Leadership and Sexuality
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Leadership and Sexuality

Power, Principles and Processes

Edited by James K. Beggan and Scott T. Allison

Although both leadership and sexuality are important and heavily researched topics, there is little work that addresses the interaction of the two areas. Leadership and Sexuality: Power, Principles, and Processes is a scholarly synthesis of leadership principles with issues related to sexuality and sexual policy-making. The authors’ multi-disciplinary analysis of the topic examines sexuality in the context of many different kinds of leadership, exploring both the good and the bad aspects of leadership and sexuality.
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Chapter 10: Leading and following? Understanding the power dynamics in consensual BDSM

Emma Turley


The purpose of the chapter is to present an understanding of the power dynamics involved in the erotic phenomenon of consensual bondage, discipline, dominance & submission, and sadism & masochism, also known as BDSM. Focusing on work that offers a nonpathological perspective on consensual BDSM, various demographics related to the psychology, identity, and activities of practitioners are explored with a view to understanding the relationship between those who adopt a leadership role and those who adopt a follower role in the BDSM activities, with reference to the wider leadership literature. It is assumed that the “dominant” partner, or the leader, has all of the power, while the “submissive” partner, or the follower, has none. The chapter argues, however, that during BDSM activities the concept of power exchange is multilayered, and therefore dominant and submissive partners have equal responsibilities and influence during BDSM, though these are enacted in different ways.

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