Friday, April 07, 2017

Silly Science: BDSM as a Tourist Destination

When science turns to studying BDSM, the results are more than a bit odd. Nobody compares BDSM to tourism.

Not suited for accidental tourists.

We all are who we are. Our sexuality is for the most part genetically defined. Despite that BDSM is a long way from being generally accepted. Let me give you a recent example. According to IT website The Register: "A prominent contributor to the open source Drupal content management system has been asked to distance himself from project because his belief system is inconsistent with [the] project's goals."

Ask what's wrong with the contributor's belief system and it turns out that he is "involved in the BDSM and Gorean (NSFW) communities." Of course the management of Drupal subsequently came fire for intolerance. Still the damage is done.

Given the fact that non-acceptance is still the norm in the vanilla world, one wonders why academics increasingly spend their time studying BDSM. The outcome of most research papers are equally puzzling. A while ago I ran into this graph. Apparently it accompanies a study called "From leisure to tourism. Following the process of a deviant pursuit into the mainstream." From the very moment you read that title, you can't help but think rubbish. Unfortunately the study itself isn't free, so I didn't read it, but the infographic gives us some clues.

The root of all evil is Fifty Shades. "The initial strangeness of Fifty Shades of Grey evaoporated following the runaway success of the books and Hollywood movie." Now really? Then the authors continue with more nonsense "The subsequent emergence of BDSM as a mainstream cultural phenomenon deserves critical attention." I always learned that "why" is an excellent question. I'll skip the rest. It has something to do with thrillseekers. After which things take a turn for the worse. Just look at the graph which has deviancy on the X-axis and exposure on the Y-axis.

The whole thing doesn't make sense to me. It gets even worse once you discover this is published in Tourism Management. Now read the first line of what I wrote again.

If anybody can make sense of this, please leave a comment.

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