TASHRA's Mission


It has been estimated that around 10% of the U.S. population engages in non-traditional sexual practices,as bondage, sadomasochism, or sexual BDSM or "kink." People involved in kink may have special healthcare concerns, such as increased risk of STIs or HIV/AIDS, unusual injuries,
or particular mental/sexual healthcare needs. However, many kinky people do not reveal their sexual practices to their healthcare providers and some avoid accessing healthcare altogether for fear of being ridiculed, pathologized, or criminalized.

Healthcare professionals receive virtually no training in the care of patients/clients involved in kink, and there is almost no medical literature describing the population or its needs. Because of this, even a sympathetic clinician may have difficulty providing appropriate care to a patient who risks disclosure.

TASHRA believes there is an urgent need for research that:


   1. describes the mental and physical health concerns and needs of patients/clients who engage in non-traditional sexual practices; 

   2. sheds light on issues of access to healthcare specific to the population (including under-use of available services, or inability to obtain necessary care once engaged in services), and;


   3. characterizes barriers and facilitators to establishment of effective health partnerships between patients/clients and their providers.  

Kink Health Pilot Research:

"When I was pregnant, I went to SEVEN obstetricians before I found one who would actually help me figure out which S/M practices were safe for me during pregnancy"
27 year old female submissive

"The term BDSM is a compound acronym, derived from the terms Bondage and Discipline (B/D), Dominance and Submission (D/s), and Sadism and Masochism (S/M).
t serves as an umbrella label for forms of sexuality which incorporate restraint, pressure, intense sensation, and elements of power exchange between the engaged parties."
(Ortmann & Sprott, 2012)