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Federal Court Says BDSM Not Protected by Constitution

Federal Court Says BDSM Not Protected by Constitution: James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal in the movie 'Secretary'

James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal in the movie 'Secretary'

It’s strange to consider how the outside world can infiltrate the most private, intimate moments of our domestic lives. For example: A federal court just ruled that BDSM (Bondage, Dominance, Submission, Sadomasochism) isn’t necessarily a constitutional right for American citizens.

It rings a bit strange, given the kicking of other sexual bans to the curb—sodomy, for instance—but the court says “sexual activity that involves binding and gagging or the use of physical force such as spanking or choking poses certain inherent risks to personal safety.”

The decision comes from a case of an alleged sexual assault at George Mason University where a male student was expelled after a female non-student accused him of pursuing a sexual encounter between the two that she attempted to stop. The accused said he didn’t realize she was serious, given that she hadn’t used the “safe word” they had agreed would replace “stop” while engaging in BDSM.

The court considers the BDSM aspect problematic, because it possibly blurs the line of consent. The court says the government should have the power to ban or regulate BDSM activities for “the protection of vulnerable persons.”

According to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, "There is no basis to conclude that tying up a willing submissive sex partner and subjecting him or her to whipping, choking, or other forms of domination is deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions or implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”

Via Reason


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