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Description: Techniques of Pleasureis an ethnography of the San Francisco Bay Area’s pansexual BDSM scene, a community of practitioners of bondage, domination/submission, role-playing, fetishes, and other forms of eroticism. Margot Weiss’s research entailed attending dungeon play parties, workshops on SM techniques, and business meetings of the Society of Janus, one of America’s oldest BDSM organizations. She interviewed more than sixty SM practitioners, including dungeon owners, well-known prodommes (professional dominants), and community experts. Weiss vividly evokes the feel of the BDSM scene in San Francisco area in the early 2000s. At the same time, she challenges notions of SM as inherently transgressive, revealing a technique-oriented community, largely organized around classes, rules, and the acquisition of expensive sex toys. Most members of the Bay Area’s BDSM community were white, heterosexual, middle-aged, well-off, and involved in long-term relationships. Weiss analyzed SM “scenes”—sexual encounters involving roles, costumes, and props—including dramatizations of slave markets and the creation of the Abu Ghraib photographs. She contends that such performances eroticize social inequality, reproducing hierarchies based on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, rather than offering a safe space, separate from real-world inequities.