English Sexual politics

UK report – August 2003

IML 2003 is official supporter of the ReviseF65 Project

Eric and Svein have been rallying support for SM human rights in the UK during august 2003. Representing the ReviseF65 project, they have held four workshops with in all more than fifty people attending. At all the workshops there were represented different gay and straight SM/fetish leaders and mental health specialists from several countries, and during August the number of members on the ReviseF65 mailing list has increased by 50 percent. One of the workshops received the visit of International Mr Leather, John Pendal. Afterwords he decided to support officially the ReviseF65 project.

International Mr Leather, John Pendal (picture left) published August 26th that ReviseF65 is one of five projects that he will support during the year he holds the title. This should provide a good opportunity for informing people about our project work.

John Pendal is one of very few Europeans who has been awarded International Mr Leather. He got the title at the IML contest in Chicago May 25th 2003. He has taken this year off, to give the role his full attention.

Eric and Svein met him at Europride in Manchester 2003. The ECMC leather club MSC Manchester Superchain had invited John to walk in front of their leather-section in the Europride parade Saturday 23rd 2003. For some time Eric and Svein have had mail contact with MSC‘s hon secretary Ian A. He helped us to get a location for our ReviseF65 workshop in Manchester. Friday 22nd Ian presented us to John (picture right) and Sunday John surprisingly attended our ReviseF65 workshop at Malmaison Hotel. It was very interesting and a big honour for us to be able to present our work to the International Mr Leather.

After the lecture we met John at Manchester Legends Bar celebrating MSC Superchain‘s 20th birthday. We asked him if he would consider the possibility of becoming an official supporter of the ReviseF65 project. He answered “yes” immediately and asked Svein to be photographed together with him in front of the Norwegian flag to demonstrate his support (see the upper picture in the right column).

On Monday we wrote John a mail from an internet café in Manchester and thanked him for his support. Tuesday Ian Gurnhill in Spanner Trust (picture left ) told us that John had linked up the ReviseF65 project on his IML Link page. Friday August 29th, we met John and his partner David at the Hoist leatherclub in London. This is John‘s home club where he received the title “Mr Hoist 2003” in February. John told us that he now also had linked the ReviseF65 project to his Support site. This means that ReviseF65 is one of five projects that IML 2003 endorses. This support is of course a big inspiration for us in our work.

In addition to the workshop at Malmaison Hotel, Eric held a “women only” workshop Sunday August 24th at UK’s First International Womens‘ SM Conference in Manchester. On his first trip to the UK, Svein held a successful workshop at the SM Pride festival in London Saturday August 2nd. Another workshop was held at Central Station, Kings Cross, London Thursday August 28th. This lecture was one hour delayed because of the big power-failure (picture right) that stopped all traffic at London‘s Underground system for hours.

The four ReviseF65 workshops attracted from 4 to 40 participants each. At all the workshops central human-rights activists attended. Discussions, dinners and strategy meetings with these SM/leather leaders gave us feedback which will be important for our continued project work.

In addition, our two visits to the UK gave us the opportunity to take a lot of SM/fetish pictures, which we consider an important ingredient of the Revise F65 website.

English Sexual politics

ReviseF65 meets SM Germany

Report from Folsom Europe 2004

In 2004 the federal German organisation BVSM e.V. – Bundesvereinigung Sadomasochismus e.V. – started the work to remove the diagnoses of Sadomasochism, Fetishism and Transvestic Fetishism from their national version of ICD, International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organisation, WHO. This is important because, as with the earlier diagnosis of Homosexuality, the more countries that stop using stigmatizing national SM and Fetish diagnoses, the bigger is the possibility that WHO will follow suit.

The ReviseF65 committee, located in Norway, had important talks with activists from German SM organisations both during Europride in Cologne in 2002, and held a workshop during the Folsom street weekend in Berlin September 3.-6., 2004. This brings hope to intensify the work towards SM/fetish prejudices in general, and the efforts to delete stigmatising SM and Fetish diagnoses from the ICD classification, in special.

ReviseF65 attended Europride in Cologne 2002. Among other things, we had important talks with german SM-activists, and was interviewed by the magazine of SMart-Rhein-Ruhr e.V.. This organisation is running 15 BDSM-communities within 11 towns in Germany. The SMart-Info brought a lot of information about the ReviseF65 efforts to delete stigmatising SM and Fetish diagnoses from the ICD classification published by the WHO – World Health Organisation.

Three weeks before the first Folsom Europe street fair in Berlin 2004, the ReviseF65 committee got a very warm invitation from the BVSM e.V. – Bundesvereinigung Sadomasochismus e.V. to meet them at their Folsom Street Fair booth to present and to inform people about our work. This Federal German organisation had been built up in the two years since I last visited Germany.

At a very short notice, together we were able to organise the production of 500 ReviseF65-flyers in both English and German which was distributed by Ole Johnsen and Svein Skeid from the ReviseF65 committee together with Erik Weisdal during the ten hour long Saturday street fair. As if there wouldn´t have been enough work organising the BVSM booth, Raven and Jayneway managed to organise the possibility for Svein to hold a lecture on Sunday, 5th, the day after the Folsom Europe. Within few days they found a space we could use for free and even organised a wonderfull buffet. Nearly 30 SM activists from organisations all over Germany, Austria and Holland visited the lecture and took part in the discussion afterwards. During the talks at the buffet it suddenly came to happen that what was planned as a nice afterhour for the Folsom weekend transformed into a network meeting of SM activists.

Before, during and after our stay in Berlin September 3.-6., 2004, we learned that central SMart-members I talked to in 2002, was founding member of the new federal SM organisation BVSM e.V., and that one of the main goals of BVSM is to work for the deletion of SM and Fetish diagnoses from the national version of the ICD in Germany. Both SMart-Rhein-Ruhr e.V. and BDSM-Berlin e.V. also support the ReviseF65 project.

This is very important because, as with the earlier diagnosis of Homosexuality, the more countries that stop using their national SM and Fetish diagnoses, the bigger is the possibility that the World Health Organization will follow suit. This far, the diagnoses of Sadomasochism and Transvestism is completely out of use in Denmark since 1995. In the U.S., Sadomasochism, Fetishism and Transvestic Fetishism is considered to be a healthy form of sexual expression as long as it does not impair the daily functioning of the subject.

The Gay Movement more than 30 years ago considered it of fundamental importance to first delete the diagnosis of homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), before any further major human rights improvement was possible. If a group is considered mentally ill, very few people will listen to your arguments aiming at reducing prejudice in society.

The ReviseF65 movement apply the same judgement today. We consider unprofessional and stigmatising SM and Fetish-diagnoses as possibly one of the biggest obstacles to the acceptance of our human rights. Abolishing them is a very important step in the effort to reduce prejudices towards the SM-Leather-Fetish-population.

The pansexual ReviseF65 committee, located in Norway, sets focus on the lack of scientific basis for today’s diagnoses and tries to stimulate the building-up of an international activist and professional network to delete these diagnoses.

One thing I am sure of. The BDSM community is able to reach our goal ourselves. We are not dependent of the Gay movement. But we can learn from their experiences as I referred to in my lecture during the Folsom weekend. Don’t expect anybody to fight for your freedom from discrimination, if you don’t do it yourself.

Like the earlier diagnosis of Homosexuality that is no longer applied by the WHO, the SM and Fetish diagnoses are rarely used in clinical practice as a means to assist people. On the contrary the stigma attached to the diagnoses justifies various forms of harassment and discrimination of this sexual minority by the society. The ReviseF65 group can document that people are losing their jobs, the custody of their children etc., because of their SM-love, lifestyle and self-expression. Much of the discrimination is directly or indirectly a result of the diagnoses.

The ReviseF65 representatives look upon the Folsom Street Fair in general, and the Sunday ReviseF65 lecture in special as a big success. We have got feedback from our German friends that this visit and our contact can lead to closer cooperation and stronger efforts to delete the sm/fetish diagnoses.

All european Leather-SM-Fetish communities were invited to participate. One of the goals with The Folsom Europe Street Fair (like the mother arrangements in the US and Canada) was to strengthen the bonds within the Leather-SM-Fetish community, to raise money to several social projects like hiv and aids, and to reduce SM-Fetish pre-judgements by stepping in to the open public. The arrangement was supported by the City of Berlin, the Berlin Police, the Industrial Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Berlin and the Berlin Tourism Office.

What impressed us Norwegians most, besides all the people at the lecture, the wonderful weather, the very well organised street fair and all the proud and friendly leather/SM people of all colors, interests and sexual orientations, was among other things, the booths with leather- and rubber-men fighting hiv and aids, the Association of Gay and Lesbian Police Officers Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., the police Berlin with it’s contact persons for homosexual lifestyles, and not least all the SM activists at the booths of BVSM e.V., BDSM-Berlin e.V. and SMart-Rhein-Ruhr e.V. .

Svein Skeid

Leader of the ReviseF65 commitee

English Seksualpolitikk Sexual politics

Sexual Freedom NOW (published 1996/98)

Testimony from Physicians and Psychiatrists
for the NOW S/M Policy Reform Statement

Physicians and psychiatrists about SM as a valid expression of adult consensual sexuality and an important part of people’s sexual orientation.

Psychiatrist Susan D. Wagenheim, M.D.

As a board-certified psychiatrist and supporter of the National Organization for Women, I write in support of amending the policy statement on consensual S/M. It is my understanding that S/M practice is a valid expression of adult consensual sexuality. In my private practice, I hear patients tell me frequently that they were “born this way”; ie submissive or dominant in sexual nature. Their experience is that S/M is their sexual ORIENTATION, and they “come out” to themselves much as homosexual and lesbian people do. With that understanding, there is no place in NOW for discrimination against a woman’s right to choose; her right to choose how, when and with whom to express her sexual self.
Charles Moser, Ph.D., M.D.

S/M practitioners have been victimized by society as a whole and by many groups that should know better. There is no credible evidence that S/M practitioners have any more problems or issues than other sexual orientations. There is no data to suggest that S/M leads to violence. All research so far, indicates that S/M practitioners are indistinguishable from individuals with other sexual orientations, except by their sexual behavior. The revision of the NOW policy is long overdue.
June M. Reinisch, Ph.D., with Ruth Beasley, MLS. The Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex

St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1990.

“Researchers estimate that 5 percent to 10 percent of the U.S. population engages in sadomasochism for sexual pleasure on at least an occasional basis, with most incidents being either mild or staged activities involving no real pain or violence. It appears that many more individuals prefer to play the masochist’s role than the sadist’s. It also appears that males are more likely to prefer sadomasochistic activities than females. This means that male sadists may have difficulty in finding willing masochistic females to be sexual partners.

“If partners are located, an agreement is reached about what will occur. The giving and receiving of actual or pretended physical pain or psychological humiliation occurs in most cares only within a carefully prearranged script. Any change from the expected scenario generally reduces sexual pleasure.

“Most often it is the receiver (the masochist), not the giver (the sadist), who sets and controls the exact type and extent of the couple’s activities. It might also interest you to know that in many such heterosexual relationships, the so-called traditional sex roles are reversed — with men playing the submissive or masochistic role. Sadomasochistic activities can also occur between homosexual couples.”
Havelock Ellis Studies of the Psychology of Sex (early 20th cent)

“The essence of sadomasochism is not so much “pain” as the overwhelming of one’s senses – emotionally more than physically. Active sexual masochism has little to do with pain and everything to do with the search for emotional pleasure.” Ellis believed that culture tries to stifle our “natural impulses, which become expressed through various emotional/physical representations of the heirarchal structure of society.”
Iwan Bloch 
Strange Sexual Practices (1933)

“Sexual abnormalities” were common in ordinary people, and that aberrations and deviations were as essential to life as the “sex impulse” itself. Masochism exists among socially powerful men for whom it was a “liberation from conventional pressure and the professional mask.”
Theodore Reik’s 
Masochism in Modern Man (1941)

“Pleasure is the aim, never to be abolished and the masochistic staging is but a circuitous way to reach that aim. The urge for pleasure is so powerful that anxiety and the idea of punishment themselves are drawn into its sphere.”
Bill Thompson 
Sadomasochism (1994)

“As SM devotees carefully refine these simple acts, by dressing them up in role-play, it is easy to see how they are deliberately manipulating various forms of stimulation in the service of sexual arousal; and how this consenting scene where the submissive’s pleasure is carefully planned is obviously very different from a truly coercive act like rape, which involves aggressive action designed to inflict acute pain on a non-aroused victim.”
Dolf Zillmann (1984) [D. Zillmann along with Park Elliot Dietz are two of the world’s leading authorities on the relationship between sex and aggression.]

“As the arousing capacity of novel partners is likely to fade and acute emotional reactions such as fear and guilt are improbable accompaniments of sexual activity, what can be done to combat the drabness of routine sexual engagements that is expected to result from excitatory habituation? Rough housing, pinching, biting and beating emerge as viable answers. In terms of a theory it is the controlled engagement of pain that holds promise of reliably producing excitatory reaction for transfer into sexual behavior and experience…. Pain then always can be counted on to stir up excitement, however, pain must be secondary to sexual excitedness. It must be dominated by sexual stimulation. Only when thus dominated can it be expected to enhance sexual excitedness.”
Park Elliot Dietz (1990) [P.E. Dietz is a forensic psychologist who consistently tries to point out the absurdity of the link between s/m devotees and psychotic criminals.]

According to Dietz, the five main differences between psychotic sadistic serial murderers and SM devotees:

1. Psychotics search for unwilling partners. S/M devotees use a “safeword” that the submissive can say at any time to end the scene, thus the submissive retains real control throughout the encounter.

2. Psychotics force their acts on the victim rather than aiming at pleasing the submissive (as in s/m). The psychotic sadistic acts are quite different from s/m practices, and usually include: forced anal penetration, forced fellatio, or violent vagina-penetration with various foreign objects -rather than the penis.

3. The sadistic offenders’ demeanor is diametrically opposed to s/m devotees: usually the psychotic is detached and unemotional throughout the torture, while the s/m dominant appears to achieve a “high” or pleasure equivalent during the scene.

4. Psychotic criminals torture their victims, inflicting serious and permanent injury, trying to arouse terror in their victims. S/M devotees skillfully enhance the sexual arousal of their partner, following the rules and guidelines that were established before the scene, thus creating only the illusion that the submissive is not in control.

5. Psychotics usually have a past history of sexual crimes such as rape or incest. S/M devotees are average people who typically don’t have criminal pasts.
The sociologists took their lead from the anthropologist Paul Gebhard, whose 1968 essay “Fetishism and Sadomasochism” undermined the idea of individual pathology by pointing to sadomasochism’s cultural roots, and the futility of defining a widespread and diffuse sexual practice by reference to a few “extreme” examples. He stated that S/M practices were “only prevalent in its organized form in literate societies full of symbolic meanings.” This means that far from being a manifestation of a base instinct, sadomasochism required a considerable amount of intelligence and organization.
1929 Hamilton survey on marriage habits: 28% males and 29% females admitted that they derived “pleasant thrills” from having some form of “pain” inflicted on them.
William A. Henkin, PhD.; November 1992 letter to the committee that advocated changes to the entries on sexual sadism and masochism in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

“In conclusion: consensual sadomasochism offers its adherants an opportunity to explore paraphilic urges and fantasies, not in a dangerous or debilitating fashion, but in a safe and supportive manner, where those urges and fantasies can be pleasurably satisfied, and where their values in a person’s psychic life can be revealed.

“Within the past decade prominent clinicians and scholars in the fields of psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, and clinical sexology, eschewing the received wisdom of past masters who south to fit clinical observations to their theories, rather than the other way around, have instead made serious attempts to understand the activities of consensual sadomasochism as well as the dynamic processes that underlie them, and to devise theories that fit the evidence they found in the lab, in the consulting room, and in the field. They have proposed that consensual erotic power play is not a psychiatric disorder: that instead, it can simply be a form of sexual pleasure, and that as a path of psychological and spiritual development it can even be the evidence and experience of triumph over childhood adversity.

“Absent distress, harm, or functional impairment, to define such activity as a mental disorder is to place chains on the human spirit, and to produce a chilling effect on the very processes we as psychotherapists are trained and charged to abet: the healing and liberation of damaged and imprisoned personalities, and their integration in the full creative expression of human beings.”
Dr. William A. Henkin, 1989 presentation to the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex (now Sexuality) with Sybil Holiday, published in 1991 as “Erotic Power Play,” Sandmutopia Guardian.

A Clinical Introduction:

“Everyone accomplishes some degree of self-identification in the normal course of growing up. But the process of growing up is one of acculturation as well as one of maturation, so that as we are in the midst of discovering all those special attributes that make us who we are, we are simultaneously being trained to subdue, suppress, or otherwise disown important facets of ourselves. In the ensuing confusion, few people grow up whole. Instead we are to one degree or another dis-integrated, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as being separated into component parts or particles; reduced to fragments; having had our cohesion or integrity broken up. Disintegration is the condition that as adults we either accept or try to alter.

“One of the most direct ways I know for a person to gain access to hidden facets of his self, and hence to move toward integration, is to explore his sexual personas ; and one of the most direct ways I know for a person to explore his sexual personas is to examine the attitudes he brings to sexual activity. But to examine sexual attitudes usually requires more than intellectual assessment: it first needs exposure, practice, and hands-on experience. It also requires a perspective concerning the variety of people’s experiences that is not influenced by cultural norms.”

On negotiation:

“Negotiation includes both initial and ongoing, verbal and non-verbal communications. In erotic power play, negotiation is the underpinning for consensuality: you cannot agree, or consent, to give something if you do not know it has been requested, or to accept something if you do not know it has been offered. In addition, the more completely and openly people negotiate about what they want or have to offer, the more they establish their parity, as it is difficult for unequals to negotiate truly: all parties know that ultimately the person with more inherent power can pull rank.”

On Ritual:

“A major function of ritual is to let us know who we are beyond the confines of our small, individual selves. Baptisms, confirmations, bar and bas mitzvahs, long pants, graduations, marriages – all ceremonies tell us, even as they announce it, who we are to ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities, and our world.

“Anthropologists, ethnologists, mythologists, and other psychologists of culture note that where a heritage of meaningful rites of passage does not exist, people will feel enough of a spiritual imbalance to make up rituals of their own. It’s become a cliché that our society offers us a paucity of rituals that touch the spirit, and that those that exist are for the most part competitive or not negotiated: football games, invasions of small islands, and the episodic opportunity to vote for more of the same.

“In erotic power play, rituals of substance can be conceived, developed, and executed in ways that can touch their participants on numerous levels at once: they can be physical, emotional, cognitive, or spiritual; sexual, political, and religious; they are simultaneously as sophisticated and creative as the human imagination can make them, and as basic and primitive as the psyche’s drives for power and sexual fulfillment.”

English Seksualpolitikk

DSM – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

About The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

By Svein Skeid

The American Psychiatric Association, APA, considerably revised their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in 1994. SM and Fetishism were considered to be healthy forms of sexual expression, as long as they do not impair the daily functioning of the subject.

According to DSM-IV, SM and Fetishism only become diagnosable dysfunctions when the urges, fantasies or behaviors “cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

In addition APA said that “a paraphilia must be distinguished from the non-pathological use of sexual fantasies, behaviors or objects as a stimulus for sexual excitement.”

The DSM-IV revision, in 1994, was seen as a step forward, but is far from satisfactory. Stigma knowledge shows that many psychological, physical and social problems are not caused by the individual afflicted, but by taboos, prejudices, and discrimination imposed by the environment.

According to Charles Moser, the diagnostic criteria changed yet again in 2000 for the worse introducing version DSM-IV-TR (2000).

According to The Differential Diagnosis of the Paraphilias “A Paraphilia must be distinguished from the non-pathological use of sexual fantasies, behaviors, or objects as a stimulus for sexual excitement in individuals without a Paraphilia. Fantasies, behaviors, or objects are paraphilic only when they lead to clinically significant distress or impairment (e.g., are obligatory, result in sexual dysfunction, require participation of nonconsenting individuals, lead to legal complications, interfere in social relationships). (DSM, p. 568)

“The way this diagnosis is interpreted, any reason that you are seen by a physician or therapist (including court order, as to assess who should get custody of your children in the event of a divorce), can bring about the diagnosis even if it has nothing to do with the issue being investigated.”  Charles Moser on the ReviseF65 discussion group January 22, 2006.

In a press release November 25, 2008, NCSF, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom says about DSM-IV TR:

“We know from the hundreds of requests for help that NCSF gets every year through our Incident Response program that the Sexual Sadism, Sexual Masochism, Fetishism and Transvestic Fetishism diagnoses in the DSM reinforce the negative stereotypes and stigma against alternative sexual behaviors.”

From the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The DSM-IV defines mental disorders. Previous editions of the DSM listed sadism and masochism as diagnosable disorders just for having such fantasies or urges over a period of time. The new edition adds modifying criteria: with both masochism and sadism, both A & B criteria must be met in order to make a diagnosis. That is, you must have the fantasies, urges, etc., and the fact that you have them must make you effectively dysfunctional in an important area of your life.

Diagnosic criteria for 302.83 Sexual Masochism

A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving the act (real, not simulated) of being humiliated, beaten, bound or otherwise made to suffer.

B. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Diagnostic criteria for 302.84 Sexual Sadism

A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving acts (real, not simulated) in which psychological or physical suffering (including humiliation) of the victim is sexually exciting to the person.

B. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

English Sexual politics

US Safer S&M Web Sites Closes Down

UK proposal
Prison sentences of three years for private possession of SM images

In the last few months the US and UK governments have announced plans to crack down on personal SM profiles on the internet. Prison sentences of three years are being reported in the press for British inhabitants who download SM images from the Internet or have them stored at home if the legislation comes into force.

The US Justice Department June 22. tightened up the Law 18 U.S.C. 2257, so that several web pages with personal SM profiles had to shut down or self-sensor their content. This far,,, and has closed down or has self-sensored their sites.

These proposals will also concern Norwegian and other European users of UK and US web communities, Svein Skeid in ReviseF65 say. Such restrictions can harm the work to stop hiv, and hinder prophylactic health work for the SM population, he says.

September 22. the US attorney General Alberto Gonzales, The Department of Justice and the FBI announced that any website hosted in the US that has content containing “bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behaviour” should be forewarned that obscenity prosecutions is possible. Additionally, Federal sentencing guidelines state that any obscenity-related punishment should be “enhanced for sadomasochistic material”.

Please support the Free Speech Coalition and the The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, which have challenged lawsuits against the Justice Department and the Communications Decency Act, respectively.

Midori, an author who teaches classes on bondage, has removed her website citing fear of obscenity prosecution. The SM site now ask their members to remove all pictures showing genital SM-activity from their personal profiles.

Read the columne of John Pendal, International Mr Leather 2003 [dead link] [dead link]

English Seksualpolitikk Sexual politics

ICD Revision White Paper

Oslo, Norway, September 24, 2009
Dead links updated November 22, 2011

ICD Revision White Paper

ICD Revision White Paper to WHO from Revise F65
Revise F65’s first report to WHO)


By Cand. Psychol Odd Reiersøl and Revise F65 leader Svein Skeid
Proposal to the ICD-11 Revision of Chapter V, Mental and Behavioural Disorders, F65 and F64.

Invitation from WHO to Revise F65

We want to thank classification coordinator Dr. T. Bedirhan Üstün M.D. at WHO in Geneva for inviting Revise F65 to collaborate with the work leading up to the ICD-11 revision.

In an email of May 7, 2007, Dr. Üstün wrote:
“The revision process of ICD from 10 to 11 is about to start and will be revised for the 11th version tentatively in 2015. The revision work will include special attention to Chapter V Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99). Thanks for your interest in the ICD work and we hope to collaborate with you in the revision process.”
T. Bedirhan Üstün, M.D., Coordinator, Classifications, Assessment and Terminology, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Revise F65 was formally established in Norway in 1997 with the purpose to abolish the SM and fetish diagnoses in the F65 category of the ICD.  Among the Revise F65 members are health care professionals and human rights activists. During these years, articles have been published and presentations have been given (1,2,3,4,5).

In our opinion the following four ICD diagnoses should be abolished:

  • F65.0 Fetishism
  • F65.1 Fetishistic transvestism
  • F65.5 Sadomasochism
  • F65.6 Multiple disorders of sexual preference

In addition the F64.1 Dual-role transvestism diagnosis should be abolished.

Health political and professional arguments for the human rights reform

In our opinion the five above mentioned diagnoses should be repealed because they are superfluous, outdated, non scientific and stigmatizing. The article by Reiersøl and Skeid in “Sadomasochism, Powerful Pleasures” (1) gives thorough argumentation for removing the F65.0, F65.1 and the F65.5 diagnoses.

As the F65.6 diagnosis combines several diagnoses including the three above mentioned, it should also be removed. The F64.1 diagnosis is a bit special in the sense that it is classified as a gender identity disorder type diagnosis, but it is very similar to the F65.1. A separate section describes the issue in more detail.

Health political arguments

The diagnoses were repealed at a national level in Sweden January 1, 2009 (6,7). The Dual-role transvestism and the SM diagnoses were repealed in Denmark respectively August 19, 1994 and May 1, 1995 (8). The health authorities in these two countries cited in their reasoning; health political, health promoting and human rights arguments.

The Swedish board of health used the following phrases:

  • “not perverse” (7,9,10)
  • “not illness” (7,9,11)
  • “private matters” (7,9)
  • “citizens entitled to equal rights” (9)
  • “no reinforcement of prejudices” (7,9,11,12)
  • “from earlier times in history” (7,9)
  • “risk of social stigmatizing” (11,12)
  • “entitled to self confidence in the same way as homosexuals” (9)

Private matter

The Danish decision was made by the health minister, Yvonne Herløv Andersen, referring to this type of sexual preference as a private matter that has nothing to do with society (8).

The newspaper Dagens Nyheter November 16, 2008 quoted the head of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), Lars-Erik Holm: “Society has nothing to do with the sexual preferences of these individuals” (7,9).

According to Nettavisen November 17, 2008 the head of the Norwegian Directorate of Health (Helsedirektoratet), Bjørn-Inge Larsen, said: “There is no basis, neither within today’s social norms nor within health political thinking, for labeling several of these phenomena as illnesses” (10).


The Swedish revision was done because these psychiatric diagnoses “may contribute to preserve and reinforce prejudices in society, which in turn increases the risk of social stigmatizing of individuals” (11).

“The abolition of  the diagnosis of homosexuality I believe to a certain extent has contributed to a different view than in the 60’s and 70’s of homosexuals in the general population. The abolition gave the homosexuals self confidence because they no longer have a psychiatric stigma. We hope that the current revision will give a similar result”, said  the head of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), Lars-Erik Holm (9).

In a press release NCSF, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, applauds the Swedish decision, and says:

“We know from the hundreds of requests for help that NCSF gets every year through our Incident Response program that the Sexual Sadism, Sexual Masochism, Fetishism and Transvestic Fetishism diagnoses in the DSM reinforce the negative stereotypes and stigma against alternative sexual behaviors.” (13)

The Norwegian Directorate of Health has since 1996 as a goal to work for counteracting the stigmatizing of sexual minorities (14).

The strategy plan for prevention of HIV and STD points out “the danger of stigmatizing and discriminating against vulnerable groups when doing  preventive work, and the importance of a holistic approach to sexual identity, sexual health and sexual behavior” (15) (pdf file).

Preventative measures

In our opinion, outdated and non scientific diagnoses such as these, constitute an infringement of the human rights of the minorities that are described, and they hinder prophylactic health care efforts that are needed in these groups of people. Deleting the diagnoses may strengthen the “identity building” of the SM/fetish population and contribute positively to the “collective self respect” which is necessary for reaching the group with preventative measures like HIV and STD prevention.

According to Norwegian health authorities “A person’s possibility for self protection against a virus that is sexually transmitted is only to a certain extent influenced by knowledge. The feeling of self value necessary for demanding or having a wish to protect oneself is influenced by societal factors, and only a few of these factors are under the control of the health authorities. We emphasize that the cooperation with marginalized and vulnerable groups has an influence on what could be called a collective self respect” (16).

The Norwegian health authorities have taken an active interest in improving the self respect and the identity of the SM group, to increase the ability of protection against sexually transmitted diseases (17).


For many people, SM and fetishism is more than just behavior, it is part of their sexual orientation and identity (23). In our opinion, stigmatizing minorities by considering their personal orientation as a psychiatric condition is as disrespectful as discriminating against people because of their race, ethnicity or religion.

Like the earlier diagnosis of Homosexuality that is no longer applied by the WHO, the SM and Fetish diagnoses are rarely used for therapeutic purposes. Instead, these definitions are abused to justify harassment and discrimination of the SM/fetish population from laymen and judicial institutions.

Much of the discrimination is directly or indirectly a result of the diagnoses. A psychiatric diagnosis may have a major influence on a person’s possibility of getting work and on the evaluation of a person’s ability to raise children, for example after a divorce.

As with other forms of abuse, women are the main sufferers, losing their jobs, or even their children, because of their SM/fetish love, lifestyle and self-expression (18).

The Norwegian National LGBT Association (LLH) and the National coalition for sexual freedom (NCSF), have published respectively a case study and a survey indicating the stigmatizing function of the F65 diagnoses and that these diagnoses legitimize discrimination (18,13,19).

By repealing the diagnoses, the sexual minorities in question may breathe a bit more easily and be less afraid of private and public discrimination.

In a letter of June 11, 2003 to Revise F65, the Norwegian Association for Clinical Sexology says:  “The Norwegian Association for Clinical Sexology in its support wishes to emphasize that the use of psychiatric diagnoses in relation to homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual fetishists, sadomasochists and transvestic fetishists is stigmatizing and therefore an encroachment upon this group as a whole”.

Safe, sane and consensual

There is no reason to doubt that the SM movement has  “grown up” and taken responsibility over the last 20-30 years, by establishing safe words, security routines, pride symbols and normative measures like the internationally recognized moral and ethical principle “Safe, sane and consensual”. As opposed to dangerous perpetration, SM activities are mutually wanted and consensual activities that produce health promoting and pleasurable hormones (20,21,22,23,38).

Dead links updated November 22, 2011

Lack of homogeneity

Chapter F65 does not represent a homogeneous totality. Different diagnoses without any logical connection are combined in an unclear and non scientific way only because they are “unusual” phenomena.

The diagnoses are superfluous

Any psychiatric condition that members of the group may suffer from is as for the rest of the population covered by the other, non paraphilic, diagnoses as for example depression, OCD, anxiety disorders, personality disorders or psychoses.

If for example a person is preoccupied with her fetish to the extent that it becomes a problem in her daily life, she could for example become diagnosed with an obsessive compulsive disorder.

When homosexuality was removed as a diagnosis in 1977, the Norwegian Psychiatric Association stated that they were “doubtful towards the application of psychiatric diagnoses on isolated aspects of behavior”. A person showing a particular behavior is not diagnosed according to that behavior, but on the basis of a set of symptoms. “Ideally speaking, psychiatric diagnoses should be related to causal connections in a wider perspective, a broader aspect of suffering, reduced social functioning and/or a desire for treatment”, they stated.

Sleeping diagnoses

As for the former homosexuality diagnosis, the fetish and SM diagnoses are virtually not being used by the medical profession today, at least not in Norway. They are not being used to treat people’s illnesses.

  • “The main objective of diagnosis is patient care”. (IGDA workgroup WPA 2003; The WPA International Guidelines for Diagnostic Assessment by the World Psychiatric Association 2003).
  • In a letter to the SM organization Smil-Norway of Desember 19, 2008 the health authorities inform that “None of the diagnostic codes in question were reported to the Norwegian Patient Register in 2007 or 2008. This gives a strong indication that the codes are not in use”.
  • The Norwegian Directorate of Health informs the medical publication “Dagens Medisin” that according  to the Norwegian Patient Register the diagnostic codes in question were not used last year, i.e. in 2007 (24).
  • Senior counselor, Arild Johan Myrberg at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, reported that it was difficult to find any health care professional in Norway that was willing to defend the diagnoses (25).

The only function of the diagnoses, in our opinion, is to stigmatize a subpopulation and to make discrimination legitimate. That contradicts the hippocratic ethics of the medical profession not to harm (26).

Science and prejudice

Psychiatry otherwise usually regards people as healthy as long as there is no evidence of psychopathology. International research shows the same tendency whether the surveys are qualitative or quantitative, whether they are performed by telephone, on the Internet or by personal interview: Sadomasochists have no more psychiatric problems or disorders than others(22).

In our opinion, diagnoses of fetishism and SM should be based on a scientific foundation, not on cultural prejudices.

Is being different an illness?

In our opinion the following criterion, G1, labeling people as ill, is unclear, judgmental and unscientific: “[]urges and fantasies involving unusual objects or activities” (27).

Fetishists and SM-people represent a group of perhaps 5-10 percent of the population and is increasingly considered a normal variation in society (28).

“Unusual” sexual interests are commonly found in the general population (29).

An important question: Is  “unusual” meant as a statistical or a normative concept? In earlier days several sexual practices were regarded as abnormal, for example homosexuality, masturbation, oral and anal sex. Extreme sports and religious flagellation may also be regarded as unusual. But so far neither  base jumpers or bullfighters nor flagellators have been labeled perverse (1).

Sick without intercourse?

In the HIV preventative efforts in Norway, non penetrating fetish and SM sex is regarded as one possible way  to reduce contagion in the target group. This stands in opposition to the ICD-10 where lack of intercourse is one main argument for labeling fetishism as pathological.

“Fetishistic fantasies are common, buy they do not amount to a disorder unless they lead to rituals that are so compelling and unacceptable as to interfere with sexual intercourse[….]”(ICD-10, F65.0 Fetishism).

Perhaps the World Health Organization should start looking at non penetrating sex as one of several ways to stop the HIV epidemic and the population explosion?

“These diagnoses are rooted in a time when everything other than the heterosexual missionary position were seen as sexual perversions”. Head of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), Lars-Erik Holm (7).

Confusing SM with violence

Any kind of sexuality may be perverted, not the least “normal” heterosexual activity, if it is not based on equality and consent.

Violence is usually understood  as use of physical force, and there must also be a lack of consent and a wish to do harm.

ICD-10 does not distinguish between consensual SM and harmful violence. This non distinction stands in opposition to modern research and contributes to maintaining the stigma towards that group of people.

“Sexual sadism is sometimes difficult to distinguish from cruelty in sexual situations or anger related to eroticism. Where violence is necessary for erotic arousal, the diagnosis can be clearly established” (Chapter F65.5 Sadomasochism).

  • In a survey from 2003, professor in psychology Pamela Conolly found that SM masters do not experience greater pleasure during non consensual cruelty than do the control group of non SM people, and the masochists did not seek compulsive or harmful forms of pain (22).
  • This finding is corroborated by the psychologists Cross and Matheson in their research from 2006. They found no evidence for contentions about antisocial, psychopathic or violent SM sadists (22).
  • John Noyes goes even further and says that SM may even contribute to the reduction of societal violence: “As a staged aggression, [sadomasochism] may even be in a position to defuse social violence and to put forward alternative and socially viable models of coping with aggression in a manner that minimizes its negative effects.” (30)

See also: “SM versus abuse” (21)

Psychological stress

Another main criterion for chapter F65 is the G2:

“The individual either acts on the urges or is markedly distressed by them”. The concept of “distress” also appears under “F65.0 Fetishism”.

The criterion does not take into account updated knowledge on stigma. Stigmatization by society causes self stigmatization, guilt, shame and psychological distress in minority groups (31). It is not necessarily the SM or fetish activity in and of itself that is problematic.

The American DSM manual in 1994 introduced a B-criterion which states that fetishists or SM people are not ill unless the activities cause significant psychological, physical or social problems.

“The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” (32).

The DSM-IV revision, in 1994, was seen as a step forward, but is far from satisfactory. Stigma knowledge shows that many psychological, physical and social problems are not caused by the individual afflicted, but by taboos, prejudices, and discrimination imposed by the environment(33). See also “DSM Revision White Paper” (29).

The dual-role transvestism diagnosis

Although the F64.1 diagnoses is not within the F65 category, we find it logical to include it in the list of  diagnoses we want to repeal. It resembles the F65.1 Fetishistic transvestism. The main difference seems to be that there is no sexual excitement involved in the F64.1. In our opinion it is just as discriminating and stigmatizing as the F65 diagnoses, so the general arguments for removing the F65 diagnoses also apply to the F64.1.

Modern gender research shows that there is no longer any basis for claiming only two genders.  In later years individuals have presented with gender variations beyond woman and man, and these individuals are not confused, even though they may confuse people around them (34). A few people, on the other hand, may suffer from gender dysphoria. These people may need medical attention and intervention, and the basis for that should be covered, if not in the other F64 categories, then certainly somewhere in the diagnostic system. Another interesting fact is that there is no transvestism diagnosis under Gender Identity Disorders in the DSM IV. This supports our contention that the phenomenon of “transvestism” is not something to diagnose.

Cooperation between DSM and ICD

We understand that there is substantial cooperation between revisions in the American DSM and revisions in the ICD. In that context we would like to point out the NCSF website (29) which has references to among others Charles Moser who has written several articles about the DSM paraphilia diagnoses over the last years (35,36,37,23,38).



Revise F65

Svein Skeid (leader)                         Odd Reiersøl (psychologist)

Dead links updated November 22, 2011

Footnote 1.

Reiersol O. & Skeid S. (2006). The ICD Diagnoses of Fetishism and Sadomasochism.  In P.J. Kleinplatz and C. Moser (Eds.). Sadomasochism, Powerful Pleasures (pp. 243-262). Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Published simultaniously in The Journal of Homosexuality, Volume 50, Issue 2&3, May 2006, pages 243-262. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 2.

Fetisj og SM-diagnosene i ICD-10 [The Fetish and SM Diagnoses in ICD-10]. (2008, June). Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening [Journal of the Norwegian Psychological Association, Vol 45]. Pp 754-756. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 3.

Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 4.

Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 5.

About the ReviseF65 project. Professional and health political work 1994-2009. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 6.

Fetish and SM diagnoses deleted in Sweden. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 7.

Transvestism ‘no longer a disease’ in Sweden (2008, November 17). The Local. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 8.

Denmark withdraws SM from Diagnosis-list (1995, April 1). Politiken, page A7. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 9.

Nu ska Sara-Claes slippa bli stämplad som sjuk [Sara-Claes will not any longer be stigmatizised as sick]. (2008, November 16). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 10.

Dette er ikke perverst lenger [This is not any longer perverse]. (2008, November 17). Nettavisen. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 11.

Koder i klassifikationen av sjukdomar och hälsoproblem utgår [Codes in the Classification of Diseases are removed]. (2008, November 17). Socialstyrelsen [The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare]. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 12.

Så blev transvestiter friska över en natt! [Transvestites taken off the sick list overnight]. (2008, November 17). QX. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 13.

Sweden takes sexual behaviors off their disease list. (2008, November 25). NCSF, National coalition for sexual freedom. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 14.

Norwegian health authorities about healt preventive work. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 15.

Ansvar og omtanke – Strategiplan for forebygging av hiv og soi [Responsibility and consideration – Norwegian national strategy plan to prevent hiv and sexually transmitted infections]. Helsedirektoratet [The Norwegian National Board of Health]. Pp. 3, 3, 13, 21, 26 and 40. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 16.

Handlingsplan mot hiv/aids-epidemien 1996-2000 [Norwegian national strategy plan to prevent HIV and STD 1996-2000]. Helsedirektoratet [The Norwegian National Board of Health]. Pp 25 and 33.

Footnote 17.

Tilskuddsbrev til fetisj & SM gruppen SMia-Oslo fra Sosial- og helsedirektoratet via kap. 719 post 70 [Letter to the Fetish & SM group SMia-Oslo from The Norwegian National Board of Health]. (2002, April 25).

Footnote 18.

Discrimination and violence towards the SM/fetish population. Revise F65. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 19.

NCSF’s Violence and Discrimination Survey. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 20.

Safe, sane, and consensual as a moral ethical principle and cornerstone of SM acticity. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 21.

SM versus abuse. Revise F65. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 22.

No more psychopathology among SM-people. Revise F65. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 23.

Sexual Freedom NOW. Physicians and psychiatrists about SM as a valid expression of adult consensual sexuality and an important part of people’s sexual orientation. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 24.

Transvestittisme og SM ikke lenger en sykdom i Sverige [Transvestism and SM are no longer diseases in Sweden]. (2008, November 17). Dagens Medisin [Medicine Today]. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 25.

Meeting at the Norwegian National Board of Health, May 11, 2009.

Footnote 26.

The Hippocratic Oath. Wikipedia. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 27.

World Health Organization (1992). The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders. Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. Geneva, Switzerland.

World Health Organization (1993). The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders. Diagnostic criteria for research. Geneva, Switzerland.

Footnote 28.

Quantity of the sm/fetish-population. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 29.

DSM Revision White Paper. NCSF, National coalition for sexual freedom. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 30.

Noyes, J. K., Ph.D. (1997). The mastery of submission: Inventions of masochism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, page 30.

Footnote 31.

Goffman, E. (1963) Stigma: notes on the management of spoiled identity. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall.

Footnote 32.

American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington DC.

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., Text Revised). Washington DC.

Footnote 33.

About The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 34.

Heino Meyer Bahlburg: Presentation at the WAS (World Association for Sexual Health) conference in Goteborg, June 2009.

Footnote 35.

Moser, Charles & Kleinplatz, Peggy J. (2005). DSM-IV-TR and the Paraphilias: An Argument for Removal. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality (2005), 17(3/4), 91-109. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from

Footnote 36.

Moser, C. & Kleinplatz, P.J. (2002). Transvestic fetishism: Psychopathology or iatrogenic artifact? New Jersey Psychologist, 52(2) 16-17. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 37.

Moser, C. (1999). The Psychology of Sadomasochism (S/M). In S. Wright (Ed.) SM Classics (pp. 47-61). New York, Masquerade Books. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Footnote 38.

Moser, C. & Wright S.. What is SM? Retrieved September 19, 2009, from

Norsk Seksualpolitikk

Diagnoseutvalget sensurert i Arbeiderpartiets Online 1. mai-tog

Diagnoseutvalget sensurert i Arbeiderpartiets Online 1. mai-tog


In English:
Censorship of Revise F65 slogans.
At the international Labour Day May 1, 2006, the Norwegian Labour Party arranged an “Online May Day March” where everybody were encouraged to propose online slogans for Mai 1-banners. The banner “Say no to discrimination of homosexuals” was approved by the webmaster. SMil and Revise F65 proposed “Say no to discrimination of BDSM people”. The banner was removed. So was the slogan “Remove fetish and SM diagnoses”. SMil and Revise F65 wrote letters to the Norwegian Labour Party protesting against censorship of kinky friendly slogans. We also had a meeting with the gay and lesbian Labour Party group.

Sunn, sikker, samtykkende
“Fjern diagnosene, ReviseF65”
Nei til diskriminering av BDSM ere, Revise F65

Det ble dårlig med samhold mellom Arbeiderpartiet og LLHs diagnoseutvalg 1. mai 2006. Overstående tre paroler, som angår Diagnoseutvalgets arbeid ble fjernet fra Online 1. mai-toget som er satt i gang på initiativ av Det norske Arbeiderparti. Parolene ble fjernet uten begrunnelse selv om både mail adresse og fullt navn på initiativtakeren var oppgitt. Samtidig ble parolen ”Nei, til diskriminering av homofile” stående urørt.

I alt ble fire paroler som angår fetisj/sm-gruppen fjernet fortløpende etterhvert som de ble lagt ut av medlemmer på SMil-Norge sin web-forum.

– Det må etter vår mening være en legitim del av ytringsfriheten å kunne synliggjøre slike menneskerettighetskrav på en dag, og i et parti som tradisjonelt har gått mot diskriminering og frontet minoriteters rettigheter, sier Svein Skeid i LLHs diagnoseutvalg.

Skeid mener dette er forskjellsbehandling av homofile med og uten fetisj/sm-legning og i strid med det 20 år lange hiv-forebyggende arbeid som tidligere Arbeiderpartiregjeringer og dagens rød-grønne regjering står for.

1. mai-komitéen i Bergen tidligere har godkjent parolene: “SM er bra – støtt de Spannerdømte” (1996) og “Ja til mangfold – Nei til sexpoliti” (1997). Bilde fra 1. mai-toget i Bergen 1996.

Helseutvalget for homofile skriver i mail til Diagnoseutvalget at «dette er ikke bra». Stortingsrepresentant Anette Trettebergstuen sier at ”dette er pinlig”. Håkon Haugli i Aps homonettverk sier at ”dette er virkelig ikke bra”, mens Jon Reidar Øyan leder i LLH sier at ”dette er helt utrolig”. Christian Møllerop, leder i LLH Oslo og Akershus gir sin fulle støtte og sier at Svein Skeid ”må stå på”.

Ap og Tommy Skar på sin side hevder at de ikke har sensurert noen av parolene. De hadde tvert i mot stor takhøyde for paroler på 1. mai-weben både før og under 1. mai-markeringen. Men noen ble for lange og paroler med injurierende, diskriminerende eller rasistisk innhold ble slettet.

– Jeg håper ikke dette er Arbeiderpartiets offisielle holdning, sier Svein Skeid. I så fall legitimerer man den betydelige diskriminering som i dag skjer overfor denne minoriteten, som består både av homo, bi og heteroseksuelle. Ikke minst gjelder dette diskriminering i arbeidslivet. Mye av forskjellbehandlingen skyldes direkte og indirekte fetisj/sm-diagnosene.

Diagnoseutvalget har fått underskrifter på et brev angående saken fra LLH-Oslo, LLH sentralt, Helseutvalget for homofile og SLM-Oslo. 22. juni møter Diagnoseutvalgets leder Svein Skeid styret i Homofile og lesbiske sosialdemokrater på Stortinget for å diskutere videre oppfølging av saken.

Styret i SMil-Norge har allerede sendt brev til ledelsen i Arbeiderpartiet angående 1.mai-saken.

English Sexual politics

Kink Against Racism

Leather and SM people against nazism

Europride 2002 in Cologne. Photo: Svein Skeid
The European leather/SM movement has a long tradition against rasism and nazism. As early as in 1978 the AGM of ECMC – the gay “European Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs” – discussed how to stop Nazi elements from infiltrating their member-clubs.

The ECMC member club MS Panther Köln, in 1993 started “Leder gegen Rechts”, and decorated an “anti-nazi fleet” during the CSD (Christopher Street Day) parade that year.

Illustration right:
The German ECMC-club Rote Erde “Leder Gegen Rechts” 1993.

In 1998 the ECMC AGM, with their 50 european member clubs included an article in their Constitution against “Racist and Nazi attitudes, manifestations and actions, as well as membership in corresponding anti-democratic organizations”.

Fetisch gegen Rechts
More than one million people saw the five km long Europride parade 2002 in Cologne, included the huge anti-nazi-wagon from the big Cologne leather bar “Chairs”.
Picture left, Photo: Svein Skeid.

There was also a “Leder gegen rechts”-booth during the Folsom Europe Street Fair in Berlin in September 2004.


The ECMC AGM 1998 approves the following resolution:
“Racist and nazi attitudes, manifestations and actions, together with membership in ditto antidemocratic organisations is not consistent with membership in our democratic ECMC-clubs.”

Arguments for the proposal:
“The intention with this proposal is to secure the address lists and membership archives of our member clubs from being misused by antidemocratic elements.
We also carry the above resolution to foster fraternal brotherhood with our foreign cultural individual members and in solidarity with ECMC clubs fighting against nazi violence and for information about the difference between leather and nazi.
Today there is different attempts of building up networks of gay leather nazi organisations in Europe. We see this as a threat against the security of our ECMC-clubs and individual members.
The european leather community has a anti nazi tradition. Already in 1978 the ECMC AGM discussed how to stop nazi elements from infiltrating our member clubs. With the above resolution we want to confirm this anti nazi attitude.”


No nazifetish at Gear Fetish.
The gay leather internet community takes stand against German swastikas and other nazi related symbols (Juni 1, 2005).

People of all colours at Folsom Street Fair Europe in Berlin 2004, picture right. The big street fair also included a “Leder Gegen Rechts”-boot.
Photo: Svein Skeid