A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Investigation of the Construction of Sadomasochistic Identities

Langdridge, D. and Butt, T. (2004). A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Investigation of the Construction of Sadomasochistic Identities. Sexualities, 7(1) pp. 31–53.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460704040137

Abstract

Plummer (1995) argues that we are living in a time of ‘new sexual stories’. This, combined with arguments that we are seeing the advent of the ‘sexual citizen’, who refuses to be marginalized on account of his or her sexuality, produces new sexual subjectivities that demand recognition and respect. In this article, we report on an investigation of a sexual story that is not new in itself but one that is yet to be fully explicated. This story is one involving dominance and submission. A hermeneutic phenomenological analysis (Ricoeur, 1981) of World Wide Web sites concerned with sadomasochism was conducted to examine the discursive resources drawn on in this paradoxical world. The findings are discussed in relation to the ‘transformation of intimacy’ (Giddens, 1992) and rise of the ‘sexual citizen’ in late modernity.

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