The ABCs of BDSM: A Kinky Dictionary

The ABCs of BDSM: A Kinky Dictionary
POSTED ON October 25, 2020

Kink. Fetish. BDSM. Bondage. Role Play. Domination & submission. Whatever you call it and whatever aspects of it you're into (or curious about), you might find its definition or some more information in this handy little glossary! A kink by any other name is still just as much fun! Whether you and your lover have been exploring the darker side of love and sex for a while now or you're just getting started, read on to learn the meanings behind some common (and not-so-common) terminology used in the kink world, and what it means.

  • A is for Aftercare. Aftercare is the process of checking in with each other after a scene to make sure everyone is chill and in a good mindset about what just happened. BDSM releases endorphins, so players can experience an emotional "drop" after it's over. The cuddling and communication between play partners during aftercare can help prevent this.
  • B is for Bondage. Bondage is the act of tying one another up. Most commonly, the dominant partner in the scene ties up the submissive. This may be done using ropes, handcuffs, Velcro restraints, bed ties, or simply a belt or silk tie if you're in a hurry or on a budget.
  • C is for Consent. Verbally giving consent to everything that's happening and everything that might happen next is absolutely vital. Communication is key in kink as much as it is in the "vanilla" world. "YES!", "Yes, please", "Yes, Sir/Madame", "More", "Keep going!". . .however you choose to give consent during a scene, make sure you do it and your partner respects it. It's not only sexy, it's essential.
  • D is for Domination/Discipline. The interchangeable D's in BDSM go hand in hand. Domination means taking control and making decisions in the consensual power play of a BDSM scene. Doms often act confident and intimidating, but they gain all their power from their subs who must consent to them slapping, flogging, verbally berating, or otherwise disciplining them. The submissive sets their boundaries and agrees on everything in advance, then the dom can have fun within those limits. Also, the sub likes being disciplined, so the balance of power is equal.
  • E is for Electric Play. Electric play or Electro-sex uses electricity to create new and unusual sensations on the body, which can heighten arousal and pleasure. Don't worry, though, no one is electrocuting anyone, and you won't zap off your naughty bits! Common electrical toys include Neon or Violet Wands, which use static electricity to create a "shocking" sensation on the skin, or TENS units, which use the electricity in our bodies to create involuntary muscle contractions. When used correctly, electric play toys are safe and can be as painless as you want them to be.
  • F is for Fetishism. A fetish is an intense sexual fixation on something that is typically considered unsensual. Fetishism is simply engaging with that fetish for sexual delight; some people may even have a hard time climaxing without honoring that fetish. Some of the most common fetishes are feet, nipples, butts, hair, spanking, leather, muscles, or underwear, but fetishes can also venture into the territory of furries, costumes, dolls, pregnancy, certain objects, or amputees. Most people likely have a fetish, even if they're not aware of it and don't honor it with their sex.
  • G is for Gagging. Gags are sort of a next-level tool beyond the typical bondage restraints for making a submissive more helpless, or as a form of humiliation or punishment in a scene. They make it so the sub is unable to speak or otherwise use their mouth. There are many different styles of gags, such as ball gags or bit gags. To play safely, make sure to never cover the nose of a gagged person, find a way to continually maintain consent through hand signals, grunts, or gestures, and pick a gag that's not too tight.
  • H is for Hard Limits. Hard limits are sexual acts that are absolutely off-limits. Everyone has different hard limits and they may evolve over time, so it is always important to communicate them with your play partner. As a bonus H because it's so important, remember the phrase "Hurt, not harm". It is okay (with consent) to hurt someone by causing them pain, but it is NOT okay to harm them by causing lasting physical or emotional damage.
  • I is for Impact Play. Impact play is the use of hands, crops, whips, floggers, spatulas...any body part or object used to hit the body. If you're the partner doing the hitting, remember to stick to fatty areas and avoid parts where key organs reside like the sides or ribcage, and remember to always listen to your sub and maintain consent.
  • J is for Japanese Bondage. More than just a restraint method, the most well-known form of Japanese Bondage is Shibari rope play, which uses elaborate patterns and elevates tying your lover up to an art form.
  • K is for Knife Play. One of the more taboo sex acts, considered part of the realm of "edgeplay" (the really dark & risky stuff), knife play uses knives to remove clothing, glide or scratch along the skin for a chilling, thrilling sensation, or for temperature play by making the knife blade hot or cold. Knife play rarely involves drawing blood, but for obvious reasons should only be done with a loving partner who you absolutely trust. This one would be a hard limit for many.
  • L is for Leather. The kink and BDSM community likes leather about as much as you'd expect. Leather impact props, restraints, and body harnesses, help take a scene up a notch on the badass scale. Latex is another L-word used for fetishwear and BDSM props.
  • M is for Masochism. The M in BDSM, a masochist is someone who enjoys receiving physical or emotional pain. If being hit, spit on, or humiliated during a BDSM sex scene gets you off, you might be a masochist! The opposite is the Sadist, the other S in BDSM, which is the person who gets off by causing or inflicting the pain!
  • N is for Nipple Stimulation. This can be part of "vanilla sex" too, but it simply involves touching, rubbing, biting, kissing, sucking, or licking the nipples or areolas for pleasure. Women tend to get more arousal from this type of stimulation, but some men enjoy it as well. Nipple clamps or nipple suckers may be a tool to cause a little pleasurable pain while constantly stimulating those nipples.
  • O is for Orgasm Denial. As a way of taking control and amping up sexual anticipation to the next level, the dom gets their sub to the brink of orgasm, then stops. Rinse and repeat as necessary so that when you are finally "allowed" to cum, it will be strictly indescribable.
  • P is for Puppy Play. Generally speaking, the submissive partner acts like an affectionate but untrained dog, including by barking instead of speaking and moving around on all fours, and the dom plays the puppy's owner or master, teaching the dog tricks, walking it, giving pets, or roughhousing. It often involves costumes or props to help make the play more realistic, which can be as simple as just a collar & leash, or as elaborate as, well, this. . .
  • Q is for Queening. Queening is when the woman (or Queen you must worship) sits on your face. It's a glam D/S name for facesitting. Now please your queen!
  • R is for RACK. Yup, another acronym! RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. This is just a way to make sure that all parties involved are aware of and willing to take the necessary risks involved in a play session, and that they can communicate and understand each other's boundaries without fear of judgment or ridicule.
  • S is for Sensory Deprivation. Basically, removing the use of one sense helps enhance the others. This can be accomplished with blindfolds, hearing protection earmuffs, thick leather mittens, or submission masks. Basically anything that limits your ability to see, hear, grab, or even breathe will send your sense of touch into overdrive so every sensation is heightened and sex feels amazing. S is also for Safe Word, which is super-duper important to establish with your partner before a scene. You can read more about safe words and other beginner BDSM tips in this post.
  • T is for Topspace. Topspace is the counterpart to subspace. They are both states of mind referring to a blissed-out, other-worldly place tops (topspace) and bottoms (subspace) can go during heavy play. Top/subspace, also referred to as “flying,” or “floating,” is usually a combination of endorphins and adrenaline that, in the right mix, have an almost drug-like effect. You can have a pain tolerance that increases, an all-powerful euphoria, and a desire to keep playing forever in one sitting.
  • U is for Uniforms. Police officer, firefighter, nurse, Storm Trooper, maid...uniforms are a fun way to fulfil your wildest romantic fantasies during a role play scenario and make things even more realistic.
  • V is for Vanilla, which refers to a person or sex act that is not considered kinky. It is totally normal and okay to be Vanilla; most people are!
    "Vanilla" sex is still sensual, romantic, and emotional and is important to everyone's sex life! Even the most devout kinksters have a lot of vanilla sex in their lives!
  • W is for Wartenberg Wheel, which is a nifty little metal pinwheel that you can run over your partner’s nipples or other erogenous zones. It looks scary, but in a fun way, like the Addams Family! It can be used as part of medical play (doctor fetish) or just for the fun of it. It’s a real-life medical device created by neurologist Robert Wartenberg to test nerve reactions, but kinksters figured out it was good for sex, too.
  • X is for waX play. Yes, I cheated a little here, shhh! Candlelight is great mood lighting, but you can also use melted wax for painfully good sexual pleasure. Of course, playing with fire (and hot wax) is dangerous, so it's a good thing the sex toy industry has our backs here. There are candles that exist to burn at a temperature perfect for bodies, so you don’t have to worry about accidental burns. Massage candles also exist, and come in delightful scents like Strawberry Wine or Island Passion Fruit, and which melt into massage oil for you to give your partner a loving sensual massage. Relax and enjoy!
  • Y is for YYKINMKBYKIOK—Your Kink Is Not My Kink, But Your Kink Is OK. The abbreviation isn’t much of an abbreviation or functional acronym, but the concept is a good one: Respect other people’s kinks even if they’re different from yours.  This phrase is meant to maintain the community's openness and acceptance of the variety of kinks. Different strokes for different folks. Find play partners who are compatible with your kinky desires.
  • Z is for Zipper Sex. This is basically a quickie that doesn't involve taking off your clothes...just some quick unzips and hop on pop! The kink factor for this one is upped by how risky of a location you're choosing to do it in!

Lover's Lane Big Box of Kink Bondage Kit

If the content of this post has piqued your interest, or you and your lover have been talking about getting kinky for a while now but didn't know where to start, this set is for you! Including all the amazing items you can see in the picture on the left, such as a breathable ball gag, wrist and ankle cuffs, bed restraints, collar and leash, submission mask, rope, flogger, sex dice, and more, The Big Box of Kink Kit curated especially for Lover's Lane gives you everything you need to get started without the huge investment in all of those individual pieces. It's a great way to get everything you need to experiment, and then return to your favorite pieces again and again! Play safely, kinky lovers!

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