Alison Robertson is a PhD candidate in Religious Studies at the Open University, conducting research into BDSM as lived religious practice.  Prior to beginning her PhD she was a Religious Studies teacher and a Principle Examiner for GCSE and A Level Religious Studies. Her research interests include lived and personal religion, edgework, self-inflicted and/or positive experiences of pain, and blurring the lines people draw between categories such as religious and non-religious or ‘extreme’ religious practice and insanity.