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Book: Play, Pain and Religion

Chapter: The Play Experience (2): Inside Play-Spaces

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40005


Chapter 5 (the second play chapter) explores the nature and qualities of experiences which take place inside the spaces shaped by play. The limited literature which exists on ‘spiritual BDSM’ locates the spiritual possibilities of kink wholly within its potential to create experiences of transcendence. I certainly agree that BDSM has this potential, but my research suggests that many qualities scholars have ascribed to exceptional play events are common to any successful play, and transcendence is only one of a range of possible peaks of experience. Other important elements within the experience of play-spaces include the forging and expression of relationship and intimacy and a sense of deep connection between play partners. These, together with the sense of being immersed in another world, contribute to the sense of BDSM as gestalt.

Chapter Contributors

  • Alison Robertson ( - arobertson3184) 'The Open University'