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BDSM and the legal imaginary

BDSM and the legal imaginary

Fanghanel, Alexandra ORCID: 0000-0002-4041-561X (2022) BDSM and the legal imaginary. In: Bows, Hannah and Herring, Jonathan, (eds.) Rough Sex and the Criminal Law. Feminist Developments in Violence and Abuse . Emerald Publishing, Bingley, pp. 69-84. ISBN 978-1801179294; 978-1801179287 (doi:

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v John Broadhurst Birmingham CC sentencing remarks)
In England and Wales, BDSM sexual practice has an antagonistic relationship with the criminal law. Following the foundational case of R v Brown [1994] 1 AC 212, it remains impossible for people to consent to violence which causes injury which is more than transient or trifling. This is confirmed in s 65 (2) of the Domestic Abuse Bill 2021. This makes certain forms of BDSM practice de facto unlawful. And yet, as Edwards (2015), Yardley (2020) and the campaign We Can’t Consent to This (2020) have noted, the past two decades have seen a significant rise in the number of cases coming to trial for murder or manslaughter in which the defence that what took place is a consensual sex game gone wrong is mobilised. This chapter interrogates the ways in which BDSM is interpreted and understood in courts themselves; to uncover how it appears in the legal imaginary. To do this, I respond to the recent rise in criminal cases where women have been killed or injured by men as part of an alleged sex game ‘gone wrong’ by analysing three recent cases where this defence was mobilised

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: rough sex; BDSM; consent; legal process
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 14:27

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