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BDSM / Kink Roles & Glossary

Roles

A person who consensually takes power, authority or control in a relationship, scene or activity.

 A female-identifying person who consensually takes power, authority, or control in a relationship, scene or activity.

A person who participates in relationships, scenes and activities as a Top/Dominant or bottom/submissive depending on their mood, partner or the situation. Some switches enjoy changing their power dynamic during the scene.

A person who agrees to submit or give up control in a relationship, scene or activity.

A person who consensually takes ownership over someone who they are in a relationship with.

A person who consensually takes ownership over someone who they are in a relationship with.

A person who agrees to give total control to someone who they are in a relationship with.

A person who is consensually in control of the action during kinky activities.

A person who agrees to give up control or receives the stimulation during kinky activities that may or may not include submission.

A person who believes in or practices firm discipline.

A person who enjoys inflicting humiliation or pain consensually on someone, whether it’s emotionally, mentally or physically.

A person who enjoys receiving pain or humiliation consensually, whether it’s emotionally, mentally or physically.

A person who engages in sadism and/or masochism.

 A person who doesn’t want to define their role while engaging in power exchange, role play, sadomasochism, cross-dressing and/or fetishes.

A person who is aroused by objects or nonsexual parts of the body.

A person who has consensual sex with other people within and outside of their committed relationships.

A person with a strong focus on the pursuit of pleasure.

A person who enjoys displaying themselves in a public or semi-public manner in order to attract attention.

A person who enjoys watching others, usually in a sexual context, without engaging with them.

A person with a strong focus on the pursuit of sensual pleasures and interests.

A person who requires a very particular treatment of praise, care, and attention.

An older mature woman who is primarily interested in men significantly younger than her.

A person who embraces the freedom to engage in sexual activity in accordance with their desires, with one or multiple partners, regardless of conventional values.

A person who enjoys objectification and wants to be transformed through one’s own and/or outside forces into a living doll.

One who is treated and played with like a toy instead of a person.

A male-identified person who engages in feminization and sometimes humiliation in order to reach a different emotional or mental state.

A person who practices the art of bondage, usually with rope.

A person who performs rope bondage.

A person who receives rope bondage.

A popular alternative for Rope Bottom, often a model for performance, photography or demos.

A person with a strong interest in spanking and/or being spanked.

A person who enjoys spanking others.

A person who enjoys being spanked.

A person who has a fetish for leather and/or espouses the traditions and protocols of a traditional style of BDSM that arose out of the combination of male homosexual BDSM with motorcycle clubs (“biker culture”) after World War II.

A person who has a fetish for leather and/or espouses the traditions and protocols of a traditional style of BDSM that arose out of the combination of male homosexual BDSM with motorcycle clubs (“biker culture”) after World War II.

An authority figure within the leather community or tradition.

An authority figure within the leather community or tradition.

A person within the leather community or tradition who performs kinky activities on someone.

A person within the leather community or tradition who receives kinky activities from someone.

A submissive within the leather community or tradition; usually seeking a paternal/maternal figure.

A submissive within the leather community or tradition; usually seeking a paternal/maternal figure.

Someone within the leather community or tradition who may be submissive or in a subordinate role, and often doesn’t identify with binary gender labels.

A person who specializes in polishing and/or spit-shining boots as part of play, for love of the craft, and/or as a way to give back to the kink community.

A person who rejects rules, traditions and protocols and prefers to self-define their role, often associated with foundational and/or animalistic instincts, behaviors, and desires.

A primal who enjoys hunting and attempting to capture prey.

A primal who enjoys being hunted by a predator.

A man who engages in sex with a woman whose partner enjoys the cuckold dynamic.

A married woman who pursues sexual relationships with men other than her husband. Her husband has full knowledge of her activities, consents to them, encourages them and gets pleasure from them.

A person who enjoys watching, arranging, thinking of, and/or participating in their partner’s sexual relationships with others. The stag is the dominant partner and remains dominant when others are involved. (NOT to be confused with cuckolding)

A person who may have sexual relationships with people other than their partner with their partner’s approval and potential involvement. The vixen is the submissive partner but may be dominant to others.

A woman who may pursue sexual relationships with other people than her partner. Oftentimes she is sexually dominant to her partner and her outside play is to reinforce her dominance. Her partner has full knowledge of her activities.

A man who enjoys the humiliation and/or voyeuristic experience of watching or knowing their partner has sex with someone else.

A woman who enjoys the humiliation and/or voyeuristic experience of watching or knowing their partner has sex with someone else.

A person who likes to transform men into feminine beings by modifying their appearance, behavior and mindset.

A person who engages in role-play where a different age is taken on by one or more of the participants.

A person who is nurturing and/or paternal in a relationship.

A person who is nurturing and/or maternal role in a relationship.

A person who is nurturing and/or parental in a relationship dynamic.

A person who identifies with or exhibits a younger mindset and/or behaviors, but feels more like a teen or pre-teen than a little.

A person who identifies with or enjoys exhibiting a child-like mindset and/or behaviors. Their relationships may or may not include a power exchange component.

A person who likes to exhibit one or more of the following behaviors: teasing, playful, sneaky, mischievous, stubborn, rebellious, disrespectful or disobedient. This behavior may be a component of their power exchange relationship.

A person who seeks a parental and/or nurturing figure in a relationship, with some identifying as or role playing as a young girl. Also used as an endearment for a female-identified submissive.

A person who seeks a parental and/or nurturing figure in a relationship, with some identifying as or role playing as a young boy. Also used as an endearment for a male-identified submissive.

A person with a dominant-role in a pet-play dynamic.

A person who identifies with a particular anthropomorphic animal or creature, often wearing costumes or tokens representing the animal.

A person who may or may not identify with animal play who is treated like they are beloved and owned.

A person who enjoys roleplay as a kitten or cat.

A person who enjoys roleplay as a puppy or dog.

A person who enjoys roleplay as a pony or horse.

A person, typically female-identified, who dresses in clothing of the opposite sex and is often exaggerated for the purpose of entertainment or fashion.

A person, typically male-identified, who dresses in clothing of the opposite sex and is often exaggerated for the purpose of entertainment or fashion.

A person who is undergoing gradual change.

A person who is on an open journey through the world of kink

A person without any identified kinks or fetishes.

BDSM & Kink Glossary

 A relationship in which protocols are in place continuously.

Using something rough (such as sandpaper).

The time after a BDSM scene or play session in which the participants calm down, discuss the previous events and their personal reactions to them, and slowly come back in touch with reality. BDSM often involves an endorphin high and very intense experience, and failure to engage in proper aftercare can lead to subdrop (See Drop below) as these return to more everyday levels. In some BDSM relationships, such as D/s, aftercare may involve the Dominant caring for the submissive if physical pain was inflicted, such as applying baby oil to areas that were struck during play.

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

The act of whipping the sub’s feet. Usually the sub would be tied up to restrict movement as the torture is being inflicted; part of impact play.

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

Acts involving the physical restraint of a partner. Bondage typically refers to total restraint, but it can be limited to a particular body part, such as breast bondage.

One who receives physical sensation from a top in a scene; the receiving partner.

The act of tying breasts so that they are either flattened against the chest or so that they bulge.

Torture of the breasts.

Restriction of oxygen to heighten sexual arousal and orgasm. Methods to achieve this include strangulation, suffocation, and smothering.

Much like a dildo, but pear-shaped with a flared base. The flared base prevents the plug from being lost in the anal cavity; the pear shape helps hold the plug in place. They come in a variety of sizes; some can vibrate. Sometimes used in Petplay, with a tail attached.

A form of erotic sexual denial or orgasm denial whereby a person is prevented from access to, or stimulation of, their genitals, save at the whim or choice of their partner, usually by means of a device (called a chastity belt or sometimes for men a cock cage) that prevents contact and is controlled by means of a lock operated by the partner

Torture of the penis and testicles for sexual gratification.

Submissive or slave who is owned, usually (but certainly not exclusively) in a loving intimate relationship. A dominant may have multiple persons collared. Also: a pup’s status, as differentiated from a “stray”.

The formal acceptance by a dominant, of a sub’s service, or the “ownership” of a pup by a Master or Trainer. Also the ceremony when a dominant commits to a sub (much like a wedding or other contract).

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

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

A written-out agreement between the dominant and submissive. It can be either formal or non, and is usually written after much negotiation by the dominant and the sub, outlining what structure, guidelines, rules and boundaries to the relationship are agreed upon by the two. It is not legally binding.

Play or relationships that involve a psychologically based power exchange.

A subset of Dominance and submission. The name of this lifestyle refers to the nurturing relationship between parent/child or teacher/student, but does not imply that ageplay is involved.

A person who supervises the interactions between participants at a play party or dungeon to enforce house rules – essentially, the bouncer of a BDSM event. They sometimes also play cruise director to keep/get the party going.

A person who exercises control (from dominant – contrasted with sub).

A person who exercises control – contrasted with submissive.

Woman who exercises control (see also Dominatrix). Often associated with a particular brand of traditional femininity; many younger female dominants prefer to use the non gendered terms dom/dominant.

A feeling of deflation or slight depression that comes after a kinky scene, party, convention, or conference. Usually caused by the removal of positive stimuli and the endorphins they produce either from play or being surrounded by others within the kinky community. Can happen to kinksters of any role.

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

SM play that involves a chance of harm, either physically or emotionally. Because the definition of edgeplay is subjective to the specific players (i.e., what is risky for one person may not be as risky for another), there is not a universal list of what is included in edgeplay. However, there are a few forms of play which are almost always included, such as fireplay, gunplay, rough body play, breath play, and bloodplay. Sometimes used in reference to erotic sexual denial. (see also chastity).

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

Endorphins are the chemicals responsible for the “high” people often get from activities such as sex, or high-risk sports, and are the body’s response to heightened or intense experiences of certain kinds. BDSM activities, especially those incorporating a degree of sensation play, often cultivate the endorphin rush as part of their “payoff” to the sub. But also see aftercare for the care needed to ensure that subdrop does not occur afterwards as the body returns to normal.

Humiliating someone during a sexual act. This act could be either verbal or physical for example, insulting a partner, making a partner display their private parts to a group of people, or even urinating or defecating on a partner. It can be a great source of pleasure for some people. There must be boundaries, safe words, and limits because without caution this play can destroy a relationship or a partner’s self-esteem.

Keeping another person aroused while delaying or preventing resolution of the feelings, to keep them in a continual state of anticipatory tension and inner conflict, and heightened sensitivity. (See also tease and denial and chastity.)

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

A specific obsession or delight in one object or experience.

Insertion of a piece of peeled ginger root into the anus or vagina.

(also known as money slavery or findom) is a sexual fetish associated with a practice of dominance and submission, where a submissive (money slave, finsub, paypig, human ATM, or cash piggy) will give gifts and money to a financial dominant (money mistress/master, findomme/findom, money dom/domme or cash master/mistress).

 Using fire as an implement of BDSM. This can mean blowing the heat of a light torch onto a bottom, lighting pools of fuel on the bottom’s skin, lighting flash cotton on the bottom, and other creative uses of heat. Cupping is usually considered an offshoot of fireplay, although in sensation it is closer to the use of clips and clamps. Usually considered edgeplay.

 Inserting a hand into the vagina or rectum.

Torture of the genitals.

Urinating on, or being urinated on by, another person.

Good pain and bad pain are terms used lightheartedly by BDSM practitioners, signifying that whilst BDSM may include an element (often quite pronounced) of consensual pain, there is a purpose to it, and some pain is consented to and accepted whilst other pain is not. “Good pain” is therefore pain that is mutually agreed, desired or permitted by the submissive partner to be experienced, and seen by them as of enjoyment or value.

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

Visible signs to indicate to others one’s area of BDSM interest; a color worn on the left indicates a top, on the right indicates a bottom.

What someone absolutely will not do; non-negotiable (as opposed to “soft limits”).

A group of subs serving one or more dominants.

Tying up a submissive’s wrists and ankles, fastening them together behind their back using physical restraints such as rope or cuffs.

Part of sensation play, dealing with impacts such as those from whips, riding crops, paddles, floggers, etc.

 Parent/child or parent/baby role playing.

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

Any sexual act that is generally considered to be unconventional.

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

What someone will not participate in (hard limits), or is hesitant to do so (soft limits).

Act of receiving pain for sensual/sexual pleasure.

Person who enjoys pain, usually sexually.

A consensual relationship in which one person receives control (the Master) when given it by another (the slave) for mutual benefit. It is an extreme form of D/s which usually involves a 24/7 relationship rather than a short period of time (scene or perhaps a week end.) The slave will usually accept a collar from their Master to show that they are owned.

The female led version of DDLG, a subset of Dominance and submission. While this lifestyle may or may not involve ageplay, the name refers to the nurturing relationship of parent/child or teacher/student.

 Immobilizing the body by wrapping it up, usually with multiple layers of tight thin plastic sheeting. Breathing and other safety measures must be appropriately taken care of, often by leaving the face (or at least the mouth and nose) open. Body temperature (maintained to an extent by movement) may also be affected so a warm environment and warm aftercare may be important. Mummification is often used to enhance a feeling of total bodily helplessness, and incorporated with sensation play.

A group of people that practice BDSM meeting at a “vanilla” place in street-appropriate attire. Sometimes this is a club. One might see an announcement like, “This weekend’s munch is at Ihop”.

Temporary piercings done with sterile needles of varying gauges, usually only for the duration of a scene.

A traditionally Japanese form of BDSM often involving nose hooks.

Over the knee (spanking).

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

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

A BDSM event involving many people engaging in scenes.

A sub dressed in a pony outfit, with mouth bit and anal plug with a tail. They are told to prance or behave like a pony.

A sub is made to act like a puppy. The sub barks, whines, eats from a bowl, etc. Such play is sexual, but also focuses on the altered mind-space of bottom/pup and the complete dominance of their Trainer/Master.

Torture of the vulva or vagina for sexual gratification.

Risk Aware Consensual Kink.

Tying someone with ropes. An example is Japanese kinbaku-bi. Or Shibari

The act of inflicting pain.

A person who enjoys inflicting pain, usually sexually.

A credo used by some BDSM practitioners to determine the appropriateness of BDSM play. Sometimes contrasted to RACK (risk aware consensual kink).

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

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

BDSM play where the intent is to push people’s sensory limits, thus exploring texture and sensory deprival. Sensation play can make use of whips, flagellation and edgeplay.

A person who enjoys performing a service in a sexual or BDSM environment.

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

Something that someone is hesitant to do or is nervous to try. They can sometimes be talked into the activity, but it is preferable if it is negotiated into a scene at a trial stage or at beginner level.

The uncomfortable feeling someone may get when they hear or see certain kinky activities. It can also refer to someone who has no interest in the activity – it “squicks them out” – but who has no prejudice against the play or people who participate. It is believed that the word is a combination of “squirm” and “icky” and is used to imply an uncomfortable feeling mixed with disgust. The term is used instead of disgust because that word implies moral repugnance to the act.

A physical condition, often with cold- or flu-like symptoms, experienced by a submissive after an intense session of BDSM play. This can last for as long as a week, and is best prevented by aftercare immediately after the session.

(or “sub” for short): A person that gives up control either all the time or for a specified period (not to be confused with “bottom” or “slave”).

A “natural high” that a sub (or bottom) experiences during a scene or when being controlled. The sub may feel disconnected from time, space, and/or their body, and may have limited ability to communicate. It is critical that a Dom(me)/top take responsibility for the sub/bottom and be aware of their sub’s well-being if they are in subspace. Long-term dominance and submission relationships without impact play may alternatively define subspace as ‘a mental state where the submissive feels a deep emotional resonance or connection with the dom’.

Someone who likes being both top and bottom, either in one scene or on different occasions.

24/7 Male dominance in monogamous marriage, with or without BDSM aspects.

Keeping another person aroused while delaying or preventing resolution of the feelings, to keep them in a continual state of anticipatory tension and inner conflict, and heightened sensitivity.

The act of causing deliberate physical pain to the breasts or nipples

he Next Generation. A tag commonly used by groups and organizations which cater to younger people involved in BDSM, typically ages 18–35.

( Not a Star Trek reference in this context. )

The person “doing the action” (contrasted with bottom – the person receiving the action). Not to be confused with Dom which is the person who “puts the scene together”. A male Dom could enjoy CBT and tell a sub what they are to do. In this case the Top is the submissive (following the direction of the Dom) and the bottom is the Dom (receiving the attention of the top).

A bottom who purports to be a submissive but who nonetheless wants to direct the top.

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

Either referring to a short period of time, or an ongoing effort of the dominant teaching the submissive how to behave for their own preferences.

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

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

The top drips hot wax on the bottom.

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