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A power exchange relationship (whether aspects big or small) that exists all day, every day.
A period of time after play during which players check in and re-establish connections with each other. Often involves cuddling, sex, eating or drinking to replace electrolytes, discussing the scene and/or checking in. Aftercare is different for everyone, and can also involve alone time, or any number of personal preferences. Aftercare is widely considered to be an essential part of kinky play.
A modern acronym used to refer to the kink and fetish communities and activities. Letters stand for many different things, including “Bondage and Discipline,” “Dominance and Submission,” “Sadomasochism,” “Sadism and Masochism,” and “Slave/Master.”
Restraint or restriction of a subject, often used to refer to a preference (ie, “I like bondage”). Can include rope bondage, suspension bondage, leather bondage, furniture and device bondage, predicament bondage. Can be employed for dominance, sex, art, or anything you like.
A role referring to the person receiving sensation.
Acronym for “Cock and Ball Torture,” usually also including specific techniques and anatomical understanding for the torture of male genitalia.
Cane / Caning
A common BDSM toy and activity. Canes can be made from many different materials, including different woods, plastics, or any semi-flexible material. The act of caning involves striking someone with a cane, usually across broad, fleshy areas of the body (the butt, the backs of the thighs, etc). Caning is also popular across the bottoms of the feet.
Collar / Collaring
Usually represents someone's identity as a submissive and/or owned person, a collar can be imbued with whatever meaning by the wearer, or none at all, although it often carries some symbolic weight. Collaring ceremonies are common in BDSM, and can range anywhere from a simple commitment or preference for wearing a collar, to a level of seriousness on-par with an engagement or marriage.
Saying yes! Saying yes please Sir or Madam! Consent is un-coerced, non-pressured, freely given permission. This is at the heart of all things kinky; consent is very, very important.
A role identifying a person as dominant; to be on the controlling and decision-making side of power exchange (male: Dom, female: Domme)
A word referring to large group play spaces or places where play parties are held. Rarely are these actual dungeons. Often, they're converted conference rooms, ballrooms, or even individual homes or rooms in homes. Sometimes, they're committed spaces that stay dungeons all the time. A dungeon often includes kink furniture (spanking benches, st. andrews crosses, suspension points (or “hard points”), stocks, cages), a common area to socialize and/or have snacks and drinks, and quieter places for aftercare and cuddling. Dungeons (and play parties) also have their own unique sets of rules and etiquette.
A person responsible for safety in the Dungeon, usually an experienced member of the community, sometimes the host. They walk around, check in on different scenes, are responsible for ousting unsafe of inappropriate players etc.
A “fetish” is an object or action that isn't inherently sexual (examples: leather, latex, rope, crying), but that carries sexual association or is a turn-on for a given person.
Floggers / Flogging
A common BDSM toy and practice, a flogger is a multi-tailed whip. The tails can be made from various materials, such as leather, suede, or hair, often with wood or synthetic handles wrapped in the material of choice. Flogging can produce a sensation that's anywhere from sharp sting to heavy thud, or any combination of the two. Hits from a flogger are best across a part of the body that's large and meaty, such as the upper thighs, butt, or upper back (but not) the lower back. Floggers come in many sizes, with any number of tails (and often specific names based on those numbers, such as a cat-o-nine-tails).
A category of sensation play, impact play is just what it sounds like, i.e., when something makes an impact. Including but not limited to spanking, slapping, caning, flogging, paddling, punching, hitting, etc.
Masochism / Masochist
Someone who enjoys pain/the act of enjoying pain. Can sometimes indicate the feeling of pain as pleasure, or the simple enjoyment of pain as pain.
The act of exchanging power, from one or more parties to one or more other parties, often in the form of control and/or sensation. Consent is at the basis of any healthy power exchange, regardless of whether the exchange lasts an hour, a day, or a lifetime.
Sadism / Sadist
Someone who finds in the enjoyment in giving pain to another/the act of enjoying giving pain to another. Sadists like pain for many different reasons; some are sexual and some aren't.
A negotiated word that either party can use to pause, check-in, or end the scene or play. Safewords function in the same "no" or "stop" might otherwise (and part of their function is allowing the bottom to scream "no" or "stop" as much as they like).
Play that involves the sense of touch, not necessarily pain. Running a flogger gently across someone's skin, alternating between soft velvet and scratchy burlap on the back of a paddle, running a ; all these are playing with the sensation across someone's skin.
Traditional Japanese rope bondage, Shibari is more aesthetically specific than western bondage, and uses a series of designated length and diameter ropes. In the recent world of rope bondage, Shibari has been adapted and combined with a more western style, and the two are often seen used together. The word "Shibari" means "to tie" or "to bind.
The practice of lifting or partially lifting the subject into the air. Most commonly seen with rope, suspension can be done with any number of things, although a familiarity with anatomy and safety practices is a must.
A word first used to describe non-kink oriented sex, "vanilla," sometimes takes on a dismissive tone, and has come (in the some places) to mean just "boring sex."