Safe - Sane - Consensual
Master David
 

BDSM Terms – with an emphasis on gay male activities

Author's Note: This is not a complete and exhaustive glossary. There are many more terms used in certain niche aspects of BDSM play not covered here, especially where females are involved.
 
 
24/7: A relationship in which protocols are in place continuously. See also: TPE

Abrasion: Using something rough (such as sandpaper) to create a sensation or pain.

ABDL: Adult Baby Diaper Lover. Pretty much what is says. Often includes some aspects of BDSM and sex play with the "daddy."
 
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.

Age play: 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. Usually involves stretching or electro play.

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).

Bad pain: Pain which is outside hard limits, unintended, not wished for, and of limited or no value in the context of play. Good pain and bad pain can also refer to pleasant vs. unpleasant pain. As a "vanilla" example, imagine intense soreness after a good workout at the gym versus the pain of breaking a leg.  See also: Good pain.

BDSM: Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism: a combined acronym sometimes wrongly used as a catchall term for anything in the kink scene.

Bondage: 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.

Bottom: in gay sex, the one on the receiving end, but may or may not be the submissive partner.

Breath Control: The dominant controls the submissive's breathing, often to the point of inducing panic or passing out. Can be dangerous if not performed with care.

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. Some shapes are designed for more comfortable long-term wear.

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 cock cage) that prevents contact and is controlled by means of a lock by the partner.

Cock and ball torture (CBT): Torture of the male genitals for sexual gratification.

Collared: Submissive or slave who is owned, usually (but certainly not exclusively) in a long-term 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.

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

Consensual non-consensuality: A mutual agreement that within defined limits, consent will be given as read without foreknowledge of the exact actions planned. As such, it is a show of trust and understanding and usually undertaken only by partners who know each other well, or otherwise agree to set clear safe limits on their activities.

Contract: A written-out agreement between the dominant & 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.

Dad/Son play: Role play in which the sexual partners are father and son, or a similar intergenerational relationship.

Dom: A person who exercises control (from dominant-contrast with sub).

Dominant A person who exercises control – contrast with submissive.

Domme: (also Dominatrix) Woman who takes the dominant role. Often associated with a particular variant of traditional BDSM; many younger female dominants prefer to use the non-gendered terms dom/dominant.

D/s: Shorthand for Dominance/submission or Dom/sub. Play or relationships that involve an erotic power exchange.

Dungeon: A room or area with BDSM equipment and play space.

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.

Electro-Play: The practice of using electrical stimulation to the nerves of the body using a power source (such as a TENS, EMS, Violet wand, or made-for-play units) for purposes of sexual stimulation, body modification, tickling, or torture.

Endorphin rush: Endorphins are the chemicals responsible for the "high" people often get from activities such as sex, long-distance running, or high-risk sports, and is the body's response to pain. 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: Chastity.

Erotic spanking: The act of spanking another person for the sexual arousal or gratification of either or both parties.

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

Figging: The practice of inserting a piece of ginger root into the anus to induce a burning sensation.

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.

Fisting: inserting a hand into the rectum. Requires a long period (weeks or months) of stretching.

Flogging: Impact play using a multi-tailed leather whip, usually to the upper back, chest, or abdomen. The lower back is avoided to avoid kidney damage. See also: Whipping.

Genitorture: Torture of the genitals. Also called Cock and Ball Torture (CBT).

Good pain (1): "Good pain" is 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 can also 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 shower: Urinating on another person. See also, Human Urinal and Watersports.

Gunplay: The practice of including actual (or simulated) firearms into a scene.

Hard limits: What someone absolutely will not do; non-negotiable (as opposed to "soft limits.") Both doms and subs may have hard and soft limits.

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

Human urinal: A sub who wants to be forced to drink urine.

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

Infantilism: Parent/child or parent/baby role playing.

K-9 roleplay: Play in which the sub takes on the role of a dog or puppy.

Kinbaku: Also known as Shibari which literally means 'the beauty of tight binding'. Kinbaku is a Japanese style of bondage or BDSM which involves tying up the bottom using simple yet visually intricate patterns, usually with several pieces of thin rope.

Knife play: Slow, methodical sensation of the bottom with the edges and points of knives, usually without cutting the skin. Fear of the weapon plays a large part in the stimulus of the bottom.

Limits: What someone "won't" do or is hesitant to do. A Hard Limit is one that must not be crossed. A Soft Limit is one that may be pushed, with consent.

Maintenance: Weekly spankings to cover the little things that might have been missed, remind the submissive to behave and allow the Dominant to release stress.[2]

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.

Medical play: Role play in which the Dom plays a medical professional and performs a number of standard and non-conventional “examinations” and tests of the sub.

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.

Nipple torture: see Tit torture

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

OTK: Over the knee (spanking).

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

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

Pig Play: can involve a range of dirty play, including licking my sweaty, unwashed body, piss play (I don't do scat), sucking a dirty cock that just came from your own ass after I've cum in it, etc. This is about tastes, smells, and humiliation.
 
Play party: A BDSM event involving many people engaging in scenes.

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. Not something I'm interested in.

Pup-play: Sub takes on the role a puppy. Sub barks, whines, eats from a bowl, undergoes training, etc. Such play is sexual, but also focuses on the altered mind-space of bottom/pup and the complete dominance of his Trainer/Master. Not something I'm interested in.

RACK: Acronym for Risk Aware Consensual Kink.

Rack: A device, usually a table, which uses wrist and ankle straps in conjunction with a winch to stretch the victim.

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

Role play: in which we each play a role, like dad/son, doctor/patient, teacher/student.
 
Rubber play: Play in which one or both parties are dressed in tight-fitting rubber suits. I don't have any.

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).

Safe Word: A code word a bottom can use to force BDSM activity to stop – used especially in scenes which may involve consensual force. For scenes where the sub is unable to speak, an action (such as three of anything – slaps, grunts, etc.) is used instead.

Scat play: Feces play. I don't. Ever.

Scene: The BDSM activities for a defined period of time – your plan for the session.

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.

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

Shibari: see Kinbaku

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

Soft Limits: Something that someone is hesitant to do or 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.

Slow-word: A pre-arranged signal or word that tells the Dom to take it easy, to back off a bit.

Soft limits: Activities that a sub is not yet fully comfortable with, but might want to push at some point.

Sounding: Part of erotic medical play in which a lubricated urethral sound is inserted into the penis. Sounds are actual medical devices that come in a variety of diameters, used for determining the maximum diameter of a urinary catheter before insertion.

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:  or "sub" for short. Person that gives up control either all the time or for a specified period (Not to be confused with "bottom" or "slave.").

Subspace: A "natural high" that a sub (or bottom) gets during a scene or when being controlled. The sub may feel disconnected from time, space, and/or their body, and may have limited ability to communicate. It is critical that a Dom(me)/top take responsibility for the sub/bottom and be aware of their sub's well-being if they are in subspace.

Switch: Someone who likes being both Dom or sub, 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 and Chastity.

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. See also: 24/7.

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

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.

Watersports: Refers to all aspects of urine play. See also Human Urinal and Golden Shower.

Wax play: The top drips certain types of hot wax on the bottom.

Whipping: Impact play using long single or two-tail leather whips. More intense pain than is created with Flogging, and can cause welts and broken skin.