Professional Domination by Mz Suzanne SxySadist

"Sensual sadism is an Artform... your body & soul is My canvas!"

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BDSM and Sexually Oriented Definitions

For those of you that are brand new to this stuff, here are some definitions of some of the basic terminology used on this site as well as many others that can used for reference purposes.

This is by no means intended to be an absolute and definitive glossary, nor is it intended to be used as an absolute definement for any topic. People with in the scene often have difficulty agreeing on terminology and resort to their own individual interpretations.

A lot of these definitions are based on my own opinion and experience and I am open to suggestions and the opinions of others. If there is anything you feel I can do to improve this glossary please write to me at Best wishes Suzanne


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Abrasion - Activities that involve scraping or rubbing the skin to sensitize it to touch. (see also Sensation Play)

Acupressure - The art of stimulating the self healing and pleasure centers of the body by direct pressure on specific areas. Widely used in India for holistic care, it involves not only manipulation of the muscles but also of the energy flow. Fascinating stuff.. can be used to heighten sexual energy and produce more intense or even delay orgasm. (see also Sensation Play)

Adolescentilism - Paraohilic - Refers to people who derive sexual pleasure from dressing like a teenager or acting in this role. (See also Age Play)

Age Play - Refers to people who derive sexual pleasure or other enjoyment from dressing like or acting out mommy / daddy - child / teacher - student - roles. Please note - this is VERY different from pedophilia which involves sexually abusing minors. This involves wanting to be the adult caretaker or disciplinarian of another adult who is acting like a kid. This is a far cry from non consensual or abusive use of a minor. While this is not a specialty area of mine I have met many people that enjoy the temporary freedom from responsibility and the often healing benefits and feelings that can accompany a return to your childhood. (see also Adolescentilism, Infantilism, Shaven)

Agonophilia - (Pseudo-rape) refers to those who enjoy engaging in pretended struggle before overpowering their sex partner.

Agoraphilia - Refers to arousal from being in public places.

Algophilia - A term used to indicate the use and transformation of pain into a sexually arousing pleasure. An algophile may be involved in SM but it seems the majority are not. According to Kinsey's report in 1953 about 50% of the people surveyed reported feeling sexually aroused from being bitten during intercourse. The Kama Sutra which is an ancient Indian text on the how to's of sex, recommends using various forms of nibbling, scratching and other methods of inflicting small amounts of pain to heighten sexual ecstasy.
On the more extreme side, there are numerous accounts of tribes that use fire walking, scarification, piercing and other strange often painful rituals for various purposes, but most commonly they involve some sort of rite of passage or test of stamina. Incredible almost super human accounts of endurance of pain and strength have been recorded and the evidence of the pain induced trances and euphoria has been be witnessed. (See also Masochism and Sub space)

Anal Play - This can be a deliciously erotic thing to explore for men or for women depending on your comfort level, experience level of your partner and several other factors. The male prostrate, just like it's female equivalent G-spot can have an orgasmic response to pressure and/or manipulation. The prostrate is located about two inches up the front wall of the rectum and is shaped like an almond or small firm disc. Many males are embarrassed or reluctant to discuss their fascination or desire to try bi-sexual sex or dildo training. Another term relates to anal penetration is fisting which is the act of inserting a hand, fist or forearm into the vagina or rectum. Of course any play in this area should be done careful and slowly and well lubricated. There are also several terms related to oral sex in the anal area which include the common term rimming and the lesser known anolinctus and anolingus. Anolinctus refers to the act of licking the anus and anolingus is used for when the tongue is actually inserted into the anus. All of which are considered unsafe sex practices with out use of a dental damn or plastic barrier due to the possibility of the spread of diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis. Also there are parasites that reside in the intestinal tract that can be harmful if ingested and allowed to relocate in the respiratory system. (see also Anal Play, Butt Plug, Dildo Training, Fisting)

Aphrodisiacs - Substances that increase or enhance sexual desire and stamina. Many of the drugs and other products that had attained popular status such as Spanish Fly and Cocaine have been found to be quite dangerous and even lethal if used incorrectly.

Auto erotic Asphyxia - This term refers to self induced restricted breathing or strangulation especially during masturbation. This is an extremely dangerous practice that claims the lives of many people each year. While I absolutely LOVE breath play .. I will not practice this activity on myself alone, because that is simply too over the top dangerous! (See also Breath Play)

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B&D - BD - Bondage and discipline - activities which revolve around or involve making the submissive physically helpless and / or applying stimuli or behavior modification methods that might be considered painful or undesirable outside of a scene. (see also bondage & discipline separately)

BDSM - a collective abbreviation for three of the key elements that make up a majority of scene activities. Bondage and Discipline / Domination and Submission / Sado-Masochism See also B&D / S&M / D&S

Bindings - A bondage activity that restricts movement but is generally used on particular body parts or areas, such as the breasts and genitals but can also be used in reference to mummification. Ropes wrapped tightly around the breasts and genitals can increase sensitivity for the first few minutes but if applied very tightly numbness will follow and the bindings should be released or repositioned to allow blood flow to return to the bound areas.

Bisexual - able to respond to sexually and enjoy a member of either sex (see also Pan sexual)

Blood sports- a group of activities such as cutting, piercing, extreme abrasion etc.  that leads to the skin of the submissive being broken. Although not considered to be safe practices in most circles, precautions can be taken that minimize risks of infection either to the submissive in the affected area or to anyone else involved in the scene from blood borne viruses. Such precautions naturally include the use of sterile instruments, gloves and thoroughly cleaning and sterilizing the area to be cut or pierced. Care must be taken in the practice of cuttings and piercings that no nerve damage results. (see also Edge Play)

Bondage - A world unto itself but simply a group of techniques used to immobilize or restrict movement of the submissive. It may be physical or symbolic, and range from a simple silk scarf used to playfully bind wrists to a headboard, to restricting the limbs completely or even being ordered to hold  still during a session no matter what else is done. Bondage is used for a wide variety of effects and purposes. It is a very effective tool for leading someone into greater depths of submission or for overcoming psychological barriers that sometimes prevent a person from fully being able to enjoy certain activities if s/he were not "bound and forced." Some people like to struggle against their bounds and some just enjoy the feeling of helplessness that it can create.  It also serves as simple support, it is much easier to relax and enjoy the sensations that are being created if you do not have to concentrate on staying on your feet. Many materials may be used such as; ropes, ties, manacles, cuffs of leather or metal, even plastic wrap. Decorative rope bondage such as rope dresses may or may not restrict movement. Caution should be taken to insure that blood circulation is not restricted for long periods of time and that the bondage will not tighten to unbearable or dangerous extremes if the submissive struggles. It is advisable to never leave a bound person alone. (see also B&D, Bindings, Mummification, Shackles, Shibari, Stocks, Suspension

Bottom - the partner taking the more submissive or less active role. It's use is becoming more popular today as not all "bottoms" are submissive or masochistic and the neutral term can be used in either case. Also as a verb as in: "I have been asked to bottom in a demo next week."

Branding - A form of body modification that leaves permanent raised markings on the skin. Usually a piece of metal is heated and quickly and   pressed into the recipient's skin in a pattern or design, often to show ownership. (see also collaring. edge play,stigmatophilia )

Breath Play - Activities that involve the use of devices, ropes or handholds to apply temporary pressure to the throat and or neck area in an attempt to restrict breathing or blood flow to induce an incredibly intense state of euphoria in the submissive brought on by oxygen deprivation. It is known that asphyxiation creates excitement and eventual euphoria because of the adrenaline released when the body perceives a life threatening situation and lack of oxygen to the brain leads to light headedness.  Yes, this is very scary and dangerous stuff and many say there is no safe way to do any of these activities. I have personally polled several scene friendly Drs. and gotten various mixed reactions, that I intend to post on a web page eventually. Most of the concerns that were mentioned had to do with the possibility of a stroke or embolism due to applying too much pressure on the arteries or dislodging blood clots residing in that area. I was also informed that the police use a procedure called a "sleeper hold" with a similar effect to incapacitate unruly suspects. Of course I may be guilty of picking and choosing answers that I wanted to hear but it seems that the risk is much less in a person of relatively good health and young age. I have not suffered any ill effects after several years of enjoying it's effects, call me crazy but it is still one of my personal favorites and have no intention of ceasing it use. Even so, I strongly suggest you NEVER practice this alone and only ever with someone that has a great deal of experience in this area. (see also Auto erotic Asphyxia)

Brown Showers - (see also Toilet Play, Coprophilia, Scat)

Butt plug - a piece of rubber or similar material designed for insertion into the anus. These devices usually have a flared base which distends the sphincter muscles and prevents it from sliding all the way up into the rectum. A pleasure for some, a punishment for others, it is also used as a training device preliminary to anal intercourse (see also Anal Play, Dildo Training)

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Caning - a form of corporal play in which the implement of choice is a cane or flexible rod made of materials ranging from bamboo to fiberglass to metal. Canings can range in severity from light and deliciously sensual to very extreme. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

Castration - is the removal of the testicles, scrotum, penis, ovaries or clitoris. Often the subject of fantasy play scenarios which involve role play or mock forms of it such as infibulation. Sometimes the effect can be achieved through chastity devices. (see also Medical Play)

Catheters - A hollow tube inserted into the urethra and as far as the bladder to allow urine to pass through. Potentially very dangerous play and considered invasive, it is very important to use nothing but sterile equipment and should be done only by qualified medical personnel or under supervision of such. (see also Medical Play)

CBT- cock and ball torture (See also genital torture)

CD /Cross Dresser
- a person who adopts the dress, and often the behavior, of the opposite sex. (see also Trans gendered)

Chastity Devices - A device that is generally worm around the waist to prevent a person from having intercourse. Originally designed for women but male versions have become available. (see also Castration)

Collared / Collaring - the manner in which a dominant identifies a submissive as his property. This could be anything from a removable item such as a bracelet or a leather collar to a more permanent markings such as piercings, tattoos or brands. It is the ultimate form of commitment in a D/s relationship.

Contract - An agreement between parties that details aspects of their relationship, what is expected, how long for etc. Gnerally these are not binding in a court of law. <wink>

Control - the dynamic at play with in power exchange relationships where one person gives it and the other accepts it.(see also Ds, Submission, Dominance, Power exchange)

Conventions - Public events that are generally longer in duration than a play party or single day gathering. Conventions generally feature a variety of classes and demonstrations as well as play facilities for the evening and vending so we can buy more toys!

- erotic stimulus derived from witnessing the act of defecation. (see also Toilet Play)

Coprophilia - erotic stimulus derived from viewing or being covered with human feces (also known as brown showers, scat) Not generally considered safe play by many. (see also Toilet Play)

Corporal Play / Punishment - A wide range of activities usually involving striking the skin of the submissive with either the hand or various instruments. I personally dislike the connotations of corporal, punishment and prefer the term Impact Play. (see also Caning, Cropping, Flail, Flagellation, Flogging, Paddling, Single tails, Spanking, Whipping,

Cropping - corporal play where the implement of choice is a crop, a long, study handle that holds a flexible, narrow shaft usually covered with a leather tip. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

Cunnilingus - genital kissing, sucking and licking (oral sex) performed on a female. )see also Fellatio)

Cupping - The use of suction cups or devices on the skin to increase sensitivity by drawing the blood closer to the skin's surface. This can be accomplished with glass cups by heating them in water or by using an alcohol damped cotton ball to heat the inside of the glass before applying to the skin, the resulting vacuum pulls the skin into the cup if there is a seal between the flesh and the glass. Caution must of course be used so as not to burn the skin. There are also commercial products available that use vacuum pumps to achieve a similar effect. (see also Sensation Play)

Cutting - A practice in which incisions are carefully made in the skin of the submissive. The goal may be to produce a decorative pattern in the skin once it heals and if scar tissue forms. Some view it as a ritualistic almost religious experience and an ultimate sign of trust on the part of the submissive to allow the Dom/me to place his mark on them permanently. (see also Edge play, Blood sports, Scarification, Stigmatophilia)

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Dacryphilia - Refers to people that aroused by seeing tears in the eyes of their partners

Dildo play/ training - The use of strap-ons, dildos or other phallic objects for anal or vaginal penetration and stimulation. Training usually begins with fingers or very small dildos and gradually increase in size over time or successive sessions. (See also Anal play)

Discipline - May involve either psychological stimuli in which the Dom/me compels the submissive to act or perform in a particular way (including deference, obedience, humiliation play, and service to the dominant) or physical stimuli given to the sub that can range from mild to severe (spanking, paddling, whipping, caning, waxing, etc.) with the purpose of punishment, behavior modification or just for fun

Dom - a male dominant

Dominance - a noun denoting power exerted or control or command wielded over others ex: "She demonstrated her dominance over her slave by merely pointing to her boot and he automatically kissed it."

Dominant - An individual that accepts the power given by the submissive and uses it for the purposes of mutual enjoyment and pleasure. Generally the one actively controlling the scene. Also as an adjective as: "I like his dominant side"

Dominant masochists - People that have dominant personalities but enjoy strong sensation as a bottom and are able to communicate that clearly to their top. A service oriented sadist or egalitarian sadist would make the idea play partner for this type of individual. This is far different than a bratty bottom or SAM or Smart Assed Masochist that generally behaves badly to illicit the desired response or simply negative attention from the dominant. (see also Topping From the Bottom)

Dominant Sadist - an individual that enjoys taking the dominant role and has sadistic tenancies, best suited for a submissive masochist.

Domme - a female dominant - also known as a Dominatrix, Domina or Mistress (pronounced same as the masculine form Dom)

Dom/me - Asexual term for Dom and / or Domme

Ds - D/s- Domination and submission - the symbiotic opposites that attract with in the power play realms (see also Control, Submission, Dominance, Power exchange)

Dungeon Master - a person who is designated to maintain decorum and watch out for the safety of participants in scenes at a private play party or a public event or D/s club

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Edge play - Activities that are generally viewed as inherently dangerous by most members of the Ds community: i.e. blood sports, and breath play. Of course what is considered very dangerous, distasteful or even “sick” by some people is many times what another individual craves and enjoys most. It is up to each the individual to decide what is right for them to experiment with and how heavily but common sense still should be used and adequate safety procedures followed or taken. In an ideal world, members of an already maligned community such as ours would be inclined to try and be more tolerant of each others preferences rather than shunning those with tastes that differ slightly from our own. After all don’t we all get enough of that from the vanilla people who don’t understand us? (OK I will get off the soapbox now) Some forms of edge play are blood sports, breath play, cutting, piercing, suspension,

Egalitarian Masochist / Sadist - Individuals that enjoy giving or receiving pain and or sensation with out a strong power dynamic involved

Enema - to inject liquid into the intestine by way of the anus, usually soapy or plain water, enemas cause cramping and force the evacuation of the bowels. Some find them a source of erotic stimulation, enemas are also used for punishment and/or humiliation. (see also klismaphilia, toilet play, scat, water sports, golden showers)

Erotic - something which tends to arouse sexual desire

Exhibitionist - a person who enjoys public play and or showing his/her genitals to others or other embarrassing public displays.

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Fellatio - genital kissing, sucking and licking (oral sex) performed on a male. (see also Cunnilingus)

Fetish - An object that replaces another human being as the primary love object. There are almost as many different types of fetishes as there are people, but the most common fetishes involve body parts (foot, leg, breast) or clothing items (shoes, boots, panties, latex, rubber, leather) etc.  The term has become synonymous with the leather community in many circles. (see also Foot Fetish, Medical Play, Toilet Play)

Fetishist - a person that enjoys fetish worship of any kind

Fisting - a sexual act where the dominant slowly works first fingers and then hand into either the anus or vagina of the submissive(see also Anal Play)

Flagellation - the act of whipping or flogging. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

Flail - an whipping implement consisting of long thin straps on a handle or the act of using it. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

Flogging - Corporal play using multi stranded, usually soft to moderately coarse whips on a submissive. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

Foot Fetish - One of the most common male fetishes that often extends beyond just love of the feet into shoe, and boot worship as well. Ok, umm well some women have fetishes for shoes and boots as well but that isn't why I have more than a dozen pairs, hmm or is it? <wink> (see also Fetish, Fetishist)

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Gags - Used to prevent a person from speaking, or making other sounds. Gags come in many forms such as adhesive tape, scarves, ball gags, bars, bridles, dildos or the even the bottoms panties. (My personal fave)   They can have a very psychologically powerful effect but caution must be taken not to interfere with breathing. Also if safe words are in use remember to set a safe signal instead. (see also Sensory Deprivation)

Genital torture - includes such things as the use of bondage, clamps, compression devices, attaching weights to cause distention and discomfort, and whipping the genitals (see also CBT)

Genny - born a woman, as opposed to a transvestite or transsexual

Golden showers - An activity considered to be humiliation by most that involves the dominant urinating on the submissive. Many male submissives crave this as a reward from their Mistress’ and may even desire to drink the fluid. Generally not considered to be a safe practice due to the possible danger of passing disease but can and is done safely by many. (See also toilet play, scat, water sports, enema)

Green - Often used as part of the "color" safe word system meaning - Woohoo I like that please do more!

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Humiliation - to lower the pride or dignity of someone, in the D/s sense, the dominant accentuates the submissive's feeling of embarrassment, defenselessness and exposure while ideally avoiding making the submissive feel any less worthwhile as a human being. (see also Discipline)

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Impact Play - A wide range of activities usually involving striking the skin of the submissive with either the hand or various instruments. (see also Corporal and Rough Trade)

Impalement - a penetration of the body that restricts the ability to move. The most common form used in SM play involves passing needles through flesh (usually the genitalia) into an object or board generally called a "butterfly" board. Another form of impalement utilizes a dildo nailed or fastened to a floor or chair then binding a submissive in place with it penetrating the vagina or rectum.

Infantilism - refers to people who enjoy role playing child and infant scenarios. (see also Age Play, Adolescentilism, Shaven)

Infibulation - Suturing of the genitals either closed as with the labia or in the masculine form often to give the appearance of castration. (see also Medical Play)

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Klismaphilia - the eroticization of enemas, whether giving or receiving. (see also Toilet Play)

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Lacing - is sometimes used in conjunction with piercings for decorative effect or bondage. Once the needles are in place, string is wrapped either from needle to needle or tied to an immobile object. Lacing can be done on almost any part of the body but I feel it especially attractive across the breasts or back. (see also piercing)

Leather sex - generally refers to the gay D/s subculture

Life style (the) - much like The Scene a term used to describe the over all community as is "Are you into the "life style" or the degree to which you partake as in "living the life style"

Life style players / life stylers - people that tend to have BDSM elements woven into their daily lives to some degree more than weekend or occasional players or professionals that do not explore BDSM in their personal lives.

Limits - boundaries established by a dominant and his/her submissive, some limits are meant to be exceeded over time by the dominant, some are established as absolute boundaries that are never to be surpassed. D/s couples tend to find that limits decrease as the level of trust in the relationship increases. (see also Negotiation)

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Masochism - The ability to derive excitement or pleasure from physical pain or emotional, named for the author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Adjective form = masochistic

Masochist - a person who has the ability to derive excitement or pleasure from physical or emotional pain.

Master - A male dominant with a higher gradient of control than a Dom; a Master is generally associated with slaves as opposed to submissives but here again these are generalizations. The word Master can also be used to refer to someone that has special proficiency in particular areas much like the word maestro for a musician and can be used as an honorarium by people that are not necessarily under his control. As a verb it refers again to proficiency as in to Master's one's craft.

Medical Fetish / Play - playing with or fetishizing all things related to health care and medical treatment. Often associated with child hood fears of the Dr or kinky nurse fantasies. (see also Castration, Catheters, Enema, Piercing, Speculum,

Mentor - A trusted counselor or guide; in the D/s community a mentor is generally a Dom/me who is training someone else to be a Dom/me but also a dominant or submissive that is guiding a new submissive

Mistress - A female dominant or feminine form of Master although it does not apply in the same way in the verbular form. (see also Domme)

Mummification - Restrictive bondage technique that entails wrapping the entire body. The most common materials used for mummification bondage are plastic wrap, damp sheets, elastic bandages and duct tape. Remember that a person is unstable on their feet if bound this way and must be assisted or stabilized if kept in an upright position. The mummified person must also be monitored carefully as the bondage materials will cause the body to perspire a great deal and there is a chance of hyper-thermia. Always keep a pair of safety scissors handy for emergency use or for safely removing the bindings. (see also Bondage)

Munch - Generally a group of local people interested in power exchange and BDSM that get together in a public place to meet and socialize. Sometimes just for a meal other times for discussions and demonstrations etc (see also Public Events)

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Necrophilia - erotic interest in or stimulation by corpses

Negotiation - discussion or exchange between players where by they agree to the scene parameters. (see also Limits, Safe Sane Consensual, RACK)

Nipple clamps - used for the temporary compression or pinching of this sensitive skin, from clothespins to elaborate adjustable clamps, the key is use only for brief periods of time, to maximize erotic stimulation and minimize the potential for nerve damage - 15 minutes at a time is considered the maximum. Just remember, they hurt more coming off. (see also Sensation Play)

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Paddling - spanking with a paddle, just like the one the principal used to have, or perhaps one with holes drilled in it to decrease air resistant and increase the velocity of the blow. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

Pan sexual / Omni sexual - term used to describe people that are able to enjoy sexual or sensual encounters with others regardless of their gender. More encompassing than bi sexual since it recognizes and affirms the "third sex" and is often also used to advertise events that are open to gay, straight or bi sexual participants. (see also Bi sexual)

Paraohilic - see Adolescentilism

Pederast - a person that practices anal intercourse, most often heard in reference to men who pursue anal intercourse with young boys

Pedophile - a person who prefers children as sexual objects

Pervert - a term usually thought of as derogatory or negative that has been reclaimed as a playful term used among scene players to describe themselves and others affectionately in some circles. However, much like "nigger" you want to be careful with it's use because not everyone feels the same way about it's "chummy" use.

Piercing - inserting needles into the skin sometimes followed by the insertion of a ring or other metal adornment. Very few parts of the body cannot be pierced, but body protrusions are preferable to flat areas for jewelry. Popular sites for erotic piercings include nipples, navels, in males; the glans or frenum of the penis, the foreskin and/or the scrotum, in females, the inner and outer labia, the clitoris, or the clitoral hood. Temporary or play piercings are gaining popularity in SM play despite it's classification as "edge play" and it's inherent dangers due to the possibility of exposure to blood (See also Blood sports, Edge Play, Lacing, Medical Play, Stigmatophilia)

Play - general term for what takes places in a scene

Play party - social gatherings where D/s play often occurs. These can be private, members only or open to the general adult public like at a club.

Power exchange
- process whereby the submissive cedes his/her active, autonomous decision-exchange making qualities and bows to the will of the dominant. The exchange could be limited only to the sexual aspects of a relationship all the way up to a 24/7 situation where the exchange carries through to all aspects of the relationship. (see also Control, Ds, Submission, Dominance, Power exchange)

Protocol - rules of proper conduct for both a Top & a bottom

Public Events - Gatherings of like minded folks (see also Convention, Munch, Play Party)

- punishments run the gamut from a harsh look or word to forbidding a submissive to achieve climax to spankings, croppings and whippings to enemas, butt plugs, nipple clamps and movement restrictive bondage. Of course, these same things can be used to increase erotic pleasure, the difference being the intensity, duration and whether it is perceived as enjoyable.

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Queening - face sitting of a female on a male for the purpose of oral sex sometimes even forced.

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RACK / Risk Aware Consensual Kink - relatively new term for WIITWD that has been adopted by many Edge players as opposed to Safe Sane Consensual with the emphasis on awareness of associated dangers of an activity (see also Limits, Negotiation)

Red - Often used as part of the "color" safe word system meaning - Stop! Generally signals the end of the scene.

Role-playing - a means of enabling D/s players to experience the erotic thrill of an extreme fantasy within safe limits, including those fantasies which, if made into reality, would be truly horrifying (for example, a fantasy involving rape or concentration camp type tortures)

Rough Trade - a term widely used to refer to Impact play that uses the hands, fists, feet and other body parts of the Top to strike the Bottom as opposed to using implements such as floggers and paddles which is more commonly known as Corporal Punishment. One of my new faves!

RT / Real Time
- live and in person as opposed to an on-line or phone relationship

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Sadism and Masochism -Sado Masochism - SM - S&M - A term often used to describe people and activities that use pain to produce pleasure as an ultimate goal.

Sadism / sadist - Tough one... depends on who you talk to but I will give you my opinion, definition and reasoning. The word comes from the name of the infamous writer Marquis de Sade who according to his writing practiced very non consensual activities involving torturing and often killing his victims for his own sexual satisfaction. Hence the words sadist and sadism conjure up images of cruel and unspeakable tortures inflicted on unwilling often innocent victims. Psychologists have for many years deemed Sadists and masochists as being psychologically dysfunctional, even dangerous to themselves and others. Even some of our respected community members still view this term as distasteful and try to discourage it’s use.
The issue as I see it in defining the word has nothing to do with the motives of the sadist or the consent of the “victim.” All preconceived notions and opinions aside, sadism simply defined is deriving pleasure from inflicting pain. This concept is neither good or evil, right or wrong. What makes such a person good or bad is what he does with it and why. If the motives behind the actions are for mutual satisfaction rather than selfish reasons and if the well being and safety of the masochist are always kept in mind then there is no problem. As the principles of Yin and yang that govern the universe prove; opposites are inevitable, necessary and attract. It stands to reason that an intelligent and self assured masochist needs a loving and imaginative sadist just as a conscientious and responsible sadist needs a responsive masochist to explore with. Isn't life grand? Adjective form - sadistic

Safe/sane/consensual - the universally accepted credo and philosophical core of D/s used almost to the point of becoming trite in many circles, where by many are adopting RACK now. Safe: safe sex, consensual protection of vital organs, and no meaningful damage. Sane: any given activity is done for the pleasure of everyone involved and that partners' limits are to be respected. Consensual: clear, informed, and verbalized consent of both partners.

Safe word / signal- A word, phrase or gesture that allows the submissive to let the dominant know that the activities have either approached or surpassed his/her limits and must be ceased, changed or discussed. There may be several words used to either slow, stop or even signal that all is well and please proceed with that activity. A popular method is to have a series of words with "red" meaning stop immediately, "yellow" meaning slow down or stop so we can reconsider this and "blue" meaning watch out, this is an emotionally sensitive area -- in cases where the submissive is bound and gagged, the dominant usually proves another means for the submissive to express distress, such as a scarf to drop or a bell to ring. The safe word does not have to be blatantly obvious to on-lookers and can be a silent or secret communication between play partners. It is strongly suggested that new partners use safe words in the getting to know you stage. As time goes on and experience establishes points of reference, practiced play partners often find the need for safe words becomes unnecessary.

Safe word / Signal - A particular word, set of words or other gesture agreed to before the start of the scene that can give the Bottom a way to communicate with the Top. Generally there is a check-in or cautionary word as well as a "end of scene" one. When using a gag or verbal communication is not as reliable, players will often use some sort of hand gesture or signal such as "dropping a ball" to indicate a need to check in or stop a scene. This is an excellent tool for communication between players that are either new to the scene or to each other. (see also safe/sane/consensual, yellow, red & green)

SAM / Smart Ass Masochist
- generally a submissive or bottom that enjoys "sassing" a Dom/me into greater punishment. Dominant masochists are often misunderstood and labeled as SAMs.

Scarification - making cuts or scars, usually with a knife (See also Cutting)

Scat - Slang term for scatophilia, taking pleasure from playing with and sometimes ingesting feces. Generally like golden showers scat is viewed as humiliation play, but there are many males submissives that crave such activities. Once again not considered safe practice due to health risks. (See also toilet play, water sports, enema , golden showers)

Scene (A) - An individual session of various lengths where the parties involved are in their D/s roles. Example: “I did a scene that involved very heavy corporal play and piercing last night.”

Scene (The) - Overall term used for the people, activities, organized or social aspects of BDSM including support groups, clubs, or other social activities. For clarity with in this site when I make reference to the Scene in this context it will be capitalized, as opposed to an individual scene between players.

Sensation Play - any of the myriad of possibilities from light teasing and erotic touches to intense pain. (see also abrasion, acupressure, CBT, cupping, genital torture, nipple clamps

Sensory deprivation - to increase sexual intensity and/or to punish by temporarily limiting a person's ability to use their five senses (touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell.) This could range from earplugs and blindfolds to elaborate sensory deprivation chambers. (see also gags)

Service - one person performing tasks for or attending to the needs of another. (see also Discipline, Service oriented sadist

Service oriented sadist - a sadist who derives pleasure or other benefit from inflicting pain on a masochistic partner but does not necessarily need control of the other.

Session - an erotic D/s episode, also known as a scene (as opposed to "the Scene' see above)

Sexurophilia - erotic stimulus from viewing, being showered by, or ingesting urine (golden showers) (see also Toilet Play)

Shackles - Restraints made of metal strips that surround the ankles, wrists or neck. (see also Bondage)

Shaven - a submissive who has had his/her public hair shaved off .... Dom/mes often require their submissives to shave their pubic hair either because that is their personal preference (they like the way it looks or don't care for the way pubic hair interferes with some sexual acts) or for humiliation and/or punishment. Often done for Age Play scenes.

Shibari - Japanese term for rope bondage (see also Bondage)

Single Tails - generic term used to describe any implement with a single thong. Most common types are signal, bull, snake and stock whips. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

- Often used interchangeable with sub, but more often to denote a deeper level of submission or commitment. A “slave” may for example live in role as a house servant to his or her dominant and be responsible for all of the cleaning and care of the home. I have heard discussions in chat rooms rage for days about the differences between a sub and a slave with a wide range of opinions. According to the a scary number of AOLers there is a general understanding that a sub may withdraw consent at any time but a slave may not and must do what ever the Master or Mistress says no matter what that may be and thus a slave is somehow a better or a “truer sub” by their degree of commitment. My personal response to that is: Bullshit!! If a human being allows him or herself to be placed in a position of complete subjugation to someone else that is still their choice and since slavery was legally abolished long ago the individual will always have the right to change their mind and refuse to do something they do not wish to do, even if it means ending the relationship with the dominant. As far as a “slave” showing deeper commitment than a “sub” I feel that no one can judge the level of commitment between play partners based on what title they go by or how far they will go to “prove” their devotion to their Master or Mistress. The only ones that can judge that are the individuals themselves based on their feelings for each other and their needs.

Souveniers - Affectionate term for bruises, rope marks and other markings that are often evident after a BDSM play session.

Spanking - a form of corporal punishment in which blows are inflicted almost exclusively on the buttocks. Paddling and caning are considered types of spankings. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

Speculum - A medical device used to dilate the vagina in a pelvic exam commonly used in medical scenes on either sex. Can be a great tool for humiliation scenes. (see also Medical Play)

STD - Sexually Transmitted Disease

- the eroticization of tattooing, scarification, branding or piercing

Stocks - Restraint device that is usually made of two hinged boards that had cut outs just large enough to hold the head and wrist in place can also be made to hold the ankles while in a sitting position. Designs have also been made that squeeze the breasts or male genitals in a vise like manner. (see also Bondage)

Sub / submissive / subbie - Someone who gives up his/her power to the dominant for the purpose of mutual enjoyment. This may be on a casual basis such as just for the duration of a scene at a party or in a committed relationship of various depths. It often involves service but not always sensation play. (See also Slave, Sub space) Also as an adjective as: "Bill has submissive tenancies"

Submissive Masochist - an individual that enjoys the submissive or service role and derives erotic pleasure from pain

Submission - relinquishing control to another (see also Control, Ds, Dominance, Power exchange)

Sub space - the point in a D/s session when a certain level of pain causes the endorphins to kick in bringing the submissive to a state of euphoria which can be both physical and spiritual. According to "Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices" by Brenda Love published by Barricade Books the way this works goes as follows, "The registration of pain is caused by the release of chemicals such as bradykinin, substance P, and prostaglandins and can be divided into two types, somatic and visceral. Somatic pain occurs most often in the muscles or skin. This pain is relatively mild compared to visceral pain which radiates from internal organs, causing nausea and weakness. The testes are part of the visceral system and injury to the testicles is traumatic.
    We detect somatic pain by stimulation of the free nerve endings that lie near the surface of the skin. Once activated they transmit a signal to the brain, however, this is not a guarantee that the sensation will be perceived as painful. The message may be thwarted in several ways. First, certain nerves, the ones that transmit the sensation of deep pressure, vibration, heat and cold, can override pain signals. this is why cold compresses, heating pads, and chemicals seem to help reduce discomfort. Second, a person's mood affects this process and if he is anxious the pain will be sharper, whereas if he is sexually aroused, feels safe, in control, and submits to the partner, the sensation may even seem pleasant. In a study conducted by Drs., Miczek, Thompson, and Shuster it was discovered that in mice it was not the amount or length of painful stimulus that triggered the analgesic response but rather the mouse's resignation to defeat ("Analgesia Following Defeat in an Aggressive Encounter: Development of Tolerance and Changes in Opioid Receptors," Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences, Stress-Induced Analgesia, Vol. 467, p.16) Extroverts are thought to require stronger tactile and mental stimulation than introverts and will not register pain as quickly. Once pain has been registered the body will try to adapt in various ways. Steady pain require rapid firing by our nervous system and the body's tendency is to adapt to constant stimulus by slowing this process, meaning that the intensity of pain dissipates accordingly. Once pain has been registered for 20 - 40 mins the body will begin to produce opiate-like chemicals to reduce pain sensations."

Suspension - Activities and techniques that involve hanging the submissive from ropes, chains etc. so that no part of their body has contact with the floor. Great care must be taken so that no harm comes to the submissive. (see also Bondage)

Switch - Someone who enjoys both the dominant and submissive roles associated with BDSM. A switch may be dominant and submissive with different partners or even with the same partner at different times.

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Toilet Play - term that encompasses all forms of bath room play ie: scat, golden showers, water sports, enemas, etc (see also Coprophilia, Klismaphilia, Sexurophilia, Fetish)

Top - The person that is taking the more active or dominant role in the scene. Not necessarily dominant by nature. A top can also be a "service oriented sadist" who enjoys inflicting pain or sensation but does not get-off on control. Also as a verb as in "May I top you tonight?"

Topping from the bottom - when the submissive is directing the action in a D/s session instead of the dominant, not necessarily a bad thing. (see Dominant Masochist, service oriented sadist, SAM)

Toys - euphemism for items such as dildos, butt plugs, nipple clamps, paddles, crops, whips, canes, etc. All the lovely things we "perverts" play with. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

TG / Trans gendered - term often used to encompass the TV / TS / CD Community (see also Cross Dresser, Transsexual, Transvestite

TS / Transsexual - a person born genetically of one sex with a psychological urge to change to the opposite sex. Also those in the midst of transition from one sex to the other. Many TS's believe they were born the wrong sex and they take are simply taking the steps required to correct the mistake. (see also Trans gendered)

TV / Transvestite / Tranny - a person to adopts the dress, and often the behavior, of the opposite sex but is still physically their birth gender. (see also Trans gendered)

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Vanilla - Any activity or person not involved or related to The Scene. Generally refers to conventional sex as opposed to somewhat spicier activities.

Violet wand - static electricity generator, providing a sensation akin to a vibrating pinprick

Voyeur - a person who prefers sex as a non-participatory, spectator sport

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Water sports - erotic interests in urinary elimination, either artificially induced, as with enemas or catheterization, or occurring naturally by peeing on someone. Can also involve ingestion either directly or from a glass etc. (See also toilet play, scat, enema , golden showers)

- the dripping of hot wax onto the body to achieve erotic pain. Candles very widely in temperature and can range from a merely warm sensation to being quite hot. It is wise for the Dom/me to know the temperature of the candles or wax you are using before using them on someone. (see also Sensation Play)

Whipping - the striking of flesh, usually but not exclusively on the back, with a whip, flail, or other stinging device. (see also Corporal, Impact Play)

WIITWD - abbreviation meaning "What it is that we do"

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Yellow - Often used as part of the "color" safe word system meaning caution and signifies a need to slow down or communicate further (see also safe/sane/consensual, safe words, red & green)

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