This study adopted a qualitative research approach. The phenomenon of sadomasochism has been approached from different perspectives, for us the gaze of their own representatives and practitioners takes greater importance, since “the reality that matters is what people perceive as important”7. Our interest was based on producing descriptive data derived from semi-structured in-depth interviews with the participants, East London Mistress so we tried to carry out an analysis as close to reality as possible. Taking advantage of virtuality, we wrote to more than 100 people on their social networks, including FetLife (a social network for people with specific fetishes), Facebook and Twitter. With regard to these possible participants, first-hand we found hostile and suspicious responses, of all those we contacted, few responded and fewer agreed to the terms of the interview, mainly because they claimed that they wanted to protect their identity. However, there were participants who were more open, serving as gatekeepers to get others. These participants also recommended bibliography to us and even invited us to a bondage and shibari workshop that was held in Parque del Este (Caracas, Venezuela). It is important to note that we attended, they welcomed us kindly, they introduced us to the other practitioners and they explained different bondage techniques to us. This allowed us to share with them in their context and achieve greater depth in their experiences.
We used a case-type sampling, since we sought to obtain information about the experiences, experiences and meanings of sadomasochists or BDSM practitioners. Likewise, sampling in chains or networks was used, since some participants provided us with the contact to access others and be able to interview them. A theoretical sampling was carried out with the intention of guiding the data collection process under constant comparison with the emerging theory. In this case, the theory generated from the analysis of each interview determined the type of characteristics that we would look for in the next interviewee, such as sex, the role with which they identify within BDSM and sexual orientation.
The sample consisted of volunteers of legal age (over 18 years), Venezuelans, regardless of the context in which they were currently living, and who identified themselves as sadomasochists, sadomasochists or BDSM practitioners (Table 1 ).
Description of the research participants.
On the other hand, our research has an emergent design in which the data was based mainly on anecdotes and life experiences. Along the same lines, because the design allows the research to adapt to the data provided, the objectives were rethought, changing the name of sadomasochism practitioners for East London Mistress practitioners since they are meant in this way and in this way it was possible to keep the study more faithful to that community. In addition, a projected design was used where we established a time limit of one year. In this way, we worked according to this time to complete the study, carrying out an analysis and writing the results without aspiring to complete a theory.8.
Regarding the data analysis, the information obtained in each interview was analyzed before continuing with the next, thus respecting the emerging design. The method used was that of constant comparisons reached an advanced level of axial coding. The central nucleus from which the other categories were demarcated were the experiences related to BDSM and from these four large dimensions emerged: construction of meanings associated with BDSM, “It is within your personality, within your identity, it is part of you”, practices related to BDSM and BDSM within the Venezuelan and foreign context. In this article only the third dimension will be developed.
Finally, we carried out different actions to ensure the quality and validity of this research, among these: it was necessary for the researchers to process the data, each one separately, in an equivalent way and then submit the results for review; Additionally, an external audit was incorporated that involved a review of the entire process by an expert to verify that it was carried out properly. We use structural corroboration, by means of which emerging information is gathered and constant links and connections are made, in such a way that a structure was formed whose basis is the same evidence, and the data is “conceptually supported”9. Likewise, we check the results of the analysis and the emerging theory with the same participants, to ensure that the interpretations made are close enough to the understanding of their experiences.
On the other hand, we seek a varied sample, including participants of different sexes, sexual orientation and seeking to cover the entire range of roles that are used in BDSM practices, so that the study is more likely to be applied to others. contexts or samples.
The term BDSM is the product of a social construction that encompasses various ways of relating sexually associated with sadomasochism, role-playing and power-sharing. Among these expressions we find the East London Mistress sexual practices that are taken by those who consider themselves participants with particular premeditation and caution, that is, they are in no way carried out lightly and imply a prior agreement or consensus between the individuals involved.