BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy by Lewis Call (auth.)

By Lewis Call (auth.)

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Additional resources for BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy

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That Introduction: BDSM + SF&F = Love 23 philosophy is based on the principles of consent and desire. It is, in short, a form of the ethic which guides modern BDSM communities— but it is a science fictional form of that ethic. By presenting this ethic in a genre which encouraged radical thought experiments, Delany and Tiptree were able to locate and establish the crucial limits of kinky ethics. This clarified the status of BDSM as an ethical practice, made the ethical claims of real-world BDSM more powerful, and made that alternative sexuality available to a receptive audience of SF&F fans.

So it appears that Marston used the imagery of bondage and discipline to promote a progressive social and political agenda. But Marston may have been even cleverer than that. The bondage elements gave Wonder Woman a convenient scandal. The imagery of bondage and discipline made an easy target for cultural conservatives. Indeed, M. C. Gaines obligingly appointed a few such conservatives to the DC editorial advisory board, probably to maintain propriety, or at least its appearance. ” (Daniels 2004: 61).

Heinlein, the “Dean” of American SF. Like Sturgeon (Disch 1998: 114), Heinlein was a nudist (Patterson 2010: 163, 167). Heinlein often portrayed nudism in positive terms in his SF. He was also a powerful promoter of polyamory. In 1961, Heinlein published his landmark novel Stranger in a Strange Land (Heinlein 1961/1995). Stranger’s protagonist is Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised by Martians. Smith returns to Earth and creates a Martian-style “nest” for his adoptive human family. This family practices nudism along with a free-flowing polyamory: inside the “nest,” men and women eschew clothing while enjoying sex in whatever combinations and configurations they please.

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