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BDSM to Stop Being an Illness

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BDSM to Stop Being an Illness

Photo: Darko Stojanovic.

Iceland’s Directorate of Health has no objection to the country following the lead of all the other Nordic countries and removing BDSM behavior from its list of mental illnesses.

The head of the Directorate has invited the leader of the Icelandic BDSM Association to a meeting on how best to acquiesce to the Association’s request for its members’ sexual preferences to be removed from the list.

Birgir Jakobsson, head of the Directorate of Health, revealed his position to RÚV following news that Iceland is the only Nordic country which still classifies BDSM as a mental illness.

BDSM stands for Bondage, Dominance & Submission and Masochism and covers such a wide range of sexual practices which are indulged in by so many people at regularities ranging from once in a lifetime to daily, that self-identification is usually the only way of recognizing the “disease”. The BDSM Association thinks this is inappropriate in the modern world, and the Directorate of Health agrees.

Earlier this month the Association sent the Directorate a letter formally requesting that BDSM be removed from the mental illness list—thereby following the footsteps of Finland in 2012, Norway in 2010, Sweden in 2009 and Denmark in 1994 and 1995.

Asked how it came to be that Iceland is so far behind the times, Birgir said that the matter has not come up in any pan-Nordic meetings or projects since he took on the job and that it is therefore very good that the BDSM Association took action to bring the matter to the Directorate’s attention.

He says that he is in agreement with the point-of-view raised in the Association’s letter and sees no reason for Iceland not to follow the example of its neighboring countries.

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