Langdridge, Darren and Butt, Trevor (2005) The erotic construction of power exchange. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 18 (1). pp. 65-74. ISSN 1072-0537

Plummer (1995) has identified a number of new sexual stories that characterize erotic life in late modern societies. He notes a number of such scripts emerging and flourishing between 1970 and 1990, speculating that sadomasochistic stories might be in the ascendant at the turn of century. However, Langdridge and Butt (2004) find little evidence of the emergence of a coherent sadomasochistic identity. They contend that the transgressive nature of the sexual in sadomasochism makes it difficult for participants in such practices to achieve legitimate “sexual citizenship” (Weeks, 1998). In this article, we note the emergence of an alternative construction of sadomasochistic practices; one that emphasises the erotic exchange of power. This illustrates both personal and social moments in the construction of erotic life.

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