Switch (BDSM)

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Bettie Page portraying both a submissive and a dominant partner

In BDSM, a switch is someone who participates in BDSM activities sometimes as a top and other times as a bottom or (in the case of dominance and submission) sometimes as a dominant and other times as a submissive. Partners may switch roles based on mood, desire, or to allow each partner to experience their preferred activity. For example, a switch may be in a relationship with someone of the same primary BDSM orientation (e.g., two dominants), but enjoys participating as either orientation, so switching provides each partner with an opportunity to realize his or her BDSM needs.

It is also common for people to switch with different partners, such as when a person acts exclusively as a top with one partner and exclusively as a bottom with another. The act of "switching" may also refer to a spontaneous reversal of roles, initiated by either the bottom or the top. Persons who engage in self-bondage can be viewed as simultaneously taking both roles. There can sometimes be found a lingering prejudice in some local BDSM communities against switches and switching, while at the same time it gains increased acceptance in other local communities. Like bisexuality, identification as a switch is sometimes prejudicially regarded as 'sitting on the fence', or being indecisive, about one's kink orientation.

Literature[edit]

  • Bienvenu, Robert, The Development of Sadomasochism as a Cultural Style in the Twentieth-Century United States, 2003, Online PDF under Sadomasochism as a Cultural Style
  • Brame, Gloria G., BDSM/Fetish Sex:Overview and Study, online gloria-brame.com
  • Breslow, Norman: SM Research Report, v1.1, 1999
  • Henkin, William A., Sybil Holiday, Consensual Sadomasochism : How to Talk About It and How to Do It Safely, Daedalus Publishing, 1996. ISBN 1-881943-12-7.
  • Janus, Samuel S. / Janus, Cynthia L., 1993 The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior, Wiley, New York
  • Miller, Phillip, Devon, Molly, Granzig, William A.: Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism. Mystic Rose Books 1995, ISBN 0-9645960-0-8
  • Moser, Charles, in Journal of Social Work and Human Sexuality 1988, (7;1, P.43-56)
  • Weinberg, Thomas S.: S&M – Studies in Dominance and Submission (Ed.), Prometheus Books, New York, 1995 ISBN 0-87975-978-X
  • Wiseman, Jay: SM 101: A Realistic Introduction. Greenery Press (CA) 1998, ISBN 0-9639763-8-9

See also[edit]