BDSM Dictionary

24/7: A BDSM relationship in which all parties involved exist in a perpetual power exchange.

Aftercare: The last act of a BDSM session used to transition the submissive from the elevated states created in a scene back to normalcy. Feelings of affection, comfort and gratitude are often exchanged during this period.

Age Play: Play where an adult gains pleasure from taking on the role of a much younger person, usually a child or 'adult baby' (infantilism).

Animal Play: Taking on the role of a specific animal. Ponyplay and puppyplay are the most popular. This type of play often includes obedience training, exercise training, paper-training (in puppyplay), harnessing and riding (in ponyplay).

Naughty schoolgirl roleplay is extremely popular among age-players.

Anal Play: Any play involving the ass, such as fisting, butt plugs, anal sex, etc.

Ball Gag: A device used in BDSM play to prevent a sub from speaking or crying out. A rubber ball that is held securely between the submissive's teeth and strapped into place.

BDSM: The word BDSM is a combination of BD for Bondage Discipline, DS for Domination and Submission, and SM for Sado Masochistic.

Blood Sports: A group of techniques in which the sub's skin is pierced or cut and blood is involved.

Body Modification: To have the body modified by piercing, branding, or cutting.

Bondage: Technique used to render a submissive physically helpless using ropes, restraints, cuffs, etc.

Bottom: A person who receives pain or bondage in an SM scene, but who may or may not have a power relationship with the top. Also used as a verb "to bottom".

Brat: A bottom who likes to act naughty or mischievous and will sometimes test his or her dominant’s boundaries, patience or limits in order to get a beating.

Breath Control: A form of edgeplay in which the top restricts the bottom's ability to breathe, either by constricting the neck or by blocking the mouth or nose.

Bukkake: When many men ejaculate on the face of a submissive.

Bullwhip: A very long, heavy, single strand leather whip.

Butt plug: A sex toy similar to a dildo which is designed for anal penetration and has a flared base.

Cane: a rod made of bamboo or plastic. Used in Victorianesque themed play. Leaves nasty welts.

Cat-O' Nine-Tails (cat): A whip consisting of nine strands of leather with weighted or cutting ends.

CBT (Cock and Ball Torture): Intense torture of the male genitals involving constriction and or denial of erection.

Clamps: Devices used in S&M play to pinch, cut off blood flow, to certain areas of the body such as the nipples and genitals. Clothespins and nipple-clamps are most common.

Collar: Worn around the neck, signifies ownership. To say that someone is "collared" means that the person wearing the collar is the property of somebody.

Collaring Ceremony: A collar is given as part of a formalized ceremony in which parties exchange vows and pledge their commitment to and sometimes love for one another.

Contract: A written agreement outlining the rights and duties of D/s partners. BDSM contracts do not have any meaning in terms of law, but they are often used to define the relationship.

Crop: Riding Crop used for spanking techniques.

Cyber: Refers to a relationship, collaring, or sexual activity which is online only.

Daddy: A dominant who assumes a paternal, mentoring role with a submissive, provides guidance and expresses a masculine identity. Not always gender specific.

Discipline: Structured training or punishment given to a bottom with the goal of providing guidance and correcting behavior.

Dom, Dominant: The person who is in charge/control (also referred to as a top).

Domspace/Topspace: A state of altered awareness dominants often achieve while scening. Domspace is an intensely pleasurable and satisfying state for a dominant to achieve, but is also immensely draining, usually requiring rest afterwards.

Dungeon/playspace: A space used for BDSM activities, public or private, and furnished with BDSM equipment.

Edgeplay: These are particularly dangerous BDSM techniques that are looked upon with some trepidation such as bloodsports and asphyxia.

Electrical Play: Using electrical devices such as violet wands,TENS units, etc. for stimulation.

Endorphin: A hormone secreted by the body when experiencing pain that creates a feeling of euphoria. When a person is under the influence of endorphins, sometimes it is said that they are in "subspace".

Enema: The injection of a fluid into the rectum. Often used in medical and humiliation scenes.

EPE (Erotic Power Exchange): When partners exchange power in an erotic setting. Both S&M and D/s are forms of EPE.

Exhibitionism: Getting sexual pleasure from exposing oneself to others or being watched while scening or having sex.

Femdom: Female Domination, or when a woman is the dominant partner. A female dominant is also referred to as a Domina, Domme or Dominatrix.

Fetish: A strong sexual interest in or obsession over some object, body part, or activity. Examples include foot fetish and latex fetish. Also used broadly to describe any non-traditional sex, especially BDSM.

Fisting: Penetration of the vagina or anus using the fist/hand.

Flogger: A device consisting of a handle and numerous strands in various sizes and materials.

Foot worship: Generally involves massage, licking, kissing, or sucking bare feet and toes.

Forced Feminization (Sissification): When a top "forces" a submissive man to dress and/or behave in a feminine manner.

Golden Shower: One party urinates on another. Sometimes used as a form of humiliation.

Gorean: One who adopts the code and style of life as portrayed by the GOR books of John Norman.

Hard Limit: The maximum edge of someone's negotiated limit. In some cases, a hard limit is a personal choice; in others, it is a necessity to safeguard the bottom's health. For example, if the bottom is allergic to latex, any latex product would be a "hard limit."

Head-play: Also known as mind-play, mind games, head games, head trips, and mind-fucking. This means any kind of manipulation by the dominant which heightens anticipation and fear in an emotionally masochistic bottom and thus intensifies the bottom's erotic response. This includes everything from "verbal abuse" to complex scenarios that confuse or surprise the bottom into deeper "sub-space."

Humiliation: Embarrassment or degradation of the bottom.

Impact play: When the bottom is hit by another person with toys, bare hands or fists with intent to cause deep bruising.

Kink/ Kinky: Sexual activity that is considered exotic or non-traditional.

Kink-Friendly: A person or establishment that is sympathetic and/or supportive to kinky people.

Leather Title
International Mr. Leather 2014 titleholder Ramien Pierre.

Leather: Although many hetero folks are into leather, it typically refers to the gay BDSM community.

Leather Title: Leathermen and women compete in various national and international contests to win prestigious titles within the BDSM community.

Little: An adult who roleplays as a child or displays child-like behavior during a scene.

Masochism: The ability to derive pleasure from pain.

Master, Mistress: A dominant male or female who usually engages in Master/slave relationships.

Mentor: A wise and trusted teacher or advisor.

Munch: A social gathering of BDSM people, usually in a restaurant.

Mummification: A form of bondage where the passive partner is wrapped from head to toe in various materials such as rope, saran wrap, duct-tape, latex, etc.

Negotiation: The art and science of reaching a clear, consensual agreement with your BDSM partner about the type of relationship you will have and the kinds of kinky things you will do together.

Old Guard: The exclusively gay male, loosely organized network of leather clubs (circa 1940s-1950s) which established the rituals and mores of leather culture.

OTK (Over The Knee): A spanking given while the bottom is bent over the top's knee.

Paddle: A flat instrument used for spanking purposes - mostly made of leather or wood - sometimes with air holes for a better effect.

Pain Slut: A person who derives pleasure from intense pain.

Pansexual: A person, organization or community that caters to all sexual orientations, genders, and activities.

Play-partner: Generally refers to anyone with whom one has BDSM encounters or scenes. Implies a casual relationship.

Play-party: A party where people engage in BDSM scenes. There may also be eating, drinking, dancing and/or socializing.

Poly: Short for "polyamory". The desire, practice, or acceptance of having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

Ponygirl: A bottom trained to act and look like a pony.

Power exchange: The consensual transfer of power by BDSM partners. The exchange takes place when the returned energy from the top empowers the bottom.

Pro-Domme: A Professional Dominatrix. Payment ("tribute") is expected for sessions and usually there is no sexual contact involved.

Protector: A protector is one who is entrusted with the care of a bottom. A protector is also one who will take the place of a top at events or social gatherings.

Punishment: Any negative stimulus that a bottom must endure as a consequence of their behavior. This can be physical or psychological (i.e. withdrawal of a privilege).

Pushing Limits: By consent, a bottom agrees to let the top push them to a limit and slightly beyond. Most commonly this occurs when the bottom believes their limit stems from an irrational fear they hope to overcome.

RACK: Risk-Aware Consensual Kink (RACK, also Risk-Accepted Consensual Kink) is an acronym used by some of the BDSM community to describe themselves and their philosophies. It specifies that any activity between fully-informed consenting adults is acceptable.

Restraints: Devices used to impede movement for some purpose be it for pain, humiliation, punishment or pleasure.

R/L or R/T: Real life or real time as opposed to online.

Rough Trade: The practice of violent or rough sexual activities in the gay community. Sometimes practiced between heterosexual and gay men for money.

Sadist: One who derives pleasure from inflicting emotional or physical pain on another.

SSC (Safe, Sane and Consensual): Activities that are "safe" (no form of pain or stimulation that causes harm), "sane" (with respect for both body and mind), and consensual (all partners involved are adults who are able to give informed consent). First formulated by David Stein, for GMSMA.

Safeword: A word, phrase or sign the participants agree on which causes a scene to stop immediately. "Red" is the most commonly used and accepted safeword.

SAM (Smart Ass Masochist): A bottom who knowingly misbehaves in order to receive attention.

Scening/playing: Interaction between BDSM partners for pleasure, discipline or both. A scene usually involves toys, restraints, and/or dungeon equipment. Sex doesn’t have to be present for the interaction to constitute a scene.

Slave: A person who gives total control to and becomes the property of their Master.

Spreader Bar: A bar of any kind of material (usually wood or metal) used to keep two body parts (ankles, wrists, thighs) spread apart from each other.

Strap-on: A dildo that is worn by someone, attached to a harness, so that it can be thrust into a partner like a penis. 

Submissive/sub: A person who gives control to a top or dominant.

Subdrop/Domdrop: Feelings of depression and confusion experienced in the days following an intense scene.

Subfrenzy: An intense craving or longing to spend time with a top.

Subspace: A trance-like state of mind and body the submissive experiences during a scene. It is often described as a feeling of lightness, flying, or euphoria. The feelings are often caused by endorphins emitted during intense scenes.

Suspension: The act of being suspended by wrists, ankles or other body parts.

Switch: A person who switches roles between top and bottom.

Top: A dominant male or female. The person in charge/control.

Topping from the bottom: When a bottom attempts to assert dominance while in submission to their top.

TPE (Total Power Exchange): The consensual transfer of power between BDSM partners.

Toilet slave: Someone who has a fetish for serving the dominant's toilet habits or who has a fetish for being ordered to clean or worship toilets. May also refer to someone who wishes to role play as a toilet.

Toy: The physical objects used in and around the scene, such as whips, paddles, cuffs, and floggers.

TV, TS, TG (Transvestite, Transsexual, Transgender, T-girl): Men who live or dress up as women. A person who is a transvestite, cross dresser, or transsexual isn't necessarily into BDSM.

Vanilla: A person with no interest in BDSM. Plain, non-kinky sex.

Violet Wand: An electric device usually in form of a glass cylinder which uses the effect of high frequent electric charges generated by a tesla device to apply intense stimulation.

Voyeurism: Getting sexual pleasure from watching someone else scene or have sex.

Watersports: Golden showers, urine play.

Whip: Usually made of leather with a medium sized handle and a single strand of long braided leather strings.

WIITWD: An initialism for "What it is that we do". It is intended to include all activities that the mainstream would consider "Kinky".