This description is part of the survey we are conducting in cooperation with other groups. The aim is a comparison of the situation of sadomasochists in the different countries of europe.
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The information here represents the situation around october 2002.
In Sweden practical BDSM is legally treated like any other form of sex, i.e. the legal age is 15 years and up, but with a somewhat stronger protection against abuse, especially from people in positions of trust like teachers and trainers, for those under 18.
It is not allowed to pay for (prostitution) or make money on (procuring) other peoples' sexual activities, and it is not allowed to do things in public that annoy others not involved.
There are no legal restrictions on activities like organizations and parties.
Apart from the areas mentioned below that belong to pornography, there are no regulations.
When it comes to BDSM material we got a legislation prohibiting videos depicting "sexual force and violence" since 1982 and any kind of picture material since 1988.
The reason for the later date of the latter was mainly because it required a change in the Swedish constitution. The legislation has only been enforced on few occasions so there is no real practice developed, but art, both drawn, painted and photographic, has been freed in court.
When it comes to other photographs and videos it appears those where it is obvious the situation is staged with no real force or pain involved are freed.
Yes, at least some research on autoerotic fatalities [Innala & Ernulf IE89]. Here in Sweden we have on an average one accidental death in consensual BDSM play every second year, compared to e.g. approximately 10 persons, almost exclusively males, managing to suffocate themselves to death while masturbating(!?!) every year. These figures have been rather stable over at least the last couple of decades.
Up until a few years back, actually until the start of the BDSM community "BDSM-borgen" [the Swedish BDSM castle], the Swedish BDSM scene was entirely dominated by a few organizations engaging in both BDSM and various fetishes. Over the last few years especially the Internet has made it possible for several new ones to form and grow, so now there are some 20 groups of various sizes.
The major and "grand ol' man" of Swedish BDSM and kink organizations was (and partly still is) "Club Sunrise" with some 500 members, arranging parties approximately monthly in Göteborg and approximately every second month in Stockholm.
The BDSM community "BDSM-borgen" emerged 1999-2000, has now got some 1800 members, making it by far the largest Swedish BDSM organization.
Not much, the gay scene has own organisations.
As far as I know noone has even come up with the idea trying to make a commercial, public BDSM publication. Such an attempt would also be difficult because of our legislation about graphic BDSM material. "Club Sunrise" has got a member magazine, SMart, that is supposed to be published 4 times a year with some 60-80 pages, but the last few years it has only been published 2-3 times a year.
Some 10 years back some people doing local community radio tried getting Club Sunrise to start radio broadcasts, but the board of Club Sunrise never gave the idea their blessing.
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