BDSM GLOSSARY OF TERMS

  • Acupressure: Pressure points on the body that induce certain responses, some sexual. Erotic and sensual massage practises stimulating erogenous zones. Also used for pain and control.
  • Anal Play: Stimulating or penetrating the anus for sexual pleasure. In males the stimulation of the prostate by various means is the method of a mixture of pain and sensation. In woman the stimulation of the clitoris to enhance the experience of an orgasm in a combination of pleasurable pain.
  • Androgyny: Having a blend of both male and female characteristics (culturally sanctioned sex roles).
  • Aphrodisiacs: Food, drinks, drugs, herbs, or scents that can arouse or increase sexual desire or libido. Oysters contain zinc, which is known as an aid to libido.
  • Autoerotic Asphyxiation: Arousal from a lack of oxygen. A dangerous practise and not to be performed by a novice. Also known as breath-play.  
  • Auto erotica: Self-induced arousal from fantasies, pornography, erotica or other aids. The use of fetish devices such as shoes, panties or any trigger   
  • Aftercare:  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 sub drop as these return to more everyday levels
  • Animal Play: The sub acts or dresses like an animal (puppy, pony, cow, pig, monkey. etc.).
  • Auctioned off: Dominant auctions off the slave to the highest bidder (usually supervised and for temporary use).
  • Animal transformation fantasy: Fantasy in which the focus is on the sub entering the altered mind space of a different species, typically a dog, pony or horse.
  • Abrasion: Using something rough (such as sandpaper) on the subs skin. One has to consider proper after care and the risk of scarring, infection and skin damage.
  • Aftercare: 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 sub drop as these return to more everyday levels.
  • Age play: Usually referring to daddy/daughter or mommy/baby role-play. Does not include or imply aspects of incest, but rather the nurturing relationship of parent/child or teacher/student.
  • Anal torture: The BDSM practice of inflicting pain on the anus.
  • Animal Play: The sub acts or dresses like an animal (puppy, pony, cow, etc.).
  • BDSM: A compounded acronym for B/d (Bondage/discipline), D/s (Domination/submission), and S/m (Sadism/masochism). It covers the three aspects of a lifestyle that usually involves more than one or all of these sets of activities, but may also only include one.
  •  Bondage act: Acts involving the physical restraint of a partner. Bondage typically refers to total restraint, however it can be limited to a particular body part, such as breast bondage. Use of chain, rope, leather or any restrictive device. Shibari – a Japanese practise involving bondage techniques imported into the BDSM scene.
  • Bottom: The casual term for someone who enjoys the submissive role but is not generally committed to a full-time D/s relationship or one partner.
  • Bad pain: Good pain and bad pain are terms used light-heartedly by BDSM practitioners, signifying that whilst BDSM may include an element (often quite pronounced) consensual pain, there is a purpose to it, and some pain is consented to and accepted whilst other pain is not. "Bad pain" is pain, which is outside hard limits, non-mutual or non-valued, not wished for, and of limited or no value in this context.
  • Breast bondage: The act of tying female breasts so that they are either flattened against the chest or so that they bulge.
  • Breathe Control: The dominant controls the sub missive’s breathing. A very dangerous practise be advised. Only for informed or experienced players.
  • Butt plug: Much like a dildo, only shaped slightly differently. The flared base allows for safe anal penetration. They come in a variety of sizes; some can vibrate.
  • 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.
  • CBT: Cock and ball torture
  • 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 vs. non-consensual play: A mutual agreement that within defined limits, or subject to a safe word or other restrictions, and common sense, 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. Non- consensual play is abuse!
  • Contract: A written-out agreement between the dominant & submissive. It can be either formal or none, 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.
  • DM: Dungeon Monitor, a person who volunteers to supervise the interactions between participants at a play party to ensure their safety.
  • Dom: Man or woman who exercises control (from dominant-contrast with sub)
  • Dominant : Man or woman who exercises control - contrast with submissive
  • Domme: Woman who exercises control (see also Dominatrix)
  • D/s: Dominance/submission
  • Dungeon: Usually referring to a room or area with BDSM equipment and play space. Rooms or chambers named for its particular purpose in the scene.
  • Edge play: SM play, which pushes the limits of the persons involved. This can be potentially dangerous activity such as fire; electricity, cutting, or breath play, but often isn't dangerous with the proper skills and experience.
  • 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 sub drop 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).
  • Fetish: A specific obsession or delight in one object or experience. Feet, stilettos or silk etc.
  • Financial Domination: An erotic urge to give or to be manipulated, to give money and gifts almost a fantasy of giving it all, to worship a dominant. Cash piggy, a form of humiliation and complete loss of power.
  • Fire play: Using flammable liquids to create quick, fleeting instances of flame on the skin of the bottom. Risk of injury is increased and the top should be learned with fire play skills.
  • Genital Torture: Torture of the genitals including nipples. Also known as CBT.
  • Good pain: Good pain and bad pain are terms used light-heartedly 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 showers: Urinating on, or being urinated on by, another person. A fetish for the act usually as foreplay
  • Gunplay: The practice of including simulated firearms into a scene. The use of an actual weapon is not Safe Sane and Consensual! Also known as edge play. There is a thin line between fantasy and reality, do not cross it.
  • Handkerchief codes: Visible signs to indicate to others your area of BDSM interest.
  • Hard limits: What someone absolutely will not do, non-negotiable? No go zone during play.
  • Harem: A group of subs serving one or more dominants.
  • Impact play: Part of sensation play, dealing with impact such as whips, riding crops, paddles, floggers, canes etc. To strike or impact using an implement on a submissive. Caning, paddling or flogging etc.
  • Infantilism: Parent/child or parent/baby role-playing. Adult acting or assuming the role of an infant. Also known as Age play. Regression or fetish depending on individual needs.
  • 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. A dangerous practice only for informed or experienced players.
  • Limits: What someone "won't" do or is hesitant to do. Hard limits a definitive no go zone and soft limits a possible zone with caution.
  • 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.
  • 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. Sometimes this is a club. You might see an announcement like, "This weekend's munch is at Denny's". Some regard it as a moot or moots.
  • Needle play: Temporary piercing done with sterile needles of varying gauges, usually only for the duration of a scene. Dominant must be aware of nerve and blood vessel damage. Blood contamination risk. Not to be performed by a novice.
  • Newbie: Someone new to BDSM. Also see wannabe.
  • Nyotaimori: Human sushi platters.
  • OTK: Over the knee (spanking).
  • Pain slut: A person who enjoys receiving a heavy degree of pain but, may or may not necessarily enjoy submitting.
  • Play party: A BDSM event involving many people engaging in scenes.
  • Pro Male Dom / Pro Fem Dom:  A professional dominant (charges a fee or tribute). Full time lifestyle Dominant with professional facilities. Should be skilled, trained, informed in being an absolute professional on all aspects of the lifestyle practises and code of conduct. Also known as Master with a title (male) or Domina with a title (female). Tile name or title best describes the dominants individual style or character.
  • Pro Female Domme: Female professional dominant or Domina / Dominatrix.
  • Pony girl or Pony boy: 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.
  • RACK - Risk Aware Consensual Kink also see Safe Sane and Consensual. Terms or a code of conduct put in place for obvious reasons. Be aware, informed and give consent willingly.
  • Rape fantasy, ravishment: The pleasurable fantasy of inflicting or being a victim to an act of consensual play-rape.
  • Sadism: The act of inflicting pain. Deriving pleasure from the suffering of others.
  • Sadist: Person who enjoys inflicting pain, usually sexually. A dominant act.
  • Safe, Sane and Consensual – SSC consideration for the submissive safety. Staying within the boundaries of common sense and not going on to a path of senseless brutality and arrogance. Consent! No consent no play or it is abuse.
  • Safe word - When a participant utters a safe word, BDSM activity stops and has to stop. Safe word means no.
  • Scene: A time period of BDSM activities. Also used to refer to the BDSM community ("the Scene").
  • Sensation play: BDSM play where the intent is to push people's sensory limits, thus exploring texture, sensory deprival, through to whips, flagellation and edge play.
  • Session: A time period of BDSM activities with a Pro Dom/me.
  • Service-oriented submission: A person who enjoys performing a service in a sexual or BDSM environment
  • Slave_(BDSM): A person (usually submissive) who consensually gives up total control of one or more aspects of their life to another person (their Master / Domina)
  • Soft Limits: Something that someone is hesitant to do or 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.
  • Straightjacket: Commonly used in mental asylums to control the insane or more violent uncontrollable mental patients. Jacket where arms / hands are trapped to body towards the back. An adapted form is designed for use in scene play. The actual old form can cause injury and is not designed for the scene.
  • Sub drop: 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. Dominants should be aware of suicidal tendencies after humiliation play or unusual depression and take the necessary steps or precaution.
  • 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.")
  • 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 wellbeing if they are in subspace.
  • Switch: Someone who likes being both top and bottom, either in one scene or on different occasions.
  • 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. (See also orgasm denial).
  • Tit torture: The act of causing deliberate physical pain to the breasts and nipples.
  • Tantra: Yoga-type sexual discipline.
  • 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 that purports to be a submissive but who nonetheless wants to direct the top. It usually ends the scene play.
  • Transvestite: Person aroused by cross-dressing.
  • Transsexual: A person whose gender identity does not match the physical sex organs of their body. They can be in the process of physically changing their sex (pre-operative) or have already changed their physical sex surgically (post-operative).
  • Training: Either referring to a short period of time (a scene) or an ongoing effort of the dominant teaching the submissive how to act.
  • Vanilla: Someone who is not in the lifestyle. Alternatively, sexual behaviour which does not encompass BDSM activity. The term is sometimes used in a derogatory sense.
  • Wannabe: Someone who thinks or claims to be knowledgeable about BDSM, but is not. Especially prevalent with new dominants. A lot of prostitutes use BDSM as a way of making money and do not research their role or have the correct personality to be in the position or role of a dominant. It is very dangerous for the sub to play with an inexperienced dominant.
  • Wax play: The top drips hot wax on the bottom.
  • 24/7: A relationship in which protocols are in place continuously. A Lifestyle choice or way of conduct.

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