well.”

Monica stopped lecturing now and calmly, unhurriedly, completed Janie’s paddling. Janie sobbed throughout, lost in pain and humiliation. 

At last it was over, and Mistress commanded her to stand up. Janie struggled up, weeping, her bottom sore and, somehow, heavy. Monica held the paddle to her lips. Janie knew what she had to do. She sniffed, wishing she dared to wipe her eyes. She kissed it.


Masturbation Monday: Stephanie among the burning beasts

The previous episode is here.


I lay on Stephanie’s back, cock slowly softening inside her. Even though I’d reach under her to hold her breasts, cupping, squeezing and pinching her nipples, not too hard. Even though that was something I’d been wanting to do for eight years. 

I kissed her shoulder and then her neck, and she waggled her arse under me. That was welcome too, but I was spent. For the time being. I said, “Scuse me a sec. Sorry.” And I wthdrew from her while I was still hard enough to be sure the condom would stay with my cock.

I dropped the condom out of sight under the bed and rolled onto my side, so Stephanie and I lay facing each other, our heads each resting on one of Maires’s thighs. Maires reached down and stroked our hair, and we kissed. Stephanie put her hand on my soft, wet cock. “You’re all fucked out. I’ve drained you.” 

There was an odd mix of pride and disappointment in her expression. For no good reason except that I was enthusiastic about her arse, I smacked it, first lightly, then hard, a proper spank.

“Oh, I’ll probably be back in a bit. And in the meantime… tongues on men are like strap-ons on women. They never get exhausted.” 

“Jesus, Jaime,” Maires said. “That’s absolutely fucking Wildean.” 

So I smacked the outer side of her thigh, twice. That, for some reason, helped me work out what we should do next. “Come down the bed, Maires. Right down, so your feet can touch the floor. No, on your back.” 

Stephanie rolled onto her back, to give Maires room, and watch her. I said, “Good girl. Now stop there.”

“Yes, Sir.” Maires usually didn’t acknowledge orders she was already obeying. But she wanted to show off her status to Stephanie. And to suggest that it could be fun. She liked games, the fun kind, and she played well.

I kissed her, and took a pillow. “I’m going to put this under your shoulders. Up a bit for a moment, girl.”

“Yes, Sir.” She smiled at Stephanie. And frowned at me: what in fuck was I up to?

I got the pillow into place. “Now drop your head back. You’re an accessory.”

She looked at me, still frowning, before obeying. “After the fact?”

“You’re a cunt-licking accessory.”

“Ah. A very, um, willing cunt-licker, sir.”

I said, “Not that it matters.”

I took Stephanie’s hand. She’d been watching us, fascinated. She’d blushed, just lightly, when I called Maires a cunt-licking accessory: that was rude. No one talks to a woman like that, she’d have said two hours ago, and yet it was hot. We were animals now, fiery like Blake’s tiger, in the night. And the cunt in question was hers.