Nazi uniform fetish and role-playing: a subculture of erotic evil

The word “Nazi” typically evokes thoughts of Anti-Semitism, war crimes, and the Holocaust. To be sure, war crimes and genocide were committed by some Nazis and this research is not meant as a defense of, or being in support of, those activities. Nor is this work an endorsement of the ideologies and activities of supremacist groups. Rather, this study is an empirical work on Nazi fetish and role–playing as an active and ongoing component within the bondage, discipline/dominance, and sadomasochism (BDSM) subculture. An analysis of BDSM subculture is consistent with the discipline of popular culture’s examination of “subcultures” and “emergent cultures” (King, 2012, p. 687). In detailing the history of popular culture as a discipline, Calweti (1976, p. 166) writes “popular culture as a phrase symbolizes an attitude ranging between neutrality and enthusiasm for the same kind of cultural products which would have been condemned as garbage by many earlier intellectuals and artists.” Scholars (Weinberg, Colin, & Moser, 1984; Weinberg, Williams, & Moser, 1984; Moser & Levitt, 1987; Sandnabba, et al, 2002; Richters, et al, 2008; Stiles & Clark, 2011) have examined this “cultural product” of BDSM and informed us of a vibrant and growing subculture. Such work expands our knowledge of popular culture and the present study accomplishes the same. We do so from a sociological perspective, one of the disciplines used in the analysis of popular culture, a “growth industry in the American academy” (Traube, 1996, p. 127).