Uli Scheuss, Essen (SMart Rhein-Ruhr):

Die sadomasochistische Subkultur in Deutschland
(The Sado-Masochistic Subculture in Germany)

This paper is concerned with the so-called SM community in Germany. After a short comparison of the gay, lesbian and heterosexual SM scene we will be occupied in particular with the non-commercial heterosexual scene.

Emphasis of the paper is the development of the SM community in the last decades as well as an overview of the structure and the activities of today's SM subculture in Germany.

There have been private circles of sadomasochists in Germany at least since the 1950s. The first (predominantly) heterosexual SM organization which announced its meetings publicly was founded in Hamburg in 1987. Already in the late 1980s this group educated the public about SM via print media and television. Subsequently various further SM groups have been developing.

The social rules in the SM community change continuously. At the end of the 1990s the community grows significantly because of the internet. New organizations develop, handling one’s own sexuality becomes more uncomplicated, sadomasochists become more self-confident.

The non-commercial SM scene offers today a variety of information and consultation including even crisis intervention. There are magazines and radio transmissions by the community for the community, numerous artists express their sexuality with their artistic work. Apart from providing its members with the possibility of enjoying their sexuality, the sadomasochistic subculture also constitutes a social community and offers common leisure activities independently of SM.

About the Author:

Uli Scheuss was born in Krefeld, Germany, in 1968. He lives in Cologne and works as a graduated computer scientist ("Diplom-Informatiker"). Since 1996, he has been doing volunteer work in various functions in order to educate the public about sadomasochism. He has done most of this work as a representative of Germany’s largest BDSM organization, SMart Rhein-Ruhr. He counseled more than 700 sadomasochists about their first contact with the BDSM scene. From 1998 to 2002 he was responsible for the world-wide contacts of SMart to other SM organizations.

Uli Scheuss has been in charge of the research & teaching department of SMart since 2002. Among his tasks is the contact to scientists, in particular providing assistance for theses (diploma) and other research concerning SM. SMart is a member of the DGSS, Uli Scheuss is SMart’s representative at the DGSS’ general meetings. Lectures at universities and adult education centres as well as courses for teachers, physicians or policemen belong likewise to his areas of responsibilities.

Uli Scheuss
Smart Rhein-Ruhr e.V
Ressort Forschung&Lehre
Wilhelm-Nieswandt-Allee 100
45326 Essen
Tel. (02203) 96 54 69
e-mail: ForschungLehre@SMart-Rhein-Ruhr.de

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