BDSM Defined


BDSM Defined      More Terminology      BDSM Clarified      Brief Definitions     
Simple Examples      TPE      Conclusion     
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BDSM Defined

The term BDSM is an abbreviation for most of the interesting activities available here at The Fetish Manor. It's deceptively simple in that it packs three pairs of initials into just four letters - B&D/D&S/S&M = BDSM. The other initials stand for, in order, Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission and Sadomasochism.

BDSM is also generally understood to include related activities/phenomena that don't fit strictly into any of those three categories. An "umbrella term" like this is useful because so few actual activities fit into only one category.

Bondage deals with tying people up or being tied up yourself. It also includes chaining them up, or restraining them with straps, or straight jackets, or pretty much anything else you can imagine.

It can be enjoyed simply for its own sake -- the sensations and images and the sheer aesthetic beauty of it. In fact, some people enjoy bondage just as bondage, without any interest in D&S or S&M, but far more people find it pushes their D&S buttons at the same time, or use it only for the D&S aspects, or combine it with D&S and/or S&M.

Discipline is just that — disciplining a naughty boy/girl/submissive/slave/whatever. It can take many forms, but some of the most common are spankings, canings, cage-time, etc. It can also (and usually does) involve stern lectures, authoritative language or even quiet time outs in corners or left alone in the dark. It is often combined with some form of restraint, hence its grouping as Bondage & Discipline.

Dominance and submission deal with an exchange of the following: power, trust, obedience, "slavery", etc. Any situation in which one person "submits" to the commands of another or is submissive to another’s will. It is often performed in a formalized fashion, but can be simply done with interesting contextual role-playing scenarios as well.

Like Bondage, D&S can exist as a separate phenomenon, but it's likely to incorporate other areas as well. For instance, Bondage may be used to enhance the feeling of submission, while pain-play (i.e. S&M) may be used to emphasize the position the submissive is in or as punishments for disobedience.

S&M, for the most part, stands for "sadism and masochism", but not quite the same way the psychiatric establishment uses those terms. It’s less confusing and to some, less offensive, to keep it tidily together as "S&M".

S&M involves the use of strong sensations. It is associated with pain, in particular, in most people's minds. But, in fact, pain is only one class of sensations that can be used. Furthermore, some stimuli which would ordinarily be perceived as pain normally are not perceived as such by some participants when in an appropriate S&M headspace. As an interesting counterpoint to the use of pain, while most "vanilla" (i.e. not-into-BDSM) people do not consider tickling to be a BDSM activity, many BDSM folks do.

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More Terminology

Some people like to tie people up, whip people, or give orders. Others like to be tied up, like to be spanked or whipped, or like to obey. Because so many of the words one might use to describe these preferences seem specific to just one aspect of BDSM, or push people's buttons, or only fit the ways some people play, folks in the scene often use the generic terms "top" and "bottom".

In bondage, a top likes to tie up bottoms. In S/M, a top likes to provide strong stimulation (pain or otherwise) to a bottom. In D&S, a top orders or controls a bottom. A "switch" is someone who enjoys being both a top and a bottom.

Note that it's not always the top who is in control of things -- in fact, it much less often than the other way around. For example, a bottom might ask to be tied up, and his or her top might decide to honour that request, asking the bottom if there are any particular things he or she wants the top to do to him or her tonight.

Also, many people use "safewords", code phrases that mean, "I'm not just playing, I really need you to stop." If a couple uses a safeword, the bottom can stop the current activity by using the safeword. Hence, the bottom has equal power and control of the session, if not final veto of any current activities.

Some people claim that the bottom is always the one who's really in control, no matter how things look. They're mostly right, but things can, and usually do, get more complicated.

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BDSM Clarified

We at The Fetish Manor have been involved in BDSM for many years. Over that time we have found that some people appreciate certain definitions and terminology being clarified. What follows is a compilation of things found in excellent reference books and in various BDSM communities on the Internet. It covers much, but does not contain every term used so as not to overwhelm the reader.

There are no protocols or rules in BDSM, except the ones between those involved. There are normal manners and courtesy just like the rest of society. So just because you claim yourself to be a Dom/me don’t expect to treat all submissives as if they were your submissive. That is not acceptable. Likewise, just because you claim yourself to be a submissive, don’t expect all Dom/mes to treat you as if you are theirs. That is not acceptable.

Not everyone will agree on every "definition" or "terminology", but this list should help many people unfamiliar with the trappings of the BDSM world. It should also help point them in a given direction should they require further information. Remember that definitions and terminology only need to be clear between those involved in the activity together.

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Brief Definitions

24/7    =    24 hours a day 7 days a week

BDSM    =    Bondage & Discipline (B&D), Domination & Submission (D&S), Sadomasochism (S&M). BDSM is not a psychological disorder, but rather, lots of fun.

Bondage    =    The act of being tied or bound. Usually involves rope although often leather or other materials as well.

bottom    =    A term used for most that "play" in the submissive role. Bottoms give up control, but only for the play time.

CBT    =    Cock and ball torture or torment, depending on the application.

Communication    =    Something that is very important to all involved in BDSM.

Contract    =    An agreement entered into by all people involved in the relationship, usually for a specific period of time.

D/s    =    Domination and submission.

Dom/me    =    The person in charge, the one that does things to someone else.

Edge Play    =    Something that is on the edge of one’s limits. Be aware what is edge play to someone might not be to someone else, it can differ wildly between participants.

Endorphins    =    Chemicals produced by your body that give you a state of ecstasy and pleasure, often stimulated by good BDSM play.

EPE    =    Erotic Power Exchange (usually a term for those just "playing" with others involved in the "scene", sometimes used in conjunction with TPE).

Feedback    =    Letting each other know how things felt to them.

Fetish    =    Obsession, attraction or attachment to an idea, activity or object. Examples- leather, uniforms, black attire, foot, rubber, urine, etc.

Fisting    =    To take one's entire hand and insert into an orifice and slowly curl hand into a fist for fucking.

Flog/Flogging    =    To hit someone with a flogger, something similar to a cat o' nine tails.

Flogged    =    To be hit with an instrument usually made of leather strips.

Golden Showers    =    Where the Dom/me urinates on the bottom, drinking of the urine might be part of this play.

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Humiliate    =    To hurt, the pride or dignity of someone. This is rarely used in BDSM, erotic humiliation (the use of "filthy" language to stimulate) is usually what occurs. Forcing one to overcome inhibitions and do things they normally wouldn't, often under verbal "encouragement". Always remember that what humiliates one person, may not humiliate another.

Immobilization    =    Usually done with rope or plastic wrap to create a helplessness in the bottom. Some also call this mummification.

Internal Enslavement    =    "Internal Enslavement" and "Total Power Exchange" cover much of the same ground. Internal Enslavement is to take possession of a slave, in a consensual context. Dealing with a slave's thoughts, emotions and past experiences and establish and maintain a solid and inescapable state of ownership. This is achieved through control of the slave's psychological states, in contrast to external enslavement where the submissive to be enslaved consents at the start of the process.

Life-stylers    =    Those who live and are actively involved in S/m or D/s on a daily basis, this includes TPE/EPE relationships.

Limit    =    A place a person believes they do not wish to go. Limits are always changing and being tested and/or expanded. Things that are a limit today might not be 6 months from now. Usually limits occur where the activity/stimulation ceases to be enjoyable or satisfying or reaches a psychological place where one cannot cope.

Marks    =    Something that might happen during the course of play. Bruises or skin redness from spanking, is a common example.

Markings    =    Commonly done when two (2) people enter into a full-time or committed relationship. Typical markings include - branding, piercing or tattoos.

Masochism    =    Getting of pleasure, often sexual, from being hurt or humiliated.

Master/Mistress    =    A title/term for those that "live" as a Dom/me. Webster's Dictionary - One who rules others or has control over something.

Mentor    =    A tutor, a coach, a guide, a trusted counselor, one who helps others along a given course.

Munch    =    A set time and place where people with BDSM interest gather for a meal and usually discussion.

Negotiation    =    What is done before play or a long term relationship where both people state what they will and will not accept from each other.

Newbie    =    Someone new to the BDSM scene/lifestyle.

Owner    =    A term used for those that "live" as an Owner of their property (eg, slave owner).

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Play    =    To act in a specific way.

Players    =    Those that enjoy the erotic aspects of Power Exchange but not wishing to live the lifestyle, or those wishing to expand their "vanilla" lives.

Property    =    A term used for those that "live" as property to their Owner.

Punishment    =    There is punishment within play, called play punishment. These are usually activities done so the bottom gets enjoyment from them.

Quick release    =    A device to quickly get a person free without needing to spend time in an emergency situation.

RACK    =    Risk Aware Consensual Kink

Role-Playing    =    For those that wish to be somebody else for a specific period of time. Examples: School teacher/student, Pirate/captive, Officer/private, Burglar/victim, Parent/child, Noble/servant, Sultan/concubine, etc.

Sadism    =    Deriving pleasure from mistreating or hurting others.

Safeword    =    This is something the bottom/submissive can use to slow down or stop whatever is being done to them. Dom/mes can also use safewords, but it is less common.

Scene    =    Events/activities where "players" go to "play parties" for non-vanilla play. Also, pre-planned play with possible role-playing.

SSC    =    Safe, Sane & Consensual — the only way we play at The Fetish Manor.

Slave-girl/boy    =    A title/term for those that "live" as a submissive. Webster's- A human being who is owned as property by another; a person having no freedom or personal rights.

S/m    =    Sado-Masochism

submissive    =    The person not in charge, the one that has things done to them by someone else. To yield to the control or power of another.

Switch    =    A person who enjoys both Dom/me and submissive roles

Top    =    A term used for most that "play" in the Dom/me role. The one that controls things but only for the play time.

Topping from the bottom    =    where the submissive or bottom directs the Top what to do or how to do things to them.

TPE    =    Total Power Exchange (usually no safewords used, often 24/7). Considered a negotiated co-dependence. *see below for more details.

Vanilla    =    A person who is NOT into BDSM, at is at least ignorant of it’s practices. Ingrained societal norms and/or referred to as "mainstream." Pro-creation sex between a man and woman, considered to be lacking flair or kink.

Weekend Warrior    =    Those that wish to experience BDSM sensations only in the bedroom or at a "play party."

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Simple Examples

The following are provided as examples of BDSM that works for a given couple or in a given situation, your mileage and/or experiences may vary.

A Master and slave go to dinner.

In one example, the slave orders the meal as they should know and anticipate what their Masters/Mistresses needs, wants and desires are.

The other example is that the Master/Mistress orders, as they are in total control at all times over their slave/property.

Both scenarios work, because these are the "roles" in which they both have agreed to participate or live.

Each relationship will define their roles as Dominate and submissive. Let NO ONE tell you that "you are wrong". If a situation works for all involved, then it is right for them.

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TPE

Not everyone can agree on terminology for BDSM, but we all agree on the concept. There are many levels and ways to go about it. This begins the Total Power Exchange.

Punishments can be real or used in "play".

The Dominant is one who sets the rules and the sub follows them without question. The submissive is expected to be obedient and have a deep devotion for his/her Mistress/Master at all times. He/She does not question their Mistress/Master and do as they are instructed. Some Mistresses/Masters allow their slaves/property to ask questions, or to ask to talk about a rule or order, but the slave/property will accept the answer/outcome at all times.

The submissive will anticipate their Mistress/Master’s every wish and desire. Their pleasure comes from being of use to their Master/Owner.

Titles may be used: Master/slave for example. Owner/property is another. These are not just "titles", they reflect how some live. The Mistress/Master might place a symbol, tattoo, brand or collar upon their property as a reminder of ownership. Mistress/Master is the most important person in the submissive's life, putting them before his or her self. Similarly, the submissive is the most important person in the Mistress/Master's life, thus completing the Total Power Exchange.

Some commonly acknowledged rules for TPE relationships:

- Trust is extremely important.

- Trust not to injure, or damage permanently.

- Trust the Dom to use his/her best judgment in "play".

- Trust the Dom to be honest with the submissive.

- Trust the Dom not to emotionally, mentally or physically abuse the submissive.

- Trust the Dom to keep his/her commitment to the submissive and the relationship.

- Trust the Dom to never abandon the submissive.

- Trust the Dom to never cheat on the submissive.

- Trust the Dom to not seek others and destroy the relationship. (Poly lifestyles have defined rules and never allowing another to destroy the relationship is crucial.)

- Trust is negotiated co-dependence.

Communication is essential but one must be willing to be vulnerable to one another, sharing their innermost secrets and thoughts.

TPE and EPE are not fantasies. Some people believe that a person is damaged in some way if they live like this. Many also think that you are living in a fantasy world. This is not true.

The submissive/property is not a door-mat or a child and is not treated like one except perhaps in "play". It is not an escape from responsibilities, as one has more responsibilities than the average relationship in TPE or EPE.

Simply because you are in a TPE or EPE does not mean the submissive/property will not be a partner, a lover, student, CEO, etc. It means they now have an added responsibility - their Master/Mistress.

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In Conclusion

I hope this helps the reader in some way understand BDSM and some of its more elusive practices better. I enjoy this lifestyle immensely and look forward to seeing it take its rightful place out of the shadows of ignorance and into the spotlight of mainstream acceptance.

Have fun on your journey, as everyone should. Discover and embrace what you enjoy and what others often fear. Be yourself or for Heaven’s sake, at least be interesting.

Riding Crop Kisses,

Lady Cassandra

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