Kinktionary M-Z

BDSM Dictionary

Words and Descriptions M-Z

manga: Usually refers to comics when used in English, a style of drawing developed in Japan in the late 19th Century. Popular with sex/BDSM artists, depicting all kinds of sex, bondage, S&M acts. anime is the animated version.

masochist: A person who enjoys receiving pain or humiliation. May or may not be sexual. (Also pain slut.)

Master: 1. Owner of a submissive or slave. 2. Someone who is eminently skilled in some area example: a Master whip maker.

Master/slave or M/s: A consensual relationship in which the Master has ownership of the slave. A relatively intense form of D/s relationship. The relationship is more likely to be 24/7.

Madame: A name for a female dominant. In a non-fetish sense, the owner/operator of a brothel.

mental bondage (psychological bondage): Being forced to remain in a position by orders of the Dominant. More discussion

Mentor: A tutor, a coach, a guide, a trusted counselor. A Mentor generally does not have the same degree of authority as a Dominant. A Mentor may, when the time comes, assist the student in finding a partner, and ensure that safe meeting practices are followed. Many feel that a Mentor should be on the “same side of the whip” (Dom/Dom or sub/sub); others feel that a Dom to sub or sub to Dom relationship is more effective, as one can “practice” role play and physical techniques.

merkin: An artificial “beard” for the female genitals. Origin, about 1450: females would shave their hair to prevent pubic lice, and a merkin restored their “normal” look. Worn by male actors portraying females in nude scenes onstage. Recently used in movies when a more “natural” look is called for in a nude scene. There are also decorative versions, which might be used in clubs where complete nudity is “not quite” allowed.

metamour: The lover of your lover. In a V structure poly relationship, the metamours would be the two people at the top of the V.

microbranding (see cell popping): The process of creating single-pore burns. :PIC:

mindfuck: (see squick, ‘deer in the headlights’): To toy with one’s concept of reality; to cause a state of confusion and befuddlement.

Mistress: (1) Owner of a submissive or slave. (2) A woman who has special skills prized in the BDSM community (as in ropes Mistress).

monitor (or spotter): A person who volunteers to oversee the safety and well-being of a bottom/sub during intense scenes or edge play when a “second pair of eyes” is called for, when more than two people are involved in a scene, or spectators could become a concern. Not to be confused with a Dungeon Monitor (DM)

mouth bit: See bit.

MtF: Male-to-Female transgender (see transgender)

mummification: Immobilizing the body by wrapping it up, usually with multiple layers of shrink wrap or food film. Creates a feeling of total bodily helplessness. Sometimes used as an element of sensory deprivation. SAFETY ISSUES: Breathing restrictions, chilling or overheating, “freak out” from bondage. A pair of bandage scissors (blunt tips) is recommended to quickly remove the bondage, and the subject should never be left unattended.

munch: A meeting of a group of kinksters at a “vanilla” place such as a club or restaurant, usually for discussion, not play. Munches are often used to introduce (and evaluate) prospective club members before giving them sensitive information, such as the location of meetings or play parties, or identifying information of any club members. Some munches do have the privacy to allow light play, so it is best to contact the organisers before you go along if you are in doubt, in order to know what to expect.


National Leather Association: Organization for those in the leather culture. [:WEBSITE:][

needle play: Temporary piercings done with sterile needles, usually only for the duration of a scene. SAFETY ISSUES: Must take precautions against infection.

negotiation (see hard limits, soft limits, Contracts): Communication before a scene, or during the formation of a relationship, in which the parties reach agreement about the goals, expectations, and limits of one another. May be anything from a thirty-second conversation to a formal, written Contract.

newbie: Someone new to BDSM. Not a derogatory term, but sometimes used in a derogatory sense, e.g.: “stupid newbie mistakes”. It may be difficult to tell the difference between a well-meaning newbie and a possibly dangerous wannabe; see red flags

nipple clamps: Any clamp or clamp-like device designed to compress the subject’s nipples. May include a mechanism for adjusting or limiting the amount of pressure applied to the nipple. :PIC: Note: Clamps when applied are generally not painful, just uncomfortable. If applied for several minutes, then removed, the blood rushing back into the nipple creates a painful, burning sensation. >>>>>[admin: add clothespin photo]

nipple noose: Similar in function to the nipple clamp, but made from a looped cord, like a miniature lasso. Also has decorative applications.

nipple torture: Pain play. May use techniques and devices such as needles, nipple clamps, “fire and ice”.

nose hook: Two-pronged hook inserted in the nostrils; used in bondage. Causes both discomfort and a degree of humiliation. :PIC:

nyotaimori: Human sushi platters.


objectification (humiliation play): The subject is dehumanized; treated as an animal, slave, furniture, toy, etc.

”old school”: A person (usually applied to a Dominant) who believes in such things as tradition, manners, ritual, and gentlemanly behavior in D/s.

omnisexual: Being strongly attracted to, or aroused by, both sexes.

orgasm control or denial: The practice whereby the subject is not permitted to reach sexual orgasm without permission , or for a set period of time, or sometimes at all, even though that person may be permitted (or required) to engage in sexual activity.

OTK: Over-the-knee spanking. (see below)

”out”: 1. A safeword or safe signal. 2. In bondage, a failsafe.

over-the-knee spanking (OTK): Traditional, “informal” spanking method. :PIC: >>>>[admin: pic of other position]

Owned: The state of a submissive or slave who is the consensual partner of a Master or Owner, usually in a long-term relationship. Sometimes referred to as Collared.


pain slut: A masochist; a person who enjoys receiving a heavy degree of pain; may or may not enjoy submitting. They may gain sexual pleasure, or crave the experience of “subspace”.

panic attack (“freakout”): A situation in which a bottom is badly startled or becomes anxious or frightened, resulting in either becoming “frozen” or involuntary physical struggle. If startled—for example, a surprise “tickle attack”, injury may result; such as a broken nose from a flying elbow. Anxiety or fright may result from many things: bondage, pain, kidnap or rape play, edge play, etc. The “trigger” may not even be known before it happens. Precautions: When trying a form of play that the bottom has not experienced before, introduce it cautiously. In a new type of bondage, design a quick release feature; a pair of medical type scissors (strong, sharp, but with blunt ends for cutting close to skin) should be handy for rope bondage or mummification. Other types of play, such as new or stronger impact play, kidnap or rape play, or edge play, should be introduced without bondage.

pansexual: Not limited or inhibited in sexual choice with regard to gender or activity.

paraphilia (see fetish): A desire for erotic enjoyment based on an object, activity, or body part not generally considered sexual; for example, stuffed animals, shampooing, noses.

pearl necklace: When a man ejaculates onto a neck; the drops resemble pearls.

pedophile (1) A person who has desires to interact sexually with, or have dominant control over, a minor; and is more than two or three years older than the minor. (2) A person who has acted on such desires, which constitutes criminal activity. (3) In fetish play, one who has relations (sexual or not) with a person who acts the role of a minor, but is of legal age (see age play)

pedophilism: Actions of a pedophile, or tendency towards being a pedophile (see above).

pegging: (1) The practice of using a strap-on dildo for penetration (generally applied female-to-male anal). (2) Sitting on a “peg” (like a butt plug, but fixed in place) with the intent of expanding the anus to facilitate anal sex, fisting, etc. (see anal training).

permission: Nearly all power exchange relationships require the submissive to ask permission for certain things. Common examples: To leave the Dominant’s presence, to go to the bathroom, to eat or drink, to have an orgasm.

pervert 1. One whose sexual behavior is considered unacceptably deviant (at least from a vanilla perspective). 2. DeFUNition: A person whose kink is not the same as yours.

pervertible: Common item which can be applied for sexual, fetish, or other BDSM purpose; i. e. wooden spoons, chopsticks, spatulas, super glue, drill bits, clothes pins, saran wrap, etc. (We were KIDDING about the super glue, OK?)

pet: (1) A common term of affection. 2. (see pet play just below).

pet play: (1) A submissive is treated as a loved and valued pet; as in puppy or pony. :GROUP: (2) A submissive is dehumanized by being reduced to the status of an animal (see objectification).

p-gasm: see progasm below

phallic symbol: An object having some resemblance to the penis, or proportioned like a penis. Example: The Washington Monument has been referred to as the “world’s largest phallic symbol”.

phallus: 1. A penis. 2. A penis substitute: dildo, vibrator, etc.

pinwheel: see Wartenberg pinwheel, below

play: 1. To engage in a BDSM scene or session (see scene). 2. A type of D/s or fetish activity, as in humiliation play, age play, toilet play, edge play.

play collar (see Collar):1. A collar used only in play or at BDSM events. A play collar does not signify that the submissive or slave is owned but may signify that s/he is committed for the night or session. 2. A collar used for a specific type of play, as in a dog collar or any of a number of bondage collars.

play party: A gathering for the purpose of enjoying BDSM play. May be held at someone’s home, or in a club-owned or commercial space (often referred to as a dungeon) specifically intended for the purpose. Usually has specific rules governing the safety and conduct of attendees (see House rules, Club rules).

play punishment: Punishment which happens for fun/play, also can be known as ‘funishment’. The aim of this is not to correct the s-type’s behaviour, but to experience the punishment itself.

plushie: One who plays with stuffed/plush animals, may or may not be sexually.

polyamory: 1. Having multiple relationships with persons not in the same household; also called open marriage, open relationship. 2. Participating in living situations with more than one person; also called family, group “marriage”, multiple “marriage”, polygamy.

polyfidelity: Group of people committed to each other, not having sexual or romantic ties outside of the commitment group.

polysexual: Having sex with multiple partners without commitment. Often done in group parties or orgies.

ponyboy, ponygirl (see pet play): A submissive dressed in a harness, often very decorative, usually with a bit gag and a butt plug** with a tail. Often they will pull their Dominants in a cart. Meetings and competitions are held for fanciers of this play. >>>>>>>>>[photo needed]

power exchange: Any situation where two or more people consensually and voluntarily agree to a relationship in which one (or more) people assume authority and one (or more) people yield authority, either for a predetermined time, or indefinitely. Relationships based on indefinite power exchange are often referred to as Total Power Exchange (TPE) relationships. The defining factor of power exchange is the conscious, deliberate construction of a power dynamic in which at least one person assumes psychological control to some agreed-upon extent over at least one other person.

predicament bondage: A type of bondage in which the intent is to place the bound person in an awkward, difficult, inconvenient, or uncomfortable situation, or to set out a challenge for the bound person to overcome.

pro-Dom/pro-Domme/pro-sub: professional who dominates or submits to paying customers. May or may not be an actual “kinkster”; may or may not include sex as part of the “service”.

progasm (see cock milking, prostate massage): An orgasm from massage of the prostate only, without penile stimulation.

prostate massage:( see p-gasm, cock milking): Stimulation of the prostate by a finger or object inserted into the anus. May be used alone (as in “cock milking”) or for enhancement of orgasms through intercourse, oral sex or masturbation. Can cause involuntary discharge of semen without orgasm (see “cock milking”, in which this is the primary goal). May cause some discomfort, especially at first, but can result in intense pleasure; a substitute in men for the female ability to experience repeated or extended orgasms. Caution: Prolonged or rough treatment of the prostate can cause long-lasting symptoms of pain, swelling, and difficult or painful urination, especially if the subject is already prone to prostate problems. As with any anal play, the tissues of the anus and rectum must be treated with caution. Rubber gloves and plenty of lubrication should be used; for “toys”, a condom is a good idea.

Protector (see Mentor): Someone who acts as a “screener” for a submissive, generally screening and evaluating prospective Dominants for suitability and ensuring that safe practices are followed if they should come to the point of physically meeting. (On FetLife, if one is “under Protection”, it is standard practice to message the Protector for approval to contact the submissive. Otherwise, she may be instructed not to reply.)

protocol: A formalized set of rules controlling the interaction between Dominants and submissives. This can be at any level. (1) In an individual relationship, a Dominant usually dictates certain rules for given situations, such as forms of address in speech or writing, when to kneel, what to ask permission for, and how to behave online, in public or with lifestyle friends, as just a few examples. There may be different levels of protocol; for example, when wearing the Collar, the submissive may be expected to behave in a more ritualistic fashion (sometimes referred to as “high protocol”). The rules may be more relaxed, or “low protocol”, when the couple is interacting in casual, everyday mode. (2) A BDSM group or club may establish a protocol for interaction between its members; for example, how a submissive addresses another Dominant, how a Dom may interact with an unattached sub, etc. (3) Various sectors of the BDSM community, for example the leather community or Goreans, may have very detailed and explicit “high protocol” rules for interaction between its members.

psycholagny: a sexual term that refers to the ability to reach or achieve orgasm without any physical stimulation of the genitalia, usually achieved through mental stimulation or fantasy alone. Also referred to as a “psychic orgasm”.

psychological bondage (also mental bondage): Being forced to remain in a position by orders of the Dominant. :GROUP:

pudenda (plural; pudendum singular): The external genitals; usually the female genitals. Note: Derived from a latin term meaning “parts of shame”, this word goes to show how the female sex organs were regarded during the baroque era, when this word came into use, and up to the 1950s or so, when it was still in common use, at least in the medical professions. “Pudenda… ick… unclean!”

punishment: a penalty inflicted for an offense, fault, etc. Usually to correct behaviour.

pup-play or puppy play: See pet play.

”push a limit” (see consent, hard limit, soft limit, red flags): To cautiously explore the nature of a submissive’s limit, either to challenge her or to encourage her to do something she is reluctant to do, but which her Dominant desires. See discussion.


queening (also face sitting): Practice in which one partner sits on or over the other’s face, typically to allow, or force, oral-genital or oral-anal contact. :PIC:

queening stool/seat/bench: A low stool with a hole or space in the center, designed to facilitate facesitting.

queer: Pertains to LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or any non-heterosexual) people.

questionnaire: See submissive survey.

quirt: A type of whip with two or (occasionally) three short lashes affixed to a long, thin handle. :PIC:


rack: Furniture to which the victim is bound by wrists and ankles; the ropes are tightened, stretching the body painfully. (Historically, this was often continued until arms and legs were pulled out of joint. Hopefully, nobody carries it that far these days….)

RACK: (see Risk Aware Consensual Kink)

rape play: Scenario in which the bottom is forced to have sex (usually receiving intercourse or anal penetration). Also see takedown.

ravishment: See rape play above.

red flags: Behaviors in a prospective BDSM partner that indicate the person may be prone to abusive or undesirable behavior. Please see :list of red flags:

resistance play: Any mutually consensual activity in which one person struggles against another and is subdued by “force.” May involve rape play; some forms of bondage include resistance as well.

reward (see discipline, punishment): Positive reinforcement for the purpose of modifying the subject’s behavior. May be anything from a favored BDSM activity (sensual spanking, orgasm) to a tossed m&m or jelly bean, to a whispered “goooood girl!”

rimming: Licking or inserting the tongue into another’s anus.

ring gag: A type of gag consisting of a metal ring, often padded with leather, which is placed in the mouth in such a way as to hold the mouth open. A strap secures it in place. :PIC:

Risk-Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) (compare with Safe, Sane, Consensual (SSC)): A standard of conduct for the healthy enjoyment of BDSM participants; similar to SSC, but acknowledges that there are always risks in any kind of activity which must be understood and accepted.

role play: Scene in which one or more participants assumes the role of a character (e. g.: police, secret agent, superhero, historical figure, character from book or movie, vampire, wolf, etc). May include costume play as an enhancement.

Roman showers: Vomiting on another person.

rules: see protocol.


sadism: Taking pleasure in inflicting pain and/or humiliation upon others, or observing others being hurt (see sadist above).

sadist: A person who enjoys inflicting pain and/or humiliation on another, or observing others being hurt or humiliated, either for power and control or for sexual arousal.

sadomasochism: An activity or practice involving the inflicting or receiving of pain and/or humiliation. (Also see sadist, masochist.)

Safe, Sane and Consensual (SSC) (also see RACK): A standard of conduct for the healthy enjoyment of BDSM participants; similar to RACK, but with an emphasis on making any activity as “safe” and “sane” as possible.

safecall: A prearranged call to advise a friend that you are okay; especially useful in “first meeting” situations (see safe meeting practices below).

safe meeting practices: Common-sense precautions to be used when physically meeting someone for the first time. Traditionally, they are for the safety and reassurance of the submissive, although Dominants should also be somewhat cautious. Practices include meeting in a public place, and having an observer present or setting up safecalls. (Note: also a good idea in the “vanilla” world!)

safeword, safe signal (see “out”): A predesignated word or nonverbal cue used to stop or slow down a BDSM scene. [Discussion coming soon]

Saint Andrew’s Cross: (see St. Andrew’s Cross) :PIC:

SAM: see Smart-Ass Masochist**

sapiosexuality: The attraction to or arousal by intelligence and its use.

scat play: Play involving the handling of feces.


scene: 1. A period of time devoted to BDSM activity (also session, play (1)).

2. Of or about the BDSM community, usually capitalized (“the Scene”).

scent play: Smelling the areas that emit scents, such as armpits, anus, vulva, and scrotum. This may be for enjoyment/arousal, or for humiliation play.

self bondage: The act or practice of tying one’s self up or otherwise restraining oneself, sometimes as a part of masturbation. Includes some mechanism by which the person may be freed, which may include a timer mechanism to release a key or otherwise release the person. Should be considered edge play and inherently dangerous.

sensation play: BDSM play where the intent is to push the subject’s sensory limits, using light touch, heat/cold, objects of different textures, etc. Often in conjunction with sensory deprivation. :PIC: :GROUP:

sensory deprivation: Use of various objects such as blindfolds, ear plugs, etc. to deprive the subject of one or more senses. The intent may be to enhance other senses, such as touch (see sensation play), or to cause insecurity. Often used as an exercise in pushing limits or fostering increased trust. :PIC:

service: Acts, chores, or labor, sexual or otherwise, performed by a sub for the benefit of a Dom.

service-oriented: A person who enjoys performing a service, which may be sexual or nonsexual, BDSM related or not. This can refer to anyone from Top (as in service Top) to slave; the common element is that the person gains satisfaction from doing a service for another. Also see doormat.

service Top (see Top): A Top whose focus is on giving a bottom what she desires. This could be temporary (as at a play party) or in a relationship.

session: (see scene)

sexting: The use of a cell phone to send suggestive or sexual text messages.

shibari: A type of bondage originating in Japan and characterized by extremely elaborate and intricate patterns of rope, often used both to restrain the subject and to stimulate the subject by binding or compressing the breasts and/or genitals. The aesthetics of the bondage is considered to be a very important element.

signal whip: A type of small singletail, usually three to four feet in length, lacking the rigid handle of a bull whip. Different from a snake whip in that the cracker (popper) is braided into the thong of the whip. :PIC:

singletail: Any of a class of whips having a single lash; most commonly applied to bullwhips and signal whips. Singletail whips require skill and training to use properly, and are not easy to master. :PIC:

sjambok: Heavy leather whip of South Africa, traditionally made from hippopotamus or rhinoceros hide, or from the penis of either species. The sjambok has a variety of uses, with the most obvious being cattle driving; the South African Police Service uses it for riot control. :PIC:

slapper or tawse: A paddle with two pieces of leather that make a loud “popping” sound when used. :PIC:

slave: A person who consensually gives total control to their Master/Owner; often giving up much or all of their rights to limits, safewords, or negotiation. Typically a TPE relationship.

slave auction: See auction. An event in which submissives are “sold” to the highest bidder, usually for a limited time, and with prearranged conditions.

sleepsack: Bondage device similar to a sleeping bag or body bag. Usually very confining; often has straps for added restriction. Caution: may induce claustrophobia!

smart-ass masochist (SAM); smart-ass subbie (see bratty, pushy): submissive who exhibits bad behavior (such as sarcasm, talking back, or disobedience), either because her Dom enjoys it or to get attention.

snake whip: A type of small singletail; does not have the rigid handle of a bull whip. Different from a signal whip in that a snake whip has the cracker attached to a fall. :PIC:

snakebite kit (sensation or torture play): The kit comes with rubber suction bulbs which are capable of exerting a high amount of suction. Can be used on sensitive areas such as armpits, nipples, genitals.

snowballing: The act of of kissing another person with a mouth full of cum and transferring it to them.

sockpuppet (account) A second account or ID on a social site set up for the purpose of doing something you don’t want connected to your “main” ID. Example: a second Facebook account set up to express kinky shit you don’t want your family, friends, or co-workers to know about.

soft limit: A limit which is not necessarily set in stone. It may be flexible, may be pushed or may change over time and/or with experience or knowledge of that type of play.

sound: A smooth rod, usually metal, for insertion in the urinary passage; comes in a set of graduated sizes. Medically used for expanding the urethra in cases of genital defect, or damage resulting from illness or injury. In BDSM, used for urethral play.

spanko: Person who enjoys spanking others.

sploshing: The use of copious amounts of food (whipped cream, pudding, Dinty Moore’s beef stew, etc.) :PIC: :GROUP: Clip from 9 1/2 Weeks

spotter: See monitor

squick: See mindfuck. (DeFUNition: Supposedly, this word was invented to resemble “the sound produced when a Dominant has intercourse with the submissive’s brain.”)

SSC: See Safe, Sane and Consensual.

St. Andrew’s Cross: A popular type of bondage furniture consisting of an X-shaped cross, equipped with restraint attachment points. :PIC:

stone: a woman who does not wish to be touched genitally.

strap: A tool of impact play/punishment. Usually consists of one or two long leather strips attached to a handle. :PIC:

Strapping Orgasm: An orgasm that is achieved by an individual that is using a strap-on on someone else whether oraly, vaginally or anally.

sub: Abbreviation of submissive

subbie: Abbreviation of submissive. We are given to understand that most submissives don’t care for this term. For what it’s worth.

sub drop (see aftercare): An emotional condition following intense BDSM play. May experience a wide range of emotions from weepy to clingy to angry to lost and more. This can happen immediately after play or many hours later, making diagnosis difficult. It can last for a few hours or days. It can often be prevented by aftercare immediately after the session.

”sub frenzy”: A very strong, sometimes overwhelming, desire to find a Dominant partner or to become immersed in BDSM-related activities. Sometimes seen in people who identify strongly as submissive, particularly those who have either newly discovered their submissive side or who have not partaken in BDSM-related activities for a long time. People in the grip of “sub frenzy” may make unwise or unsafe choices. Please see Red Flags

submissive: Person who desires to give up control of themselves, or of certain aspects of their lives, to a Dominant partner. There are as many “styles” of submissiveness as there are submissives. Some may submit only occasionally (as in bottom); others may yearn to submit all of themselves (as in slave).

submissive survey/questionnaire: A listing of BDSM and fetish activities used to determine the experience, willingness, and desire of a submissive for the various activities. The submissive rates each item on a scale; for example, “0” may mean “I never want to experience this” (a hard limit) and “5” may mean “I want to do this as often as possible!” [Editor note: We will try to provide a sample or two soon!]

subspace (see aftercare, “floating”, sub drop): A “natural high” that a bottom may experience during an intense physical or emotional. The sub may feel disconnected from time, space, and/or their body, and may have limited ability to communicate. It is critical that the Dominant takes responsibility for the submissive and care for their well-being while they are in subspace. Subspace can vary widely between submissives and in any sub’s reaction to a given “scene”. The degree and length of “floating” can be used to gauge how strongly she was affected by the “scene”.

survey: See submissive survey.

suspension: Bondage (usually rope) in which the submissive’s weight is totally or partially suspended. Often considered an art form, and can take hours to construct.

suture play: The practice of temporarily suturing or sewing parts of the body, particularly the genitals, for sexual gratification. Forms of suturing include sewing the labia closed and sewing the foreskin of the flaccid penis to the scrotum.

swinger: Someone in a committed relationship who swaps partners for sex.

switch: 1. A person who enjoys playing the role of either a Top or a bottom in a scene or in play. 2. A thin flexible rod used for impact play, similar to a cane.


Tal: Gorean greeting spoken from Master to Master or slave to Master.

takedown: Scenario in which the bottom is forcibly restrained. This is often the case in the initiation of forcible play such as rape play or abduction/kidnapping play. Being given “permission” to struggle as if fighting for her life can tremendously enhance the experience for the submissive; an element of surprise can make it even more intense. Safety: This can be dangerous, especially if the “surprise” element is involved. It is important to discuss, perhaps even rehearse, the scenario to reduce the chance of injury. A safeword should be in place in order to let the other party know if one is hurt or “freaking out”.

taken in hand (TIH): A monogamous, heterosexual relationship which is male-led, and in which the female defers in matters of everyday life, as well as sexually, to her partner. Similarities in Christian domestic discipline (CDD) and various “era” style relationships (1950s, ‘60s, etc)

tawse or slapper: A paddle with two pieces of leather that make a loud “popping” sound when used. :PIC:

tease and denial: 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 orgasm denial).

TENS unit: A device which applies electrical currents through pads affixed to the skin. Commonly used in the medical community to relieve pain by blocking the transmission of pain impulses through the nerves. Stands for “transconductance electrical nerve stimulation.” :PIC:

TFTB: (see Topping from the bottom below)

The Next Generation: A nationwide coalition of BDSM clubs intended to target the 18-35 age group. (While their goal is to make D/s more accessible to younger practitioners, some feel that their intent is to protect “their” young submissives from “poaching” by older Dominants.)

tit torture: see breast torture, nipple torture.

TNG (see The Next Generation above.)

toilet: (see toilet play) DeFUNition: A ceramic plumbing fixture used as a device for the humiliation of submissives.

toilet play; toilet training, toileting: Play or discipline having to do with the submissive’s elimination of bodily wastes. (DeFUNition: May or may not involve an actual toilet). Also see bladder control

Top: The person in control during a scene or in play; may or may not be a Dominant.

Top drop: A sudden, abrupt feeling of depression, unhappiness, or similar negative emotion in a Dominant or Top which may occur after a period of BDSM activity. Some Tops experience it regularly; with others, it may happen when the “scene” did not go as planned, or goes counter to the Top’s ingrained beliefs. (Also see sub drop, aftercare)

Topping from the bottom (TFTB) or Topping from below / beneath: A submissive or bottom who attempts to manipulate the Top, in an attempt to gain attention or to have her own needs met; for example, intentionally misbehaving to draw punishment. (This is generally considered to be extremely negative behavior. However, in some relationships, a certain amount of ”pushiness” or ”brattiness” is tolerated and enjoyed.)

torture; torture play: (1) Sadistic pain inducement on various areas of the body, often to the point of leaving temporary or permanent marks or scars. (2) “Scene” in which torture scenarios are enacted (examples: dungeon, prison, “captive spy”, etc).

total power exchange (TPE): (see 24/7) A high level of D/s practice, striving for living in a D/s context as much as possible. The Dominant has complete and total power over the submissive’s life. Some TPE relationships do not recognize contracts, safewords, or limits.

toy (see objectification): One who is treated and used, not like a person but like a toy; sex toy, play toy, dog toy, fuck toy.

TPE: (see total power exchange)

training: (1) Instruction by a more experienced member of the community in various aspects of BDSM (see Mentoring). (2) Education and discipline of a submissive. May refer to the entire program a Dominant employs to condition his submissive; or to individual disciplines, such as pony training, toilet training, etc.

transgender: A person who lives (full-time or only under certain circumstances) as the opposite gender from which they were born. May or may not have had chemical treatments or surgery. Not necessarily an indication of their sexual partner preference.

transsexual: A person who has strong desires to become the opposite of their birth sex. They may undergo chemical treatments or surgery to change their appearance. Not necessarily an indication of their sexual partner preference.

transvestite: A person who dresses and/or behaves in a manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex. Not necessarily an indication of their sexual partner preference.

tribadism, tribbing: Act of two women rubbing their vulvas together. Slang: clam jousting, scissoring, clit-clatting, touchin’ tacos, mashin’ cookies, bumpin’ donuts, gash mashing.

tribbing: see tribadism above.

triskelion: The more or less universally recognized symbol of BDSM. :PIC: :WEBSITE:

troll (see wannabe): A person who uses online resources, such as FetLife, primarily as a source for prospective partners. May pretend they are experienced in BDSM when they are not. Please see :red flags:

twoo: A derogatory term for those that believe there is one ‘true’ way to do things, the kind of people that will say you are not a true submissive if you do not immediately fall at their feet, or you are not a true dom if you don’t chase them around with a whip 24/7.


unicorn: “The elusive, mythical creature that is a bi-female willing to join a couple for the perfect MFF (male/female/female) threesome.” Thanks, PolarSheep! also someone whom you have fantasized having such perfect exquisite sex with SO much that the reality will never live up to your expectations.

uniform play: Role play in which the wearing of uniforms, such as military or medical uniforms, is a significant part of the role play.

urethral play: Play involving the urinary passage. Commonly uses sounds or catheters. Caution: the urethra and bladder are extremely prone to damage and infection. Women are especially prone to infection, as the urethra is only a few inches long, and contamination can more easily enter the bladder. A person should void their bladder as forcefully as possible immediately after urethral play, as urine will help to flush out contaminants.

urethral sound A smooth rod, usually metal, for insertion in the urinary passage; comes in a set of graduated sizes. Medically used for expanding the urethra in cases of genital defect, or damage resulting from illness or injury. In BDSM, used for urethral play.


vacuum bed: A bondage device composed of a latex envelope spanned by a frame. A suction pump removes most of the air in the envelope. The person inside the envelope breathes through a tube. picture 1, picture 2

vampire gloves: Gloves used for sensation play which have a large number of short spikes or needles protruding from the palms and/or fingers. :PIC:

vanilla: 1. Person who is not in the BDSM/fetish lifestyle. 2. Anything not involving kinky activities (example: “…my vanilla job”). 3. Behavior which does not encompass kink activity (for example: a D/s couple may have “vanilla” sex).

violet wand: A device used for electrical play consisting of a handle, which contains a high-voltage coil called an “Oudin coil,” and several interchangeable electrodes, most commonly made of glass and filled with a gas which glows a brilliant purple in the presence of an electrical field. When used, it causes a static electricity type discharge which can be quite intense, and is accompanied by an impressive flickering light. :PIC:

voice play: Play in which the top uses tone and volume of the voice as well as specific words to induce specific feelings in the bottom. e.g. whispering close to the ear to make them shiver.

voyeurism: Witnessing others’ sexual play, or innocent activity such as undressing. Often provides the person watching with sexual arousal. May occur without the knowledge or consent of one or more of the parties involved.


wannabe: A derogatory term, often applied to a Dom, but sometimes a sub. (1) One who claims to be knowledgeable and experienced in BDSM, but is not. (2) A person who ignores accepted BDSM practices, particularly in the area of SSC. (3) A troll who is posing as a Dom or sub in the hope of picking up dates. In either case, this person can be dangerous, and should be avoided. Please see Red Flags

Wartenberg pinwheel: A small implement consisting of a short handle to which is affixed a small wheel with a number of sharp needle-like projections around its outer edge. Used by neurologists to test nerve function in the skin and by people in the BDSM community for sensation play. :PIC:

waterboarding: Is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face. Through forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences a sensation akin to drowning. Psychological edge play. :GROUP:

wax play: The top drips hot wax on the bottom. (See “fire and ice“) Safety note: It is important what kind of candle is used, as some have a much higher melting temperature than others, and can cause second-degree burns (blisters). Plain paraffin is best; for example, most ’emergency’ candles (which are also quite cheap). Scented, colored, “long burning”, “dripless” and beeswax candles can burn very hot.

White Knight: A Dominant who has a desire to “rescue” a “damsel in distress”; that is, a submissive who has serious emotional problems, usually caused by an abusive childhood or relationship, or a traumatic experience such as rape. While the White Knight’s motives are certainly commendable, it is often the case that the problems are too serious to be dealt with by a well-meaning partner; he must be very careful to evaluate whether she may need professional counseling, or simply more time to overcome her trauma, before she is ready for a meaningful relationship. Otherwise, he risks making matters even worse.

WIITWD: “What it is that we do.” A broad term referring to all forms of alternative sexuality.

wooden horse: An implement consisting of a wooden plank supported edgewise between two upright fixed posts, or of two sheets of wood coming together at a sharp angle, to which a submissive is bound with her legs off the floor. The goal is to place pressure on the genitals, and/or to position her for activities such as impact play or penetration.

worship (cock/pussy/strap-on): Play in which the bottom worships the cock, pussy or strap on. This often involves oral stimulation, but can be done gagged. Think caressing and nuzzling.


YMMV: “Your mileage may vary.” Used to express the concept that all people and relationships are different; what applies to one may not necessarily work for another.

yoni: Hindu/tantric term for the vagina; used in the Kama Sutra. Male equivalent: lingam. (DeFUNition: Employed by writers who want to give an appearance of being mystical or intellectually superior ).


zapper: A red stick, sort of like a very low-level cattle prod. It appears to cause about as much pain as those fly zappers that look like tennis rackets.

zipper: An arrangement of clothespins or spring clamps tied along a length of cord or twine, which can be placed on the body and then yanked off one by one or all at once.

zoophilia: Sexual arousal from viewing or interacting with animals; may not involve actual genital contact or intercourse with the animal (bestiality).

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