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BDSM

Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism

If you've yet to take the first step into the world of BDSM this article here will explain the history of BDSM, common terminology used, techniques used while participating in bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism. We also provide a helpful list of BDSM resources that will help you explore this exciting community of fetish, role-play, cross-dress, pain, flogging, sex aficionados and practitioners. Let's get started.

BDSM Glossary

It's not uncommon to feel a bit apprehensive when your'e the new person on the scene and trying to learn the lingo. This list of commonly used terms should help! We've also made the BDSM glossary available offline, you can download it here

  • 24/7 A relationship in which protocols are in place continuously.
  • Abrasion is using something rough (such as sandpaper).
  • ABDL or adult babies receive gratification from role-playing an infant (this is known as paraphilic infantilism, a form of ageplay). This can involve submission on the adult baby's part, often to a designated "caregiver", e.g. a daddy dom. Diaper lovers receive gratification from the wearing and often using of diapers. Whilst these two paraphilias are distinct, it is common that a person who enjoys one will also enjoy the other to some degree.
  • Aftercare is the time after a BDSM scene or play session in which the participants calm down, discuss the previous events and their personal reactions to them, and slowly come back in touch with reality. BDSM often involves an endorphin high and very intense experience, and failure to engage in proper aftercare can lead to subdrop (See Drop below) as these return to more everyday levels. In some BDSM relationships, such as D/s, aftercare may involve the Dominant caring for the submissive if physical pain was inflicted, such as applying baby oil to areas that were struck during play.
  • Auctioned off are where dominant auctions off the slave to the highest bidder (usually supervised and for temporary use).
  • Bastinado The act of whipping the sub's feet, usually the sub would be tied up to restrict movement as the torture is being inflicted; part of impact play.
  • BDSM Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism: a combined acronym often used as a catchall for anything in the kink scene.
  • Bondage is an erotic stimulation practice of tying, binding, and or restraining your partner.
  • Bottom One who receives physical sensation from a top in a scene; the receiving partner.
  • Breast Bondage The act of tying breasts so that they are either flattened against the chest or so that they bulge.
  • Breast Torture Torture of the female breasts.
  • Breath Control Play The dominant controls the submissive's breathing.
  • Butt Plug Much like a dildo, but pear-shaped with a flared base. The flared base prevents the plug from being lost in the anal cavity; the pear shape helps hold the plug in place. They come in a variety of sizes; some can vibrate. Sometimes used in Petplay, with a tail attached.
  • Chastity A form of erotic sexual denial or orgasm denial whereby a person is prevented from access to, or stimulation of, their genitals, save at the whim or choice of their partner, usually by means of a device (called a chastity belt or sometimes for men a cock cage) that prevents contact and is controlled by means of a lock by the partner.
  • Cock and Ball Torture (CBT): Torture of the male genitals for sexual gratification.
  • Collared Submissive or slave who is owned, usually (but certainly not exclusively) in a loving intimate relationship. A dominant may have multiple persons collared. Also: a pup's status, as differentiated from a "stray".
  • Collaring The formal acceptance by a dominant, of a sub's service, or the "ownership" of a pup by a Master or Trainer. Also the ceremony when a dominant commits to a sub (much like a wedding or other contract).
  • Consent Mutual agreement to the terms of a scene or ongoing BDSM relationship.
  • Consensual Non-Consensuality A mutual agreement that within defined limits, consent will be given as read without foreknowledge of the exact actions planned. As such, it is a show of trust and understanding and usually undertaken only by partners who know each other well, or otherwise agree to set clear safe limits on their activities.
  • Contract A written-out agreement between the dominant and submissive. It can be either formal or non, and is usually written after much negotiation by the dominant and the sub, outlining what structure, guidelines, rules and boundaries to the relationship are agreed upon by the two. It is not legally binding.
  • DDLG Daddy Dom/Little Girl, a subset of Dominance and submission. The name of this lifestyle refers to the nurturing relationship between parent/child or teacher/student, but does not imply that ageplay is involved.
  • Discipline
  • DM Dungeon Monitor, a person who supervises the interactions between participants at a play party or dungeons to enforce house rules – essentially, the bouncer of a BDSM event. They sometimes also play cruise director to keep/get the party going.
  • Dom A person who exercises control (from dominant-contrast with sub).
  • Dominant A person who exercises control – contrast with submissive.
  • Domme Woman who exercises control (see also Dominatrix). Often associated with a particular brand of traditional femininity; many younger female dominants prefer to use the nongendered terms dom/dominant.
  • Drop A feeling of deflation or slight depression that comes after a kinky scene, party, convention, or conference. Usually caused by the removal of positive stimuli and the endorphins they produce either from play or being surrounded by others within the kinky community. Can happen to kinksters of any role.
  • D/S Dominance/submission: play or relationships that involve an erotic power exchange.
  • Dungeon Usually referring to a room or area with BDSM equipment and play space.
  • Edgeplay SM play that involves a chance of harm, either physically or emotionally. Because the definition of edgeplay is subjective to the specific players (i.e., what is risky for me may not be as risky for you), there is not a universal list of what is included in edgeplay. However, there are a few forms of play which almost always make the cut, including fireplay, gunplay, rough body play, breath play, and bloodplay.
  • Electro-Play The practice of using electrical stimulation to the nerves of the body using a power source (such as a TENS, EMS, Violet wand, or made-for-play units) for purposes of sexual stimulation, body modification, tickling, or torture.
  • Endorphin Rush Endorphins are the chemicals responsible for the "high" people often get from activities such as sex, or high-risk sports, and is the body's response to heightened or intense experiences of certain kinds. BDSM activities, especially those incorporating a degree of sensation play often cultivate the endorphin rush as part of their "payoff" to the sub. But also see aftercare for the care needed to ensure that subdrop does not occur afterwards as the body returns to normal.
  • Erotic Sexual Denial Keeping another person aroused while delaying or preventing resolution of the feelings, to keep them in a continual state of anticipatory tension and inner conflict, and heightened sensitivity. (see also tease and denial and chastity).
  • Erotic Spanking The act of spanking another person for the sexual arousal or gratification of either or both parties.
  • Fetish A specific obsession or delight in one object or experience.
  • Figging Insertion of a piece of peeled ginger root into the anus or vagina.
  • Financial Domination is a sexual fetish, in particular a practice of dominance and submission, where a submissive (money slave, finsub, paypig, human ATM, or cash piggy) will give gifts and money to a financial dominant (money mistress, findomme, money domme or cash master).
  • Fire Play Using fire as an implement of BDSM. This can mean blowing the heat of a light torch onto a bottom, lighting pools of fuel on the bottom's skin, lighting flash cotton on the bottom, and other creative uses of heat. Cupping is usually considered an offshoot of fireplay, although in sensation it is closer to the use of clips and clamps. Usually considered edgeplay.
  • Fisting Inserting a hand into the vagina or rectum.
  • Genitorture Torture of the genitals.
  • Good Pain Good pain and bad pain are terms used lightheartedly by BDSM practitioners, signifying that whilst BDSM may include an element (often quite pronounced) of consensual pain, there is a purpose to it, and some pain is consented to and accepted whilst other pain is not. "Good pain" is therefore pain that is mutually agreed, desired or permitted by the submissive partner to be experienced, and seen by them as of enjoyment or value.
  • Golden Shower Urinating on, or being urinated on by, another person.
  • Gorean A subgenre based upon the rituals and practices created within the world of Gor in the erotic novels by John Norman. Gorean culture is based on stereotypical gender-based roles which is considered by many to be in conflict with BDSM, where there is freedom for either gender to act in any role (Male/Female as either Dom/sub or Top/bottom).
  • Gunplay The practice of including actual (or simulated) firearms into a scene.
  • Handkerchief Codes Visible signs to indicate to others your area of BDSM interest; a color worn on the left indicates a top, on the right indicates a bottom.
  • Hard limits What someone absolutely will not do; non-negotiable (as opposed to "soft limits").
  • Harem A group of subs serving one or more dominants.
  • Hogtie To tie up a submissive's wrists and ankles, fastening them together behind their back using physical restraints such as rope or cuffs.
  • Impact Play Part of sensation play, dealing with impact such as whips, riding crops, paddles, floggers, etc.
  • Infantilism Parent/child or parent/baby role playing.
  • K-9 Role-Play Animal roleplay where the animal being roleplayed is a dog
  • Kinbaku Also known as Shibari which literally means "the beauty of tight binding". Kinbaku is a Japanese style of bondage or BDSM which involves tying up the bottom using simple yet visually intricate patterns, usually with several pieces of thin rope.
  • Knife Play Slow, methodical sensation of the bottom with the edges and points of knives, usually without cutting the skin. Fear of the weapon plays a large part in the stimulus of the bottom.
  • Limits What someone will not participate in (hard limits), or is hesitant to do so (soft limits).
  • Masochism Act of receiving pain for sensual/sexual pleasure.
  • Masochist Person who enjoys pain, usually sexually.
  • Master/Slave A consensual relationship in which one person receives control (the Master) when given it by another (the slave) for mutual benefit. An extreme form of D/s which usually involves a 24/7 relationship rather than a short period of time (scene or perhaps a week end.) The slave will usually accept a collar from their Master to show that they are owned.
  • MDLB Mommy Domme/Little Boy, the female led version of DDLG, a subset of Dominance and submission. While this lifestyle may or may not involve ageplay, the name refers to the nurturing relationship of parent/child or teacher/student.
  • Mummification Immobilising the body by wrapping it up, usually with multiple layers of tight thin plastic sheeting. Breathing and other safety measures must be appropriately taken care of, often by leaving the face (or at least the mouth and nose) open. Body temperature (maintained to an extent by movement) may also be affected so a warm environment and warm aftercare may be important. Mummification is often used to enhance a feeling of total bodily helplessness, and incorporated with sensation play.
  • Munch A group of people that are into BDSM meeting at a "vanilla" place in street-appropriate attire. Sometimes this is a club. You might see an announcement like, "This weekend's munch is at Denny's".
  • Needle Play Temporary piercings done with sterile needles of varying gauges, usually only for the duration of a scene.
  • Nose Torture A traditionally Japanese form of BDSM often involving nose hooks.
  • OTK Over the knee (spanking).
  • Pegging A sexual practice in which a woman penetrates a man's anus with a strap-on dildo.
  • Play Party A BDSM event involving many people engaging in scenes.
  • ProDom Male professional dominant (charges money).
  • ProDomme Female professional dominant (charges money).
  • Ponygirl or Ponyboy Sub is dressed in a pony outfit, with mouth bit and anal plug with a tail. They are told to prance or behave like a pony.
  • Pup-Play Sub is made to act like a puppy. Sub barks, whines, eats from a bowl, etc. Such play is sexual, but also focuses on the altered mind-space of bottom/pup and the complete dominance of his/her Trainer/Master.
  • Pussy Torture Torture of the female genitals for sexual gratification.
  • RACK Risk Aware Consensual Kink.
  • Rape Fantasy / Ravishment The pleasurable fantasy of inflicting or being a victim to an act of consensual play-rape.
  • Rhaphanidosis Insertion of a piece a radish into the anus.
  • Rope-Bondage Way to tie someone with ropes. Comes from japanese kinbaku-bi.
  • Sadism The act of inflicting pain.
  • Sadist Person who enjoys inflicting pain, usually sexually.
  • Safe, Sane and Consensual (SSC) a credo used by some BDSM practitioners to determine the appropriateness of BDSM play. Sometimes contrasted to RACK (risk aware consensual kink).
  • Safeword A codeword a bottom can use to force BDSM activity to stop – used especially in scenes which may involve consensual force.
  • Scat Play Feces play.
  • Scene is the community, the network of people within the BDSM circle, organizations, meeting places, dungeons, websites, e-mail lists, conferences, and so on.
  • Sensation play
  • Service-Oriented Submission A person who enjoys performing a service in a sexual or BDSM environment.
  • Slave A person (usually submissive) who consensually gives up total control of one or more aspects of their life to another person (their Master).
  • Soft limits Something that someone is hesitant to do or is nervous to try. They can sometimes be talked into the activity, or preferably it may be negotiated at a trial or beginner level into a scene.
  • Subdrop A physical condition, often with cold- or flu-like symptoms, experienced by a submissive after an intense session of BDSM play. This can last for as long as a week, and is best prevented by aftercare immediately after the session.
  • Submissive or "sub" for short: Person that gives up control either all the time or for a specified period (not to be confused with "bottom" or "slave"). Subspace: A "natural high" that a sub (or bottom) gets during a scene or when being controlled. The sub may feel disconnected from time, space, and/or their body, and may have limited ability to communicate. It is critical that a Dom(me)/top take responsibility for the sub/bottom and be aware of their sub's well being if they are in subspace. Long-term dominance and submission relationships without impact play may alternatively define subspace as 'a mental state where the submissive feels a deep emotional resonance or connection with the dom.
  • Switch Someone who likes being both top and bottom, either in one scene or on different occasions.
  • Taken in Hand 24/7 Male dominance in monogamous marriage, with or without BDSM aspects.
  • Tease and Denial Keeping another person aroused while delaying or preventing resolution of the feelings, to keep them in a continual state of anticipatory tension and inner conflict, and heightened sensitivity.
  • Tit Torture The act of causing deliberate physical pain to the breasts and nipples.
  • TNG The Next Generation. A tag commonly used by groups and organizations which cater to younger people involved in BDSM, typically ages 18–35.
  • Top Person "doing the action" (contrast with bottom – person receiving the action). Not to be confused with Dom which is the person who "puts the scene together". A male Dom could enjoy CBT and tell a sub what they are to do. In this case the Top is the submissive (following the direction of the Dom) and the bottom is the Dom (receiving the attention of the top).
  • Topping From the Bottom A bottom who purports to be a submissive but who nonetheless wants to direct the top.
  • TPE or Total Power Exchange is a relationship where the dominant or owner has complete authority and influence over the submissive's life, making the majority of decisions.
  • Training Either referring to a short period of time, or an ongoing effort of the dominant teaching the submissive how to behave for their own preferences.
  • Vanilla Someone who is not into BDSM. Alternatively, sexual behaviour which does not encompass BDSM activity. The term is sometimes used in a derogatory sense.
  • WIITWD What It Is That We Do. A broad term referring to all forms of alternative sexuality.
  • Wax Play The top drips hot wax on the bottom.

Bondage Techniques

Ball Tie Both a bondage position and the device used to achieve it in which the wrists are secured in front to the ankles (as distinct from a hogtie) and the knees are drawn up to the chest, restraining the person in the shape of a ball.

Bondage The practice of restraining, tying or otherwise binding a partner for erotic purposes. Bondage may be practiced for its own sake or "for a purpose," the latter being the most common form of bondage in BDSM in which the passive partner is restrained for an ulterior objective, like as a form of discipline, punishment or humiliation or to provide greater accessibility for sadomasochistic acts like caning.

Breast Bondage The act of tying the breasts either flat against the chest or so they bulge.

Crotch Rope Both a bondage position and the equipment used to achieve it in which a rope is pulled between a woman’s labia in order to apply pressure to her genitalia. Sometimes, a knot is included to increase clitoral stimulation. Men can use crotch ropes too, either by applying direct pressure from the rope onto the scrotum or incorporating a tie to secure the scrotum.

Decorative Bondage In this form, the passive partner is bound to be used as a decorative object for an aesthetic purpose, such as at a BDSM party as human furniture or for erotic photography.

Film Bondage A form of bondage in which the passive participant is only lightly bound and can easily escape. This non-violent act is normally performed purely for aesthetic reasons, hence the name.

Hair or Head Bondage Here, the passive participant is restrained in a position that pulls the head backward.

Hogtie A bondage position in which each wrist is secured behind the back to the corresponding ankle.

Kinbaku Also known as shibari, which translates to "the beauty of tight binding," this is a Japanese style of bondage in which the passive partner is tied up using visually elaborate patterns, typically with multiple thin pieces of rope, for a primarily aesthetic effect.

Meditative Bondage A form of bondage rarely practiced in the West but a common part of kinbaku, or Japanese bondage in which the objective of binding the passive participant is purely spiritual, rather than physical.

Predicament Bondage A form of bondage in which the passive participant is restrained such that any position in which he or she moves causes new and different discomfort, forcing the individual to choose, and shift as necessary, between them.

Public Bondage This form of bondage conducted in public settings combines bondage with exhibitionism. BDSM clubs are a venue for semi-public bondage.

Roleplay Acting out fantasy characters, settings and situations is a common component of bondage play, including abduction, rape or ravishment scenes, domination and submission scenes and predicament bondage (defined separately.)

Rope Bondage Here, the predominant (or sole) type of restraint utilized is rope. It often incorporates intricate knotwork, and the active partner performing it is often referred to as a rigger. Common forms of rope bondage include rope wrapping, rope weaving and single- and double-rope technique. One common position in rope bondage is the rope around the neck with a collar pulling the submissive downward into a forced bend.

Self-bondage The erotic use of restraints on oneself. Self-bondage is often incorporated with other forms of bondage and BDSM generally, including suspension bondage. Self-bondage requires special planning and techniques to ensure eventual release and, in part for this reason, can be extremely risky compared with other forms of bondage and BDSM.

Sleepsack Bondage Both a bondage position and the equipment used to achieve it in which the passive partner is bound comfortably, rather than uncomfortably, for an extended length of time inside a sleepsack, which is similar to a sleeping bag.

Spread Eagle A bondage position in which the arms and legs are splayed out and secured.

Strappado Bondage Both a technique and position, it involves binding the passive partner’s hands behind his or her back and securing the wrists to a fixed point overhead with the arms lifted behind the person, forcing him or her to bend forward.

Suspension Bondage (Partial or Full) A form of bondage in which the passive partner is secured to one of more points of suspension from above and hung there in either a horizontal, vertical or inverted position while restrained. In partial suspension, only part of the body is suspended while the rest is supported, such as one foot balanced on the ground or a person lying down. In full suspension, the body is entirely suspended. This can be a riskier form of bondage than others.

Torture Bondage Often used as punishment in domination/submission play, this is a form of bondage in which the passive partner is bound in an intentionally uncomfortable pose. Any form of bondage can also fall into this category if sustained too long.

Domination and Submission Techniques

Bondage Sexual bondage techniques can be employed as an act of discipline.

Corporal Punishment Intentional bodily harm of any form to the submissive, including (but not limited to) spanking, beating, whipping and slapping.

Cuckold A masochistic fetish in which men derive erotic pleasure from observing their wives in sexual acts with other men.

Dehumanization A form of humiliation and degradation in which the submissive is forced to act like an animal or an inanimate object and is treated as such by the dominant partner.

Domestic Servitude A form of consensual slavery in which the submissive cooks, cleans and performs other domestic duties for the dominant partner.

Dominance/Submission or D/S Relationships or play involving a sexual power dynamic.

Dom or Dominant The “active” partner, typically male (see Domme below,) who exerts control over the “passive” or submissive partner. A professional male dom is known as a ProDom.

Domme Also known as a Dominatrix, this is a woman who plays the role of the active, dominant partner in a domination/submission scene. A professional female domme is known as a ProDomme.

Enforced chastity The prohibition of the submissive from engaging in sexual acts or having any genital access or stimulation whatsoever, including experiencing orgasm. Often a locked device known as a chastity bel or, for men, a cock cage is employed to prevent access.

Feminization A form of roleplay in which the dominant partner imposes traditionally female qualities onto a male submissive partner.

Fetishes Any specific erotic obsession or the sexual delight in a particular experience or object. Examples include boot, shoe and foot worship, smoking, uniforms, heavy rubber and latex.

Financial Domination A sexual fetish in which a submissive gives money and gifts to the dom/domme.

Golden Showers or Human Toilet The act of urinating on another person or being urinated on by another person.

Objectification A form of dehumanization is which the dom/domme uses the submissive's body as a piece of furniture, like a footstool, or uses the submissive's mouth as a cigarette ashtray and spitting bowl.

Paraphilia Also known as adult babies, or ADBL, this is a form of roleplay in which an adult presents and acts as an infant for erotic gratification. It can be used as an act of humiliation.

Public Humiliation Performing acts of humiliation on a submissive in a public setting.

Resistance Play A form of power play in which the dom/domme forces the submissive to perform an action against their will.

Sexual Slavery A consensual arrangement in which the submissive abdicates his or her freedom to determine or refuse to comply with sexual acts

Submissive or Sub Not to be confused with the terms slave or bottom, this is the passive partner in the BDSM (and specifically D/S) relationship who abdicates control to the active, dominant partner either fully or partly.

Trampling The act of the dominant partner walking on the submissive partner. In this act, participants derive sexual pleasure from a combination of pain, or sadomasochism, and humiliation.

Verbal Humiliation Using words, such as insults, to degrade the submissive partner. This is also a common technique used in sadomasochism.

Whipping or Flagellation The act of striking the submissive partner with a whip or similar device as a form of domination or submission. Whipping or flagellation can also be a discipline technique used as a form of punishment and as a sadomasochistic technique in order to produce pain.

Discipline Techniques

Bondage Bondage can be used as a discipline technique.

Breast or Pussy Torture Torture of the female breasts or vagina for sexual gratification.

Caning Also a technique in sadomasochism, this is the act of striking the passive partner with a cane.

Cock and Ball Torture Torture of the male penis or scrotum for sexual gratification.

Discipline The erotic or sexualized punishment of a submissive or passive partner by a dominant or active one.

Edgeplay The act of bringing a sexual partner to the brink of harm or sexual orgasm without letting him or her reach completion can be used as a form of discipline or punishment.

Positive Reinforcement The act of rewarding a submissive for good behavior.

Public Humiliation Also a domination and submission technique, the humiliation of the submissive partner in a public setting can be used as a form of discipline.

Sadomasochism Techniques

Biting The literal biting of another person with one’s teeth to derive sexual gratification.

Blindfolding and Masks Blindfolds are typically used on the masochist in order to deprive the individual of visual awareness of what is taking place. Masks are often worn by the sadist in order to disguise the individual’s identity and take on a different persona. In both cases, the objective is to intensify the experience.

Bondage to Cause Pain Bondage is used as a sadomasochistic technique specifically to produce pain.

Clothespins and Clamps The application of clothespins and clamps to different parts of the body, like a woman’s nipples or a man’s scrotum.

Cutting The act of slicing through the skin with a razor, knife or other sharp object.

Discipline Painful acts of discipline are commonplace in sadomasochism.

Edgeplay In sadomasochism, edgeplay typically refers to the act of bringing a partner close to the brink of physical or emotional harm. Examples include gunplay, fire play, blood play, rough body play and breath play. That said, enforced chastity combined with edgeplay can also be a technique in sadomasochism.

Electric Shock Also known as Electro-Play, this is the practice of using a power source (like a Violet wand, EMS, TENS or made-for-play unit) to apply electrical stimulation to the nerves of the masochist’s body for the purposes of torture, tickling, sexual gratification and/or body modification.

Face Slapping Slapping the face in order to produce pain.

Figging The act of inserting a piece of peeled ginger root into the masochist’s vagina or anus.

Forced Orgasms The act of forcing a masochist to have an orgasm, and often multiple, successive ones.

Gags The act of shoving a ball, handkerchief or other object into a masochist’s mouth to prevent the individual from speaking.

Genital Binding A bondage technique particularly well-suited to sadomasochism for its ability to cause pain.

Genito-torture Both the breast and pussy torture of women and the cock and ball torture of men to produce pain for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Handcuffs The act of restraining the masochist, often to a fixed object, using handcuffs. In sadomasochism, this is often used to make the masochist helpless to defend him or herself against some other act of sadomasochistic act.

Knife Play The act of using the points and edges of knives to apply slow and methodical sensations to the masochist, typically without cutting the skin. Evoking the masochist's fear of the knife is often a central aspect of this technique's effect.

Piercing The act of sticking needles or other sharp objects through the flesh.

Spankings Unlike spanking in bondage and discipline, here it is intended specifically to cause pain.

Suspension Piercing The combination of suspension and piercing in which the masochist is suspended by chains or other tethers attached to his or her body through piercings.

Wax Play A technique in which the active partner drips hot wax on the receiving partner.

BDSM Escorts

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BDSM Resources

  1. BDSM - A Lengthy Article on BDSM From Wikipedia.
  2. BDSM Party Gifts - Toys, Leather, Spandex, Gifts for BDSM parties.
  3. BDSM Illustrated Dictionary - BDSM Dictionary (Dictionnaire du BDSM) is a 320-Page Book with 300+ Illustrations and French Text Out Now from Paris Erotica Publisher/Bookshop La Musardine.