The Secret Kink Meetings in Pandemic Istanbul
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
It’s a different kind of confinement.
By Demetrios Ioannou
“We are not afraid of the coronavirus,” one of the leading members of the underground BDSM community in Istanbul says with sarcasm. This as she cleans her hands with sanitizing gel for the sixth time in an hour.
While everything is being canceled or shut down worldwide due to COVID-19 concerns, this group refuses to put pleasure aside and obey social distancing rules. “We will keep meeting for as long as possible. At least until we are in a total lockdown” was the answer I received when the group allowed me to photograph a meeting and performance in March.
The group meets almost every week –– this time it was in the home of a couple in their late 30s who are community leaders. The gatherings are mostly “master classes” led by experienced members to educate novices. On this night, the attendees learned about melted wax play while watching and participating in a bondage show.
The BDSM community, which started to form in Istanbul a few years ago, consists of approximately 500 members across the city. Using pseudonyms, members mostly connect through Twitter.
- Demetrios Ioannou