Safe, Sane, and Consensual—Consent and the Ethics of BDSM

The article analyses the role and moral force of consent in BDSM (Sado-masochistic and related practice). The view defended accepts consent as a key feature in sexual morality, and explains in detail the relation between consent and autonomy. In brief, it is argued that consent as a genuine extension of personal autonomy both justifies and draws limits to justifiable BDSM-practices: autonomy-undermining practices cannot be justified by appealing to autonomy. The paper discusses in detail the necessary conditions for consent with an emphasis on relevant pitfalls in the context of BDSM and moves to an analysis of the prevalent “official” morality of the BDSM-community, expressed in the slogan “safe, sane, and consensual.” Finally, it draws attention to an un-discussed parallel between sexual morality and the concept of exit-rights as it is known from political philosophy
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0739-098X
DOI 10.5840/ijap201024223
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,150
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Virtual Worlds and Moral Evaluation.Jeff Dunn - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (4):255-265.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Autonomy, Consent and the Law.Sheila McLean - 2010 - Routledge-Cavendish.
Informed Consent and Relational Conceptions of Autonomy.N. Stoljar - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):375-384.
Consent and Informational Responsibility.Shaun D. Pattinson - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (3):176-179.
Can Broad Consent Be Informed Consent?M. Sheehan - 2011 - Public Health Ethics 4 (3):226-235.
Consent and Its Cousins.William A. Edmundson - 2011 - Ethics 121 (2):335-53.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

139 ( #32,819 of 2,152,226 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

29 ( #11,008 of 2,152,226 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums