The Eulenspiegel Society

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The Eulenspiegel Society (TES) is the oldest and largest BDSM education and support group in the United States. The organization was founded in 1971 and is based in New York City.[1][2]


The TES website states that it takes its name from Till Eulenspiegel, a character described as a "foolish yet clever lad" in medieval German folklore. TES founders were inspired by a passage from Austrian psychoanalyst Theodor Reik's Masochism in Modern Man (1941),[1] in which he argues that patients who engage in self-punishing or provocative behavior do so in order to demonstrate their emotional fortitude, induce guilt in others, and achieve a sense of "victory through defeat". Reik describes Till Eulenspiegel's "peculiar" behavior—he enjoys walking uphill, and feels "dejected" walking downhill—and compares it to a "paradox reminiscent of masochism", because Till Eulenspiegel "gladly submits to discomfort, enjoys it, even transforms it into pleasure".[3]


The Eulenspiegel Society (TES) was founded by Pat Bond in 1971 as an informal association and support group for masochists (exclusively masochists at the time). It originally met in members' homes, and then met in rented space in theaters and churches.

In the mid-1990s membership was estimated to be around 1,000 people and weekly meetings averaged 30 to 70 people.[4][5] TES functions include classes and workshops on a weekly basis as well as frequent social events. Membership includes discounts at participating stores and clubs. It also supports AIDS prevention education and organizations such as the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, for which TES is a founding coalition partner.[6]


TES is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that states that it "promotes sexual liberation for all adults, especially for people who enjoy consensual S/M". It regards sexual liberation as a prerequisite for a "truly free" and it is particularly concerned about the freedom of sexual minorities such as the BDSM community.

An elected board of directors, who serve for one or two years, depending on the number of votes they receive, is "responsible for the overall management" of TES as an organization, including policy-making aspects. Board meetings are chaired by the parliamentarian, a non-voting board member that is elected by TES members. The secretary and treasurer are selected by the board. An arbiter that is independent of the board is elected by TES members. Daily operations of TES are led by a group of standing committees, as well as any ad hoc and special committees the board may establish. Each standing committee has a chair and a vice chair.[7] General membership meetings are governed by Robert's Rules of Order.[8]


  1. ^ a b "About TES". The Eulenspiegel Society. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Tanya Corrin; Anna Moore (20 July 2002). "New York, New Hedonists". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Reik, Theodor (1941). Masochism in Modern Man. 
  4. ^ Gloria G. Brame; William D. Brame; Jon Jacobs (1996). Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission (1 ed.). New York: Villard. p. 41. ISBN 978-0679769569. 
  5. ^ "The Eulenspiegel Society NYC". Phrolix. 
  6. ^ "Legal Resources". The Eulenspiegel Society. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "TES Organization". The Eulenspiegel Society. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "By-laws of the TES Association". The Eulenspiegel Society. Sep 2011. 

External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • "TES Fest". The premiere BDSM/Leather/Fetish/Sex Positive event for kinksters of all levels to socialize, learn new skills, and have a great time