BDSM GLOSSARY Blog by subAngelmyst
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subAngelmyst's blog: "BDSM GLOSSARY"

created on 09/14/2006  |  http://fubar.com/bdsm-glossary/b524

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GLOSSARY BDSM - an acronym that combines abbreviations for Bondage and Domination, Domination and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism. Collar - a symbol of possession used to denote some sort of committed relationship between a sexual Dominant and a sexual submissive. Control Freak - slang for a person with a dysfunctional personality type usually referred to as a "controlling personality." See section 2, paragraph four. Cyber - slang for being online. Often refers to Cyber-sex. Cyber Sex - interacting with another person online for the express purpose of sexual arousal. D/s - abbr. for Domination and Submission. Dom - abbr. or slang for a (usually male) sexual Dominant. A person that derives sexual and mental satisfaction from taking control of intimate sexual encounters. They are often simulated by using techniques such as sexual sadism, bondage, domineering role-play, and generally taking a commanding role in intimate situations. Domme - abbr. or slang for a female sexual Dominant. See also Dom. HNG - acronym for "Horny Net Geek." See section 2, paragraph two. Limit - something that either partner in a D/s relationship will not do, or does not like. Basically, a specific preference concerning D/s play. The submissive's Limits should always take precedence over the Dominant's. Limits should always be discussed and set out before a Scene ever starts. Respecting Limits is not an option, its a requirement. Master - A title of honor for a (male) sexual Dominant that usually denotes either a high level of experience or competence. Alternatively used as a term of endearment for the Dom in a Scene featuring "Master/slave" role-playing. Mistress - A title of honor for a (female) sexual Dominant that usually denotes either a high level of experience or competence. Alternatively used as a term of endearment for the Domme in a Scene featuring "Mistress/slave" role-playing. Safe Word - a code word used by the submissive to signal his/her Dominant partner to either stop, slow down, or even completely end a Scene. "Safe Signals" must be substituted when the submissive is gagged or cannot otherwise speak. These are not an option for safe play, they are a requirement. Safety Net - a person or persons who take the responsibility to make sure that your real life meeting with a prospective play partner is safe. This can range from actually "chaperoning" the meeting to setting up "safe calls" and so forth. This is a requirement for submissives, not an option, as it is the only defense they have against predators, rapists, and con artists. Learn how to set one up and set them up religiously. Even vanilla women should learn to do this! Sexual Masochist - a person that can experience profound arousal and/or euphoria from controlled doses of pain and other extreme stimuli. Sexual Sadist - a person that can experience profound arousal and/or euphoria from inflicting carefully controlled doses of pain and other extreme stimuli on sexual Masochists. They DO NOT generally enjoy inflicting pain for its own sake. Nor do they enjoy using such stimuli on people that do not find it pleasurable. Slave - a title of endearment and ownership given to sexual submissives that are participating in Master/slave lifestyles or role-playing. This usually signifies that the submissive wears the "Collar" of a particular Dominant. Sub - abbr. or slang for a sexual submissive. A person who derives sexual and mental satisfaction from having control taken away from them in intimate sexual situations. They are often (but not always) sexual masochists. They often derive pleasure from bondage, and generally taking a subservient role in intimate situations. Scene - slang for relating to D/s. As in "Yes, shes a legitimate player in the Scene." Also slang for a specific session of D/s. As in "I was in this wonderful Scene last night." Often used as a verb in the same case; "They Scened at the party last night." Subbie - common endearment for a sexual submissive, usually a female submissive. Vanilla - slang for things that are not "kinky" or not related to sexual Dominance and submission. Victim - a victim of abuse that uses D/s to "legitimize" her tragic situation. See section 5, paragraph 2. Wannabe - derogatory; most often refers to a person that pretends to be a legitimate real life player in D/s. Most often used in reference to females that pretend to be sexual submissives.

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at all forms of pain; stubbing a toe, for example, is unlikely to be arousing. The context of the pain is important. MASTER: A dominant, usually in a TPE relationship. Usually male; the female equivalent is a mistress. Contrast slave. MASTIGOTHYMA: Psychology Sexual arousal from being flogged. MILITARY PLAY: A specific form of role play which involves military-style settings, uniforms, hierarchy, or protocol. MILKING: 1. The practice of stimulating the male prostate, often with a finger or with an implement such as a dildo, or of stimulating the perineum in such a way as to produce ejaculation without orgasm. 2. The practice of inducing orgasm repeatedly in a man, often by sexually stimulating him over and over, until he is no longer able to produce ejaculate. 3. Stimulating the prostate by means of an electrode built into a dildo or similar probe, inserted into the anus and connected to an electrical stimulation device such as a TENS unit. The electrode causes involuntary contraction of the muscles around the prostate, causing ejaculation without arousal or orgasm. MISTRESS: Female equivalent of a master. MOUTH BIT: Any of a style of gags with a long, cylinder-shaped bit, usually made of soft rubber or latex, in place of a round ball. Mouth bits may include an integrated harness; such bits are often used in pony play. MOUTH GAG: A dental instrument designed to hold the mouth open for long periods of time, sometimes used as a gag in BDSM play. MUMMIFICATION: A form of bondage in which the subject is immobilized by being entirely wrapped quite tightly, as with Saran wrap, rope, fabric, or similar material. MUNCH: An informal social gathering of people interested in BDSM, usually in a public place such as a restaurant or cafe, for the purpose of meeting other like-minded people and socializing. A munch is generally a low-pressure gathering without overt BDSM overtones. Commentary: The word "munch" was coined by the same person who gave us the word squick. NEEDLE PLAY: Activity involving placing needles through the top layer of skin, or using needles for temporary piercings. See related blood play, edge play (def. 1). NEWBIE: Colloquial A newcomer to BDSM; or, more generally, a newcomer to any sport, hobby, or subculture. NEW LEATHER: Anything of or related to a specific part of the BDSM community which began taking the place of the old leather community in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The new leather community abandoned many of the rigid hierarchies and strict protocols of the old leather community, and welcomed lesbians and heterosexuals interested in BDSM. Commentary: The old leather community began to fade for a number of reasons, including the fact that many of its members were aging, the fact that both homosexuality and BDSM became much more mainstream during the late 1970s and 1980s (a trend which is continuing today), the fact that BDSM began reaching a wider and wider pool of interested people thanks to new communications media such as the Internet, and the effect of AIDS on the gay community in the late 1980s. NIPPLE CLAMP: Any clamp or clamp-like device designed to be clamped to a subject's nipples. May include a mechanism for adjusting or limiting the amount of pressure applied to the nipple. Clothespins make good (and cheap!) nipple clamps. See related clover clamps, tweezer clamps. NOSE HOOK: A set of rigid, blunt hooks, about an inch long, connected to a length of rope, cord, or chain. The hooks are inserted in a person's nose and the rope is tied above or behind the person, forcing the head up. Sometimes used in shibari. NOSTRIL STRAP: See nose hook. NULLIFICATION: Sexual arousal from the act of amputation. Commentary: very, very, very rare. OBJECTIFICATION: Sexual arousal from any act in which one person is dehumanized or dehumanizes another. Animalism, and some forms of humiliation play and utility D/s, involve objectification. ODALISQUE: (Literally, Turkish oda chamber, room + liq woman) Archaic A female sex slave. OLD LEATHER: Anything of or related to the gay male BDSM community which began in the United States and Canada after WWII and was most popular primarily between the 1960s and the late 1980s; characterized by a very rigid and structured hierarchy, elaborate codes of conduct, ritualized protocol, and a strong sense of community, duty, and loyalty. Often modeled on military traditions and practices, the old leather community was almost exclusively comprised of gay men and was suspicious of "outsiders." Contrast new leather; See related hanky code. ORGASM CONTROL; also, ORGASM DENIAL: The practice whereby one person is not permitted to reach sexual orgasm without the permission of another person, or for a set period of time, or sometimes at all, even though that person may be permitted (or required) to engage in sexual activity or sex. ORIENTATION PLAY: Any activity in which a person is ordered or instructed to engage in sexual activity with another person whose sex is not appropriate for the first person's sexual orientation or identity, as for example instructing a straight female to engage in sexual activity with another woman. OTK: (Acronym) see Over the knee. OVER THE KNEE (OTK): A style of spanking in which the dominant or top is seated and turns the submissive or bottom over his or her knee so as to spank the buttocks. OVERSEER'S WHIP: A type of singletail, usually about six feet long and having a braided lash but without a rigid handle, commonly used by slave traders and slave owners in United States history. Very similar to a bullwhip. PADDLE: Any stiff, hard implement, often made of wood, used for striking a person, most commonly on the buttocks. Also, verb to strike with a paddle. PAIN PLAY: Any activity in which one person inflicts pain on a consenting partner, for the pleasure of one or more of the people involved. Spanking, flogging, paddling, whipping, and so on are all forms of pain play. See related sadist, masochist. PAIN SLUT: Colloquial A masochist who enjoys forms of pain play involving large amounts of pain. PANIC SNAP: A specific type of carabiner designed in such a way that the mechanism can be opened to release a rope or chain even if a full weight is bearing down on it. PANSEXUAL: 1. Of or relating to all sexual orientations, sexes, and gender identities. 2. One who engages in sexual or erotic activities with partners of all sexes and orientations. Pansexual event: an event catering to people of any sexual orientation or identity. Pansexual group: any group open to membership by any person regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or sexual identity. PARACHUTE: A small leather cone with a hole in its center, which is often used in CBT. The parachute is wrapped around the scrotum, and weights are suspended from it, pulling on the scrotum and compressing the testicles. PERVERTIBLE: Colloquial Any object which serves an ordinary and prosaic function, but which also has a use in BDSM activities. For example, clothespins are often used as nipple clamps; saran wrap can be used for mummification; paint stirrers are sometimes used as paddles; and so on. PILLORY: Archaic; see stock. Also, verb, archaic: to expose to scorn or ridicule. PLASTICUFF: See cable tie. PLAY PARTY: 1. A social gathering in which people participate in BDSM activities, often in a space outfitted as a dungeon. Play parties may be public or private gatherings, and may or may not permit overt sexual activity. Play parties often offer the advantage of access to equipment and furniture that many people may not own. Play parties also offer the opportunity for people to engage in exhibitionism and voyeurism. 2. See polyamory: [[play party]] PONY PLAY: An activity in which the submissive takes on the role of a pony; for example, by walking on all fours, sometimes with a bit or bridle in the mouth; by pulling carts; by allowing the dominant to ride on his or her back; and so on. See related animalism, mouth bit. POPPER: 1. See cracker (Def. 1). 2. Colloquial A vial of amyl nitrate, butyl nitrate, cyclohexylnitrite, or any similar high-volatility organic nitrate or nitrite compound, whose vapors produce euphoria and sometimes heightened sexual sensation when inhaled. POST: See whipping post. POSTURE COLLAR: A specific type of high, rigid collar, often shaped to the wearer's neck, which prevents the wearer from moving his or her neck and forces the wearer to hold his or her head high. POWER EXCHANGE: Any situation where two or more people consensually and voluntarily agree to a power relationship in which one (or more) people assume authority and one (ore more) people yield authority. This relationship may be for a predetermined time, or indefinite. Relationships based on indefinite power exchange are often referred to as TPE relationships. The defining factor of power exchange is the conscious, deliberate construction of a power dynamic in which at least one person assumes psychological control to some agreed-upon extent over at least one other person. PRODOMME: A female dominant who earns money by dominating her clients. Commentary: Men who earn a living in a similar way seem so rare as to be virtually nonexistant. PROSTATE MILKING: See milking (def. 1). PROTOCOL: Any defined, enforced code of behavior which a submissive is expected to abide by. A protocol often imposes constraints and limits on the submissive's behavior, particularly in social settings; for example, a protocol may specify that a submissive is not to speak to another person without the dominant's permission, may not speak unless spoken to, and so on. PUMP GAG: A type of gag consisting of a blunt, rounded, or penis-shaped rubber bladder which is placed in the mouth and can then be inflated with air by means of a hand pump. The gag increases in size, filling the mouth, when inflated. Commentary: Some inflatable gags can be quite dangerous, as they can enlarge until they press against the back of the throat, cutting off breating and causing suffocation. Some pump gags have breathing tubes through them to mitigate this danger. Some forms of pump gags may not legally be sold in the United States. PUNISHMENT TIE: Any form of bondage done in such a way that the bound person's pose or the bondage itself is painful or uncomfortable, or any kind of bondage done with the intent of causing pain or discomfort to the bound person. Some forms of shibari include punishment ties. See related pain play. PUPPY PLAY: An activity in which the submissive takes on the role of a puppy, as by barking, walking on all fours, and in some cases even sleeping in a doghouse or cage. See related animalism, kennel play. QUEENING: A practice whereby a female dominant sits on the face of a submissive, who is often restrained, forcing the submissive to give her oral sex. Sometimes may also include breath control. QUEENING STOOL: A low stool, typically only about six inches high, with a large round opening in the bottom, used for queening. The queening stool is placed over the face of a prone submissive, allowing a female dominant seated on the stool to receive oral sex from the submissive. QUIRT: A type of whip with two or (occasionally) three short lashes affixed to a long, thin handle. RACK: (Acronym) see risk aware consensual kink. RACK: (Non-Acronym) Any type of bondage furniture consisting of a framework or platform to which a person may be bound; often derived from a Medieval implement consisting of a platform and a wheeled mechanism designed to stretch or pull the person bound to it. RAPE PLAY, also RAPE FANTASY: A form of role play in which one person stages a mock "rape" for the purpose of gratification of all the people involved. See related consensual non-consent, resistance play. Commentary: A surprisingly common form of BDSM play, often staged so as to fulfill a woman's sexual fantasies of rape or coerced sex in a safe and controlled way. RESISTANCE PLAY: Any mutually consensual activity in which one person struggles against another and is subdued by "force." May involve rape play; some forms of bondage include resistance as well. See related consensual non-consent. RIGGER: Colloquial A person who specializes in tying up others, often using elaborate techniques such as shibari, primarily as an art form rather than for sexual gratification. Commentary: Talented riggers can earn a living by selling photographs of their work to magazines or Web sites which cater to bondage enthusiasts, writing books on the subject, and so on. RIDING CROP: See crop. RING GAG: A specific type of gag consisting of a metal ring, often padded with leather, which has a strap attached to it. The ring is placed in the mouth in such a way as to hold the mouth open, and the strap secures it in place. RISK AWARE CONSENSUAL KINK (RACK): A loosely defined code of conduct in the BDSM community which holds that a given activity is ethically acceptable between adults so long as everyone involved is aware of the risks involved, if any, and gives informed consent to that activity. The idea behind "risk aware consensual kink" is an acknowledgement of the fact that some BDSM activities may involve risk of injury, and that as long as all the participants are aware of any risk and consent to the activity, the activity is okay. See related SSC, edge play (def. 1). ROD: Archaic; see cane. ROLE PLAY: Any activity in which the people involved assume roles or identities different from their own and act out a scenario. For example, one extremely common form of role-play has one of the participants assume the role of a teacher or other authority figure, and the other assume the role of a student or other character in a position of less authority, and the people act out a scenario in which the character in the position of authority somehow takes advantage of that authority, often in a sexual way. ROPE DRESS: See karada. S&M: See sadomasochism. SADIST: One who is aroused, excited, or receives sexual gratification from inflicting pain on another. Contrast masochist. Commentary: A sadist does not necessarily take pleasure in inflicting pain indiscriminately; for most sadists, the pleasure relies on knowing that the subject is also enjoying the experience. SADOMASOCHISM: Any activity or practice involving the inflicting or receiving of pain; pain play. SAFE CALL: A practice sometimes used as a safety measure when meeting a new partner for the first time. The safe call is a prearranged telephone call made to a trusted friend at a specific time to let that friend know that everything is okay; may involve the use of special code words to indicate whether or not the person making the safe call is in danger or distress. SAFE, SANE, AND CONSENSUAL (SSC): A code of conduct which holds that any activity between adults is acceptable as long as it is safe, sane, and consensual. Often held up as a test to whether or not a particular activity is ethical. See related RACK. Commentary: Many people see a flaw in the idea of "safe, sane, and consensual" because whether or not an activity is "safe" and "sane" is subjective, and because people may choose to engage in activities which might not always be "safe," as in some forms of edge play (def. 1). (This is true even outside the BDSM community; consider skydiving, for example). Because of this, SSC has given way to the code of conduct called "RACK" (risk-aware consensual kink) in some places. SAFEWORD: A predefined "code word" which a submissive can use to stop an ongoing activity if it becomes too much. Commentary: Safewords are often used in situations such as resistance play, where the submissive may be expected to struggle or resist and where the word "no" might not actually mean no. In such cases, for safety's sake it's often helpful to have some word that does mean "no," and is a word unlikely to come up otherwise. SCARFING: Colloquial Breath control by means of using a scarf or scarf-like object as a ligature around the neck. Usage: A relatively uncommon term; appears to have originated in the United States. SCARIFICATION: A form of body modification involving cutting the skin, often in intricate or elaborate patterns, in such a way that the healing process leaves behind a permanent scar. SCAT; also SCAT PLAY: Any activity involving feces. Commentary: Very likely to elicit a squick reaction from most people. SCENE: 1. A specific period of BDSM activity; as in, We had a scene lasting about two hours last night. 2. Colloquial The BDSM community as a whole. 3. In the scene: participating in the organized BDSM community. SCOLD'S BRIDLE: A lockable metal cage which encloses the head, with an integrated metal protrusion which goes into the wearer's mouth, preventing speech. Commentary: A rare piece of BDSM equipment modelled after a similar device used in Medieval times to punish gossipy or "troublesome" women. SCOURGE: A specific type of flogger which usually has two or three long, heavy lashes attached to a rigid handle. SELF-BONDAGE: The act or practice of tying one's self up or otherwise restraining one's self, sometimes as a part of masturbation. Often includes some mechanism by which the person may be freed after a set amount of time, which may include a timer mechanism to release a key or otherwise release the person. SENSATION PLAY: Any BDSM activity involving creating unusual sensations on a person, who may be blindfolded, as with ice cubes, soft fur or cloth, coarse materials, and the like. Sensation play is much more mild than pain play and may or may not include an element of power exchange. SERPENT'S TONGUE: Colloquial; see tawse. SERVICE D/S: A specific type of D/s centered around the submissive serving the dominant in practical ways, as by bringing the dominant food or drink and so on. For people involved in service D/s, sexual submission may or may not be a part of the relationship. Commentary: For a submissive whose focus is service D/s, everyday acts that many people might take for granted become a powerful symbol of submission. Even something as simple as bringing the dominant a drink can be a token of the submissive's submission. SESSION: See scene (Def. 1). Usage: Most often used to indicate a scene with a prodomme. SHIBARI: A type of bondage originating in Japan and characterized by extremely elaborate and intricate patterns of rope, often used both to restrain the subject and to stimulate the subject by binding or compressing the breasts and/or genitals. Shibari is an art form; the aesthetics of the bound person and the bondage itself are considered very important. Also sometimes called kinbaku. See related karada, shinju, kotori, sukuranbo. Usage: Most technically, shibari is the act of tying, and kinbaku is artistic bondage. In general use, however, shibari and kinbaku are often used as synonyms. SHINJU: A type of rope harness, originating in Japan, which goes around and over the breasts. A shinju does not restrict motion, and can be worn under clothing; as the subject moves, the ropes shift against the breasts, providing constant stimulation. Often used in shibari. SIGNAL WHIP: A type of small singletail, usually three to four feet in length. SINGLE-GLOVE: See armbinder. SINGLETAIL: Any of a class of whips having a single lash; most commonly applied to bullwhips and similar implements. Commentary: Most varieties of singletail whips can inflict great injury and can be dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced user. Singletail whips require skill and training to use properly, and are not easy to master. Use of a singletail is sometimes considered edge play (def. 1). SISSIFICATION: see feminization. SLAVE: A submissive, usually in a TPE relationship. Contrast master. Commentary: People who self-identify as "master" or "slave" often see dominance or submission as a cornerstone of their identity, an essential part of who they are as people; this self-identify may affect and inform almost every aspect of their lives. SLAVE AUCTION: An event sometimes held at play parties, conventions catering to BDSM participants, and the like, in which submissives are auctioned off for the use by the highest bidder in some context or for a set period of time. Slave auctions are sometimes held at BDSM-related events to raise money for charity. SLAPHAPPY: See slapper. Usage: Becoming archaic. SLAPPER: An implement used for striking a person, consisting of two thick leather paddles bound together at the handle, such that when the person is struck the two paddles hit one another, creating a loud sound. SLING: Ain item of furniture, usually made of leather, canvas, or nylon webbing, suspended by chains or cables from the ceiling. A person may sit in the sling and arranged for easy availability to such activities as sexual intercourse, fisting, and the like. Slings may include additional mechanisms to restrain the person within the sling or to keep the legs spread apart. See also fisting sling. SMOTHERBOX: A lockable box, often padded with leather, designed to be locked over the head of a submissive and used for queening. The smotherbox contains a large opening which exposes the submissive's face, allowing the dominant to straddle or sit on the box. May include a mechanism for affixing the box to the floor or to an item of furniture such as a bed or bench, so that the submissive can not move. SNAKE: A type of flexible singletail which lacks a rigid handle. SOFT LIMIT: A limit which is not necessarily be set in stone, but which may be flexible or may change over time. Contrast hard limit. See related edge play (def. 2). Commentary: One of the most powerful aspects of BDSM is that it offers a way for people to challenge their soft limits, testing themselves against their own boundaries in a safe and controlled way. SOUND: A thin, solid metal rod designed to be inserted in the urethra, often as a part of a medical role play. SPANK: To strike on the buttocks, either with an open hand or with a paddle. SPANKING BENCH: A low bench, often padded and often equipped with restraints or tie-down points, over which a person can be bent or tied and spanked or flogged. SPECULUM: A medical instrument commonly consisting of two or occasionally three probes designed to be inserted into the vagina or (less commonly) the anus, together with a mechanism intended to spread the probes apart, opening the vagina or anus. Sometimes used in medical role play scenarios. SPREADEAGLE: A posture in which a person is bound or restrained with the legs spread apart and the arms spread wide with the hands over the person's head. SPREADER BAR: An implement consisting of a rigid bar or rod, often with attachment points for restraints built into it at each end, designed to be attached to a person's feet or ankles so as to hold the person's legs spread apart. May be adjustable in length. SQUICK: Colloquial A feeling of disgust, repulsion, or similar negative emotional reaction to the idea of an activity which does not appeal to someone. Also, verb to feel disgust or revulsion at an idea; Water sports make Lisa squick. Commentary: The word "squick" has an interesting history. It was coined by a regular user of the old UseNet newsgroup alt.sex.bondage to describe a sudden and unexpected revulsion experienced by her partner when a group of very young kittens tried to nurse on him. It was originally intended to mean a strong negative response to something that was both surprising and unexpected. Since then, it has commonly been used to describe an emotional reaction of disgust in general, in spite of the original intent. SSC: See safe, sane, and consensual. ST. ANDREW'S CROSS: A popular type of bondage furniture consisting of an X-shaped cross, commonly made of wood, to which a person can be bound and flogged, whipped, and so on. STING: A sensation of quick, sharp pain. Usage: The feeling caused by being struck by a flogger is usually described in terms of thud or sting. Commentary: All other things being equal, a flogger with a large number of lashes (Def. 2) produces a sensation with less sting and more thud than a similar flogger with fewer lashes; a flogger with narrow lashes produces a sensation that is more sting and less thud than a similar flogger with wide lashes; a flogger with soft lashes (as with a flogger made with lashes of suede or deerskin) produces more thud and less sting than a similar flogger made with stiff lashes; and a flogger with braided or knotted lashes produces more sting than a similar flogger whose lashes are not braided or knotted. STOCK: A device used for bondage consisting of a vertical wooden post or a wooden frame atop which is set two heavy wood planks which close around a person's neck and wrists. STOCK WHIP: See signal whip. STRAITJACKET: A heavy jacket, often made of canvas, whose sleeves end in long straps, which are wrapped around the jacket and buckled in place. A person confined in a straitjacket has very little freedom of motion; freeing one's self from a straitjacket is virtually impossible. STRAP: An implement used for striking a person, consisting of a long, flat piece of heavy leather. Also, verb to strike with a strap. STRAP-IN: A dildo designed to penetrate a person either vaginally or anally and then be held in place by a strap or harness, sometimes equipped with a lock to prevent it from being removed. STRAP-ON: A dildo attached to straps, a harness, or some other mechanism designed to be worn around the waist. SUB FRENZY: Colloquial A very strong, sometimes overwhelming, desire to find a dominant partner or to become immersed in BDSM-related activities, sometimes seen in people who identify strongly as submissive, particularly peope who have either just newly discovered their submissive side or who have not partaken in BDSM-related activities for a long time. People in the grip of sub frenzy may sometimes make unwise or unsafe choices. SUBMISSIVE: One who assumes a role of submission in a power exchange relationship. A submissive is a person who seeks a position of or occupies a role of intentional, consensual powerlessness, allowing another person to take control over him or her. Contrast dominant; see related bottom, switch. SUBSPACE: A specific state of mind that a submissive may enter, particularly after intense activities and/or (depending on the person) intense pain play, characterized by euphoria, bliss, a strong feeling of well-being, or even a state similar to intoxication. Thought to be related to the release of endorphins in the brain. The euphoria associated with subspace may last for hours or sometimes even days after the activity ceases. SUBMIT: To give up power or control. A person who gives up power or psychological control to another is said to submit to that person. Submission: the act of giving up control. SUKURANBO: In shibari, a type of rope harness which wraps around the buttocks and upper thighs and passes between the legs and over the genitals. A sukuranbo does not restrict motion, and may even be worn under clothing; as the wearer walks or moves, the ropes slide over the genitals, stimulating them. SUSPENSION: Any form of bondage in which the person bound is suspended partially or completely off the floor, often by ropes affixed to an overhead point (as with a kotori in shibari), or by means of a rigid bar with attached suspension cuffs. SUSPENSION BAR: A short bar, often made of metal and which may be straight or slightly curved, with a mounting point in the center and additional mounting points designed for rope, chain, or suspension cuffs on each end. A person is bound to the suspension bar, which is hung from an overhead point by means of a cable or chain connected to its centeral mounting point. May often be used in conjunction with a lift, winch, or pulley system such that a person may be bound to the suspension bar and the bar may then be raised or lowered. SUSPENSION CUFFS: Any restraints designed to encircle the wrists, ankles, hands, or feet and designed in such a way as to distribute the wearer's weight so that the wearer may be partially or completely suspended from the cuffs. Some suspension cuffs contain an integrated panic snap. SUSPENSION FRAME: Any frame, rack, or similar structure designed for the purpose of suspension. Common configurations of suspension frames include an open "box" with mounting points along its upper edges, in which a person can be suspended so that the person hangs horizontally within the box; a rectangular upright frame, from which a person may be suspended with rope or suspension cuffs; and a long wood or metal pole, supported by two legs on each end, from which a person may be suspended by ropes. SUSPENSION RACK: See suspension frame. SUTURING; also, SUTURE PLAY: The practice of temporarily suturing or sewing parts of the body, particularly the genitals, for sexual gratification. Forms of suturing include sewing the labia closed and sewing the foreskin of the flaccid penis to the scrotum See related needle play, lacing (Def. 2). Commentary: An unusual practice that may not safe unless done by a skilled and knowledgable person. SWITCH: 1. One who can change roles, being either dominant or submissive (or, less frequently, sadistic or masochistic) at different times or with different partners. 2. A thin, flexible rod, often made from a green branch of a tree such as a willow tree, used for striking people; similar to a cane. 3. See polyamory: [[switch]]. Also, verb 1. To change roles, as from a dominant role to a submissive role. 2. (infrequent) To strike with a switch (def. 2). SWINGER: See polyamory: [[swinger]]. SYBIAN: One popular variety of commercially-available fucking machine consisting of a dildo affixed to a dome-shaped saddle which the user sits on. Commentary: The Sybian has been described by a friend of mine as "a machine that rips orgasms out of women." After my experiences watching people use these machines, I have to agree. TAWSE: An instrument used for striking or whipping a person, consisting of a thick, heavy leather strap which splits into two or three parallel tails at the striking end. TELEDILDONICS: Colloquial Of or relating to any form of sex toy or fucking machine designed to be operated remotely, as by radio, over a computer network, and so on. TENS UNIT: An electrical device which applies electrical signals through pads affixed to the skin, commonly used in the medical community to relieve pain by blocking the transmission of pain impulses through the nerves. Stands for "transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation." Used in BDSM as a form of electrical play. See related violet wand. Commentary: A TENS unit can have an effect ranging from a mild tingle to a very strong sensation, depending on how it is used. It can also cause involuntary muscle contractions. Some TENS units used in BDSM play include electrodes designed to be inserted in the vagina or anus; some people find that the vaginal contractions induced by a vaginal TENS probe can cause intense, long-lasting orgasms. THUD: A sensation of heavy, dull impact. Usage: The feeling caused by being struck by a flogger is usually described in terms of thud or sting. Commentary: All other things being equal, a flogger with a large number of lashes (Def. 2) produces a sensation with less sting and more thud than a similar flogger with fewer lashes; a flogger with narrow lashes produces a sensation that is more sting and less thud than a similar flogger with wide lashes; a flogger with soft lashes (as with a flogger made with lashes of suede or deerskin) produces more thud and less sting than a similar flogger made with stiff lashes; and a flogger with braided or knotted lashes produces more sting than a similar flogger whose lashes are not braided or knotted. TOP: One who administers some form of stimulation, such as spankings, floggings, or some other kind of stimulation on another person but does not have psychological control or power over that person. Contrast bottom; see related dominant. TOP DROP: Colloquial A sudden, abrupt feeling of depression, unhappiness, or similar negative emotion in a dominant which may occasionally occur immediately after a period of BDSM activity. May include feelings of guilt, especially if the dominant believes he or she has made an error, or has traditional ideas about relationship or socially appropriate behavior. TOTAL POWER EXCHANGE (TPE): A relationship in which one person surrenders control to another person for an indefinite duration, and in which the relationship is defined by the fact that one person is always dominant and the other is always submissive. One of the more extreme forms of power exchange. Sometimes referred to as lifestyle D/s. See related master, slave. TPE: see Total Power Exchange. TRAINING COLLAR: A collar given to a submissive in the early stages of a BDSM relationship (particularly a TPE relationship) when the submissive and the dominant are still exploring the possibility of a committed relationship. Similar in some ways to an engagement ring in a wedding. TRAMPLING: A practice in which one person lies prone and is stepped or walked on by another. TRANSVESTITE: One who engages in cross-dressing. TWEEZER CLAMPS: A type of nipple clamp consisting of long, thin, tweezer-like clamps made of flexible spring steel, with a ring which can be used to adjust their tightness. Commentary: Among the mildest of all forms of nipple clamps, typically causing little or no pain. UGOL'S LAW: A law first stated by Harry Ugol in the UseNet newsgroup alt.sex.bondage which holds that if there's some kink you have or something turns you on, no matter how strange or bizarre it may be, you're not the only one who has that kink. Commentary: I receive a great deal of email from these pages; much of it along the lines of "I didn't realize other people had the same fantasies and ideas that I do!" The nice thing about living in a world of six billion people is that, no matter how weird or bizarre your turn-ons may be, yes, there are other people like you. UTILITY D/S: A specific type of D/s centered around using the submissive in utilitarian capacities; for example; the submissive may kneel and act as a table for the dominant to eat from, and so on. For people involved in utility D/s, sexual submission may or may not be a part of the relationship. VAMPIRE GLOVES: Gloves used for sensation play which have a large number of short spikes or needles protruding from the palms and/or fingers. VANILLA: Colloquial Not interested in or involved with BDSM or activities related to BDSM; as, a vanilla person. Usage: Sometimes considered condescending or insulting. VETO: See polyamory: [[veto]]. VIOLET WAND: A device used for electrical play consisting of a handle, which contains a high-voltage coil called a "Tesla coil," and several interchangeable electrodes, most commonly made of glass and filled with a gas which glows a brilliant purple in the presence of an electrical field. Commentary: One of the most common and safest of electrical play devices, the violet wand works by creating a strong static electrical field on the electrode. The violet wand feels nothing like you might expect, and almost everyone I know, including people who believe they would hate anything related to electricity, wants one once they've felt it. VOYEUR: One who is excited or aroused by watching others, particularly in a sexual context or while engaged in sexual activity. VOYEURISM: The act of engaging in voyeuristic behavior. See related polyamory: [[candaulism]]. WARTENBERG WHEEL: A small implement consisting of a short handle to which is affixed a small wheel with a number of sharp needle-like projections around its outer edge. Used by neurologists to test nerve function in the skin and by people in the BDSM community for sensation play. WANNABE: Colloquial A disparaging term for a person, usually a self-identified dominant, who is inexperienced yet assumes knowlege or experience far exceeding his or her actual degree of expertise. Usage: An insulting term which indicates disrespect or contempt on the part of the speaker for the person so named. Commentary: Such people, because of their lack of experience, may be dangerous. WATER SPORTS: Any of a class of activities involving urination, often urination on a person. See also golden shower. Commentary: Often elicits a squick reaction from most people, including most people in the BDSM community. WAXING: 1. The practice of dripping hot wax onto a person, as from a paraffin candle or from molten paraffin wax prepared in a double boiler, for the purpose of sensation play or pain play. 2. The practice of removing hair from the body by spreading a thick waxy substance on the body, allowing it to cool and harden, and then ripping it off suddenly, pulling out the hair by the roots. 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. 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. See also singletail, bullwhip, signal whip, quirt, lunge whip. WHIPPING POST: A fixed upright post, often made of wood and secured at the base so as to be immobile, to which a person may be bound and whipped or flogged. WIITWD: Colloquial An acronym meaning "what it is that we do"--a shorthand for the entire spectrum of BDSM-related activities. WOODEN HORSE: An implement consisting of a wooden plank supported edgewise between two upright fixed posts, or of two sheets of wood coming together at a sharp angle with the edge facing up, to which a female submissive is bound with her legs off the floor. The submissive is bound in such a way she straddles plank or the point of the triangle, causing her entire body weight to rest on her clitoris. Some wooden horses include an integrated dildo which penetrates the person affixed to it. Commentary: Extremely painful. May cause nerve damage in the clitoris if not done carefully. WOODEN PONY: An implement consisting of a wooden plank supported edgewise between two upright fixed posts, which a female submissive straddles and is bound in place. The plank is at such a height that the submissive's weight is not borne by the plank so long as she remains standing on tiptoes; as her legs tire, she will eventually have no choice but to lower herself onto the edge of the plank, which is extremely painful. YOKE: A restraint device consisting of a metal bar or wooden plank, often about three feet long, with a locking cuff for the wrist on each end and a locking collar in the middle. ZIE: See polyamory: [[zie]]. ZIR: See polyamory: [[zir]]. ZIP STRIP; also, ZIPPER: An arrangement of clothespins tied along a length of cord or twine, which can be placed on the body and then yanked off one by one or all at once. ZIP TIE: See cable tie.

Part 1

By Franklin Veaux. This glossary is intended as a guide to many of the terms you might hear in the BDSM community. Note that you should not assume everyone who is involved with BDSM is into everything listed here; many of the specific practices described in the Glossary are quite rare. It's sometimes common for people who are involved in one particular type of play--bondage, for example, or perhaps spanking--to believe that what they do isn't BDSM, on the mistaken idea that being involved in BDSM means being into everything from pain play to extreme sadomasochism. In fact, nobody is into everything, and even in the BDSM community, not everyone has the same tastes, the same limits, or the same ideas. If you see something described in here which you personally find disturbing or off putting, that's fine; it doesn't mean that you aren't or can't be interested in BDSM. Hell, there are plenty of things I find disturbing, and there's nothing wrong with that! The definitions given here reflect the usage I am most familiar with. Some terms contain commentary; anything following the word Commentary indicates my own experiences, interpretations, or views on a particular subject, and should not be assumed to be part of the formal definition of the word. Links in the definitions will take you to other definitions on this page unless the links are in [[brackets]], in which case they will take you off this page. ABRASION: Any form of sensation play involving stroking or brushing the skin with rough, textured objects such as sandpaper, emery boards, and the like. ABSOLUTE POWER EXCHANGE (APE): See total power exchange. Usage: Less common than TPE. AFTERCARE: A period of time after intense BDSM activity in which the dominant partner cares for the submissive partner. Commentary: Some BDSM activities are physically challenging, psychologically intense, or both. After engaging in such activities, the submissive partner may need a safe psychological space to unwind and recover. Aftercare is the process of providing this safe space. AGE PLAY: A form of role play in which a participant assumes the role of someone of a different age. Typically, the submissive partner will assume the role of a very young (and hence powerless) child. ALGOPHILIA; also, ALGOLAGNIA: Psychology Sexual arousal from receiving pain. See also masochist; See related pain play, sadomasochism, sadist. ALPHA SUB: Colloquial In a relationship in which one dominant has more than one submissive, the submissive accorded the greatest power or respect among all the submissives. See related polyamory: [[polyamory]]; polyamory: [[primary/secondary]]. Commentary Not all relationships which have more than one submissive include a hierarchy among the submissives; that is, not all such relationships have an alpha sub. ANIMALISM: Any form of role play in which a participant assumes the role of an animal to be trained, such as a horse or dog. See related pony play, puppy play. ANKLE CUFFS: Any cuffs (Def. 1) specifically designed to be affixed to a person's ankles. Ankle cuffs are often made of leather, but may also be made of cloth, rope, metal, or even wood. ARMBINDER: A restraint device consisting of a long sleeve into which both arms are placed, often fitted with laces or straps to hold the arms securely together. An armbinder may also include an integrated collar to prevent the wearer from withdrawing the arms. Also referred to as a single-glove. ASPHYXIA: see breath control; see related auto-erotic asphyxia. ASYMMETRIC BONDAGE: Any bondage technique in which a person is bound in an asymmetric pose; for example, with one leg extended and one leg bent. Many forms of shibari include asymmetric bondage. AUCTION: See slave auction. AUTO-EROTIC ASPHYXIA, also AUTO-EROTIC ASPHYXIATION: A specific form of breath control in which a person who is by himself or herself constricts his or her own breathing, often with a rope or similar implement, while masturbating. Commentary: Often considered among the most dangerous forms of edge play (Def. 1). According to some estimates, between five hundred and a thousand people a year die in the United States doing this. It is almost impossible to do safely. BALL GAG: A gag consisting of a ball, usually made of rubber, which is attached to a strap. The ball is placed in the mouth and the strap is placed around the head to hold it securely in place. BALL HOOD: A specific type of hood, often without openings for the eyes or ears and sometimes containing integrated bladders designed to be inflated with air to press the hood tightly against the head, used as a means of rendering a person unable to hear, see, or speak. BALL TIE: A specific form of bondage in which the person is bound in a seated position with the knees up, the head bent down over the knees, and the hands behind the back. Commentary: This posture quickly becomes fatiguing and should not be used for extended periods of time on people who are not accustomed to it. BANDAGE SCISSORS: Specialized scissors, often used by emergency medical personnel, consisting of a pair of scissors with one sharp blade and one blunt blade with a rounded end. The blunt blade can be slid beneath bandages or anything else wrapped tightly around a limb without risk of cutting or injuring the person. Commentary: Often used in BDSM to remove a person from tight bondage or mummification very quickly in the event of an emergency. A sturdy pair of bandage scissors will make quick work of even thick rope; a person totally wrapped in rope can be freed within seconds with bandage scissors without injury. BASTINADO: Any form of pain play involving inflicting pain on the soles of the feet, often by striking, cropping, or whipping them. BAT: A thin, flexible instrument used for striking, consisting of a rigid but flexible shaft wrapped or braided with leather or cloth, very similar to a crop but usually slightly shorter and with a wider leather striking tip. BDSM: A composite acronym for "B&D" (bondage & discipline); "D&S" (dominance & submission); and "S&M" (sadomasochism). Used to refer to any consensual activities or lifestyles between adults which include some or all of these things. The term "BDSM" is used in a general sense to describe any situation or practice which includes erotic power exchange, dominance and submission, pain play, bondage, sensation play, or anything related to these. BIRCH: An implement used for striking, consisting of a bundle of light, thin wooden rods, typically made of birch. Also, verb To strike with a birch. BIT: See mouth bit. BLINDFOLD: Any implement designed to prevent a person from seeing by covering the eyes. Also, verb the act of using a blindfold on a person. BLOOD PLAY: Any activity involving drawing blood. Specific types of blood play include needle play and knife play, among others. Often considered edge play (Def. 1). Commentary: This is a high-risk activity which may transmit HIV and other infectious diseases. Persons who engage in blood play should be aware of these risks and take appropriate precautions. BODY BAG: A long, heavy bag, often shaped like a narrow sleeping bag and typically made of canvas, rubber, or latex, used to restrain a person very tightly. Sometimes includes integrated straps which wrap around the person within the bag. See related mummification. BODY HARNESS: A harness consisting of a series of straps designed to be worn around the torso, which may optionally include a mechanism for locking the harness into place and may also include rings or other attachments for ropes, cuffs, or chastity belts. BODY MODIFICATION: Any practice, including piercing, tattooing, branding, and the like, intended to modify, often permanently, the appearance of one's body. BOI: Colloquial A person, usually biologically female and often boyish or "butch" in manner, appearance, or dress, who is submissive; commonly but not exclusively used in lesbian D/s relationships. BONDAGE: Any practice involving tying or securing a person, as with ropes, cuffs, chains, or other restraints. Restraint bondage, the most common form of bondage, involves immobilizing a person, by tying or otherwise restraining him or her to an object or by binding his or her limbs together. Stimulation bondage is any form of tying in such a way that the subject is not immobilized and has freedom of motion, but the ropes or ties shift and move against the body, often in sensitive or erogenous areas; certain forms of shibari are stimulation bondage. A person in bondage is said to be bound. See also asymmetric bondage, ball tie, breast bondage, bondage tape, cock bondage, frog tie, self-bondage, suspension, mummification, punishment tie. See related bondage belt, bondage bunny, rigger, spreader bar, spreadeagle, straitjacket. BONDAGE BELT: A belt used to restrain a person, which consists of a heavy band of leather or a similar material which can be strapped or locked about the waist and which has several attachment points to which the subject's wrists may be bound. BONDAGE BUNNY: Colloquial A person who enjoys being tied or bound. Usage: Often implies that the person described is not necessarily submissive or masochistic, but enjoys bondage because he or she takes pleasure from being restrained. BONDAGE TAPE: A vinyl tape material, available in many colors, which sticks only to itself but not to other materials such as skin or clothing, making it ideal for bondage. BOTTOM: A person who receives spankings, floggings, or other forms of stimulation in situations which specifically exclude power exchange. For example, a masochist may be interested in receiving some kind of stimulation but may not be interested in giving up psychological control; whereas a submissive has given up authority and may receive some kind of stimulation on the instruction of a dominant, a bottom does not give up authority and may control exactly how, under what circumstances, and to what degree he or she receives some form of stimulation. Contrast top; see related submissive. BOTTOM DROP: Colloquial A sudden, abrupt feeling of depression, unhappiness, or similar negative emotion in a submissive which may occasionally occur immediately after a period of BDSM activity. May include feelings of shame or guilt, especially if the submissive has traditional ideas about relationship or socially appropriate behavior; after a period of intense pain play, bottom drop may be related to the reduction of levels of endorphins in the brain as well. BRANDING: Body modification by the use of a heated metal implement to brand a person's skin, leaving a permanent mark in the form of a scar. Occasionally done as a way for a dominant to "mark" his or her submissive. BREAST BONDAGE: A specific form of bondage involving binding around or over the breasts. See related breast press, karada, shinju. BREAST PRESS: A type of device, often consisting of two horizontal wooden planks with an adjustable screw or clamp mechanism between them, which can be clamped over the breasts. BREATH CONTROL: Any practice in which a person's breathing is constricted or interrupted, as with a hand or ligature around the throat or with a covering over the face, for the purpose of increasing sexual arousal or sexual climax. Often considered an extremely dangerous form of edge play (def. 1), as it can and often does lead to permanent injury or death. Also referred to as asphyxia, erotic asphyxiation, gasping. See related auto-erotic asphyxia. BULLWHIP: A type of singletail consisting of a woven or braided leather whip, usually longer than 4' and sometimes 6' long or more. Commentary: Requires extensive practice and great skill to use safely. BUKKAKE: A sexual practice, originating in Japan, in which a very large number of men masturbate and ejaculate onto a person. The word originates with the Japanese term meaning "to splash water." BUTT PLUG: A sex toy intended for anal stimulation, consisting of a flared dildo, usually quite short, with a wide base, designed to remain securely in the anus until removed. BUTTERFLY CHAIR: A chair which contains two horizontal planks to which the legs can be secured, affixed to a pivot such that the legs of the secured person can be spread apart. CABLE TIE; also, CABLE CUFF, PLASTICUFF, ZIP TIE: A type of cuff consisting of a thin plastic strip with a row of teeth in its surface, and a small ratchet on one end. The end of the cable tie can be placed through the ratchet to form a loop which can be pulled tight but not loosened again. Sometimes used by police in favor of handcuffs. CANE: A thin, flexible instrument used to strike a person. Canes are typically made of rattan or a similar material, and are quite painful, often leaving marked welts. Also, verb to strike with a cane. CARABINER: Any device used to connect two chains or ropes together, often in the form of a D-shaped metal ring with a spring-loaded lever which can open the ring. See related panic snap. Commentary: Carabiners are not usually appropriate for suspension, as they cannot easily be removed if the suspended person's full weight is bearing down on them. CAT: Colloquial; from cat o' nine tails: A generic term for any flogger whose lashes are braided or knotted, regardless of the number of lashes. Commentary: Knotting or braiding the lashes makes the flogger considerably more painful. CAT O' NINE TAILS: A specific type of flogger consisting of a handle, often made of wood and wrapped with cloth, with nine lashes affixed to it. The lashes are usually made of rope or of leather cords, and are braided or knotted. Generally more painful than many other types of floggers. CATHERINE'S WHEEL: A large, upright wheel, usually made of wood, to which a person may be bound and then rotated to any position. CATHETER: Any thin, flexible tube designed to be inserted in the urethra. See related sound. CATHETERIZATION: The act or process of inserting a catheter, often as a part of a medical role play. CBT: see cock and ball torture. CHASTITY: The practice of disallowing any form of sexual release or sexual activity, sometimes imposed on a submissive by a dominant. Some forms of imposed chastity include the use of locking devices such as chastity belts to prevent direct sexual stimulation of the genitals. Also sometimes called chastity play, enforced chastity. CHASTITY BELT: Any device intended to prohibit contact with or stimulation of the genitals. Female chastity belts often take the form of a lockable harness which passes between the legs and around the waist; male chastity belts may include a locking enclosure into which the penis is placed. CHEMICAL PLAY: Any form of sensation play involving the use of mild irritants such as wintergreen oil, menthol, Tabasco sauce, and the like to create sensation. CLOVER CLAMP: A specific type of nipple clamp consisting of a clamp with a lever mechanism to which a chain or cord is affixed in such a way that pulling on the chain or cord increases pressure on the clamp. COCK AND BALL TORTURE (CBT): Any of a number of different practices involving pain play of the penis and testicles, including such practices as binding, compressing, striking, or stretching the penis or testicles. See related parachute. COCK BONDAGE: Tying or restraining the penis. COCK RING: A ring (often made of metal or rubber) or strap designed to be affixed around the base of an erect penis. The ring allows blood to flow into the penis but constricts the penis sufficiently to prevent blood from flowing out, preventing the penis from becoming flaccid once it is erect. CO-DOM: 1. A person who acts in conjunction with or as an assistant to a dominant during a specific scene. 2. A person who shares a submissive with another dominant, often in the context of a [[polyamorous]] relationship. Also, verb to act in concert with another dominant. COLLAR: An item worn around the neck, sometimes equipped with a locking device to prevent its removal, and often worn as a symbol of submission. Also, verb To put a collar on, often as part of a ceremony indicating a committed relationship between a dominant and a submissive. See also posture collar, training collar; see related collaring ceremony. Commentary: A collaring ceremony in the BDSM community has many of the same kinds of social significance as something like a marriage or a wedding; often, the process of collaring is used to indicate a committed long-term relationship, particularly in TPE relationships. A submissive who has participated in such a ceremony is often said to be "collared to" his or her dominant. A collar in this context has symbolic value not unlike that of, say, a wedding ring. Some people outside the BDSM community associate collars with animals or pets, and erroneously believe that a collar is a sign of humiliation or is used to dehumanize a submissive; however, the symbolic value of a collar within the BDSM community is completely different. COLLARED: The condition of having engaged in a committed, long-term relationship to a dominant, often by means of a collaring ceremony of some kind. COLLARING CEREMONY: A formal ceremony celebrating or symbolizing a commitment between a dominant and a submissive, typically during which a collar is placed around the submissive's neck. Commentary: There is no single type of collaring ceremony, and not all people in committed relationships in the BDSM community practice collaring ceremonies. A collaring ceremony is generally viewed as a serious, long-term commitment, not unlike a wedding ceremony in some ways. Such ceremonies may be public or private, and may include whatever elements the people involved find appropriate. Collaring ceremonies may or may not imply a monogamous relationship; one dominant may have more than one collared submissive, but it is extremely uncommon for one submissive to be collared to more than one dominant. A collaring ceremony may mark the formal beginning of a TPE relationship. CONSENT: Affirmative permission, assent, or approval. In a BDSM context, "consent" is an affirmative assent to engage in a particular activity, freely given without coercion or distress. Informed consent: Consent freely given with full and prior knowledge of the conditions and potential consequences of the assent. Also, verb To give affirmative permission to engage in an activity. Commentary: Consent is one of the hallmarks of BDSM, distinguishing it from abusive activities which may appear superficially similar. Consent is based on the active, willing participation of everyone involved in a particular activity; for example, if two people are engaged in something like pain play, a key defining characteristic which differentiates this play from physical abuse is that all the people involved know exactly what they're doing, want to be there, and give specific assent to the activities in question, whereas the victim of abuse does not specifically and affirmatively assent to the abuse. Consent is valid and meaningful only if it is informed, meaning that all the participants have full knowledge of the activities to which they are consenting (including but not limited to the circumstances under which the activity will take place and the possible risks, if any, inherent in the activity); if it is uncoerced, meaning that the participants give the consent freely without threat, force, or intimidation; and if the people involved give that consent from a condition of sound mind, meaning their judgement in not impaired by drugs, disease, or any other condition which might cloud or distort their ability to make reasonable, rational decisions. CONSENSUAL NON-CONSENT: Any situation in which one person knowingly and voluntarily gives up the ability to prevent another person from doing whatever he or she wants; as, for example, deliberately engaging in activities which the submissive may be physically prevented from resisting and does not have a safe word. Some forms of rape play are consensual non-consent. Commentary: Consensual non-consent is still consent. A person who gives consent in this way is giving affirmative assent to engage in an activity that he or she will not be able to stop in the middle; it can be thought of as consenting to an activity in such a way that the consent may not be revoked. CONTRACT: A mutually negotiated, written agreement between a dominant and a submissive, outlining the submissive's limits, the activities the participants wish to explore, and the like. Commentary: BDSM contracts are not legally valid or enforceable, but are useful tools for defining what activities are and are not acceptable and in what contexts. CONTRAPOLAR STIMULATION: Physiology Of or relating to any form of stimulation which produces both pleasure and pain sensations simultaneously. CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: Any activity involving disciplining a person through physical means, as by spanking. CORSET: An article of clothing, often made of leather and sometimes including strips of rigid "boning," which is tightly laced and designed to narrow the waist and lift the breasts, creating an "hourglass" figure. See related corsetry. CORSET PIERCING: A form of body modification in which rings are placed through a person's skin, then laced together with a silk cord or similar tie. Corset piercings can be done on the back, or even on the labia, tying it closed. The piercings themselves may be temporary or permanent. CORSETRY: The practice of wearing a corset, often laced extremely tightly, and sometimes constraining motion, as a form of body modification or for the purpose of control. See related lacing (Def. 1). CO-TOP: A person who acts together with or as an assistant to a top during a specific scene. Also, verb to act in concert with another top. CRACKER: 1. A short piece of cord on the end of a whip, which makes a loud cracking sound as the whip is snapped. 2. Archaic, colloquial One who wields a whip. Commentary: The colloquial term "cracker" when used to describe a person from the rural southern United States originates with Def. 2. CRASH: Colloquial An abrupt feeling of depression or unhappiness immediately following the end of a BDSM activity. This feeling may be triggered by a number of different factors, including feelings of guilt (especially among people raised with traditional ideas about sex and relationships), confusion, unexpected psychological response to the activities, or even physiological processes such as a drop in the levels of endorphins. See related top drop, bottom drop. CROP, also RIDING CROP: A thin, flexible instrument used for striking, consisting of a rigid but flexible shaft wrapped with leather or a similar material, with a handle at one end and often with a small leather loop at the other. Also, verb to strike with a crop. CROSS-DRESSING: Sexual arousal or gratification from wearing clothing appropriate for the opposite sex. CROSS-ORIENTATION PLAY: See orientation play. CUCKOLD: One whose partner practices cuckoldry. CUCKOLDRY: The practice by which a dominant takes one or more sexual partners other than his or her submissive, for the purpose of humiliating the submissive. Commentary: Cuckoldry is distinct from the practice of [[polyamory]] in the sense that it is done in a context where the submissive has no direct control over the dominant's other partners, and the primary purpose is to humiliate the submissive. Those who are aroused by cuckoldry are most often attracted to the humiliation and powerlessness aspects of it. The majority of the people who practice cuckoldry as a sexual fetish are women, who humiliate their male partners by having sex with other men. CUFF: 1. Any restraint which has a band or band-like structure, which may be made of metal or of a flexible material such as canvas or leather, intended to be strapped or locked around an extremity such as a wrist or ankle for the purpose of securing or immobilizing it. 2. Archaic the fist. Also, verb 1. To restrain or immobilize by means of a cuff or cuffs. 2. To strike a rapid blow, as with the hand. 3. Archaic: Cuff with, to engage in a fistfight with. CUPPING: A type of sensation play involving the use of small glass or plastic cups which are placed over the skin and then evacuated to create a vacuum, and hence suction. Some cups have an integrated valve to which a hand-operated vacuum pump can be attached; in other cases, the vacuum is created by dropping a flaming cotton ball, usually soaked in alcohol, into the cup and then placing the cup over the skin in such a way as to extinguish the flame. The vacuum is created by the contraction of the cooling air. D/s: Dominance and submission. DISCIPLINE: 1. Any activity in which one person trains another person to act or behave in a specified way, often by enforcing rigid codes of conduct or by inflicting punishment for failure to behave in the prescribed way. 2. Archaic Any instrument used to enforce discipline or to punish physically, such as a whip or crop. DOMINA: A female dominant. DOMINANT: A person who assumes a role of power or authority in a power exchange relationship. A dominant takes psychological control over or has power over another person, and may, for example, give that person orders which are to be obeyed. Contrast submissive; see related top, switch. DOMINATE: To assume or exert control over; to take psychological power over. A person who controls another person or takes control of a scene is said to dominate that person. Dominant is a noun or an adjective; dominate is a verb. Domination, dominance: the act of wielding authority over another. DOM: A dominant. Usage: Often indicates a male dominant; however, may be applied to a dominant of any sex. DOMINATRIX: A dominant, usually female and often a prodomme. DOMME: A female dominant. DRAGON'S TAIL: An unusual type of whip consisting of a handle, often made of wood and wrapped with leather, to which a wide piece of thin leather or suede is attached. This leather or suede forms a lash which is a hollow tube tapering to a point at the striking end. DRAGON'S TONGUE: An unusual type of whip consisting of a handle, often made of wood and wrapped with leather, and a lash made of a single wide piece of leather or suede wrapped around another, thinner suede lash. The outer lash is rolled into a tube around the inner lash, and tapers to a point at the striking end. DREAD KOOSH FLOGGER: Colloquial A flogger made from a rope handle tied to several Koosh balls, which are children's toys consisting of a small, hard rubber ball with a very large number of long rubber "whiskers" attached. The dread koosh flogger was invented by a participant of the UseNet newsgroup alt.sex.bondage, and is generally considered the definitive standard for thud in a flogger. DUNGEON: Any place specifically set up for BDSM activities, often equipped specifically for BDSM play, as with furniture such as racks, crosses, and the like. DUNGEON MONITOR: In a play party, a person charged with ensuring that the participants adhere to safety rules and treat one another with respect. EDGE PLAY: 1. Any practice which involves significant risk of injury or physical harm; as, breath control, fire play. 2. Any practice which challenges the limits or boundaries of one or more of the participants. ELECTRICAL PLAY: Any of a variety of different practices involving the use of electrical current or electricity to stimulate a person. Some common forms of electrical play include using high-voltage, low-current devices such as violet wands or the use of controlled pulses of electricity to induce muscle contractions as with a TENS unit. Commentary: Many forms of electrical play are not safe to use above the waist, as even small amounts of electrical current across the chest may induce heart arrythmia or heart attack. EMT SCISSORS; also, EMT SHEARS: See bandage scissors. ENDORPHINS: Naturally-occurring opiate-like chemicals produced in the brain in response to pain, which block pain and can produce a euphoric sensation. The euphoria sometimes described by people who engage in BDSM is often attributed to endorphins. ENEMA: The act of introducing water or other liquid into the bowel or lower intestine, often by means of a nozzle inserted into the anus and connected to a liquid-filled bag or bulb. Commentary: In a BDSM context, enemas may be given for pleasure (some people find the sensations enjoyable or arousing), as a form of humiliation play, or simply as a precursor to anal sex. ENGLISH: Archaic caning. EXHIBITIONIST: One who is sexually aroused by showing others his or her body or by being watched, particularly in a sexual setting or while engaged in sexual activity. EXHIBITIONISM: The act of engaging in exhibitionistic behavior. FEMDOM: A power exchange relationship in which the dominant is female. Often (but not always) used to refer to a relationship between a female dominant and a male submissive. FEMINIZATION: The practice of enforcing activities or behaviors on a male submissive which are typically associated with women, as cross-dressing, requiring the submissive to sit when urinating, and the like. Often used as a form of humiliation play. Also referred to as sissification. FERULA: See tawse. Usage: Originated in Catholic schools; uncommon among people who have not attended Catholic school. FETISH: 1. Formally, Psychology a non-sexual object whose presence is required for sexual arousal or climax; informally, anything not generally considered sexual which arouses a person, as a foot fetish or a leather fetish. 2. Anything of or relating to BDSM in general; as a fetish convention, a fetish event. 3. Items, practices, or apparel relating to BDSM; as, fetish photography, fetish clothing. FETTERS: see leg irons. FIDDLE: A type of restraint consisting of a short metal rod with a locking collar, usually made of metal, affixed to one end and a pair of locking cuffs on the other. Used to bind the wrists together and prevent freedom of motion of the hands and arms. FIGGING: The practice of placing a piece of carved ginger root into the anus or vagina. The result is a burning sensation which many people claim can intensify orgasm. FIRE PLAY: Any of a number of practices involving the use of fire or flame in BDSM or sexual play. One form of fire play, for example, involves placing an accelerant such as alcohol on a person's body, then igniting and quickly extinguishing it. Commentary: Very dramatic, but also dangerous. Not appropriate for inexperienced people. FISTICUFF: Archaic 1. To strike with the closed hand. Fisticuffs: Archaic 1. The fists. 2. Colloquial A fistfight. Get into fisticuffs: Engage in a fight with bare fists. FISTING: The practice of inserting the entire hand into the vagina or (less commonly) into the anus. Commentary: Vaginal fisting is actually quite a bit easier to do than most people realize; the human body is quite accommodating. Contrary to common misconception, fisting is not done by making a fist and shoving it into the vagina; rather, the fingers are placed together and inserted slowly; as the hand is inserted, the fingers tend to curl into a loose ball. Many women experience intense orgasms from vaginal fisting. FISTING SLING: A sling designed in such a way that the person within the sling is reclined with the legs spread apart, in a posture convenient for fisting. FLAGELLATION: A generic term for any sort of activity involving flogging or whipping. FLAGGING: The act of wearing a specific clothing, insignia, jewelry, or other sign as a means of expressing interest in a specific form of BDSM activities. See related hanky code. FLOG: To strike with a flogger. FLOGGER: An implement used to strike a person, consisting of a handle with multiple lashes attached to it. The lashes are typically made of leather, but may also be made of materials such as rope, suede, horsehair, or even Koosh balls. See also cat, cat o' nine tails, dread koosh flogger; See related thud, sting. FLORENTINE: A flashy flogging technique involving the use of a flogger in each hand. The floggers are most often swung in a figure-8 pattern. FORCED ORGASM: An orgasm induced in a person against that person's will or as part of resistance play, often by means of bondage combined with sexual stimulation. See related consensual non-consent. FOUNTAIN OF VENUS: Colloquial Water sports involving urination by a woman. FREEPLAY: BDSM activities in which there is no domination or submission. See related top, bottom, sensation play. FROG TIE: A specific form of bondage in which the person kneels and the ankles are bound to the thighs, preventing the person from rising; the wrists are then bound to the ankles. FUCKING MACHINE: Any device or machine which is designed to simulate the act of sex; often consisting of a dildo affixed to a reciprocating motor so as to thrust in and out of a person. Many varieties of fucking machines exist, some designed so that the subject straddles or sits on them, others designed to be used when the subject is prone or spreadeagle. FUNNEL GAG: A gag, usually consisting of an oblong or penis-shaped rubber or plastic bit, which has a tube running through it connected to a funnel. When the gag is placed in the mouth, any liquids introduced into the tube will pass into the mouth, and the person wearing the gag has no choice but to swallow them. GAG: Any device or object designed to be placed in the mouth, most commonly to prevent a person from speaking or making loud sounds, sometimes to hold the mouth open. Also, verb To place an object into the mouth to prevent a person from speaking. See also ball gag, ring gag, mouth gag, mouth bit, pump gag, funnel gag. GASPING: colloquial; see breath control. GASPER: colloquial One who participates or engages in breath control or auto-erotic asphyxia. GATES OF HELL: A male chastity device consisting of a series of metal rings connected by a leather band which are placed around the penis. GENITORTURE: pain play inflicted on the genitals. GIMP MASK: Colloquial A specific form of hood, often made of heavy leather or rubber, which entirely encloses the face and head, and which often lacks openings for the eyes, mouth, or ears. GOLDEN SHOWER: A form of water sports involving the act of urinating on a person. GOR: A mythical planet created by science fiction writer John Norman and used as the setting for an entire series of science fiction novels. The novels describe a civilization in which women occupy an extremely submissive position in society and are often used as sex slaves. The novels describes a formalized, ritualized set of social structures centered around female submission and male superiority, which have been adopted by a subcommunity of people within the BDSM community. GOREAN D/S: Male domination and female submission according to a formal system adapted from the fictitious society described in the Gor novels, and characterized by strong hierarchy, male superiority, and an elaborate system of protocols. Includes such elements as ritualized postures and positions which women are expected to take in the presence of men under certain circumstances. Also Gorean master, Gorean slave: one who adopts a dominant or submissive role in a manner which reflects the society described in the novels. See related kajira. GREEK: Colloquial Of or related to anal sex. GROPE BOX: A long, narrow, enclosed box, often made of wood, with many openings along its front and sides, into which a person may be placed and then groped or fondled by people outside the box. A person within a grope box is helpless to prevent the fondling and often cannot see the people doing the fondling. HAIR TIE: A bondage technique in which a rope, twine, or cord is woven or braided through a person's hair, then tied in such a way as to limit mobility of the bound person's head. HANDCUFFS: Narrow metal cuffs with a pivoting hinge and a ratcheted locking mechanism, connected to each other by a short length of chain and often used to restrain people's wrists together. Commonly used by law enforcement and security personnel. Commentary: Handcuffs are not always safe to use in BDSM scenarios, particularly if resistance play is involved, as their narrowness and hardness can cause injury to the wrist if the restrained person pulls or struggles against them. HANDBALLING: Colloquial; see fisting. Usage: Uncommon. HANKY CODE: A covert technique developed largely by the old leather community for advertising one's BDSM preferences and to indicate the activities in which one was interested. The code worked by using a system of colored handkerchiefs, usually worn in the back pocket, on the left side for dominants and the right side for submissives. Each class of activity had its own particular color; for example, a person who was interested in pain play might wear a black handkerchief, whereas a gray handkerchief might indicate an interest in bondage, and so on. HARD LIMIT: A limit which is generally considered to be absolute, inflexible, and non-negotiable. Contrast soft limit. HEDGEHOG: A device used for sensation play consisting of a short metal cylinder with numerous spikes attached to a handle in such a way that it can be rolled over the skin, producing a sensation somewhat similar to that of a wartenberg wheel. HOBBLE SKIRT: A item of clothing consisting of a very tight skirt that ends below the knee, which prevents freedom of motion of the legs, allowing the wearer to walk slowly in a hobbling motion but not to move quickly. HOGTIE: A bondage technique in which the bound person's ankles are tied to the wrists, usually behind the back while the bound person lies on his or her stomach. HOOD: Any covering designed to go over the head, often partly or completely covering the face as well. HORSE: 1. A piece of bondage furniture consisting of a plank supported by two legs on each end, similar to a sawhorse. A person may be bent or tied over the horse and flogged or spanked. 2. See wooden horse. HOUSE BOY: A male house slave. HOUSE GIRL: A female house slave. HOUSE SLAVE: A submissive, who may often live with the dominant, who acts as a maid, cleaning up the dominant's house and performing other household errands, often while nude. A house slave may sometimes be punished for failure to perform satisfactorarily; with this form of D/s, sexual submission may or may not be part of the arrangement. HUMBLER: An implement consisting of a locking metal ring which fits around the testicles, connected to two wings which go between the legs and behind the buttocks. A person wearing a humbler cannot stand straight without placing painful pressure on the testicles; the humbler forces the wearer to walk bent over or on all fours. HUMILIATION PLAY: Sexual arousal from activities which include an element of humiliation, shame, or embarrassment for one or more of the participants. Commentary: Humiliation play is a relatively unusual taste that is often very difficult to explain to someone who doesn't understand it. While humiliation play may carry little or no risk of injury, it can be psychologically very intense, and is sometimes the psychological equivalent of edge play. IMPALEMENT: A practice in which a person is bound, usually while standing, and penetrated anally or vaginally with a dildo attached to the end of a fixed pole or rod in such a way that the person cannot escape or remove himself or herself from the dildo. Commentary: This practice can be dangerous if not done correctly. The person must be bound in such a way that he or she cannot fall if he or she loses balance. INFANTILISM: A type of role play in which one of the adult participants takes on the role of an infant, and may be dressed in diapers, suck on a pacifier, and so forth. See also age play. INFLATION: A practice involving injecting saline solution into the scrotum to "inflate" the scrotal sac, sometimes to a very large extent. Commentary: A sometimes painful practice that is not safe if not done by a skilled and experienced person. INFORMED CONSENT: See consent. Commentary: Consent is not valid if it is not informed; in order to be valid, a person who gives permission to engage in an activity must know and understand what the activity is, what the circumstances surrounding the activity are, and what the potential consequences are, including any risks involved in that activity. INVERSION TABLE: A piece of furniture consisting of a flat table to which a person can be bound, suspended between upright supports on a pivot in such a way that the table can be rotated upright, inclined, or completely upside-down. IRONS: See leg irons. Archaic, colloquial locked in irons, thrown in irons, clapped in irons: restrained with leg irons. JAPANESE BONDAGE: See shibari. JAPANESE CLOVER CLAMP: See clover clamp. KAJIRA: In the Gor novels, a female sex slave. In Gorean D/s, a woman who identifies as a slave. KARADA: A rope harness, originating in Japan, that is tied around the torso in a series of diamond-shaped patterns. Often used as a foundation in shibari. The karada does not restrain the subject, and can even be worn under clothing. KENNEL PLAY: A specific form of puppy play in which the submissive is confined to a kennel or doghouse as part of the play. See related animalism. KINBAKU: See shibari. Usage: Most technically, shibari is the act of tying, and kinbaku is artistic bondage. In general use, however, shibari and kinbaku are often used as synonyms. KOTORI: A rope harness intended to support a person's weight from the torso and upper legs, used for suspension in shibari. KNIFE PLAY: Any activity involving use of a knife. Sometimes done strictly for psychological effect, as with a dull knife; sometimes done for the purpose of cutting or breaking the skin. See related blood play, edge play (def. 1). KNOUT: A specific type of whip with multiple lashes made of wire and usually knotted. LADDER: A structure consisting of either a triangular wooden frame with wooden slats running across it or two vertical wooden planks with several horizontal cross members, to which a person can be bound. LACING: 1. The practice of extreme corsetry; particularly, very tight corsetry done as a form of body modification. 2. A specific and unusual type of bondage done by suturing a part of the body to or around a fixed object. 3. Any functional tie used to close an article of clothing, such as boots or corsets. Commentary: In the sense of Def. 2, the practice of lacing is often considered edge play and may not be safe if done by a person who is not skilled and knowledgable. LASH: 1. Any long, flexible implement, often made of leather or cord, used to strike a person. 2. The flexible striking part of a flogger. Also, verb To strike with a lash (def. 1). LEATHER BAR: A drinking establishment catering to the BDSM community, often specifically to the old leather community, which may have strict dress codes for entrance. LEATHER BUTT: Colloquial A condition where prolonged, repeated stimulation of a particular part of a person's body, most often pain play involving paddling or striking so as to leave deep bruises, makes that part of the body less sensitive. Usage: Used generically, not necessarily only to describe one's butt. Commentary: In some cases, repeated, prolonged, and very hard striking, as with a paddle or a crop, can create bruising deep enough that the area that is bruised becomes less sensitive. If this is done repeatedly over a period of time, this decrease in sensation can reportedly become permanent, resulting in leather butt. As the people I know tend to enjoy forms of play that do leave very deep bruises, and as I've never seen any cases of permanent reduction in sensation, I am of the opinion that such permanent reduction in sensation is probably rare. LEG IRONS: A set of locking cuffs, often made of iron fastened together with rivets, with a length of chain about a foot long between them. Designed to be locked around the legs or ankles in such a way that the bound person can still walk, in a slow, shuffling gait, but cannot run. May also include additional chains designed to be affixed to a belt and to cuffs fastened about the wrists. Leg irons which attach specifically to the ankles or feet are also called fetters. LEG STRETCHER, also LEG SPREADER: See spreader bar. LIFESTYLE: 1. Colloquial; often "the lifestyle" Of or pertaining to involvement in BDSM, as in How long have you been in the lifestyle? 2. Of or pertaining to a TPE relationship, as in We practice lifestyle D/s. LIMIT: A boundary, which may be set by a dominant or a submissive, which specifies a point past which any activity will not go. See soft limit, hard limit. See related edge play (def. 2). LUNGE WHIP: A specific type of whip consisting of a handle attached to a long, flexible, rigid shaft, often made of fiberglass and typically about 65" long or so, with a single long, narrow lash. Lunge whips often telescope or disassemble for easy storage. MANACLES: Any metal cuffs with a length of chain attached, which either connects the cuffs together (as in a pair of handcuffs) or which may be used to affix the cuffs to a wall or other restraint point. MARTINET: A specific type of whip (def. 1) consisting of a short, rigid handle with many short leather lashes, each of which is square in cross-section. MARTYMACHLIA: Psychology Sexual arousal from being watched during sex; exhibitionism. MASOCHIST: One who experiences arousal, excitement, or sexual gratification from receiving pain. Contrast sadist. Commentary: Contrary to popular misconception, a masochist does not experience arousal
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