Bethan Downs

Bethan Downs

Department of History
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: 'Here and wet for you!': Sadomasochist lesbian feminism in Britain, 1980-2000
SupervisorProfessor Matt Houlbrook and Professor Lisa Downing
PhD History


  • BA (Hons) History, University of Warwick
  • MSt History, University of Oxford


I studied History at the University of Warwick, graduating in 2021, before completing my MSt in History at the University of Oxford in 2022. I was awarded AHRC Midlands4Cities funding in 2023, having worked for a year as a Library Assistant at St Hilda's College in Oxford.


My research considers the relationship between kink and feminism in 1980s and 1990s Britain. In particular, I will be focusing on self-identified sadomasochist (SM) lesbian feminists - both their lived experience and the political conflicts around their intersecting identities. In doing so, I hope to nuance historiographical discussions of feminist and lesbian politics and experience, as well as provide a platform for the voices of marginalised queer women.