English Professional work

Remove SM/fetish diagnoses (spring 2002)

Examples of statements, quotes and evidence of support

Will be forwarded to the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The ICD diagnoses of “Sadism” and “Masochism” are certainly messy because abuse and violence is mixed into the same category as consensual sexual games.” “Any kind of sexuality may be perverted – even heterosexuality. I think it may be useful to reserve the words “perversion” and “paraphilia” for abusive, disrespectful and other harmful sexual activities.
Psychologist and sexologist Odd Reiersøl.

SM practitioners have been victimized by society as a whole and by many groups that should know better. There is no credible evidence that SM practitioners have any more problems or issues than other sexu al orientations. There is no data to suggest that SM leads to violence. All research so far, indicates that SM practitioners are indistinguishable from individuals with other sexual orientations, except by their sexual behaviour.
Charles Moser, Ph.D., M.D.

To stigmatize, diagnose and marginalize consenting SM and leatherpeople, is not going to help the victims of domestic violence. On the contrary, false reports, blackmailing and diagnosing healthy and innocent people weakens the credibility of true sexual abuse victims.
The lesbian and gay SM support group Smia-Oslo.

Sexual [SM] impulses form a strong part of each person’s day to day life, so that their suppression can effect the development or balance of the individual’s emotional life, happiness and personality.
Paras 10.46 and 10.49 in the official appointed Law Commission’s document No 139 1995 issued by the UK Home Office.

Unlike the psychiatrists and psychologists who deal primarily with psychologically troubled individuals who are also interested in D&S [Dominance and Submission], I did not find them to be psychologically troubled or socially inept; rather … their backgrounds, activities and attitudes are quite unlike the social stereotype that depicts sadomasochism as a form of violence, mischief, or mayhem perpetrated by the psychologically unstable who seek to hurt others or to be hurt themselves. … Thus, quite unlike its public image, the community is a warm, close and supportive one.
Sociologist Gini Scott in her 1983 book “Erotic Power” about the dynamics of the heterosexual SM subculture.