Winner of the MLA's 2016 Alan Bray Prize for Best Book in GLBTQ Studies How BDSM can be used as a metaphor for black female sexuality. The Color of Kink explores black women's representations and performances within American pornography and BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism) from the 1930s to the present, revealing the ways in which they illustrate a complex and contradictory negotiation of pain, pleasure, and power for black women. Based on personal interviews conducted with pornography performers, producers, and professional dominatrices, visual and textual analysis, and extensive archival research, Ariane Cruz reveals BDSM and pornography as critical sites from which to rethink the formative links between Black female sexuality and violence. She explores how violence becomes not just a vehicle of pleasure but also a mode of accessing and contesting power. Drawing on feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, and media studies, Cruz argues that BDSM is a productive space from which to consider the complexity and diverseness of black women's sexual practice and the mutability of black female sexuality.
Illuminating the cross-pollination of black sexuality and BDSM, The Color of Kink makes a unique contribution to the growing scholarship on racialized sexuality.