The definition of the abbreviation BDSM as given by Wikipedia and other sources is vague to say the least.

Quote: “BDSM is a variety of erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other interpersonal dynamics.”

Other interpersonal dynamics? Yes, there are infinite ‘other interpersonal dynamics’ in this world. That could be father and daughter having sex, or you bashing the skull of your neighbor, just because his music is too loud.

Wherever your phantasies may lead you after reading Wikipedia’s definition of BDSM, it is of the utmost importance to keep in mind that BDSM in its many forms is always an act of love or attraction between two or more consenting adults. Role-play without consent of all parties is not commonly defined as BDSM.

Interestingly enough a regular visitor of BDSM parties or events will notice that many of the people gathering are not so much into bondage, dominance, submission or sadomasochism. They are the Fetishists, the missing F in the abbreviation BDSM. Let’s have a look at Wikipedia’s definition of fetishism.

“Sexual fetishism or erotic fetishism is a sexual focus on a nonliving object or nongenital body part. The object of interest is called the fetish; the person who has a fetish for that object is a fetishist. A sexual fetish may be regarded as a non-pathological aid to sexual excitement, or as a mental disorder if it causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life.”

Although this definition has the feel of authenticity and shows a strong need to present a precise definition, it is also obvious that the author has a strong affinity with clinical psychology. It shines through in his or her need to separate ‘non-pathological’ sexual excitement from those forms of arousal that can be connected to a mental disorder.

This definition of fetishism seems a little outdated to me. It reminds me of the very early psychologists who considered homosexuality to be a pathological disorder, unless the act of love between two men took place on a long sea journey or in a prison. In those cases they were inclined to look at acts of homosexuality as a form of non-patholigal arousal ignited by the long absence of women.

With this site I will try to defend my idea that Fetishism and BDSM are interconnected. From this moment on I will refer to this broader spectrum of sexual preferences as BDSMF. In my section ‘Observations’ I will try to deliver cases that show this connection.

Let me remind you that I am not a scholar nor a sexologist. I base my theories on over thirty years of experience through living and working in what is often described as the BDSM-scene.

Hans van der Kamp



Dr. Gloria Brame Banner