Resources: History (List)

  • A Curious History of Sex: Although not about BDSM, this book by Kate Lister (author of the Whores of Yore website) contains a treasure trove of fascinating and amusing information about sex through the ages, including sex and food, sex and hygiene, sex work, and more.
  • An Essay About “the Old Days”: Jay Wiseman recalls what the BDSM scene was like in the 1970s.
  • The History & Myths of Japanese Bondage: Midori dismantles the traditional Western story about the history of shibari, noting that “investing in a romantic but false narrative of a culture and its people is another form of “othering.”
  • History of the Dominatrix: A blog about historical aspects of BDSM and women’s sexuality by sexuality educator, historian, and author Anne O. Nomis.
  • The History of DS and Its Kin: This essay by Dusk Peterson explains how the terms “dominant” and “submissive” entered the BDSM lexicon.
  • “Old Gods Die Hard”: In his 2014 speech, Guy Baldwin dives into the fascinating history of the leather world’s Old Guard and dispels some of the more prevalent myths about leather culture.
  • Original Pride: The Satyrs Motorcycle Club: This documentary tells the story of the Satyrs Motorcycle Club, an early and pivotal influence on the gay leather scene, through interviews with many longtime members.
  • Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin: A lavishly illustrated book by Mel Gordon about sex in Berlin—including BDSM—after World War I when the city’s nightlife was at its peak before the Nazis came to power.
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread: Feminism, Sex and the Problem of SM, 1969–1993: A fascinating dissertation by Alex Ellis Warner on the history of the lesbian BDSM community and its impact on the rift among feminists during this timeframe.

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