Abecedarian – a novice, a person who is just beginning to learn something.

Abrasion Play – using various rough items to rub on the skin. Sand paper or steel wool are often used. Usually used for sensation play, although it can be used to mark skin.

Acceptive phase - In a sexual relationship, the period between courting one another and actively participating in a mutual involvement (intercourse)


Acceptivity - The inclination to accept another before sexual activities begin.


Acrotomophilia (or acrotometophilia) - 1. Achieving arousal, orgasm with someone who is an amputee, getting sexually excited over an amputated limb. The off-setting condition (self-amputation), is apotemnophilia.


Aftercare – cool down period after a BDSM session. Also the actual care involved including giving a blanket, water, hugs and praise to the sub or bottom. Doms or tops may also need aftercare.


Age Play – Where one partner, usually the submissive, acts an age much younger than their chronological years and usually younger than the Dominant.


Algedonic - when something gives both pain and pleasure at the same time.


Allosexual - someone who has sexual attraction to others; not asexual.


Alpha Sub - (1) The primary sub/slave in a poly household or multi-person relationship(s). (2) A submissive who finds it important to emphasize that they are a strong, independent person in their own right, while still submitting to the authority of another. There is strongly contentious debate in the community whether use of this label implies that the person using it is making themselves appear to be superior to other submissives or that other submissives are somehow weaker/lesser persons (e.g. doormats) when compared with themselves.


Ambisexuality (adjective, ambisexual): Being attracted equally to males or females. Synonym of bisexual.


Anal Beads – a string of beads that are inserted into the anus and then pulled out for sexual pleasure.


Anal Hook – usually stainless steel. Looks like a big meat hook with a ball on the curved end and a loop at the end of the long side. Inserted into the anus and sometimes used in bondage, hence the loop in the end for a rope to go through.


Analingus - Stimulation of the anus with tongue and lips.


Analism - An enjoyment of anal stimulation.


Anasyrma – the lifting of a skirt or kilt to expose one’s genitals.


Androgynophilia - Joining with a man and a woman by a member of either sex. Threesome of either kind (MMF, MFF)


Androgyny - Showing characteristics of both sexes in body, mind, or behavior


Andromimesis - Born female yet living as male and able to relate sexually, exclusively with women.

No surgical reassignment, but possibly hormonal. Trans gender


Andromimetic - A woman appearing outwardly as a male in appearance, behaviour and dress, a lesbian living the role of a man and usually no surgery or hormones


Andromimetophilia - Sexual attraction and arousal to those who have had sex-reassignment


Anerotic - Not erotic; lacking eroticism.


Ankle Cuffs – handcuffs for the ankles.


Animal Play – where in a person acts like an animal such as a puppy, kitten, pony or other animal. May or may not include sexual play. Also known as Pet Play.


Anorgasmia - Unable to achieve orgasm and/or climax through conventional methods and adequate stimulation (in men commonly known as delayed ejaculation, in women sometimes called frigidity).


Areola (plural, areolae) - The area of pigmented skin surrounding the nipple of the breast.


Armbinder – a type of sleeve that goes over both hands and up above the elbows. Sometimes called a single-sleeve. Usually has leather straps-and-buckles to hold it in place; alternatively it can be made from rope. Used to bind arms either in front or in back.


Asexual – a person who does not feel sexual attraction to others and/or has no interest in sex.


Asymmetric Bondage – tying a person in such a way that the form is asymmetric.


Auralism – kind of like voyeurism except you are listening to people instead of watching.


Autoerotic - Sexual self stimulation, most common form is masturbation using fingers and hands.




Bad Pain - Pain beyond a submissive’s threshold of what they process as “good pain”.


Bagging – putting a plastic bag over the head of a submissive in order to induce suffocation.


Ball busting - impact play on a man's testicles. Can include using the hands to strike, feet to kick, paddles and other instruments. Should not be done by beginners as serious injury can occur.


Ballet Boots – boots with heels so high it forces the foot up on the toe tips.


Ballgag – A gag with a ball that goes into the mouth of the wearer.


Bareback – having sex without a condom.


Bastinado – beating the soles of the feet.


BDSM – Bondage, Discipline, Domination, submission, SadoMasochism. Covers most areas and subjects which are considered to be kinky.


BDSM Checklist – a list of activities done by various BDSM type people. Often used by newbies or people in a new relationship to decide what they will and will not do. A way to decide what is on their personal hot list and what is a hard limit.


BDSM club – a place where folks go to play and socialize. Clubs often offer training and lessons to novices.


Bear Paw – a glove with spikes sticking out the tips of the fingers. Used for sensation play.


Ben Wa Balls – similar to anal beads but tend to be used in the vagina. Often a single ball, but can be more than one which can be strung together. Often used to strengthen the Kegel muscles. They can also be used to stimulate the vagina.


Bestiality – the use of animals for sexual gratification. Having sex with animals. Illegal almost everywhere.


Bisexual – a man or woman being sexually attracted to both men and women. May have a preference for one or the other, but will do either. Some folks say it’s the best of both worlds.


Bit – part of the tack used in pony play.


Bits – Can be used for both male and female, but often used to describe a woman’s genitalia.


Black Sheet Party – sexual orgy involving people who practice BDSM.


Blanket consent - The act of implicitly consenting to anything one's partner wishes to do or attempt, without having to discuss or negotiate beforehand.


Blood Play – purposely drawing blood during play, usually by cutting or using needles.


Blow job - Slang for fellatio, sucking cock


Body Harness – a harness usually made of either leather and metal rings or rope. Worn on the upper body. Sometimes used in bondage play.


Body Modification – to make a permanent change in one’s body. Comes in many variations: Tattoos, piercings, branding, etc.


Body Worship – when a person shows devotion and awe for their partner’s body. Can include physical contact like kissing, licking, stroking, sucking.


Bondage – restraining a person. Can use any number of methods including: rope, chains, bungee cords, velcro, belts, ties, scarves, hose, handcuffs. Can be full body or partial. The bottom can be just tied up or they can be tied to something.


Bondage Belt – a belt usually made of leather with straps and metal rings on it. Used to secure the hands. Sometimes used to secure the ankles. Sometimes used to help suspend a bottom.


Bondage Boots – see Ballet Boots.


Bondage and discipline (B & D) - Sadomasochism involving restraints (rope, chains, cuffs,etc) combined with possible physical punishment with various implements to enforce obedience, servitude or enslavement


Bondage Mitt – mittens made of leather or vinyl secured over the hands with straps. Keeps the bottom from using their hands.


Bondage Tape – special tape that will stick to itself but not to other surfaces, like skin.


Bonger - Those toys that are spring metal with a ball on one end and handle on the other, designed for use in massage. Often used as sets. Also known as kabongers.


Bottom - Sadomasochistic slang term for the submissive, masochistic partner.


Branding – yep, just what it sounds like. Take a piece of metal, heat it up, stick it on the skin of the person you are branding.


Breadcrumbs - Used by a person to post in a forum so it enters their Fetlife feed and their friends see it and draws their attention to the thread. Also shortened to crumbs.


Breast Bondage – To tie up a woman’s breasts. What the hell did you think?


Breast Clamp – device for squeezing the crap out of a woman’s breasts. Kind of like breast bondage, but with a vise.


Breath Play – when a person controls the breathing of their partner. Usually through choking, bag play or by putting a hand over the partner’s mouth and nose.


Breeding – Making babies. Can be fantasy only but can mean real impregnation of a female. The term is also sometimes used by gay men to refer to unprotected anal sex.


Buggery - Anal sex, chiefly between males or with animals


Bukkake – A word of Japanese origin describing a type of scene where a person is placed in the center of a circle of men to act as a target for their ejaculation.


Butch – descriptor used for masculine acting lesbians.


Butt Plug – much like a dildo but shaped differently, usually with a flange on the end to keep it from disappearing up into the anus. Yes, the anus. They can come in many shapes and sizes, from pencil thin and short, up to: “Really? That goes where?”


Butterfly Chair – a chair with two surfaces to which the legs are secured. These surfaces can then be swing outward to expose the genitals of the secured person.




Cage – a box with bars. You know, a cage. You put somebody in it.


Camming – short for web-camming. Talking through the means of internet video often for sexual purposes and play.


Candaulism - when a man shows off his woman, in pictures or in real life, to other people for their voyeuristic pleasure. Yep, she’s supposed to be naked or near to it.


Cane – a thin rod used for impact play, usually made of bamboo, fiberglass, acrylic, etc.


Cangue – two boards held together by a hinge with holes for the neck and wrists. Used as a form of bondage torture or a major league collar.


Carpet Beater – an impact toy made with cable, plastic covered cable or wire on a handle. The cable or wire is looped, often in a clover leaf pattern. Made in the style of old fashioned carpet cleaners.


Carnal - of the flesh, as opposed to the spirit.


Cat O' Nine Tails – a type of whip with nine tails or falls. Usually made of thin, long leather falls with a straight, hard handle.


Cathartic Release/Catharsis - a sudden and strong emotional release which cleanses a person of pent up emotions. Usually brought on by external stimuli which can include talk therapy, art, or strong physical exertions (including BDSM play).


Cell Popping – a type of temporary branding where a very hot metal wire is used to touch and burn a series of dots onto the skin. Designs are often burnt into the skin this way. Usually heals in a few weeks.


Chastity – not having sex. Is sometimes used as a disciplinary measure on a submissive. Can also be a part of the permanent dynamic of a relationship.


Chemical Play – using different substances to cause sensations. Usually things like hot sauce, ginger, cinnamon, icy hot or wintergreen oil.


Cisgender - those whose gender identity—their internal sense of being male or female—is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth. From the Latin cis, meaning 'on the same side as'.


Cleave Gag – a simple gag of made of cloth.


Clitoris (plural, clitorides; adjective, clitoral or clitoridean) - The small, hooded organ at the top of the cleft of the female vulva, counterpart of the penis in the male clitoromegaly: extreme enlargement or hypertrophy of the clitoris.


Clover Clamp – a type of nipple clamp that is designed to close tighter on the nipple when an attached chain is pulled.


Cock Ring – a ring put around the base of the penis to help keep an erection.


Cock Worship – a form of body worship devoted to the penis of the Dominant.


Co-Dom – when two Dominants take on one or more submissives in a single scene.


Coital fantasy - Imagery of sexually stimulating fantasy that can accompany intercourse and may or may not include current partner


Coitus or coition - The sexual act of penis in vagina, penetration.


Cold Branding - the use of extremely cold materials (usually something like liquid nitrogen) in order to freeze small, select areas of the skin in order to

sear the skin cells and brand the person; depending on the skin And Technique Used, marks may be temporary, semipermanent or permanent


Collar (1) – An accessory that may be worn as part of play or as a symbol of a relationship. May be an actual collar (similar to a dog collar), necklace, bracelet, ring, etc.


Collar (2) – The act of formalizing a d/s relationship; in some relationships, it is done quickly, in others it may take several months or years. Some d/s relationships don’t include the concept of collaring. The depth of significance that the formalization has is different for each couple, from similar to going steady up to being as significant as a marriage.


Coming out - Gay term to acknowledging publicly one’s sexual orientation; also used in acknowledging one’s gender identity when differing from their birth identity


Communication – Connecting mind to mind through words. It is conveying an idea in such a way that the other person in the conversation actually understands the idea and then acknowledges said idea; talking, listening, responding in an intelligent way.


Compersion – a feeling of happiness that you take from your partner's happiness with another, whether it be through sexual or romantic involvement. It can take the shape of arousal, but it can also simply look like the same joy that the person gets with their partner.


Compulsive cruising - Always seeking, never satisfied, for the ideal sexual partner or experience


Connection - (1) Compatibility between people, including (but not limited to) romantic, kinky, emotional, sexual, personality, and value compatibility. (2) A social link which need not involve having played with a person; this includes friendship, associating with people, and becoming known in one's community. (3) Synergy between play partners; empathy and awareness of one another's reactions; being in tune 


Consensual Non-Consent – Play or Scene - CNC, play that is negotiated and usually includes some type of rough or edge play. Rape play and kidnapping are the two types of play usually associated with CNC. The bottom agrees to this type of play without total foreknowledge of what is actually going to take place. This type of play requires a lot of trust on the parts of both the Top and the bottom. The bottom has to trust the Top not to go too far. The Top has to trust the bottom not to change their mind afterward.


Consensual Non-Consent - Relationship - CNC: A relationship or scene in which the submissive gives total authority or control over to the Dominant. A relationship in which it is not only expected, but in effect implicitly (or potentially even explocitly) stated that the Dominant will go past limits, not listen to 'No', or otherwise deliberately do things that the submissive would not consent to. The single piece of power the submissive holds is the ability to withdraw consent for everything and sever the relationship (although there is the potential for renegotiation if the pair still wish to be in a relationship).


Consensual Non-Monogamy - a situation in which all the partners involved agree that one, the other, or all of them are going to have some kind of involvement with other people that participants in most monogamous relationships are no


Consent - In which a person, knowing what will occur and the risks involved, agrees to move forward in participating in a proposed activity or relationship. The consent of all parties involved is required


Contract – for BDSM, the use of a written list of rules and limits agreed to by a Dominant and a submissive. Has no actual legal authority and cannot be enforced through the court system of any state. Does make things real clear as to what is going to be going on within the relationship.


Contrapolar Stimulation – stimulating the bottom with pain and pleasure at the same time. Like using a vibrator on a female ’s clitoris while wailing away on her butt with a belt. Can cause very intense orgasms.


Contusion - A bruise; an injury of soft tissues without breaking the overlying skin.


Copulate (noun, copulation) - Join in sexual intercourse.


Corporal Punishment – physical punishment, usually some type of impact play like a spanking, paddle or whip.


Corset – old fashioned under garment used to cinch in the waist and lift the breasts of a woman. Usually laces up the back. Can constrict movement and limit breathing.


Corset Piercing – piercing the skin with needles or rings in a double row so that ribbon or string can be laced through them, like the lacing on the back of a corset.


Costume Play – cosplay. Role playing while wearing costumes. Can include dressing up as a superhero, a historical person, a doctor or nurse and many other characters.


Craupadine – French for hogtie.


Crop – also known as a riding crop. Usually a spring metal or wood handle wrapped in leather with a loop or slap at the striking end.


Cross Dresser – a person who dresses in clothes usually meant for the opposite sex. A woman dressing as a man or a man dressing as a woman.


Cruising - Slang term (normally used amongst gay people) to indicate availability and seeking a potential sexual partner


Crumbs - Used by a person to post in a forum so it enters their Fetlife feed and their friends see it and draws their attention to the thread. See also breadcrumbs.


Cuddle Puddle - A group of people cuddling, for the pleasure of physical contact with others, but without sex.


Cuddle Pile - A group of people cuddling, for the pleasure of physical contact with others, but without sex.


Cuddle Slut - A person who loves being in close physical contact with people in a platonic, nonsexual manner.


Cunnilingus – the act of performing oral sex on a woman. Pussy licking.


Cupping – using a suction device on the skin. Can be done with either a flame (fire cupping) or a vacuum device.


Cutting – yep, just what it sounds like. Take a sharp tool, like a knife, and cut someone enough to draw blood.


Cybersex – having sexual relations through the internet. Can including camming, texting, instant messages and other electronic means of communication.


Degradation - A type of play focused on making the bottom feel lesser in some capacity. 


Demisexual – having a sexual interest only in people with whom an emotional bond has been established.


Deviant - Not conforming to societal norms


Discipline – wherein a Dominant trains a submissive to perform certain activities or to behave in certain ways and the act of correcting the behavior or performance.


Dogging - Having covert sex in public areas such as a park


Dollification - the process of transforming oneself or another into a living doll. The physical changes may include everything from choices in clothing and makeup to multiple plastic surgeries. Mental aspects may include a desire for objectification, ownership, or