Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Social Science General

Vicarious Kinks

S/M in the Socio-Legal Imaginary

by (author) Ummni Khan

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
May 2014
General, General, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Who decides where “normal” stops and “perverse” begins? In Vicarious Kinks, Ummni Khan looks at the mass of claims that film, feminism, the human sciences, and law make about sadomasochism and its practitioners, and the way those claims become the basis for the legal regulation of sadomasochist pornography and practice. Khan’s audacious proposal is that for film, feminism, law, and science, the constant focus on taboo sexuality is a form of “vicarious kink” itself.

Rather than attempt to establish the “truth” about sadomasochism, Vicarious Kinks asks who decides that sadomasochism is perverse, examining how various fields present their claims to truth when it comes to sadomasochism. The first monograph by a new scholar working at the juncture of law and sexuality, Vicarious Kinks challenges the myth of law as an objective adjudicator of sexual truth.

About the author

Ummni Khan is an associate professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University.

Ummni Khan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

‘Bold, original, and unafraid to take risks… Khan’s book skillfully analyzes the regulation of s/m from original vantage points, pushing its readers to the boundaries of law and culture.’

Osgoode Hall Law Journal – vol 53:01:2015

‘To write a book in support of sadomasochism (s/m) is a risky undertaking for a legal academic…. Canadian law and sexuality scholar Ummni Khan rises brilliantly to the challenge…. Khan skillfully weaves together her analysis of each discursive framework to paint a picture of the stories we tell about s/m.’

McGill Law Journal, vol 61:01:2015