BDSM webpage at Brown University

Date: 1994

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity, Sexual/Gender Orientation , Explicit Sexuality

Medium: Internet

Artist: Daniel C. Robbins

Confronting Bodies: Brown University , Computing and Information Services, Computer Science Department

Dates of Action: start: Thursday, March 31, 1994, final: Fri, 29 Jul 1994

Location: Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA

Description of Artwork: An experimental NCSA Mosaic home page, on the World Wide Web, for those who are interested in Bondage, Domination, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism (hereafter referred to as BDSM). Contained and had links to: Stories, Pictures, Information, Personal Ads. and Creative Projects.

These sections in specific carried

  • Stories: culled stories from the net about alternative sexual lifestyles and situation. Ranging from consensual stories of married couples tying each other up to non-consensual rape, torture, and murder.
  • Pictures: Gifs sent to the creator personally and those culled from the net, ranging from catwoman in leather to amateur and staged acts of BDSM to body art.
  • Information: Files on Safe Sex and Health, BDSM, Polyamory, Infantilism, Bestiality, Bodyart, Fashion, Queer Resources, Catalogs, Stores, Books, Events and Localities, Newsgroup discussions, MUDs (Multiple User Dungeons) and misc
  • Personals: Links to other sites that maintained online personals and an experimental online personal service for the BDSM community. *Projects: Included an interactive graphical navigation through a virtual dungeon, information on CyberSM (tm) from Stahl Stenslie, and the illustrated story Bad Samaritan.

The Incident: On Thursday, March 31, 1994 the webpage creator was asked to shut down his page by an administrator at Brown University. The administrator told him that it was due to the content he was providing. The administrator informed him that he could either quietly shut down or bring it up before the facilities committee who would certainly shut it down.

Results of Incident: The creator agreed to shut the page down. He removed the "offensive" material and changed the home page to relate the incident. The creator received emails of support including offers to host the page from other sites.

Source: Daniel C. Robbins.