Whether you’re a Dom, Sub, Top, Bottom, Masochist, Sadist, Daddy, Mummy, Little, Pet, or any other term – there are some key concepts that are common across all forms of kink. This article will help to explain the most common things you’ll come across.

Let’s start at the beginning – what is “kink”?
In its simplest form, kink is the term given for any sexual practice outside of “normal” sexual behaviour. If you like being spanked, or dressing up, or using toys in your ass, then congratulations – you’re already kinky!

A-Z of key terms

BDSM
An acronym for Bondage, Discipline/Dominance, Sadism/Submission & Masochism.

Bondage
Being tied up, bound or otherwise restrained for pleasure.

Consent
A lot of kinky practices can seem like violence or abuse, but the key difference is consent. Everyone taking part in a kinky session must consent to what’s taking place, otherwise it’s abuse. You can’t suddenly decide to start spanking someone painfully if they haven’t agreed to being spanked; and if anyone says stop (or uses their safeword) then everything must stop, immediately, and without exception. To avoid confusion, a safeword system is usually agreed in advance.

Discipline
The practice of setting rules that must be followed, or else punishment will be given. Usually part of Dominance & Submission.

Dominance
The exertion of power over a submissive. A Dominant is someone who enjoys being in control, but this also covers protection and guidance of their charges, the submissive(s).

Masochism
The willing receipt of pain (often from a Sadist).

Sadism
A Sadist is someone who sexually enjoys inflicting pain on someone who wishes to receive it.

Safeword
A clear way for everyone involved to signal if they are happy to continue or wish to stop. Sometimes, if things get intense, it can be hard to distinguish between someone saying “No” because they want to stop, or because they want to pretend to resist. A safeword is an unambiguous way of communication. A common method is to use the “traffic light” system:
Green – I’m happy, get on with it!
Amber – Slow down / let’s pause / something’s not quite right.
Red – STOP RIGHT THE HECK NOW.

Submission
Someone who chooses to serve a Dominant is a submissive (usually written with a lowercase s). A submissive willingly gives their submission to a Dominant who they think is worthy.

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