The most frequent question I am asked is “where do I begin?” Rather than just copy the “Fifty Shades of Grey” template – after all, few of you have a helicopter – let’s give you real BDSM. Minus the helicopter!
So, where exactly do you start? You start online. Everyone is a beginner once, and almost all people get into D/s and BDSM via the Internet. Even the invitations to the BDSM clubs and parties are given out over the Internet. And where on the Internet should you begin? Well that answer, too, is a simple one – right here! You are in the right place at the right time!
Some of you are members of fetlife.com. Others among you have been to other BDSM-D/s sites. Some of you want to immerse yourself in BDSM and D/s and get serious about it as a total lifestyle – while others among you may want merely to be a part time player. Many of you may have seen bondage pictures and videos here and elsewhere and say, “How do I get my girlfriend or boyfriend to do that?” It is a process; we will outline it here within the next issues of Kink Weekly.
Every city (or almost every one) has a BDSM club. These are great places to observe other lifestylers in action. Most are very welcoming and have orientation tours. We will list those clubs here in future issues, but for now you can find these clubs on the Internet – often they have twitter handles. But before you set foot in any club, I would recommend you know the terms. Language is everything.
So, let’s define the terms of this lifestyle.
Aftercare – After a BDSM scene, particularly a demanding one, the Top should make sure the bottom is OK and is returned to normal from his/her high endorphin level (often called “subspace”) that BDSM scenes often cause.
BDSM – A popular acronym for activities inclusive of (but not limited to) Bondage, Domination/Discipline Submission/Sadism & Masochism. Also called WIITWD, an acronym for “What It Is That We Do.” Both mean this type of alternative lifestyle. Sometimes the word “Bondage” has the same broad range meaning when used in a descriptive context.
B&D – Bondage and Discipline. Although they go together in this phrase, they are not inextricably linked. Bondage means restraining someone in a helpless position
(such as being tied up.) Discipline is training a person to behave in a certain way. They tend to go together because Dominants tend to do both to their submissives.
Bondage – making a submissive physically helpless and to a great extent immobilized. Techniques include rope ties, handcuffs, leather cuffs, stocks and mummification.
Bondage Clubs – Private clubs where lifestylers meet and play. Usually filled with equipment such as the St. Andrews Cross and spanking benches, these are great places to not only play, but learn by observing others do their scenes.
Bottom – A submissive. Also can be called a slave. As there are many who say there are differences between these terms, I will cover that debate in future columns.
Cane – A wooden, plastic or graphite stalk used in BDSM play. It can hurt, so use carefully.
Consensuality Agreement – The somewhat infrequent agreement that a Top requires a bottom to sign before play. This is usually executed in private play where the bottom is a newbie and an experienced Top does not wish to risk the bottom claiming, at some later date, that the scene was non-consensual. Although not legally binding, it does prevent misunderstandings and provides limited legal protection. We will offer some “Consensuality Agreements” in future articles here in Kink Weekly.
D/s – Dominance and submission. A more specific term than BDSM (although D/s is contained within BDSM).
Discipline – Punishing, spanking, verbal orders, etc. for the purpose of training a submissive.
Dominant – (Female: Domme.) Also called a Dom, a Top, a Master or a Mistress. One who controls a bottom, slave or submissive. Again, the differences between these terms – if there are any – will be covered in future Kink Weekly editions.
Dominatrix – A Domme; although it implies being a professional.
Domme – A female Dominant. Also called a Dominatrix.
Edgeplay – Technically, this refers to knife play. But it has come to mean anything “on the edge.” It can even include fisting, asphyxia, play piercings, needle play, caning, etc. Since one person’s edge can be another’s norm, there are no hard and fast rules defining what “edgeplay” is.
Flogger – One of the most popular BDSM toys. It is made up of a handle and several leather straps which are attached to it. It can be used to whip or to caress.
Furniture – Slang for large pieces of equipment, usually at BDSM clubs. This includes, but not limited to, the legendary St. Andrews Cross, spanking benches, cages and a myriad of bondage equipment.
High Protocol – A D/s relationship wherein the rules are both demanding and encompassing. If it is practiced most of the time outside of play or clubs, it is often referred to as “24/7” – although with jobs, family and other real life considerations, it is doubtful anything can literally be 24/7!
Lifestylers – Slang for those in the BDSM lifestyle – whether weekend warriors or 24/7 players.
Limit – The point beyond which a submissive does not allow the Dominant to go; usually stated before play. It can be a “soft limit,” which can change over time. Or a “hard limit,” which is more or less written in stone. For example, a submissive might say, “Nipple clamps are my soft limit.” Or, “Knife play is my hard limit.”
Negotiation – Discussing hard and soft limits and related items of BDSM taste before any play or relationship begins. Often refers to discussions regarding a potential “slave contract.”
Newbie – someone new to the BDSM lifestyle.
Masochist – One who derives pleasure from pain.
Master/Mistress – A skilled Top. This is best explained in “What Is A Master?” which will appear in an upcoming edition of Kink Weekly.
Mummification – Using saran wrap to immobilize the bottom. Often performed in public play as it can be visually stunning.
S&M – Sadism and masochism. This is an alternative term that used to describe the BDSM scene. Gradually it is being replaced with the broader ranging acronym BDSM.
Sadist – An individual who enjoys causing pain. The term dates back to the Marquis de Sade.
Sadomasochism – The taking of pleasure, often sexual gratification, from the consensual interactions between a “sadist” and a “masochist.”
Safe, Sane and Consensual – A popular slogan in the BDSM world meaning that play should always be safe and sane, with good judgment exercised. And, most importantly, it MUST be consensual.
Safe word – A word or phrase a submissive can use to stop his or her scene. It is absolute. If a Dominant disregards a submissive’s safe word, that Dominant is considered “unsafe.” The most common safe word – even in Fifty Shades — is “RED!”
Sometimes the word “YELLOW” is agreed to which means “slow done a bit.”
Scene – A BDSM session. Sometimes refers to a “public scene” at a party where the participants let others watch.
Slave – A term used interchangeably with “submissive.” Some consider a slave a more extreme version of a submissive. This will be discussed in a future article, “Slave vs. submissive.” Check back soon.
Slave contract – A signed consensual contract, wherein a submissive or slave cedes to the Dom or Master a specified set of powers over her for a set period of time. Although legally unenforceable, it is still a powerful document in the BDSM community.
Submissive – An individual who consents to give up power to a Dominant. This can be for any duration – for an hour or a lifetime. Also called a sub, bottom or slave. Again, differences between these terms will be covered right here in future articles.
Subspace – A high endorphin state that a bottom often enters into when a skilled Dominant executes a good BDSM scene.
Torture – Not literal torture, but any type of pain inflicted by the Top on a bottom. Examples: tickle torture, clothespin play, nipple clamps, et. al.
Toys – Slang for portable BDSM equipment – usually contained in a “toy bag.”
Vanilla – People not in the BDSM lifestyle.
Violet Wand – Pricey electrical kink stimulation BDSM toys using the application of low current, high voltage electricity to the body. Like mummification, it is visually exciting and often used in public play.
Now that we have most of the definitions down (and contact me if there are any I have overlooked), let’s go on to the next steps – which are contained in “Where Do I Begin, Part 2” – right here on Kink Weekly next week!
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit Internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are please to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.
BDSM guide: Where do I Begin – Kink Weekly