Does BDSM Among Women Reflect Aspects of Casual Leisure?

When considering BDSM as potential leisure experience, researchers usually explore it as serious leisure (requires special knowledge and skill acquisition, involves effort and perseverance, is associated with identity, provides durable benefits and rewards, and has a unique ethos). However, it is possible that BDSM sometimes also may have attributes of casual leisure, including spontaneity, playfulness, and simply “doing what comes natural.” In this pilot study, we interviewed nine women who are highly involved in the Los Angeles BDSM community to explore if, and potentially how, their BDSM participation may reflect elements of casual leisure. Findings suggest that BDSM sometimes reflects casual leisure, which then provide important psychological functions and benefits for participants.

Current status: Findings have been submitted and accepted for publication in Journal of Positive Sexuality, 2015.