BDSM Finds A Voice In India


India’s Kinky Collective

In a country with extremely conservative attitudes to sex something very exciting is going on.

Members of a group called The Kinky Collective are starting to talk, not only among themselves, but more widely about BDSM and what it means for them.

The Kinky collective is a small group of transgender and heterosexual people trying to connect to other Indians in the burgeoning BDSM scene who want to be open about their BDSM preferences through online communities and social networking websites.

Sara, a member of the group who also describes herself as a Transgender Activist, says “The group has a dual purpose”.

“We want to spread awareness among people who carry preconceived notions on BDSM, but we also want to educate people joining this lifestyle about its own rules and principles. For example, consent is critical and the Dominant has to always be very responsible for the submissive and take care of his/her safety.”

As with just about everywhere else in the world, E L James’ ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has sold well and been very popular in India. This might seem surprising but perhaps Indian society is ready for such a paradigm shift in their traditional values. Certainly the idea of Dominant Women not only being in power but being willingly submitted to is not one you will find in many traditional communities.

As part of her work to open the eyes of Indian society Sara recently enacted a scene from Fifty Shades at an arts centre in Delhi. It was a very intimate part of the story which involved the use of a belt and whip, as well a simulated rough sex. It was played to around one hundred people and although it shocked many in the audience, others thought it very brave.

One of the main problems in India is that BDSM and D/s relationships are perceived as violent, a misunderstanding noted by another Kinky Collective member, Jaya:

“It is, in fact, a very intense play of power and pain, I have been a feminist for 20 years, but I choose to be a submissive in my relationship. I chose to give my consent and don’t see this as violence, but an experience that is edgy, erotic and even spiritual.”

Despite its worldwide success, many were surprised that Fifty Shades of Grey has sold so well in a prudish country like India. Sanskrit scholar Sandhya Mulchandani, who has authored several books on traditional Indian sexuality, including ‘Kama Sutra for Women’, says of BDSM in Indian tradition: “Unlike modern times, our historical texts were not judgmental. I don’t find any specific writing on BDSM, but the spirit was to acknowledge the many shades of human behaviour and ask them to be accepted for what they are.”

It’s probably fair to say that the Kinky Collective has some way to go before they gain acceptance in Indian society but if practitioners of BDSM here feel they can start to speak more freely about themselves and their preferences then perhaps we are all a big step closer to the critics of our lifestyle becoming a minority in themselves.

Photo Credit: Copyright A. Thomas / Explorer.

Mark Tomblesen

 
About the Author … Mark Tomblesen is a Creative Director with a digital media firm in London. He has worked in the video and DM fields since the mid Nineties.

“BDSM and Fetish are reaching out to a whole new audience and Tickleberry has been created to meet the everyday needs of the growing BDSM community. It’s been really great to be a part of this.”

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one comment

  1. Jon

    Well that is excellent news. No one in any country should feel repressed or unable to express themselves because of how they choose to make love, or enjoy their own sexuality. (Providing, of course that it is consensual). Good on them, and I wish them every success.

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