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Glossary of BDSM terms...

March 29, 2008
Posted at 2:09 am

So, the very first feedback I get after posting my first story here is a question about what a very common BDSM term means. So here's a quick glossary of terms you'll probably see in my writing...

"The Scene" - usually refers to the BDSM community as a whole. A person who is active in a BDSM community is often referred to as active "in the scene".

"A Scene" - Not to be confused with activity in the community, whenever kinky folks get together to do a kinky activity for a period of time, many of us call that a scene. If I am planning to tie up and do fun things to Rita, I might say that I'm "planning a scene" with Rita. (That's also sometimes called a "play date")

"Munch" - An informal gathering of people in the scene, usually without any actual play going on. Frequently at a restaurant, hence the term.

"Play Party" - A party for kinky people, where pairs and groups tend to have scenes.

"Top" - during a scene, someone is usually doing something, and someone is usually having something done to them. The person doing something is "the top". A person who is usually the top may identify themselves as "a top", especially if they're not into D/S. (see below)

"Bottom" - ...and the person having something done to them is "the bottom". A person who is usually the bottom may identify themselves as "a bottom".

"Switch" - If the top and bottom change roles during a scene, that's called switching. A person who does a lot of playing as both a top and a bottom may call themselves "a switch".

"D/S" - Dominance and Submission. I'm not really into this, so people may dispute my definition, but Dominance basically boils down to commanding someone (verbally or non-verbally, or through sheer force of personality) to do something or behave in a certain fashion, where Submission is accepting those commands. That's *really* simplifying it, but is basically the core. The person using Dominance can be called a "Dominant", "Dom", or (for women) "Domme". The person submitting can be called a "Submissive" or "Sub". "Switch" can also be used in referring to D/S. Generally speaking, all Doms are tops, but not vice versa.