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Book: Play, Pain and Religion

Chapter: Kink Ritualizing

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40009


Chapter 9 draws together the idea of the medium as the message with boundary exploration and the expression of relationship. It presents BDSM as a process of ritualising, that is a deliberate engaging in practices which contribute to processes of religioning. The ways in which a sense of gestalt is expressed all speak to this – the medium is the message; the point of play is to play. To experience the self as whole and embodied, to explore and transgress boundaries, to forge relationships and experiment with trust and reliance on another as a means of understanding the self and world in which one finds that self are elements which contribute to a sense of kink as gestalt in the same way a successful ritual becomes gestalt. It is other than the simple sum of its parts. It is not concerned with the symbolic or the abstract; rather the point of doing it is to do it, to have done it to know that one has done it, and to retain the potential to do it again.

Chapter Contributors

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