Robin Bauer


Symposium Lecture:

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Dr. Robin Bauer has published widely on BDSM and polyamory in the fields of queer and transgender studies, trying to combine his activism and academic work for many years. He obtained a PhD in sociology for his dissertation on queer BDSM practices and intimacies, published as “Queer BDSM Intimacies – Critical Consent and Pushing Boundaries” in 2014. Currently he lives in Brussels and is acting professor at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Stuttgart.

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Please check out my book: Queer BDSM Intimacies






Transgression, transformation, exuberant possibilities?Robin Queer BDSM Intimacies

The potentials of les-bi-trans-queer BDSM to open up spaces to experiment with gender and age

In my talk I will discuss the potentials les-bi-trans-queer BDSM practices and spaces open up for questioning social norms and for creating new kinds of embodiments and identities for its practitioners.
I will use the queer practices of playing with gender and age to illustrate how BDSM often transgresses social norms and taboos such as in ‘incest play’, but doesn’t stop there: it holds the potential to experiment with and invent new forms of existence and bodies that are not restricted by ‘biology’: Both, gender and age are not limited to biological definitions or an entry on the birth certificate (year of birth/sex assigned at birth) anymore in these BDSM spaces.
Rather, bodies are reinvented in BDSM interactions, which I will discuss with examples such as the cybercock and holodick, and the norms around gender and age shift in queer BDSM communities.
These transformations are not purely progressive, but also ambiguous and contradictory at times, and moreover, in society at large gender and age are not self-defined or consensual.
Therefore, the potentials queer BDSM spaces hold also face limits. Yet they may help to envision future embodiments and collectivities beyond restrictive either/or thinking and give us an idea of the exuberance of life.

My talk is based on some results of the first extensive empirical study on les-bi-trans-queer BDSM practices, intimacies and communities in Western Europe and the US, for which I interviewed 50 lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, gay and queer women and trans people who practice BDSM from 2003-2008.











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