There are an abundance of personal narratives and general claims about the racial demography of kinky people. (Norris (1982), for instance, writes "I don't see many blacks into such shit as sadomasochism.") Most other purposive studies to date seem to have been conducted on largely white samples, but this may simply reflect opportunistic sampling and the inability of white researchers to gain the trust of non-white sexual minorities.
Similar comments could be made about many subcultures, but kink is an exceptional case in this regard, because of its own racialized vocabulary and attendant charges of racism@. Such discussions typically imply that BDSM is a predominantly (or exclusively) white field: a “white women's problem.” (Sims, Mason, and Pagano 1982)
However, the empirical information we have on the topic is very sparse. Oddly, neither Brame (2000) nor Bienvenue and Jacques (1999), nor Richters et al (2008) asked any questions about race in surveys large enough to make significant comparisons. This left us with little information to go on.
Moser and Levitt (1987), reported that their sample was 95% white (compared to roughly 75% nationwide in the US). However, their sampling methods leave this figure open to doubt. While Richters et al (2008), did not ask respondents about race, they did ask a significant proxy question: language spoken at home. In Australia, in round numbers, 20% of non-English speakers are Asian and another 20% are Middle Eastern. There is a (non-significant) non-correlation between language group and BDSM practice. All we can conclude from this is that if Asians and Middle Easterners living in Australia are markedly less likely to be kinky, the Richters study did not notice that fact.
Tomassilli et al (2009) have, as they've noted, bucked this trend. They used an urban sample of lesbian and bisexual women that was 47% women of color, predominantly Latina and African American. Using four categories of kinky behavior, they only found one significant association: the women of color were less likely than white women to have ever practiced bondage and domination (28% to 38%). In the other categories (including SM) there were no significant associations by race.
Various (2006) contains reports about BDSM scenes from Austria, Brazil, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland. Ranai (2009) lists BDSM forums in the following non-English languages or regions: German (19), Russia (10), the Netherlands and Belgium (9), France and Francophone regions (8), Sweden (8), Spain, Argentina, and Latino US groups (6), Iceland (6), Italy (5), Brazil and Portugal (4), Norway (4), Denmark (3), Finland (3), Turkey (3), Bulgaria (2), Indonesia (2), the Ukraine (2), and also in Belarus, China, the Czeck Republic, Greece, Israel, and Japan.
The predominance of Germany, Scandinavia, and the former USSR may be an artifact of Ranai's research. She is German and did not intend to present a methodical survey. On the other hand, much of early kink research comes from Scandinavia and Germany, and there is some reason to think that kinky people had formed organizations in those regions earlier than elsewhere.
Finally, there is evidence for sadomasochistic sexual behavior in a variety of indigenous societies.