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Black BDSM, culture and religion

BDSM and African Culture
Dominance, submission and traditional power exchange has played a major role in African history. Throughout the centuries, our ancestors have incorporated D/s into not only their sexual practices, but into their spiritual and ritualistic practices as well.

A central feature of the West African Malinke tribe's religious beliefs was the worship of a special spirit named Mama Dyumbo who protected their village and kept their women in a state of submission. Whenever women acted disobedient, the husbands would mimic the deity by donning makeup, masks and elaborate headpieces and then drive the women out of their homes for a communal whipping.

Within the matriarchal society of the Tuareg, of Northern Africa, women enjoyed freedom of choice in sexual involvement and often entertained male visitors when their husbands were absent. The tents and furnishings were the personal property of the women alone, and they were in charge of all finances. Today, Tuareg men still are required to wear veils which conceal their entire face excluding their eyes. This veil is never removed, even in front of family members.

Female circumcision (the amputation of the clitoris) and infibulation (a procedure where the clitoris and labia minora are removed and the other lips are scraped away and sewn together leaving a small opening) is a tradition that has been used for thousands of years as a way to control female sexuality and marital chastity in patriarchal societies of Africa.

Fasting, self-immolation, scarification, bloodletting and flagellation were often encouraged by African and Afro-carribean healers in order to spiritually purify the sick and drive out poisons and demons.

Tuareg Man
Tuareg male of Niger wearing traditional indigo veil.

Himba Female
Himba women of Namibia are circumcized before marriage.
BDSM and Slavery
The ability of people of color to survive under the cruel conditions of slavery and be able to retain internal strength, fortitude and resolve is an amazing feat. To some it would seem strange that we would willingly participate in BDSM and refer to ourselves as Masters and slaves after such a horrific past, however most participants in this lifestyle feel there is no connection between the two at all.

Historical slavery role play is a form of BDSM usually involving a White Master who wields their power over a Black slave and uses racially derogatory terms. It is also not uncommon for Caucasians to engage in historical slavery role play where they take on the role of the slave as a way to repent for the sins of their race.

Some find this type of scene to be emotionally healing, believing they can better cope with the past if they confront it through role playing. Others are greatly offended by historical slavery scenes which is why they are rarely acted out in public dungeons.

BDSM and Religion
Pain, particularly in certain religious ceremonies, has been used to reach various states of euphoria, to enable the mind to transcend to a higher state of clarity, leaving one open and prepared to receive the spirit. Most Christian based religions, do not specifically object to D/s activity within a marital context.

Africans brought to America initially resisted giving up the religions of their forefathers, but over the years accepting Christianity became part of accepting America as home. Many slaves probably found the promise of spiritual equality before God appealing, however the bible was clear on the role of a man and his wife. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church." Ephesians 5:21-33.

Muslim women are taught to always be obedient to their husbands and corporal punishment is encouraged as a method of discipline. "Men are protector of women because God has made them excel over the other, and because they spend their property on women, so good women are obedient and guard their modesty. As for whom you fear rebellion, admonish them, and then banish them from your bed, or beat them. If they obey you, then seek not a way against them..." The Quran 4:34

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