Tag Archives: D/s

BDSM: An introduction to some kinky ideas and terminology

4 Oct

Credentials and a disclaimer: A wonderful professor at the University of Michigan pulls me in once a semester to talk about this stuff. My information is coming from the collected resources of many years of study and community involvement, conversations and events, and personal observation. That being said, milage will vary. Every kinkster experiences and adapts the rules of kink to their own tastes and needs. Do not take this as kinky law, just as my interpretation of the culture!

The following is a review of some basic terms and concepts used within the BDSM community. For a list of more comprehensive resources, I highly recommend Clarisse Thorn’s BDSM Resource List

Kink is usually used as an umbrella term that encompasses the worlds of BDSM and fetish. We will spend more time in future posts going into greater depth about what all of these terms mean, but for now, a brief definition of each follows.

  • BDSM stands for Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/submission, and Sado-/Masochism,
  • Bondage/Discipline encompasses the physical elements of kink, including restraints and sensation play.
  • Dominance/submission encompasses the emotional and psychological elements of kink, including role play and consensual power exchange.
  •  Sado/masochism refers to the roles of one who takes pleasure in giving a physical sensation (or sadist), and one who takes pleasure in receiving physical sensation (or masochist).
  • Fetish refers to the sexualization of a not-usually-sexualized object, such as an article of clothing or object. In the world of psychology, having a fetish as a condition is when a patient cannot become sexually aroused without the presence of the fetish object; however, in the world of kink, the term fetish is used to describe any object people may find sexy.

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