Having been involved in BDSM for over 30 years, I’ve found that people desire definitions and terminology clarified. Below is terminology for those who are new or just starting out. This covers a great deal, yet it doesn’t cover every term used in an effort to avoid overwhelming those just entering the lifestyle.
There exist no protocols or rules that are standard in BDSM. The ones mutually negotiated and adopted between those involved are all that matter. There is normal etiquette and courtesy just like the rest of polite society. Therefore, just because you claim yourself to be a Dom/me do not expect to treat submissives as if they are YOUR submissive, that is NOT OKAY. Just because you claim yourself to be a submissive don’t expect Dom/mes to treat you as if you are THEIR submissive, that is NOT OKAY.
To begin, not everyone agrees on “definitions” or “terminology”… however, this has helped many beginners or “newbies”. Keep in mind that definitions and terminology only need to be clear between those involved in the activity together.
* 24/7- 24 hours a day 7 days a week
* BDSM- Bondage Discipline Sadism submissive masochism Master/Mistress. BDSM is not a psychological disorder.
*boi- Are usually female submissive’s or bottoms and usually have a female Daddy. They are typically masculine or “butch”.
*Bondage- Those who participate in being tied to objects.
* bottom- A term used for most that “play” in the submissive role. Gives up control but only for the play time.
*boy- Are usually male submissive’s or bottoms and usually have a male Daddy.
* CBT- Cock and ball torture, often including the scrotum.
* Communication- Something that is very important to all involved.
* Contract- An agreement entered into by all people involved in the relationship, usually for a specific period of time.
* D/s- Domination and submission.
* Daddy- A dominant man or a woman who is the father figure to a boy/boi.
* Dom/me- The person in charge, the one that does things to someone else.
* Dominissive- Person who enjoys both Dom/me and submissive roles.
* Edge Play- Something that is on the edge of one’s limits. Be aware what is edge play to someone might not be to someone else.
* Endorphins- Chemicals produced by your body that give you a state of ecstasy and pleasure.
* EPE- Erotic Power Exchange (usually a term for those just “playing” with others involved in the “scene” sometimes used in conjunction with TPE).
* Feedback- Letting each other know how things felt to them.
* Fetish- Attraction or attachment to an idea or object. Examples- Leather, uniforms, black attire.
* Fisting- To take one’s entire hand and insert into an orifice and slowly curl hand into a fist for fucking.
* Flogging- To hit someone with something similar to a cat o’ nine tails.
* Flogged: To be hit with an instrument usually made of leather strips.
* Golden Showers- Where the Dom/me urinates on the bottom, drinking of the urine might be part of this play.
* Humiliate- To hurt, the pride or dignity of someone. This is rarely used in BDSM. Erotic humiliation is usually what occurs. Forcing one to over come inhibitions and do things they normally wouldn’t. Just remember what humiliates one person, may not humiliate another.
* Immobilization- Usually done with rope or saran wrap to create a helplessness in the bottom. Some also call this mummification.
* Internal Enslavement- “Internal Enslavement” and “Total Power Exchange” cover much of the same ground. Internal Enslavement is to take possession of a slave, in a consensual context. Dealing with a slave’s thoughts, emotions and past experiences and establish and maintain a solid and inescapable state of ownership. This is achieved through control of the slave’s psychological states, in contrast to external enslavement where the submissive to be enslaved consents at the start of the process.
* Life-stylers- Those who live and are actively involved in S/m or D/s on a daily basis…Including TPE/EPE relationships.
* Limit- A place a person believes they do not wish to go. Limits are always changing and being tested and/or expanded. Things that are a limit today might not be 6 months from now. Usually limits occur were the activity/stimulation ceases to be enjoyable or satisfying or a psychological place where one can’t cope.
* Marks- Something that might happen during the course of play. Bruises are the most common “mark.”
* Markings- Commonly done when 2 enter into full time relationships. Typical markings- branding, piercing or tattoo.
* Masochism- Getting of pleasure, often sexual, from being hurt or humiliated.
* Master/Mistress A title/term for those that “live” as a Dom/me. Webster’s- A man who rules others or has control over something.
* Mentor- A tutor, a coach, a guide, a trusted counselor.
* Munch- A set time and place where people with BDSM interest gather for a meal and usually discussion.
* Negotiation- What is done before play or a long term relationship where both people state what they will and will not accept from each other.
* Newbie-Someone new to BDSM scene/lifestyle.
* Old Guard- Born out of the end of WWII, by gay leather men. Code words were used: ‘Do you play the mandolin or the saxophone?’ to discover which of them was the masochist or the sadist by the first letter of these instruments. For the era and the times, The Old Guard and its rigid social structure and manners/protocols were needed. The Old Guard will always be around, it is tradition.
* Owner- A term used for those that “live” as an Owner of their property.
* Play- To act in a specific way.
* Players- Those that enjoy the erotic aspects of Power Exchange but not wishing to live the lifestyle, or those wishing to expand their “vanilla lives.
* Property- A term used for those that “live” as property to their Owner.
* Punishment- There is punishment within play, called play punishment. These are usually activities done so the bottom gets enjoyment from them. Discipline punishment is real and is painful.
* Quick release- A device to quickly get a person free without needing to spend time in an emergency situation.
* RACK-Risk Aware Consensual Kink
* Role Playing- For those that wish to be somebody else for a specific period of time. Examples: School teacher/student, Pirate/captive, Officer/private, Burglar/victim, Pimp/hooker, Parent/child, Noble/servant, Sultan/concubine, etc.
* Sadism- Getting pleasure from mistreating others.
* Safeword- This is something the bottom/submissive can use to slow down or stop whatever is being done to them. Dom/mes can also use safewords, but is less common.
* S.A.M. or Sammie- Smart ass masochist. SAMs can be a lot of work, especially if they are the type to attempt to control everything the Top does, your energy will be spent trying to control them.
* Sassy (this is a term I came up with) Smart assed submissive/slave. To me it’s much better to say “don’t sas me” or “my we are sassy tonight” than using term sam/sammie.
* Scene- Those “players” would go to “play parties” for non-vanilla play. To some it is also pre-planned play with possible role-playing.
* SSC- Safe Sane Consensual
* Slavegirl/boy- A title/term for those that “live” as a submissive. Webster’s- A human being who is owned as property by another; a person having no freedom or personal rights.
* S/m- Sado Masochism
* submissive- The person not in charge, the one that has things done to them by someone else. To yield to the control or power of another.
* Switch- Person who enjoys both Dom/me and submissive roles
* Top-A term used for most that “play” in the Dom/me role. The one that controls things but only for the play time.
* Topping from the bottom- where the sub directs the Top what to do or how to do things to them.
* TPE- Total Power Exchange (usually no safewords used, usually those 24/7). Considered negotiated codependence.
* Vanilla- Not a person into BDSM. Ingrained society norms and referred to as “mainstream.” Pro-creation sex between a man and woman.
* Weekend Warrior- Those that wish to experience BDSM sensations only in the bedroom or at a “play party.”