"The participants at any of the country’s many SM clubs and conferences demonstrate the prevalence of quality long-term committed Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, and Sadistic & Masochistic (BDSM) relationships. This is in contrast to much of the academic and some of the BDSM (bondage & discipline, dominant & submission, and sadomasochism) lifestyle literature, which denies the likelihood of these relationships. This dissertation explores the lives and relationships
of 33 individuals (consisting of 17 heterosexual couples) who defined themselves as active participants in the BDSM lifestyle. Each couple has been in a committed relationship and has practiced sadomasochistic and/or dominant and submissive behaviors as a regular part of their relationship. The relationships are examined in general, how they met and selected each other, the power dynamics within the relationship, and the nature of sexual/SM bargaining within and outside of a BDSM context."
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