Age Play — A role play where one or both partners take personas of people older or younger than they really are. Common examples are Teacher/Schoolgirl, Babysitter/Naughty child.
Animal Play – The assumption of the persona of an animal by the submissive, usually in conjunction with some sort of use or training by the dominant. See Pony Play
Alternate lifestyle — An umbrella term for those whose sexuality is not in the common mold. Includes BDSM, swingers, gays.
Auction — An activity that often takes place in BDSM clubs where dominants and submissives are put on auction. Usually, the rules require that any resulting scene take place in the club during the evening the event took place. Further restrictions are common.
B&D — Bondage and Discipline. A subgroup within BDSM which is largely involved in making the submissive physically helpless and applying stimuli which outside of a scene would be painful. See Bondage. See Discipline
Bastinado — Striking or whipping the feet with a cane or rod.
Bell dancing — Using temporary piercings as attachment points for bells and other noisemakers and then moving in such a way as to make them ring.
Birching — Striking with single birch rods or bundles of birch twigs. Often causes minor scratches and is considered a mild form of blood play.
Black snake — Single tail whip that is flexible throughout its entire length including where the user’s hand rests.
Blood sports — A group of techniques in which the submissive’s skin is broken and blood is allowed to escape. Since the advent of AIDS and the spread of hepatitis, interest in blood sports has declined and those who practice it have developed techniques to protect themselves. The most common blood sport is cutting. See Cutting.
Bondage — A group of techniques for rendering a submissive physically helpless. These include rope ties, handcuffs and manacles, wrapping and mummification. See B&D. See Mummification. See Decorative binding. See Immobilization.
Bottom — Someone who engages in stimulation play as the receiver of the stimulation but who does create a semblance of submission as part of his or her play.
Bottom drop — A kind of seeming depression that may follow scenes. It is hypothesized that the body interprets the return to normal sensation levels as a depression and the mind creates a further downward spiral in attempting to explain the perceived depression.
Boundaries — Limits agreed to during negotiation.
Branding — Burning the skin with a piece of hot metal, usually to create a design.
Breath control — A form of play where the dominant controls the breathing of the submissive. This may be through air-tight masks, strangulation, drowning or other techniques. The safety of this is the subject of major debate within the BDSM community with many holding that it is impossible to do with reliable safety. The majority of BDSM related deaths (solo or partner play) have come from breath control play.
Brown showers — Defecation upon a submissive
Canes — Not the type used by people to walk with. In BDSM, they are thin and flexible. Traditional ones are rattan. Recently, space age materials have been used with great success. Avoid bamboo canes as they have a tendency to split and produce edges that can cut the skin.
Cat — A multitailed whip. For purists, the only true cat is made from unwinding a thick rope in the naval tradition.
Catheterization — Inserting a sterile tube into the urethra for the purpose of controlling urination.
CBT — Cock and ball torture.
Cicatrization — Scarification. Making cuts in the skin for the purpose of creating a pattern of scars.
Code words — Another term for safeword used by some dominants and submissives.
Collared — To have accepted a collar from a dominant. This presumes a certain degree of continued submission the degree of which is up to the individuals involved and may range from highly dedicated to extremely casual.
Consensual — Agreed to. Most people feel that informed consent is necessary during all BDSM play. This means that both parties are aware of the inherent risks and accept them.
Crashing — See Bottom drop
Cupping — Use of a vacuum device to stimulate the submissive’s skin, often the nipples. The vacuum can be created by suction cups, vacuum pumps or heating the air in a rigid container and allowing it to cool.
Cutting — A technique in which cuts are carefully made in the submissive’s skin to produce an aesthetically pleasing pattern and stimulation to the submissive. The cuts are sometimes made into permanent markings by placing sterile foreign substances in them before they heal. See Blood sports.
Decorative binding — Using rope or cord to compress or tie a portion of the body where struggle will not cause it to tighten or cut into the submissive. See Immobilization.
Discipline — The application of stimuli which, outside of a scene, would be considered painful. Common discipline techniques are whipping, spanking and strapping. See B&D.
Do-me queen — (derogatory) A person of either gender whose entire involvement in the scene is totally for his or her pleasure. Usually these people take a pseudo-submissive orientation, and being involved with one can be very frustrating and draining for the dominant.
Dominant — An individual who accepts the submissive’s power and uses it for their mutual pleasure. See Sadist.
Edgeplay — These are particularly dangerous BDSM that are looked upon with some trepidation. Because there is no formal ‘ruling body’ in BDSM, what is called edgeplay is up to the individual. Therefore, something that to one person might be considered edgeplay might not be edgeplay to another.
Edgeplayer — A person takes part in edgeplay. Example: “The guy is a real edgeplayer; he’s into heavy bloodsports and asphyxia.”
Electro-play/Electro-torture — Using electricity in one or more of its many guises to create intense stimulation during a scene.
Encasement — Sealing the male genitals in a sack or ball to prevent it from being stimulated in any way.
Endorphins — Chemicals similar to opiates created by the body to deal with stress and pain. “Runners High” is due to these. Much of scene play, particularly intense stimulation, is aimed producing the release of endorphins.
English/English Arts — Spanking and caning.
Erotic embarrassment — “Forcing” a submissive to dress, speak or perform acts that he or she actually desires but has been restrained by societal pressures.
Fetish — In psychological terms, one has a fetish when an article, action or sensation replaces a human being as the primary stimulus for arousal. In the scene, it is more liberally interpreted and often simply means an intense desire for as in “I have a fetish for leather.”
Fire play — Either caressing another with a flame or creating a burst of flame on his or her body. This can be done quite safely and need not even be slightly painful.
Flogger — A multitailed whip usually with flat tresses. Generally a thud toy.
German/German Arts — Sadomasochist play
Go word — A signal by the submissive that everything is all right and you can continue with or increase the present level of stimulation. See Stop word See Slow word.
Golden showers — A humiliation technique where the dominant urinates on the submissive. Consumption of the urine may be part of this scene.
Heavy play — Intense but like so much in the scene, subjective. What is heavy play for one is a light warm-up for another.
Humiliation — In this book, I try to differentiate humiliation from erotic embarrassment. Humiliation is to express hurtful words or force a submissive into acts designed to reduce his or her self-esteem.
Immobilization — Using rope or other bondage tools to render a submissive relatively helpless despite his or her struggles. See Decorative binding.
Infantilism — Roleplay where the submissive partner assumes the behavior and dress of an infant. Pure fantasy as all children are actually nonconsensual dominants.
Kajira — A sex/pleasure slave taken from the Gor series. This fantasy is seen much more in the on-line world than in extended face to face play since it is generally a cartoon of BDSM life.
Knife play — Using a knife as part of a scene. Often does not involve cutting, but is used it to gently scratch the surface of the skin, threaten, stimulate.
Knout — A very vicious single tailed whip from Russia. It can be highly dangerous since a single blow has been known to kill.
Lacing — Connecting temporary piercings with thread or light chain. The piercings may be connected to each other or to a framework.
Masochism — The ability to derive pleasure from pain. Derives from the writings of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. See S&M.
OTK — Over the knee. A form of spanking.
Pain slut — (NOT derogatory) Someone who glories in receiving what most would call intense pain.
Panic snap — A linking device used with cable and chain that allows two lengths to be disconnected even when there is tension in the system. A safety device.
Pony play — Pony play combines elements of bondage, display, control and service to create a unique kink that is enjoyed by a very active subgroup within the BDSM community. Basically, in pony play, the submissive takes the role of a pony and is used and presented as such. Pony play can include sophisticated, lovely and expensive “rigs” including harnesses, saddles, bridles and even carts. The pony can carry or pull the dominant or can be put through elaborate dressage movements guided by the signals of either a mounted rider or dismounted trainer. See Animal Play
Pushing limits — The gradual expansion of a dominant’s and a submissive repertoire as he or she gains confidence and seeks new challenges. A wise axiom is “Never say, ‘I’ll never’.”
Queening — A dominant woman sitting on a submissive person’s face for the purposes of breath control. Purists insist that cunnilingus should not take place, but it often does.
Roman showers — Vomiting upon a submissive.
S&M — Sadism and Masochism — A term often used to describe the BDSM scene; however, it is falling into disrepute because it is both inaccurate (Dominants are not sadists.) and overly limited (All submissives are not masochists.). See Sadism. See Masochism.
Sadist — An individual who enjoys causing pain in a non-consensual manner or regardless of the presence of absence of consent. Derives from the writings of the Marquis de Sade. See S&M.
Safe, Sane and Consensual — A slogan popular in the scene defining the components of proper play. Like any slogan, it is oversimplified and the topic of much debate, but it does get its point across.
Safe word — A word or phrase which permits the submissive to withdraw consent and terminate the scene at any point without endangering the illusion that the dominant is in complete control. See Slow word. See Go word.
Saint Catherine’s wheel — A vertical wheel to which a submissive can be strapped and spun around.
Saint Andrew’s cross — An X-shaped cross.
SAM — Smart Arsed Masochist. A pseudo submissive who attempts to control everything the dominant does. A term of contempt. Example: “She’s cute and willing, but she’s a real SAM; you will spend most of your time trying to keep her from telling you which whip to use and how to swing it.” See ‘Topping From the Bottom.’
Scat — A slang term for scatophilia, taking pleasure in playing with and sometimes eating feces. While this is occasionally used as a means of humiliation, it presents a relatively severe health risk, not limited to AIDS and hepatitis.
Scene (The) — The gamut of BDSM activities and people considered as a whole. Example: “The scene contains some of the nicest people I have ever met.”
Scrotal expansion — Injecting sterile saline into the male ball sack, causing it to expand significantly.
Sensory deprivation — A form of restraint where all sensory input is systematically cut off through blindfolds, ear plugs or earphones and secure but non-painful bondage
Scene (A) — An individual session of whatever duration where the participants are in their BDSM roles. Example: “It was a tremendously hot scene last night when Master Carl waxed Linda at The Vault.”
Scene (The) – Everyone who does “what we do.” It’s an umbrella word that covers a lot.
Slave — Often used interchangeably with submissive. However, generally reflecting a more intense level of submission or non-sexual or sexual-plus submission. For example, a slave might be someone who remains in a 24-hour-per-day submission and cooks, cleans and, otherwise, takes care of a dominant’s house. See submissive.
Slow word — A signal by the submissive that things are getting too intense and you should change or decrease the stimulation. See Safe word. See Go word.
Sound — A medical device shaped like a curved rod that is inserted into the uretha
Squick — A cyber term that has moved into the off-line world. Coined by STella of ASB, its meaning has become “This disgusts me.” However, an older meaning was “This is not for me, but I’m not judging it.”
Stapling — Temporary piercing and lacing done with a surgical stapler and sterile medical staples.
Strapple — An elongated paddle with a bit more flex so that is something intermediate between a strap and a paddle.
Sting — A sensation from a toy that is “stingy,” as distinguished from “thud.” Intense surface sensation.
Submissive — An individual who gives up power in a BDSM relationship for the mutual pleasure of those involved.
Suspension — A set of techniques for suspending a submissive using ropes, webbing or chain so that no part of the body touches the floor. This is a highly specialized technique and great care must be used to prevent damage.
Switch (Switchable) — A person who enjoys both the dominant/top and submissive/bottom roles. A switch may be dominant to one person and submissive with another or may be dominant or submissive with the same person at different times.
Sub drop — See Bottom drop
Temporary piercing — Using a sterile needle to penetrate the skin as a stimulation rather than to produce a hole to be used for jewelry as in conventional piercing. See Lacing and Bell dancing.
Thud — Sensation from a toy that is largely impact and felt deeply in the body, often moving the body itself. Distinguished from “sting.”
Top — A person who in play delivers the stimulation but does not require the submission of his or her partner.
Top drop — See Bottom drop
Topping from the bottom — (derogatory) For a submissive to dictate the precise action in a scene. A term of contempt. Example: “She’s cute and willing, but she’s always topping from the bottom; you will spend most of your time trying to keep her from telling you which whip to use and how to swing it.” See ‘SAM’
Top’s disease — A condition where a top or dominant projects the fantasy role into the real world with an assumption of superiority. This kind of person can be a real pain in the ass.
True — A term when used in conjunction with “master,” “dominant,” “slave” or similar term rates, at best, a snicker. As a putdown to others, it says much more about the one who is using it than the one who is being put down.
TT — Tit torture. The term applies to both males and females.
Urtication — Using stinging nettles in scene play. They can be simply pressed into the skin or used as a whip.
Vanilla — Not in the scene. A term used to describe ordinary, conventional life both sexual and otherwise. While it can be used in a pejorative sense, it is more often used to distinguish between scene and non-scene activities and people. Example: “I have to be careful in my vanilla life that people don’t find out that I’m a dominant.”
Violet wand — An antique medical device still being manufactured that creates a large, but harmless, spark and is used extensively in electro play scenes.
YKINMK-BYKIOK — A mantra by many in the scene. Your Kink Is Not My Kink, But Your Kink Is OK. Intended to point out that our desires and needs do not define the scene for others.
Wrapping — Allowing the ends of a whip to go around the target’s body rather than hit cleanly in the target zone. When done unintentionally, it is a mark of a careless or inexperienced whipper and is usually caused by standing too close to the subject. The intensity of the stroke is magnified several times wrapping.
Wurtenburg wheel — A spiked pin-wheel intended for use by neurologists but taken up and used for play by ingenious scene players. The sensation looks intense but is generally perceived as pleasurable.