• Alexandra Gold

Geek Culture and BDSM

Geek Culture and BDSM: Fandom, Technology, Furries, and More


Geek culture has a variety of connotations. Traditionally, a geek is understood as someone who enthuses over a specific subject and thus develops expertise on this topic. It has also come to be defined as someone who loves obscure media—anime, comic books, video games, sci-fi, and more—or even alongside “nerds” as a social outcast. Geeks are often tied to certain kink activities—cosplay, furries, sex tech, erotic fan fiction, and even corsetry among goths.


So why do so many geeks like such kinky sex?


Annalee Newitz, in “Why Do Geeks Like Kinky Sex?” posits that “science fiction is full of sex that goes way beyond vanilla missionary position stuff, and that reflects a certain amount of tolerance for kink in the wider geek world generally.” Science fiction and fantasy allow for the imagination to take hold, similar to roleplay and other BDSM activities. It presents an opportunity to experiment with identity in a controlled environment.


Perhaps it is that geeks possess a more accepting nature, and thus people are more forward with their kinky desires—because they know they will be welcomed by their peers.


Finding this collective of “outsiders” whose sexual power and identity may have been diminished in mainstream media creates a new sort of community consisting of both geeky and kinky folks. Rebeccas Liu writes in “The Subversive Sexual Power Found in Erotic Fandom Forums” for Vice, that “the forms of attraction seen on Tumblr’s kink communities allow for disgust, pain, and absurdity to be sources of arousal in ways that dominant, heteronormative mindsets about sexuality do not.” Fandom presents sexuality in a way that is not represented in conventional media, and thus creates a new hub of alternative sexualities.


Both kink culture and geek culture provide such a unique sense of belongingness—the human need to be accepted as a member of a group—to their participants.


Indeed, “people appear to have positive self-feelings when engaging in geek activities to the extent that they expect important people in their life to accept them for doing so,” say the authors of “A Psychological Exploration of Engagement in Geek Culture,” who have conducted extensive research on what makes geek culture. Furthermore, they say “people appear to identify more strongly as a geek when they expect others to accept them for engaging in geek activities.” 


A part of the motivation for the participating geeky individuals is fulfilling the desire for belongingness, and for having a community of individuals with shared interests. Can’t the same be said for kink?


Thus, while not all geeks are kinky and not all kinky people are geeks, the intersections of these communities—found everywhere from online fandoms to kinky comic con events—provide a unique experience of togetherness.

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