Ballgags, ropes, and spatulas
BDSM toys between specialty stores and everyday objects
Keywords:BDSM, sex toys, commercial sex, material culture, anthropology
This article is aimed at investigating the way toys are used within BDSM practices. “Toys”, as a term, encompasses a wide variety of objects such as gags, cuffs, or whips which form the material bedrock for BDSM sexualities. At the same time, the presence of so many objects within sexual practices is a cause of anxiety, evident even in specialist scholarship on kink. Drawing on examples from my fieldwork among Polish BDSM practitioners, I will be attempting to provide a different perspective on the role of toys in kink, one that does not replicate the anxieties about fetishism and commodification, while at the same time attending to the queer use of everyday objects that is so common within the world of BDSM.
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