BDSM For Beginners

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BDSM for Beginners - What Does it All Mean?

Making sense of all the acronyms and code words in BDSM communities can be a very difficult thing for people new to the scene, and for those people who just want to understand what all the hubbub is about. If a handsome man with a handful of toys comes to you at a play party and asks, “Would you like to do some blood sports with me, my dear?”, what exactly did he ask? A lovely long haired Domme orders you to your knees for a bit of foot worship? How about, “Girl, Let’s do a Japanese Bondage scene!” What the heck?

There are ten thousands words (that is just my estimate) used in describing or talking about BDSM Lifestyle play, scenes, and activities. Obviously, we don’t have time here (or interest) in defining every word used in the language of BDSM Lifestyle relationships, but a few basics can’t hurt.

BDSM – Most recognized as Bondage/Domination/Sado(Sadism)/Masochism. BDSM has evolved to also mean Bondage/Domination and Submission/Masochism.


D/s – Dominance and submission, can be a lifestyle and can also be a playstyle, limited to a defined period of time and space, called a ‘scene’. 

People

Dominant (Dom for males, Dommes for females) – generally the ‘giver’ of sensation and the one who ultimately controls the flavor and intensity of a scene. Also referred to as Tops or Masters (Mistresses). 

submissive – usually the ‘receiver’ of sensation and the one who generally gives over their ‘power’, whether for a short, prescribed period of time, as in a scene, or for longer or indefinite periods of time. Slaves are often self-described and accepted to have given over all control, power and decision making to another, often called Master or Mistress.

DM, or Dungeon Monitor – People trained in equipment and scene safety that are present at most clubs during play parties to ensure the safety and comfort of partygoers.

Mentor – male or female teachers for new submissives and/or Dominants. Often, a mentor has no sexual or sometimes even has no physical relationship with the mentoree, but is available to guide, encourage and at times, discipline the mentoree, for their personal growth and safety.

 

Places

Dungeon – A playspace designed and equipped to facilitate BDSM scenes. May be a permanent or a temporary space. Many permanent dungeons host a multitude of events, such as workshops, demos, dances and classes. Usually, a social area, for conversation and refreshments, is set off a bit from the main dungeon space to give a sense of eroticism and safety to all parties participating.

 

Whipping Post, Spanking Bench, Horse, Rack, Sling, Stage, Gurney, Autopsy Table, and more – all pieces of equipment commonly found in both permanent and temporary dungeons. Often, the dungeon equipment is ‘put away’ or dismantled to make room for other activities, such as dances and workshops. Many scene players find that they really love one piece of equipment or another, and vie to be first in line to use that piece, week after week.

 

Things

Flogger, Whip, Singletail, Paddle, Cane, Strap, Birch, Tawse, Feather Duster, Wet Noodle – Toys that give varying intensity of sensation to the submissive or bottom, when applied by the dominant or top partner. 

Scenes

Age Play – Where partners engage in roleplaying people of different ages; usually the submissive partner (male or female) takes on a personality and actions of a young child. May or may not portray a verbal person, and may or may not be anything more than a nurturing relationship. 

Blood Sports – Scenes involving cutting, piercing or other drawing of blood. 

CBT – Cock and Ball Torture by various means: Bondage, clamping, flogging, etc of the male genitalia for erotic purposes. 

Fetish – Love of an object or objects. Foot fetishists enjoy, often crave, foot apparel, foot massage, and foot worship, for example. A fetish can be any object or need that is required for an individual to achieve sexual satisfaction. 

Gor, Gorean – Author John Norman wrote a series of fantasy books, describing a fictional world of slavery and sex. Elements of this fantasy world are often used in roleplay, and some adherents to the ‘Gor Lifestyle’ develop intense and complicated Gorean lifestyles.

Humiliation Play – A form of playful or erotic embarrassment, when practiced appropriately and within roleplay limits, can be intensely erotic. Inappropriate or denigrating humiliation is not within the standard ‘rules’ of BDSM practice and can cause emotional harm and damage.

Japanese Bondage – A variation on bondage that is usually highly decorative and intricate. 

Limit – generally a pre-defined ‘end of scene’ limit, beyond which the bottom will not go in a scene. Although limits are usually understood to be those the submissive has, dominants also have limits. 

Masochism – The ability to gain erotic satisfaction from pain. Levels and intensities of the pain vary for each individual, and can change due to a variety of causes.

Munch – A social gathering of BDSM’ers, usually held in a restaurant or other public gathering place, where conversation and fellowship is enjoyed. Most munches are not a place for fetish clothing, practices or demonstrations, as this would violate one of the basic priciples of the lifestyle – consent. The general public has not consented to be a part of ‘the scene’, so practitioners must not involve them non-consensually. 

R/L or R/T – Real Life or Real Time, as opposed to V/L (Virtual Life) or V/T (Virtual Time). Many people explore the BDSM Lifestyle online only, for a variety of reasons. When a couple (or moreple) engages in daily life together while maintaining a BDSM or D/s relationship, this is called Real Time or 24/7, when practiced at all times in one way or another. 

SSC – Safe, Sane and Consensual, is a basic tenet of BDSM Play. Amore recent variation is RACK, Risk Aware Consensual Kink. I like the term SSCF myself – Safe Sane Consensual and FUN. 

Vanilla – Also called Mainstream. A term describing ‘non-kinky’ or straight sex and eroticism. 

The lingo and language of BDSM can be tough to understand, sometimes even more so because of the unfamiliar practices involved in the lifestyle. There are a gazillion places to learn more about BDSM, D/s, Scenes and Fun in the Lifestyle. Hopefully, this article has given you a head start on understanding some of the terms and styles. Feel free to write me with any lifestyle questions you might have, and if I don’t know the answer, I will find it!


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