Friday, January 20, 2012

No Bullshit Guide: Terminology

Alright! Lets get this post over with so I can get back to my creative roots! Don't get me wrong, terminology is important- but I feel like I'm writing a book report. I hate to just feed people facts- I prefer to write whatever comes to mind. This is putting a damper on my creativity ;) So let's go!



Now, I'm not going to go over EVERY single term there is when it comes to BDSM. There are way too many! I will go over what I think are the most important and most commonly used to get you started. I'll also post a few links for you all to look at that go into more detail about the lifestyle and each individual fetish and such. Ready?! I'm ready!!!

FYI- these are my definitions. Others opinions may differ.


BDSM- an acronym that stands for B&D- bondage and discipline, D&S- Dominance and submission, S&M- sadism and masochism. It refers to the acts of, or participating in activities that include: bondage (being restrained, physically, by devices such as rope or cuffs), discipline (the process of punishing or being punished), dominance and submission, sadism and masochism (which I will go over in a bit)

Top- a person who takes on the dominant role for the duration of a scene. The one administering the bondage, discipline etc. (Not to be confused with a Dom, generally this only refers to a particular scene and not a relationship between a Dom and sub)

Bottom- a person who takes on the submissive role for the duration of a scene. The one on the receiving end of bondage, discipline etc. (Not to be confused with a sub, generally this only refers to a particular scene and not a relationship between a Dom and sub)

Sadism-  deriving pleasure from causing pain, suffering or cruelty.

Masochism-  receiving pleasure from mental, emotional or physical pain or humiliation.

Dominant- (Dom) refers to a person that takes control of a person or situation through usage of some means (physical, mental, financial) or to exercise this power. A person who exercises this power on a regular basis outside of BDSM scenes.  (Dom for a man; Domme or Dominatrix for a woman)

Submissive- the act of yielding to something or someone. A person who submits on a regular basis outside of BDSM scenes that retains freedoms and rights.

Master- one that has control of another, generally a slave. The owner or keeper of property. (usually this is a long term relationship; a serious commitment where there are detailed contracts or agreements)

Slave-  generally refers to a very involved D/s relationship. A person who has surrendered their personal property and freedoms to another. The difference between a slave and a submissive is the degree of submission.

Switch- a person who has a preference for being both submissive and dominant in their BDSM activities. Usually not at the same time. They may be submissive with one individual and dominant with another.

Daddy- a dominant individual who is a father figure to the submissive. Also can refer to a sensual Dom, one who is more into nurturing.

24/7- stands for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It identifies a relationship with round the clock Dominant and submissive dynamics.

TPE (total power exchange)-  refers to a relationship where the Dominant has complete authority and influence over the submissives life, making the majority of decisions.

Fetish- attraction or attachment to an idea or object.

Scene- a division of time that encapsulates a BDSM activity, ranging from a few minutes to several hours. Also can be used as a verb; to "scene" with someone implies you have been or will be involved with someone for the scene. Also can refer to the BDSM community.

Munch- a gathering of people into BDSM usually in a vanilla setting such as: at a restaurant, coffee shop to meet and talk.

Dungeon- refers to a room or area with BDSM equipment and play space.

Play Party- a BDSM event where many people engage in "scenes".

Safeword- a word or phrase used for communication in a scene. Most commonly it is used by the submissive to end a scene because of pain or other problems. A lot use three terms: green (meaning "go ahead. I'm fine") yellow (meaning "slow down") and red (meaning "stop immediately"). Or you may establish a safeword you prefer before a scene.

Sub space- a natural high a submissive gets during a scene or when being controlled. Subs may feel disconnected from time, space and or their bodies.

Limit- an activity a person will refuse to participate in. (hard limits are limits that are firm, and not mutable with circumstances. Soft limits are limits that are negotiable under certain circumstances)

SSC- stands for Safe, Sane and Consensual.

Vanilla- a term coined by the BDSM community to describe "normal" (non- BDSM) folks.


I hope this helps the newbies out there a little :)

Below I have included a few links I feel are interesting and helpful.

http://www.bdsm-education.com/terminology.html  A short list of terms

http://www.differentequals.com/glossary.html  A list including numerous fetishes

http://soj.org/   Society of Janus- a site EVERYONE should visit. They are a not-for-profit organization in San Francisco devoted to educating and supporting people who are interested in learning about BDSM.


Well, I hope you enjoyed this post. I know I will have much more fun writing my next post: what submission is and what it is not. Coming soon!

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