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Race Play

Updated: DECEMBER 20, 2021

Race play, or raceplay, is when a dominant and submissive take part in BDSM play that involves role play with racial imagery. In practice, this can mean people of color roleplaying as slaves or people of Jewish heritage roleplaying as prisoners. It is a controversial topic in BDSM circles, as the use of racialized imagery in kink is seen as a way of eroticizing racism and oppression. It has also been noted that because much of the BDSM community is white, race play is largely consumed by white people.

On the other side of the debate, some kinksters argue that this is just another way of playing with taboo and pushing boundaries.

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More About Race Play

Scenes featuring Dominance and submission are not uncommon in popular media, although some have been met with criticism. The same criticism has been applied to pornography that uses this imagery, although some also argue that playing out stereotypes can be a way to counter racist narratives.

Race play is characterized as advanced psychological play, and therefore requires the knowledge, care and attention that comes with the power to harm a partner in a scene.

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