24/7 – A power exchange relationship (whether aspects big or small) that exists all day, every day.
Aftercare – 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.
Ageplay – Roleplay involving a distinct difference in ages, and often power exchange based on those ages. Can include infantilism, Parent/child play, incest play, daiper play, etc.
BDSM – A modern acronym used to refer to the kink and fetish communities and activities. Letters stand for many different things, including “Bondage and Disciplin,” “Dominance and Submission,” “Sadomasochim,” “Sadism and Masochism,” and “Slave/Master.”
Blood Choking – The act of causing someone to pass out, or begin to lose consciousness, by restricting the blood flow to their brain. Also called “choking out,” this is considered edgeplay, and is a widely debated practice in the kink community.
Bondage – 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.
Bottom – A role referring to the person receiving sensation. One who receives sensation of action. See also: top.
Breathplay – The act of choking and/or restricting breath. Breathplay is a topic of debate in many kink circles because of the difficulty of the risks involved; it is considered very dangerous, and falls into the category of edgepay.
CBT – 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 acivity. 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. Check out our REKINK Brand leather collar.
Consent – 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. – Sometimes referred to as “rape play,” ConNonCon includes much more than acting out violent fantasies. It is complex scene play, which usually has a pre-negotiated safeword and extensive discussion of boundaries and limits beforehand. During ConNonCon, the scene may have the outward appearance of being very violent, and without the consent of one party; essentially, a rape scene. Consensual Nonconsent, while it can be very hot, can also be serious mojo to play with; approach with caution.
Corsetry/Tight-lacing – A fetish that explores power exchange and/or fetish through shape changing, sometimes breath-limiting corsetry.
Cupping – Also called “fire cupping,” it is the act of heating up glass cups with rounded backs, usually a few inches across, on the skin. As the cups cool, they create a vaccuum, leaving a hicky-like bruising pattern across the skin. If done hard enough/hot enough, cupping can also break the skin.person as dominant; to be on the controlling and decision-making side of power exchange (male: Dom, female: Domme) One who has, takes, or receives power.
Dungeon – 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 ettiquettes.
Dungeon Master – 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.
D/s – Shorthand for Dominance and submission.
Edgeplay – A term for BDSM practices that are considered at the edge, inherently more risky, or debated within the community. Included are: breathplay, choking, knifeplay, play peircing, bloodplay, fireplay, gun play, consensual nonconsent.
Enema – The act of douching or cleaning the anal cavity and rectum. Can be a fetish preference.
Fetlife – Kink’s equivalent of facebook, fetlife.com is a website for posting pictures, statuses, writing, finding local groups, making friends, and organizing events.
Fire Play – Play that involves the sensation, use, or threat of fire. Considered edgeplay.
Fisting – A sexual act in which the giver’s fist (or part thereof) is use to penetrate the recieving partner. When done with proper warm up and technique, fisting doesn’t hurt or cause any damage, but rather can be really amazing! Fisting can be anal or vaginal.
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).
Golden Showers – the kink practice of peeing on someone and/or being peed on.
Hanky Code – Originally out of the gay leather scene, the hanky code uses different colors and materials of handkerchiefs (bandanas) to indicate areas of BDSM interest. Using the hanky code is often called “flagging,” where at a bar or a party, a person would wear a certain color bandana in a certain pocket (right or left) to communicate preferences to others (example: black bandana in the left pocket indicates “into recieving/bottoming heavy SM).
Gorean – Based on the sci-fi novels by John Norman, Gorean households and couples follow a strict and traditional protocol, involving specific postures and rituals. Most Gorean relationships are 24/7 and Master/slave.
Hard Limit – A specific element or action that a person isn’t comfortable with, and cannot see themselves becoming comfortable with .
Iimpact 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. refers to any kind of activity where you’re hitting someone with something. Impacts chiefly produce two types of sensations – stings and thuds. A sting is a strike felt at the level of the skin. It is usually produced by a thinner, harder, or lower mass impact material. A thud is felt deeper into the muscle and is caused by a slower, heavier. or softer object.Whipping and flogging are very complicated and very technical, so you shouldn’t do them unless you have someone to show you how. They’re way outside the scope of our discussion. The word whip usually refers to a long, thin leather tail attached to a handle – visually similar to a bullwhip. When used correctly this provides intense surface level stinging, it can also break the skin easily. The end of a whip can move very quickly, even faster than the speed of sound. Do not touch a whip unless you have someone competent to mentor you. You can cut your partner up and even loose eyesight. It isn’t safe. Have someone watch your strokes and correct your motions. Practice on a pillow until you can confidently hit the spot you intend to hit with the intensity you planed to use every single time. Wear proper safety gear such as a wide brimmed hat to protect your eyes. A flogger is a collection of shorter leather pieces (called falls) attached to a handle. Depending on the material and style of play a flogger may feel more thuddy or more stingy, but will always disperse energy over a larger area than a whip and contain more mass – making the sensation more thud like. It is important to prevent the falls from wrapping around the bottom’s body because this causes them to gain speed and produces a more intense (and usually not desired) sensation. Risks from flogging include accidental blood letting, painful sensations from wrapping, physical damage and pain from a strike to the kidneys or other internal organs (even a light strike will make the bottom instantly nauseated), damage to the neck, damage to the face, and loss of eyesight. New players can mitigate the risk of neck damage by draping a towel over the bottom’s neck – but you should never play with a flogger unless you are confident that you can hit the same spot every time. The stroke should come as a flick of the wrist (you don’t need to swing your whole arm around) – please have someone show you how to do this, and practice on a pillow until you have the proper control. Florentine flogging is a very interesting variation where two floggers are used rhythmically. A dragon tail is a less common style that uses a single wide coiled piece of leather instead of a thin whip. These are easier to use than classic single tail whips because energy is dispersed over a wider surface area. However they can still be quite dangerous and should not be used without training.Some people enjoy being punched with a closed fist, but this is quite dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. The best way to learn is to take a martial arts class, preferably one with sparring. Other forms of impact play include bare handed spanking, slapping, paddling , cropping, and caning. Always aim for large muscular or fatty areas such as the thighs, buttocks, breasts, or arms. Avoid bony areas, particularly the tailbone and spine. Do not hit at all between the hips and the ribs, because hitting someone’s kidney is very painful and can cause serious damage. Different areas and toys produce different sensations, so stay in communication with your partner and ask how each blow feels. Never assume that your partner is making a “mountain out of a mole hill” – everyone has a different pain tolerance, and you may be hitting much harder than you think.I recommend that beginners start slowly. Many people love being spanked until they cry or until they cannot take any more, but you don’t want to do this your first time or even your tenth time. You will have much more fun if you work slowly so that you always want a little more and are excited about the next session. You will not have fun if you pass someone’s pain tolerance and cause them to dread play time. You’ll have even less fun in the hospital.
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.
Master/Slave – A relationship term indicating intense power exchange, service, and sometimes a 24/7 dynamic. A more specific and different kind of Dominant/submissive relationship, Master/slave is sometimes thought of as more extreme and/or more 24/7 oriented than D/s.
Medical Play – play or scenes involving medical equipment, a medical aesthetic, and medical tools. Often involves needle play and/or play piercing.
Mummification – the wrapping or mummifying of part of all of the body to confine movement and/or limit sensory experience. Can be done with saran wrap, plastic, rubber, fabric, or with special equipment like vaccubeds.
Needle Play – Play involving needles, or the threat of needles. See also: play piercing.
Play – A general use verb to indicate doing BDSM actions, and an adjective to precede specific BDSM interests. Examples: “Needle play,” “play piercing,” “age play, ” “play party.”
Play Party – An event where kinksters gather to play. Play parties might be held in a dungeon or other kind of play space, or simply in someone’s house. Play parties differ in size, rules, and etiquette, but often involve dressing up (or down), various kink activities (bondage, sadomasochism, and sometimes sex). Most play parties involve public play, where within the context of the party, couples or groups will play in front of whoever else attends.
Power Exchange – 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.
Pet Play – play involving acting like, or being the owner of, a human puppy/kitty. Can involve costuming and props (leashes, collars, food bowls), usually involves some kind of power exchange.
RACK – “Risk Aware Consensual Kink,” this acronym was born as a response to SSC, as a consent-culture and safety-oriented attitude that could include more inherently risky play in it’s scope.
Rape fantasy – When someone fantasizes about wanting to be raped; can lead to some very tricky consent boundaries. Sometimes referred to as “rape play,” we prefer the term “consensual nonconsent,” as it gets to the heart of what makes role-playing rape okay, in the kink world: consent, at the heart of everything.
Rough Sex – sex involving anything rough: biting, scratching, power play, you name it, if it’s rough, go for it.
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, some aren’t (but either way, you’re gonna have fun…)
Safeword – a pre-negotiated word that either party (although most commonly the bottom) 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). Some common safewords are “safeword,” and the color system: “red” = stop, “yellow”
Service Top – A specific kind of top, a service top usually describes their turn-on as how their actions are in service to the bottom (example: “I like to flog her because she likes it,”), as opposed a Sadist or Dominant, who might find their role a turn-on in other ways.
Sensory deprivation – depriving someone of their senses in some way. Examples: blindfolds, earmuffs/headphones/ear plugs, a bag over one’s head, etc.
Scat Play – playing with feces and fecal matter.
Shibari – 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.”
Soft Limit – A specific element or action of play that a person isn’t really comfortable with, but could be some time in the future, and/or might want to push past. Example: “Scat play is a soft limit for me… maybe check back in a few months?”
Sounding – From the medical practice, “sounding,” was equivalent to “measuring,” but within bodily orifices. In the modern kink word, sounding refers to the practice of inserting metal rods into the urethral openings (either on men or women).
Subdrop – An emotional, psychological, or physiological state that can sometimes come after play. Usually involves feelings of loss, loneliness, abandon, worry, misgivings about the play or one’s identity as a kinkster, and sadness. Helpful remedies include: cuddling, warm blankets, favorite movies, and good foods.
Suspension – 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.
Subspace – a state of mind referring to a blissed-out, other-worldly place bottoms can go during heavy play. Subspace, also referred to as “flying,” or “floating,” is usually a combination of endorphins and adrenaline that, in the right mix, have an almost drug-like affect. Many bottoms report their pain tolerance sky rocketing, and a desire to keep playing forever.
S/M – originally an acronym for “Sadomasochism,” S/M, SM, or S&M became an all-inclusive word meaning the same as “kink” or “BDSM,” when the scene was still in its fledgling stages. Many older texts will use S/M (or “leather”) in much the same way as we use “BDSM” or “kink” today.
Submissive – One who gives, relents, or doesn’t have power
Switch – One who switches between roles.
Sadist – One who enjoys giving pain.
Masochist – One who enjoys receiving pain.
Sadomasochist – One who enjoys both giving and receiving pain.
Top – a role referring to the person giving sensation. One who gives sensation or action. See also: bottom.
Topdrop – An emotional, psychological, or physiological state than can sometimes come after play. Usually involves feelings of loss, loneliness, disgust, self-doubt, misgivings about the play or one’s identity as a kinkster, and sadness. Helpful remedies include: cuddling, warm blankets, favorite movies, and good food.
TPE – “Total Power Exchange.” This acronym refers usually to a 24/7 relationship dynamic (the two are often found in conjunction, as in, “24/7 TPE,”) in which all power is exchanged, including finances and physical property.
Wax Play – play involving dripping hot wax on the skin. Different waxes can be used, although many burn at different temperatures, and good research beforehand is highly recommended.
Watetsports – Play involving pee, playing with pee, and peeing on one another. See also: golden showers.
Wartenberg wheel – A device originating in the medical field to test nerve ending response and sensation, and wartenberg wheel is a small, very sharp-spiked wheel that can be rolled over the skin, or used in conjunction with an electrical play unit.