BDSM Education Center

Live. Learn. Grow.

BDSM Education Center


The Ultimate BDSM Glossary

24/7: A relationship in which protocols are in place continuously.


Abrasion - Dictionary term meaning a wearing, grinding, or rubbing away by friction.  In BDSM play this would See also stimulating the surface of the body with abrasive materials such as rough silk, leather, sandpaper, brushes, etc.

Age Play - Acting as if you were either younger or perhaps older than you really are.

Anal Beads - A set of strung beads used to insert into the anus to stimulate the anal nerves as foreplay or to cause orgasm.

Anal Play - This is generally play where the anus may be penetrated with either beads, ice, dildos, anal plugs, penis, or fist.   Rimming the anus with a finger or toys stimulates the nerves which can create a more intense orgasm.  Inserting and playing with one's prostate gland (males) will cause increased orgasm.

Anal Plug - (See also: Dildo, Vibrator) A specially designed dildo for use in the anus that is shaped in a way so that it will not "fall out". Most commonly inserted and left in the anus for a given amount of time. Also used for "ass training" to stretch out the anus and get one accustomed to having something in their ass.

Anal Sex - (See also: Rimming) Any sexual activity involving the anus. Examples are; rimming (oral), Butt / Anal Plugs, Dildos, and penile penetration.

Animal Role Playing - Games in which one or more partners, usually the bottom, takes on the role of an animal. Most common is probably a dog, or puppy boy / girl though horses are also popular. The 'animal' may imitate animal behavior, wear items such as collars, leads, bridles and so on, or carry out tasks associated with animal behavior.

Arm / Leg Sleeves -  Play which involves binding the arms/legs of the submissive in an attempt to restrict mobility.

Aromas -  (See also: Hot Oils ) Play which involves the use of certain aroma therapy to induce relaxation.   Also referred to as "poppers". In some instances, these can be volatile compounds whose vapors cause temporarily increased heart and breathing rates, muscle relaxation, and a "rushing" feeling in the head. These types of play are popular in the gay and rave scenes, and often used in an S/m context. There are some dangers associated with their use.

Asphyxiation - (See also Breath Control, Choking) Commonly referred to as "breath control". Refers to play involving control of or restriction of air and / or oxygen to the brain. Any form of stopping breathing freely including choking, smothering and hoods with tubes, sacks, plastics, etc, is asphyxia.  Sometimes used to cause a more intense orgasm. Other examples would be strangling which is compression of the neck or throat area to prevent oxygen to the brain; suffocation involves reducing the level of oxygen available to breathe; hanging where the body is suspended by the neck (remember, all these games are extremely dangerous, either alone or with a partner, and may cause DEATH).

Auctioned for Charity - (See also: Competitions) Involves play where the partner (usually the submissive) is auctioned off to others for charitable purposes and or services to another. This is illegal in many areas.

Animal transformation fantasy: Fantasy in which the focus is on the sub entering the altered mind space of a different species, often a dog, cat, or horse.

Abrasion: Using something rough (such as sandpaper).

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. 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.

Ageplay: Usually referring to daddy/daughter or mommy/baby role play. Does not usually 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, cat, pony, cow, etc.).

Auctioned off: Dominant auctions off the slave to the highest bidder (usually supervised and for temporary use).


Ball Stretching - Play which involves a type of penile constraint attached to weights in order to provide a variety of sensations including discomfort and pain, while stretching the testicles and scrotum.

Bathroom Use Control - (See also: Catheterization, Enemas) Scenes where the Dominant restricts or takes control over the submissive's bodily functions through the use of techniques such as catheterization, enemas, diapers, rubber pants, and possibly golden showers. Examples in play: House training a puppy, age play, and golden shower play.

Bestiality - Play which incorporates the use of animals for sexual pleasure. Not to be confused with animal role playing.   This form of play can be very dangerous.

Beating - (See also:  Spanking, Caning) Striking the body with various objects or the hand.   Typically administered as punishment in connection with childhood punishments.   For example, the Dominant may administer a "beating" to an unruly submissive. 

Being Serviced (sexually) - Play which involves just that.   The Dominant instructing the submissive to do exactly how He / She wants the submissive to perform sexually.        

BDSM: Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism: a combined acronym often used as a catch all for anything in the kink scene.

Biting - Scenes involving the biting of the skin to induce pain.   Safety Note: Although certain types of nibbling/biting are quite safe, extreme biting causing breaking/bleeding of the skin is not recommended and can be dangerous if not carefully done.

Black sheet party: An orgy for people into BDSM sex.

Blindfolds - (See also: Full-Head Hoods) Play which involves temporarily blocking the submissive's sense of sight. This type of play is essential when everyday objects are used to give unexpected sensations.   Blindfolds come in many forms from the more expensive leather (full-head type) to the more inexpensive handkerchiefs, scarves, bandages.  Safety Note: Do not make the blindfold too tight as to put pressure on the eyeballs.   Although some people take blindfolding in stride, it can have unpredictable psychological effects and be extremely frightening for some people.

Bondage - (See also: Breast / Chest Bondage, Immobilization, Intricate Japanese Rope Bondage, Manacles / Irons, Mummification, Shibari, Spreader Bar, Straight Jacket) The restriction of a person's bodily movements for erotic reasons using fastenings of various types or textures.   Also used in S/M practices though with a heavier pretense. Examples; Rope, cuffs, chains, and other restraining apparatus.

Boot Worship - (See also: Foot Worship, Homage, High Heels) The practice of play involving a fetish for boots / shoes.   Commonly used for Domination and humiliation practices (i.e., licking or cleaning of the Dominant's boots, shoes or bare feet).

Bottom: one who receives physical sensation from a top in a scene; the one-done-to rather than the do-er.

Branding - (See also: Cutting, Knife Play, Tattoo) Making a permanent or semi-permanent scar on the skin by burning it with a hot metal object, as practiced on livestock.   Seen by some as "body art", this technique can be carried out safely; however, it is still likely to be intensely painful. Can also use temporary tattoos or markers. Used by Dominants to mark Their property. Not for the novice.

Breast / Chest Bondage - (See also: Bondage) The restriction / bondage of the woman's breast / chest area for erotic reasons using various types of fastenings (i.e., rope, scarves, etc.). Breath Control: The dominant controls the submissive's breathing.

Breast Whipping -   Whipping of the woman's / submissive's chest area using a variety of items which include:   floggers, whips, cat tails, paddles, for erotic purposes.

Breath Control - (See also: Asphyxiation, Choking) Refers to play involving control of or restriction of air and / or oxygen to the brain.   Other examples would be strangling, which is compression of the neck/throat area to prevent the flow of oxygen to the brain. Suffocation involves reducing the level of oxygen available to breathe; hanging where the body is suspended by the neck (remember, all these games are dangerous to play, either alone or with a partner).

Brown Showers (Scat) -    The practice of play involving a fetish for including human (or animal) feces.    Although this type of play can be safe if done correctly, it is not recommended for those faint of heart!

Bruising - A condition which may occur as a result of pinching or striking.  Care should be taken to avoid bruising.

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.


Caning -   (See also: Beating , Whipping ) Caning - Mostly made of bamboo, this whip is by far the most painful. Care should be used, as the welts from caning are slow to rise, and blood can be accidentally drawn if not in constant monitoring. Caning should be limited to the fleshy part of the buttocks, and nowhere else on the body. This can be very dangerous, and is not for the novice.

Castration Fantasy - (See also: Cutting, Knife Play) There has been much confusion as to the actual meaning of this term.  This refers to removal of the testicles; however, some people use it for the removal of any/all sexual organs of either sex.  The removal of the testicles is sometimes referred to as Emasculation and a man who has had his testicles removed is referred to as a eunuch.   This procedure causes permanent and significant changes to the body.   Castration fantasies are actually quite common among the heavy S/m players and are played out in scenes involving cock and ball torture (CBT), permanent and play piercing, and even genital shaving.   However, few people actually choose to make this fantasy a reality.   It should be noted here that this is a serious surgical procedure and not something someone can teach themselves to do safely.   This form of play is very dangerous.

Catheterization - (See also: Bathroom Use Control, Enemas, Urethral Play) A flexible tube used in medical procedures generally inserted into the area controlled by the bladder.   This procedure is most often used for "control" scenes. 

Cattle Prod - An electrical prodding device used to herd animals, more frequently for cattle.   Sometimes used in S/m play for "branding" or serious hardcore pain play, and is considered dangerous play.

Cells or Closets - Play which involves locking the submissive in a cell-type device and / or closet.   Usually as a form of punishment.   Not recommended for claustrophobics.

Chains - A strong metal type of bondage material used in bondage scenes.   Chains are less flexible and potentially more dangerous than other types of bondage material.   Note:   Always make sure you observe metal bondage rules and choose a chain and equipment that will withstand heavier strain.


Chamber-Pot Use - Scenes involving the use of the toilet for humiliation and / or control.   Generally used for medical scenes.

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.

Chastity Belt - (See also: Enforced Chastity) In S/M circles, meaning the banning or physically preventing one (male or female) from achieving orgasm or any form of genital stimulation. A means of domination over one's submissive.   A device (lockable) panty-type which when worn prevents any type of genital stimulation.

Chauffeuring - Requiring one's submissive to "chauffeur" them around physically in vehicles or other types of transportation.

Choking - (See also: Asphyxiation, Breath Control) Compression of the carotid arteries in order to restrict air or blood flow to the brain.   This form of play is dangerous.

Chores (Domestic Service) - (See also: Housework) Scenes where the Dominant requires the submissive to perform chores and / or domestic service in either sexually pleasing clothing (i.e., maid outfits) or naked.

Clothespins - (See also Nipple Clamps) Small pinning devices used for hanging clothes.  Generally used in BDSM play as quite effective nipple clamps, testicle clamps, etc.   Great for the bargain BDSM player!   Be sure the wood doesn't become stuck to the skin while removing, as it will remove skin from body.

Cock & Ball Torture - any form of restraint or orgasm control to a male's genitals.  Can be used for play or punishment.  Not for the novice, as this can be dangerous.

Cock Ring - Rubber, metal, or leather type ring used to strap around the base of the cock and balls when soft.   Increases blood flow to the genital area during self-stimulation and sex.  When released, causes minor pain during recurring blood flow.

Cock Worship - (See also: Homage, Licking) Play which involves the fantasy of worshiping the cock.   Performed mostly by the submissive to the Dominant.   Scenes might include licking and / or fellatio. Even some female Dominants may use a strap-on that is worshiped by the submissive male or female.

Collar - A collar worn around the neck to indicate one's submissiveness.   These can be made of leather, steel, rubber, rope.    Used in scenes for humiliation and / or examples such as dog / puppy or even boy / girl play.

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 openly commits to a sub (much like a wedding or other contract).

Competitions (With Other Subs) - (See also: Auctioned for Charity) Scenes involving competitive-type sports or play with other submissives. 

Consent: Mutual agreement to the terms of a scene or ongoing BDSM relationship.

Consensual non-consent: 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 & 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.

Corsets - A lingerie / binding type device worn to restrict the chest area and make the waist smaller.   Worn by early 19th Century women as a form of formal dress to make one's self more appealing to the opposite sex. 

Crotch Torture - Any form of torture to the male or female genital area.

Cuffs - A leather or metal bondage device used to restrict movement. Usually locks around the limbs in order to place the submissive in a precarious position.

Cutting - (See also: Abrasion, Branding, Castration Fantasy, Knife Play) Cutting the surface of the skin with sharp objects, generally a knife, for the thrill, sensation, or pain.   To also create decorative scars.    The same basic precautions apply as with other types of blood play.   Remember to stay away from vital organ areas and genital cutting. See also Abrasion, Branding, or Castration Fantasy.


D/s: Dominance/submission: play or relationships that involve an erotic power exchange.

Diapers - Waterproof panties or cloth worn in BDSM play for the object of child-playing scenes. Also used in control scenes for controlling bodily functions.

Dilation - The term used when a woman's cervix is dilated (opened) to aid in childbirth. In BDSM play dilation occurs when a speculum (pelvic exam device) is used to open the cervix for medical scening. Safety Note: Care should be exercised and previous study should be done, before attempting this play. This form of play is dangerous

Dildo - (See also: Anal Plug, Vibrator) From the French term meaning "I please myself).  A phallic-shaped device designed for insertion into the body. Early versions were made of stuffed animal gut, leather, or ceramics; however, today they are most commonly crafted of molded latex. They may be hand-held, strapped on with harnesses to allow women to wear, or permanently placed on other devices to ensure stability during use. Hygiene demands that dildos not be shared with others, or condoms be placed on dildos to prevent the spread of STD's.

Dom: **See “Dominant.”

Dominant A person who exercises control – contrast with submissive.

Dominatrix: A Dominant, usually female and often a Pro-Domme.

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 non-gendered terms Dom/Dominant.

Double Penetration - Play involving the penetration of two or more bodily orifices with various types of devices and / or genitalia, (i.e., penetration of the mouth / rectum / vagina, etc.)

Dungeon: Usually referring to a room or area with BDSM equipment and play space.

Dungeon Monitor/Master (or DM), 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.


Edge play: SM play that involves a chance of harm, either physically or emotionally. Because the definition of edge play is subjective to the specific players (i.e., what is risky for me may not be as risky for you), there isn't a universal list of what is included in edge play. However, there are a few forms of play which almost always make the cut, including fire play, gunplay, rough body play, breath play, and blood play.

Electricity (Electro-Play) - (See also: TENS Unit, Violet Wand) The practice of using electrical stimulation to the nerves of the body using a power source for purposes of sexual stimulation, body modification, tickling, or torture. Using electricity in BDSM play seems a scary notion to most people, but it can easily be made safe provided two simple rules are followed: a) only use devices powered by low-voltage batteries and certainly no main-powered appliances; b) avoid placing any contacts above the waist (including hands or arms), as even small currents to the heart or brain can disrupt those organs' delicate electrical activity with serious consequences. Popular devices include "TENS" units designed for the relief of muscle and back pain and "Violet Wands" which use a radio frequency discharge These devices can be used above the waist provided the face is avoided. Any form of this play can be dangerous.

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.

Enemas - (See also: Bathroom Use Control, Catheterization) A thorough anal cleaning involving a water bottle and tube. Most frequently used in medical scening although might also be used for control scenes as well.

Enforced Chastity - (See also: Chastity Belt ) In BDSM / S/m circles, meaning the banning or physically preventing one from achieving orgasm or any form of genital stimulation. A means of domination over one's submissive. A device (lockable) panty-type which when worn prevents any type of genital stimulation. See also “Chastity belt”

Erotic Dance - Scenes involving erotic dancing / stripping as a form of erotic pleasure; i.e., dancing / stripping to music.

Erotic sexual denial: Keeping another person aroused while delaying or preventing resolution of feelings to keep them in a continual state of anticipatory tension, 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.

Examinations - Scenes involving some type of physical examination (i.e. medical exams) where the use of various types of equipment are used. Safety note: Genital examinations should be done carefully, as serious consequences could result if not performed carefully. This form of play can be dangerous.

Exercise - Play which involves forcing one's submissive to exert physical exercise as a form of control / humiliation (may include lifting, running, weight-lifting, etc.).

Exhibitionism - Common dictionary term meaning a perversion marked by a tendency to indecent exposure; an act of such exposure; the act of practicing or behaving in such a manner as to attract attention to oneself. Scening involving the display of public / private exhibitionism in order to exert control and / or humiliation. NOTE: In many countries, this form of play is illegal and will get you arrested if caught by law enforcement.

Eye Contact Restrictions - Restricting one's submissive from any eye contact with the Dominant (i.e., forcing submissive to look away / look down).    Similar to military boot camps. Control is enforced by the Dominant by refusing eye contact.


Face Slapping - Involves play where a moderate amount of slapping of the face is used for humiliation / control. This play can be dangerous if an eye is struck, etc.

Fantasy Abandonment - Play which involves the fantasy of abandonment. Possibly leaving the submissive in a deserted area or public area for a short period of time to exert control and punishment.

Fantasy Rape - Scenes where the Dominant fulfills a submissive's fantasy of rape. Note: This type of play can become quite emotional for the submissive, so use extreme care when performing this type of play. After care is extremely important

Fantasy Rape (Gang) - Involves the same type of play with the exception of scene being performed by a group.

Fear - Incorporating fear into scenes by using the submissive's own fears as an outline for play. Note: This type of play can become quite emotional for the submissive, so take extreme care when performing this type of play, and aftercare is important again

Fetish: A specific obsession or delight in one object or experience.

Fellatio - (See also: Head) Performing oral sex on a man's penis.

Figging: The practice of inserting a piece of ginger root into the anus or vagina.

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 fire play, although in sensation it's closer to the use of clips and clamps. Usually considered edge play.

Fisting (Anal / Vaginal) - Play which involves placing or attempting to place the entire hand (or even both hands) in the rectum / vagina. The hand is only formed into a fist, and once fully inserted, requires an extreme gentleness, care, and patience. Involves moving of the fist in and out of the orifice and can be a dangerous technique if not performed correctly. Proper study should be done, before attempting such, and after care is extremely important. This form of play is dangerous.

Flame Play - Play which involves the use of fire in scening. It should be noted here that using any type of fire / flame during scening is quite dangerous and could result in permanent scarring / burning of the body. Use extreme care when using fire in scenes, as this is extremely dangerous and not to be done by a novice.

Flogger - (See also: Strapping, Whipping) A whip device usually with many "tails".   Used on buttocks or back, generally to make nerve sensations greater. Floggers can be used on the genital areas.  Can be used for play or punishment.  This form of play is not for the novice, and can be dangerous.

Flogging horse - A device used to secure one on this bench-like, padded, sawhorse. Usually made waist height, with the use of tethers attached to wall or floor to secure the submissive. A well designed horse will allow open spread usage of the submissive when mounted properly upon.

Food Play - Where the Dominant controls amount and type of food allowed to be consumed by the submissive.  This includes liquid intake as well.

Foot Worship - (See also: Boot Worship, High Heels, Homage, Licking)   The practice of play involving a fetish for feet. Commonly used for domination and humiliation practices (i.e., licking / cleaning of the Dominant's feet).


Forced Bed wetting - Forcing the submissive to purposely urinate in the bed. Most commonly used as a form of control / humiliation and in age play scenes.

Forced Dressing - Forcing the submissive to dress however the Dominant sees fit, whether publicly or privately. Used generally for humiliation.

Force-Feeding - A technique by which the Dominant controls the submissive's eating habits. Used to "fatten up" submissives or in age play games.

Forced Homosexuality - Scenes where the submissive is forced into having sexual relations with someone of the same sex.

Forced Heterosexuality - Play involving the submissive performing forced sex with someone of the opposite sex.

Forced Masturbation - Scenes where the submissive is forced to perform masturbation in front of/for the Dominant or others as a form of erotic / sensual play or humiliation.

Forced Nudity - A scene which involves forcing one's submissive to remain nude either privately or publicly. Generally as a form of control / humiliation. Note: In some areas, this is illegal in public.

Forced Servitude - A form of play involving the submissive acting as a servant / maid to the Dominant. May be played out in public or in private as a form of humiliation.

Forced Smoking - Forcing the submissive to smoke (usually cigarettes); however, other various types of smoking are used in heavy S/m play.

Full-Head Hoods - (See also: Blindfolds) A flexible covering for the head and sometimes neck. These come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. Worn to prevent the sense of sight for erotic purposes.


Gags - To restrict the use of the mouth by inserting a gag, in various textures (i.e., cloth, leather, ball gag, etc.). When using gags, it is important to remember that these only be worn for short periods of time. This form of play can be dangerous.

Gas Mask - A mask worn on the face connected to a chemical air filter and used to protect the face and lungs from toxic gases. Used mostly in heavy S/m scening.

Gates of Hell - A type of cock ring worn around the base of the testicles and penis to restrict blood flow to the penis during erotic scening. Specially designed, this type of cock ring is usually made of metal and has several rings attached together, ranging from the largest at the base and going smaller toward the tip.

Genital Sex - To cause an orgasm through the genital area, done strictly to the genital area with any body part or through the use of toys.

Genitorture: Torture of the genitals.

Given Away - Where a Dominant releases a sub to another Dominant, without exchange of favors.

Good pain (1): 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.

Good pain (2): Good pain and bad pain refer to perception of pain as pleasant vs. unpleasant. Sensations that non-practitioners imagine to be painful are instead perceived and described by BDSM practitioners as pleasurable or a good form of pain, in much the way that muscles after a workout at the gym may be sore, but in a good way. The transition of perception from "bad pain" to "good pain" may require a warm up beforehand.

Golden showers: 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. Note: Gun Play is a dangerous form of play and should not be entered into lightly. Serious consequences could occur from such play and it is not recommended. It is also considered illegal.


Hairbrush Spanking - Play which involves the use of a hairbrush to inflict pain on the buttocks. Commonly used in "naughty boy / girl" scenes for punishment.

Hair Pulling - Pulling of one's hair for the purpose of pain / humiliation. Used often in heavy scening.

Hand Jobs - Using the hands to perform sexual gratification on a man's penis. Stroking of the penis to facilitate orgasm.

Hankie code: 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; a non-negotiable act. (As opposed to "soft limits").

Harem: To have more than one submissive in a scene or in daily life (i.e., the Dominant has a "harem" of women / men). A common occurrence in the Mormon religion, and in polyamorous relationships.

Harness - Bondage apparatus consisting of a network of straps designed to form a web over a large area of the body or head. Well-known leather body harness for wearing around the upper torso. Harnesses can be constructed from a variety of materials. Some harnesses built properly are used in suspension.

Head - (See also: Fellatio) To perform oral sex on the man's penis for erotic pleasure to facilitate orgasm.

High Heels - (See also: Boot Worship, Foot Worship) Along with boots, these are the most fetishized items around. They combine the discomfort and pain of wearing them with the damage they can inflict when used as weapons. Some scenes may involve wearing, licking, cleaning, etc. (See: Boot Worship)

Hogtie: To tie up a submissive's wrists and ankles, fastening them together behind their back using physical restraints such as rope or cuffs.

Homage - (See also: Boot Worship, Foot Worship, Cock Worship) Term meaning to pay respects to; homage; honor. A ceremony involving the submissive "honoring" the Dominant in some way - public or private. Could also mean paying "homage" to the penis / vagina, feet, breasts, etc., by worship.

Hot Oils - (See also: Aromas, Hot Wax) The use of warmed oils for massaging or various other uses for erotic type play.  Be careful of oil temperature before applying to another's skin, test on your own forearm first. This form of play can be dangerous.

Hot Wax - (See also: Hot Oils, Waxing) The process of using hot wax in scening. The wax most commonly used are candles and can be used on various parts of the body for erotic stimulation. Note: Some types of wax, beeswax for instance, have a tendency to become extremely hot during burning and should always be used carefully to prevent permanent burning / scarring of the skin. Note: not for the novice, as this form of play is extremely dangerous.

Housework - (See also: Chores (Domestic Service) Play involving the Dominant instructing the submissive to perform domestic duties as a form of punishment / control. Can sometimes also be used as erotic play (i.e., cleaning in the nude).

Humiliation - To humiliate the submissive by requiring them to perform things they normally would not do, most commonly in public (i.e., wearing revealing clothing; having sex in public; playing out puppy, boy / girl scenes, etc.).

Hypnotism - To place someone in a trance-type state, and offer suggestions into certain types of behavior. Safety note: This form of play is not for the novice.

Impact play: Part of sensation play, dealing with impact such as whips, riding crops, paddles, floggers, etc.


Ice Play - ice used on nipples or genital areas for desensitization of senses or nerves.

Immobilization - (See also: Bondage, Intricate Japanese Rope Bondage, Mummification, Shibari) Any form of bondage technically immobilizes someone; however, this term is usually used for extreme forms of bondage where the submissive literally cannot move a muscle. Not recommended for long periods of time, and is dangerous.

Infantilism - Scening where the submissive assumes the role of a child / infant and is treated as such (i.e., diaper wearing, spankings, standing in corner, etc.).

Initiation Rites - A *Term* meaning the rites, ceremonies, and / or ordeals by which an individual is made a member of a house or society. Example: College initiations ("hell week"). More commonly known as "beat-in" or "earning letters", such as pain slut.

Injections - Term meaning to "inject" the body with a substance (i.e., saline solution, insulin, flu shots, drugs, etc.). Usually performed with a hypodermic needle. Note: This is a very risky type of play and is NOT recommended. The sharing of needles should never be done! Injections should be left to those that have been properly trained or to health care professionals. This form of play is dangerous and is illegal in most countries.

Intricate (Japanese) Rope Bondage - (See also: Bondage, Immobilization, Shibari) A very complex form of bondage that is also quite beautiful to not only see but witness being performed. The submissive is also bonded in such a way as to allow easy access / removal of the device at any time.

Interrogations - Term meaning question, systematically and formally. Commonly performed in "police interrogations"; police-type scening. Commonly used for humiliation.K-9 roleplay:


Kidnapping - Term meaning to seize, detain, or carry away by unlawful force. Some players in the BDSM scene have fantasies regarding kidnapping and may ask for a scene involving some sort of "play kidnapping". This form of play requires after care and is classified as illegal in many areas.

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.

Kneeling - To be used as a form of "respect" toward the Dominant. Making the submissive kneel when the Dominant enters the room, during scening, in public, etc. A punishment form of kneeling is where the submissive is kneeling in a different position then for *offering* herself.

Knife Play - (See also: Abrasion, Branding, Castration Fantasy, Cutting)   Cutting the surface of the skin with sharp objects, generally a knife, for the thrill, sensation, or pain. To also create decorative scars. The same basic precautions apply as with other types of blood play. Remember to stay away from vital organ areas and genital cutting.


Leather - Material made from the cured skin of animals. Wearing leather is a popular sexual fetish. Leather, especially the wearing of black leather gives the wearer a certain sense of power and is commonly worn in the BDSM scene by the Dominant. Used for making floggers, whips, etc.

Licking - (See also: Cock Worship, Foot Worship, Pussy Worship) Play involving the "licking" of various body parts.

Limits: What someone won't do or is hesitant to do.

Lingerie - Women's intimate apparel. Lace bodices, stockings, bras, panties, etc.



Manacles / Irons - (See also: Bondage) Metal rings joined by a chain to restrain the wrist or ankles.

Maintenance: (See Discipline) Weekly spankings to cover the little things that might have been missed, remind the submissive to behave and allow the Dominant to release stress.

Masochism: Act of receiving pain for sensual/sexual pleasure.

Masochist: Person who enjoys pain, usually sexually.

Massage - Using the hands (generally) to massage areas of the body. Possibly giving a massage to "warm up" or “foreplay” before play.

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.

Medical Scenes -   Done in a room equipped and fitted as a physicians or surgeons office. This is a form of role play, where cavity exams, piercing, the use of needles, scalpels, equipment sounds are generally found. Not for the novice. Some forms of this play is illegal, and can be dangerous.

Mentor - One who assists another in study, helping another understand the lifestyle and their role in it. A Mentor guides another to achieve knowledge, not a teacher.

Modeling - Usually used for pictures, where one is placed in positions for best appearance.

Mouth Bit - A type of mouthpiece, generally used on horses and ponies that is inserted into the mouth and is used to bite down on. Used typically during pony girl / boy play scenes.

Mummification: Immobilizing 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.

Nipple Clamps - (See also: Clothespins) Clamp-type devices placed on the nipples during play to stimulate and stop blood flow to the nipple.    One of the general household items to be used are clothespins. Care should be exercised to be sure the material used in clamp, does not stick to the skin, as tearing can occur.

Nipple Rings - A ring that is worn through the nipple. Piercing of the nipple and inserting a ring, similar to nose piercing. This type of piercing stimulates the nipple. Should be done by a professional.

Nose torture: A traditionally Japanese form of BDSM often involving nose hooks.

Nyotaimori: Human sushi platters.


Orgasm - Intense excitement resulting in an explosive discharge of neuromuscular tensions at the height of sexual arousal that is usually accompanied by the ejaculation of semen by the male and by vaginal contractions in the woman.

Orgasm Control - When one is forced to release or hold their body's desires to orgasm.  Can be used in play or punishment.

Outdoor Scenes - Scenes involving the great outdoors! Any scene where the couple is outside during scening. Some activities are illegal.

OTK: Over the knee (spanking).


Pain - In broad terms, pain is the body's warning that something is wrong; however, our pain responses are very complex and it is very easy to produce the effect of pain without doing any real harm to the body. The "pain threshold" at which a stimulus crosses the boundary between intense sensation and pain is a gray area in terms of our perception. BDSM is associated in most people's minds with potentially painful activities, sometimes referred to as "pain games". It is true; however, that some people actually enjoy or at least get some satisfaction out of the intense physical sensation. Some of the satisfaction may be attributed to the release of body chemicals also known as "endorphins.” Most player's interests are a mixture of physical aspects and the psychological dynamics of Domination and submission, and some play with hardly any physical pain at all. Those for whom the interest in pain is predominant are sometimes referred to sadists and masochists rather than Dominants and submissives. After care is needed, and monitoring the one receiving pain, is mandatory. Not for the novice for play.

Pain slut: A person who enjoys receiving a heavy degree of pain but may or may not necessarily enjoy submitting.

Parachute - Round leather device which is fitted between the scrotum and the base of the penis with chains for weights to be added. This is a form of play or punishment.

Paraphilia: Recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving non-human objects, the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one's partner, children, and non-consenting persons.

Pegging: is a sexual practice in which a woman penetrates a man’s anus with a strap-on dildo.

Phone Sex - Play which involves having simulated "sex" over the telephone. Some phone companies deem this illegal.

Piercing - Piercing of the body with a thin, sharp object such as a needle. There are two types of play, permanent and temporary.    Permanent piercing is done with a thicker needle which enables jewelry to be easily inserted. Temporary piercing is done with a smaller, thinner needle which can be removed without permanent scarring after the session is completed. (i.e., nipple piercing, ear piercing, genital piercing). Mostly done to enhance the sensual areas of the skin. Piercing should be done be a professional.

Play party: A BDSM event involving many people engaging in scenes.

Pro-Dom: Male professional dominant (charges money).

Pro-Domme: Female professional dominant (charges money).

Pony - A device used directly on genitals for punishment. The person's body weight, plus additional weight is placed directly on the pony which distributes pain to a very area. This is extremely dangerous as permanent damage may result. Not for the novice.

Pony gear - This type of gear includes hoods, bits for mouth, bridles, straps, harnesses, saddles and anal plug tails. Some use hoof shoes as well. These are used to “train” a submissive to be used for work, as a pony. This can be very dangerous as joints, limbs or back maybe damaged. Not for the novice.

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.

Pony Slave - Scenes involving the submissive being dressed or made up as to portray a "pony". Scenes might include mouth bits, harnesses, saddles, riding crops, etc. Note: Riding your pony can cause serious damage to their backs, hips, joints.

Prison Scening - Acting out a scene involving some type of prison scene. The use of a *cell* is for punishment and humiliation.

Prostitution - The selling of one's body for sexual purposes (i.e., selling sex or sexual favors).  This form of play is illegal in many areas.

Public Exposure - Play which involves exposing oneself in public (i.e., flashing). Used for control / humiliation purposes.

Punishment - Scenes where the Dominant "punishes" the submissive for "bad or unruly" behavior. Often performed in little boy / girl scenes which may involve spankings, time-outs, etc.

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 Whipping -[1] "Whipping" the genital (vagina) area with different types of equipment (i.e., floggers, crops, slappers, etc.) for erotic pleasure.

Pussy Worship - The practice of play involving the "worship" of the female genitalia.   Scenes may involve the cleaning, licking, shaving, etc. In general, "worship" is a form of erotic play.


R.A.C.K. – Risk Aware Consensual Kink.

Rape fantasy, ravishment: The pleasurable fantasy of inflicting or being a victim to an act of consensual play-rape.

Religious Scene - A form of play where the submissive is usually dressed in nun or clerical attire.

Riding Crop - A short whip-type instrument made of leather with a "loop" at the end which is intended for use on horses. May be used in scenes involving pony boy / girl type play. Riding crops are used to administer punishment, as well.

Rimming - (See also: Anal Play) Mouth contact with the rectal area, which includes insertion of the tongue. Note: Hygiene precautions should be observed with this type of play. This play can spread disease.

Rope bondage - There are many styles of rope work from simple to very intricate. Note: Study of knots is important to anyone wishing to attempt this play. This form of play can be very dangerous if blood flow is disrupted. Not for the novice.

Rubber / Latex Clothing - Besides leather, this type of clothing is the next best thing.   One example may be a rubber hood. Some bondage items are made out of latex sheeting, and as with leather, black seems to be the most popular color by far.


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 code word a bottom can use to force BDSM activity to stop – used especially in scenes which may involve consensual force.

Saint Andrews Cross - This is a cross made in an X formation. It is generally angled and self-supporting. Some are suspended from ceilings, or mounted directly to a wall. The cross has leather restraints for arms, legs and body, some have hooks along the edges for a person to be “laced” to the cross. Used for sexual play, or punishment can be administered while attached to the cross.

Saran Wrap - (See also: Mummification) Plastic wrapping used most commonly to wrap leftover food. In BDSM play, used most likely in "bondage" scenes. This form of play can be dangerous.

Scat play: Feces play.

Scene: A time period of BDSM activities. Also used to refer to the BDSM community ("the Scene").

Scratching - Scratching the body with the fingernails or another instrument for mild pain.   Note: Safety precautions should be observed as deep scratching may lead to bleeding of the skin. Care should be exercised in preventing infection.

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.

Sensory Deprivation - Play which involves "depriving" the submissive of certain sensory perceptions. May include blindfolds, bondage, gags, etc.

Service-oriented submission: A person who enjoys performing a service in a sexual or BDSM environment.

Shaving - Using a razor or straight blade to shave hair from the body. Note: Shaving of the genital area should be done with extreme care.

Shibari - (See also: Bondage, Intricate Japanese Rope Bondage) The art of Intricate Japanese Rope Bondage.  Bondage patterns are intricate, and artistically pleasing.

Skinny Dipping - Refers to swimming in the nude / swimming naked.

Slave: A person (usually submissive) who consensually gives up total control of one or more aspects of their life to another person (their Master).

Slings - Slings are made in many designs and shapes, but their use is to open access to the genitalia for play or punishment. This form of suspension causes fatigue rather quickly, so after-care should be taken as well as care during such use. Not for the novice.

Sleep Sack - (See also: Mummification) Refers to a bag in which the body is wrapped in a sleeping bag type contraption with ropes or straps. An intense form of "bondage". This form of play can be dangerous.

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.

Spandex - A form-fitting, stretchy type material that clings to the body (i.e., most women's pantyhose are made of spandex). When worn can be quite comfortable and look extremely sexy when worn on "tight bodies". 


Spanking - (See also: Beating) involves striking someone with the palm of the hand or other object (i.e., paddle, hairbrush, pig slapper, riding crop, etc.) on the buttocks as a form of punishment / humiliation. Mild spanking can be very erotic and when done correctly can push the submissive into "subspace" releasing endorphins which in turn creates a sense of euphoria.

Speculum - A medical instrument intended for the use of medical examination of the vagina or rectum, made of steel or plastic in the shape of a duckbill. The speculum is lubricated and inserted. After insertion, the "bill" is spread apart to open the cervix in the vagina. In BDSM play, commonly used in medical scening. This form of play can be dangerous. Not for the novice.

Spreader Bar - (See also: Bondage) A bar type device used to "spread" apart arms / legs of the submissive. Bars can be made of common, inexpensive materials such as dowel rods, PVC pipe, broomsticks, etc.

Stocks - A type of bondage "furniture" based on the medieval form of stocks used for punishment.    Stocks usually consist of two hinged pieces of wood with semi-circular holes which when locked together form a ring large enough for the head / neck and wrists to be placed inside.

Straight Jacket - (See also: Bondage ) A jacket type of garment meant to be worn "backwards", consisting of close-ended sleeves that are strapped crisscrossed around the back and tied or locked in place (i.e., Houdini used this garment to escape from frequently). 

Strap-On - A fastening type strap most commonly used to hold a dildo in place. Commonly used in lesbian scening.

Strapping - (See also: Flogger, Whipping) A length of material, most commonly leather, used for striking the body.

Stretchers - Generally made of wooden dowel rods or metal tubing, having eyelets to secure a submissive's arms, legs apart for play. These are very portable, to use anywhere. Stretchers come in various lengths, usually 24 inches to 48 inches.

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.

Submissive - One who gives freely of themselves for the pleasures of another.  A subordinate with negotiated limits. (Not to be confused with "bottom" or "slave.").

Subspace: A mental altered state to which a person can be taken. Subspace is a form of hypnotism that can be self-attained or obtained through various kinds of play involving BDSM and other related activity. Subspace is used for sexual pleasure and can be utilized to convert pain to pleasure. After care is mandatory as is constant monitoring. Not for the novice. It is critical that a Dom(me)/Top take responsibility for the sub/bottom and be aware of the sub's well-being if they are in subspace.

Switch - One who "switches" between Dominant / submissive roles, i.e. from scene-to-scene or within a scene. Some switches may submit to one Dominant, and dominate others, etc. Taken in hand: 24/7 Male dominance in monogamous marriage, with or without BDSM aspects.


Table Play - A padded table, where the submissive is restrained for play. The table has many securing points to offer different positions for play or examination. Tables can be used as racks if outfitted accordingly.

Tampon Training - Tampons inserted into the rectum, used as an anal plug, for play or punishment.

Tattoo -  (See also: Branding) A permanent form of scarring to the body in the form of various types of pictures or drawings or names, etc. A permanent form of "marking the submissive" as property.

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).

Teasing - The act of "teasing" to enhance erotic play or pleasure.   Teasing the partner in such a way as to stimulate sexual pleasure.

TENS Unit - (See also: Electricity, Violet Wand) Term meaning Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation unit. A machine designed to apply electrical impulses to the body at safe levels. Note:   As with any type of electrical play, safety precautions should be observed as this form of play is very dangerous.

Thigh Cuffs - (See also: Cuffs) A simple belt around the waist with connectors around it to restrict the submissive's movement of arms and legs.

Thumb Cuffs - (See also: Cuffs) Restraining devices used for restraint by the thumbs.

Ticklers - These are 16 to 18 inch rods with a tiny *flogger* attached on the end. Great for small areas where precision impacts are desired. Other ticklers include feathers, sandpaper, etc.

Tickling - Tickling the body to induce laughter. Often used in age play scenes.

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: a relationship where the dominant or owner has complete authority and influence over the submissive's life, making the majority of decisions.

Trainer – A Dominant who helps submissives understand the sexual aspects of the lifestyle. Study and play sessions are the normal negotiations.

Training: Either referring to a short period of time (a scene) or an ongoing effort of the dominant teaching the submissive how to act.

Triple Penetration - Penetration of the body in three bodily orifices. Example: Insertion of the penis, dildo, butt plug in a female submissive all at once to enhance sexual stimulation.


Uniform - Play which involves the submissive wearing a "uniform". Such uniforms could include cheerleader uniform, maid uniform, etc. Commonly used in role-playing scenes.

Urethral Play - (See also: Catheterization) Play involving the "urethra", the tube that runs between the bladder and the outside of the body. In men, it emerges at the end of the penis, and in women, just inside the vagina.    With the exception of the very end, this tube is sterile, and anything inserted deeper than a few millimeters should be sterile as well. Note: Serious damage can occur by inserting inappropriate devices, using excessive force, or by bad technique. This form of play is extremely dangerous. Not for the novice. 


Vanilla: Someone who is not into BDSM. Alternatively, sexual behavior which does not encompass BDSM activity. The term is sometimes used in a derogatory sense.

Vibrator - (See also: Anal plug, Dildo) A dildo type device made in varying shapes and sizes and powered by either battery or plug-in electrical type. Used as a form of genital stimulation most commonly for women to promote orgasm.

Violet Wand - (See also: Electricity, TENS Unit) A device used commonly in electrical type play which discharges radio energy when, which touched to the body produces electrical sparks. The sensation is similar to "static cling" charges. Using electricity in BDSM play seems a scary notion to most    people, but it can easily be made safe provided two simple rules are followed:    only use devices powered by low-voltage batteries, and certainly no main-powered appliances; and avoid placing any contacts above the waist (including the hands or arms) as even small currents in the heart or brain can disrupt those organs' delicate electrical activity with serious consequences. This form of play is dangerous and not for the novice.

Videos - Pre-recorded movies of a sexual nature. Can be watching others or being recorded.


Voyeurism - Term meaning the act of watching, peeping. In BDSM play, means to watch someone engage in sex or other forms of sensual / erotic play.


Warm up: The period at a beginning of a BDSM scene which involves gentle play, allowing the bottom to begin endorphin production, enter subspace, and undergo physiological changes (such as bringing fluids to the surface before impact play) that will accommodate more intense play.

Water Torture - A form of "torture" involving water. After care is extremely important. Example: Laying the submissive face up while dripping water on the forehead for extended periods of time. Derived from the Chinese (i.e., Chinese Water Torture).

Waxing - (Wax Play) Using warmed wax as a form of erotic sensation. Common areas of waxing are the buttocks, breast area, back, etc. The process of using hot wax in scening. The wax most commonly used are candles. Note: Some types of wax, beeswax for instance, have a tendency to become extremely hot during burning and should always be done carefully to prevent permanent burning/scarring of the skin.

Weights - Used to extend or pull, by pressure.  Vaginal weights used on labia, for example, pull the labia to stretch, for play or punishment depending on the amount of weight used.

WHIP: An implement used for striking people, consisting of one or more lashes (often made of leather or of some stiff material wrapped or braided in leather) affixed to a handle. 2. Any of a class of knots made by wrapping one part of a rope repeatedly around itself or around another rope. Also, verb 1. To strike with a whip, flogger, or similar object. 2. To strike repeatedly and rapidly. 3. Uncommon: To tie using a whip knot. 4. To trim the end of a rope by means of a whip knot, to prevent the rope from fraying.

Whipping - (See also: Caning, Flogger, Strapping) A device consisting of a long, flexible striking surface. Whipping the body with a whip type device as a form of punishment. 

Whipping Post - Designs vary according to builder, but the principle is to have a tall post with tethers that hang down, to attach a person from their wrists. Used for positioning a submissive for ease of whipping. Some Dominants use the “whipping post” for punishment only, and never for play.

WIITWD: What it is that we do. A broad term referring to all forms of alternative sexuality.