World BDSM Day – History And Short-Notice Ways To Celebrate


We just found out it’s World BDSM Day. Aside from self-flagellating because we didn’t know it existed until now, we’ve also been investigating where the day came from and thinking about ways to celebrate at short notice. So here are our findings:

1. World BDSM Day was invented by the owner of a Spanish BDSM club in 2003

The club, Rosas Cinco, is in Barcelona and claimed to be the only club in Europe dedicated to BDSM when it opened in 2003. That same year its owner, Kurt Walter Fisher, proposed July 24 as World BDSM Day. He chose 24/7 as a nod towards the practice of 24/7 BDSM (in which submissive and dominant enter into an agreement to keep to their BDSM roles full-time). His aim was to raise awareness and acceptance of the BDSM lifestyle globally. Towards that end his club has held celebratory and educational conferences and shows around this date for 15 years.

2. Confusingly, there’s also an International Fetish Day in January

This one originated in the UK around 2008, in part as a protest against the Extreme Porn Laws that were then coming into force. The laws criminalised looking at images of consenting adults involved in certain BDSM practices, even if the acts were simulated. International Fetish Day is still going (especially with the introduction of updates to porn censorship laws a few years ago), and it’s customary to celebrate by wearing purple. Confused? Why not celebrate both?

3. Why do we need a World BDSM Day anyway?

While acceptance of BDSM and fetishes has increased over the past few decades, we still have a long way to go. As mentioned above, only a handful of years ago the UK Government declared consensual kinky sex acts like face-sitting, flogging and watersports to be illegal in porn, while ignoring a wide range of less kinky but equally extreme activities. “There appear to be no rational explanations for most of the… rules,” Jerry Barnett of the anti-censorship group Sex and Censorship told Vice UK. “They’re simply a set of moral judgements.”

People who engage in BDSM still run the risk of losing their jobs or having their fitness as parents investigated if they are ‘outed’. And due to kinkphobia, it is common for counsellors and psychotherapists to attempt to ‘cure’ kinky clients, regardless of whether the client has asked for this.

Which is ridiculous when you consider how many of us are actually kinky. The findings of sex surveys vary widely, but one recent survey found that 75% of Brits have a fetish of some kind. Greater kink visibility and education equals fewer kinky people living in shame and secrecy and less unfair treatment for those who are ‘out’.

4. I’m convinced. So how can I celebrate?

If you’ve always wanted to experiment with BDSM but have never dared to try it before, maybe tonight’s the night (assuming you have a partner whose interest is as great as yours).

Alternatively, you could have a look around Fetlife, the premier social network for kinky folx, and start to plan your kinky debut.

For a down-to-earth, informative and beginner-friendly take on the BDSM lifestyle, check out the Loving BDSM Podcast.

And if you want to support kinky people’s right to express themselves in the UK, check out and consider supporting the work of Blake on Patreon.

5. What if I want to experiment but I don’t have any BDSM toys?

Any sex toy is a kink toy – it’s all in how you use it. Over the years, we’ve had feedback from sex toy reviewers and professional dominatrices that PULSE III is an excellent toy to use for edging and forced orgasms on a penis-owning sub. As The Big Gay Review said back in 2017:

“I can clamp it on to my other half, switch it on and then blindfold him. As the PULSE does it’s thing, I can move around and tease him in all manner of ways – even more so if I have restrained him before hand and he can’t move. It’s great to just leave the PULSE on and have it milk him until he can’t take it any more.”

We’ve also had feedback that the Queen Bee can be used to force orgasms in the same way on a vulva owner. And if you don’t have any bondage equipment on hand, check out this useful post from Kinkly that includes tips on forms of erotic restraint that don’t require rope.

Have fun liberating your kinky self – and being part of the sex positive movement as you do it!

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