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EDGE PLAY: Sometimes limits change as partners get to know each other. Occasionally, the bottom simply offers to remove a limit. Other times the top, with the bottom's consent, pushes a limit by approaching it, threatening it, or otherwise convincing the bottom to accept it in scene, if only for a moment. Pushing a limit or playing near a limit is called edge play.

ELASTRATOR: Device, resembling a pair of tongs, used for applying very strong and tight elastic bands, intended for veterinary use in castrating and tail-cropping young animals, but sometimes used as a form of clamp in SM play, especially on nipples (prolonged wearing of such bands should be avoided).


ELECTRICAL STIMULATING DEVICES:  electrotorture.: use electricity directly applied to the skin. On most, the intensity of the applied electricity can be altered, from a low voltage to a fairly high amount. The sensations that come from these devices range from pleasant to very painful. Electrical play is best left alone. It is very dangerous edge-type play, and must be thoroughly researched before being embarked on.

EMOTIONAL SADISM & MASOCHISM: A combined ground between DS and SM is emotional sadism/emotional masochism. The most common form is embarrassment or humiliation. Examples include name-calling, having one's partner say he or she has behaved naughtily, or having one's partner engage in an emotionally uncomfortable activity (e.g., masturbating with the window blinds open or eating from a dog dish). Another form of emotional SM is emotional abandonment: play wherein the top responds coldly to the bottom or deserts the bottom. Flirting with someone else at a party or behaving with indifference toward the bottom after a difficult scene (where the inducement of jealousy or the indifference are part of the play) are examples, as is the controversial situation of leaving a bottom who is bound and helpless. (Before you do anything like this latter, think about extreme possibilities such as: What if the bottom has a heart attack or an emotional or physical crisis like becoming entangled in the bonds while no one is present? Leaving a bound bottom is universally considered to be not a safe or recommended activity.)

EMS unit: EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulator) units and Relaxicisors. Similar machines include Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation unit, one of a number of machines designed for applying electrical pulses to the body at safe levels.

ENDORPHINS: A group of endogenous, morphine-like hormones secreted by the brain when the body is under unusual stress, which fit into the brain's optiod receptors and stimulate them to fire, producing tranquilizing and pain-killing properties that appear to help induce a sort of euphoria; some people report feeling a state of well-being similar to endorphin euphoria after experiencing intense sensations such as those associated with prolonged flogging. A common question asked by newcomers is: How can anyone like to experience pain? There are as many answers as there are people who like it. For some people, pain is directly erotic. Some people have orgasms from being flogged; others are highly aroused by nipple clamps. For others, pain is often accompanied by internal chemical reactions, most notably the release of brain chemicals called endorphins.

ENEMA: A thorough anal douche using a bag and tube. See Douche or Douching also.


FACE FUCKING: a particularly intense form of fellatio.

FEARPLAY: achieved, say, by threatening the bottom with a knife.

FEMDOM: A female dominant or female and sometimes called "domme".

FETISHIST: A person who regards an object or body part as sexual.

FETISHISM: eroticisation of objects, behaviors, and/or body parts. In anthropology, a fetish is an object to which powers are attributed that go beyond its natural ones; when the term is extended to sexuality, it indicates an object not naturally connected with sexual reproduction that nonetheless causes sexual arousal for some people.

FISTING: insertion of hand or large part of hand into rectal, vaginal or oral cavity. Fist fucking, FF, handballing. Placing or attempting to place the whole hand (or even both hands) into the rectum or vagina.

FLAGELLATION: Sometimes abbreviated to fladge or flag (the latter pronounced identically to the former), though these are both rather dated. First used in English for the self-whipping of mediaeval religious flagellant cults. In the modern era used by psychologists and sometimes among practitioners as a general term to describe SM-related whipping, beating and spanking for erotic stimulation.

FLOGGER: Multi-tailed implement designed for striking the body, similar to a cat but normally with broad, blunt tails rather than those that end in sharp knots or spikes. A basic leather flogger is a good device for novices because it is relatively safe, and fairly easy to use.

FLOGGING: A term that can be used for striking with a variety of different flexible implements, sometimes used as a general term for these sorts of activities.

FREE PLAY: A form of play sometimes employed when the main interest in an SM activity is the physical sensation (see pain) or experience, where no domination or submission is involved and the partners swap roles during the scene or do things to each other simultaneously.


GENTITORTURE: Sometimes used as a general term for pain games involving the genitals.

GOLDEN SHOWERS (GS): playing with urine for erotic purposes. (See Water sports also). The sexual enjoyment of piss (urine) is officially known as urolagnia, and sometimes referred to as golden showers (GS), water sports (WS). Someone who likes drinking piss might describe himself or herself as thirsty. Fascination with piss is fairly common: it may be enjoyed for its own sake, but in a BDSM context it can be part of a degradation or humiliation scene.

GOREAN PLAY: is stylized kind of play that is DS-like but with highly standardized customs. It is
based on a series of science fiction novels about an imaginary planet called Gor in which females are all extremely deferential to males. A female slave (called a kajira) on the planet Gor is subject to the whims of any passing male according to some specific customs. Males are assumed to be dominant, also according to some specific roles. There are occasional roles available for those who cross gender assumptions; this is more common on IRC than in the books themselves. What differentiates Gorean play from D/s is that D/s does not involve any standardized rules applying to all submissives or all of any single gender or category of people. The rules of D/s are typically worked out in a highly customized manner between the partners.


HANDCUFFS: These metal bondage items, familiar from police use, are another one of those well-known SM icons that have real practical drawbacks: they can be painful and damaging to nerves and bones, and like all metal bondage items should be used with great care. Two popular types are the U-shapes with a cross-piece and the ratchet type. Straight 8s have both cuffs as one solid piece rather than joined with a chain, thumb cuffs are usually mini straight 8s and ankle cuffs are larger and with a longer chain.

HARNESS: Bondage apparatus consisting of a network of straps designed to form a web over a large area of the body or the head. The best known is the leather body harness for wearing around the upper torso, as seen in the classic leather look. However they can be made of a variety of materials, and not all are just made for show.

HEAVY PLAY: sophisticated or advanced activities or techniques used for psychological or physical stimulation that require special training for safety reasons, e.g. breath control, cutting, temporary and/or permanent piercing, branding, burning, electroplay: also play that is very intense physically and / or psychologically, as very intense pain, or very intense surrender. Edge play is not the same as heavy play. The term "heavy play" generally refers to play that is considered relatively risky by experienced players.

HOBBLE SKIRT: Very narrow skirt with hem just below the knee that restricts the wearer's ability to take anything other than very short steps, sometimes used as a bondage item.

HUMILIATION: deliberate ego reduction for consensual erotic purposes, ranging from mild embarrassment to degradation; may be physical and/or psychological. Humiliation is a specific style of domination that centers on making the sub do a particular act, or doing something to a sub that is repugnant or causes the sub to feel less powerful.

HYPOXYPHILIA: sexual arousal from the limiting or withholding of oxygen.


ICE: Ice can be used on external body parts, external genitalia, or even internal genitalia if care is taken. Ice can quickly sensitize affected body parts, or numb them slightly. Ice can even be used to intensify an orgasm in either sex. With males, a thin piece of ice, inserted into the anus during ejaculation, can give the male a more intensified orgasm than normal. Ice rubbed on nipples will cause almost instant stiffening.

IMMOBILIZATION: rendering a bottom helpless by completely restricting movement through bondage.

INFANTILISM: Mainly refer to those who gain satisfaction from dressing up in infants' clothing and using associated objects like dummies and cribs; may also indicate those who enjoy elaborate role-playing scenes in which they act out the part of a baby as fully as possible.

INFIBULATION: Fastening of the genitals to prevent intercourse or even sometimes arousal, as in chastity games, usually achieved by piercing or suturing (sewing).


KELOIDS: To the surprise of many, light cuttings do not ordinarily scar. Light cuttings through only the top three epidermal layers tend to heal completely within one to six months. However, some skin types, age, and area of the body present unpredictable factors, and scarring is a definite possibility in any cutting. In general, the older someone is, the more likely the skin is to retain marks as scars. In general, thinner-skinned areas (like above bones as opposed to on the fleshy part of the ass) are more likely to scar. And in general, blacks or those with swarthier Mediterranean skin tones are more prone to keloids than fair-skinned whites and orientals. Keloids are a raised permanent skin reaction that is manifested in striated scarring lines in the skin or striated welts. The striations sometimes develop instantly or might take a week or so to manifest. Be aware, though: any skin type can keloid or otherwise scar; it is not completely predictable when it happens.

KLISMAPHILIA: The obtaining of sexual enjoyment from enemas. See douching.

KNIFE PLAY: Knives as scene implements typically impart fear, pain, control, and sometimes blood. It is useful to distinguish between what is commonly called "knife play," and what are commonly called "cuttings." In general, the term knife play does not involve the intentional drawing of blood. However, the term cutting does generally involve the drawing of blood. If in doubt, this is a matter to clarify in advance negotiations.


LIFESTYLE or 24/7: For some people, BDSM is full-time (also called lifestyle or 24/7). For others, it is confined to the bedroom. For yet others it is an activity to engage in once every few months. What BDSM is about is often a very personal experience, something to be worked out and tailored between the partners, something that grows and changes with the individuals and their relationships.

LIMITS: boundaries of consent as negotiated between partners, including activities in which one person does not wish to participate. A primary goal of negotiation is that activities that are off-limits are commonly asked about by the top or volunteered by the bottom prior to play. For a top to violate intentionally a bottom's stated limits or boundaries is nonconsensual and unethical. Limits can be anything a person wants them to be. A surprisingly common limit is "No tickling!" Other common limits include "No drawing blood," "No permanent damage," "No blindfolding me," "No tying me up," "No oral sex without a condom," "No humiliation," " No sex with anyone not of my preferred gender," etc. Limits can be as arbitrary as you want. Tops also have limits and often state them during negotiations!

LUNGE WHIP: Quirt. Long thin whip used in coaching and carriage driving.


M/s: Sometimes MS, M&S or M-s. Master or Mistress and slave.

MALACCA: Thick cane with a knob-shaped handle at one end.

MALEDOM: A male dominant or male domination.

MARTINET: This was the only whip to be designed exclusively for the punishment of juveniles. It is of French design, and is for use on the bare bottoms. It closely resembles a cat'o'nine tails. Martinets are not true whips & are usually made of strips of leather (usually 6) and the tails and handle should be of equal length.

MASOCHISM: A form of play in which pleasure or sexual excitement and satisfaction depend largely on being subjected to abuse or physical pain, whether by oneself or another.

MASOCHIST: a person who enjoys receiving intense sensation in a consensual, usually erotic context.

MASTER: Female equivalent: Mistress. Dominant, controlling partner or top in a relationship based on sexual domination and submission (DS), where the submissive partner is known as the slave. Such relationships are known as master/mistress-slave relationships.

MEDICAL: Scene involving some form of medical procedure or scenario, perhaps with the top playing the role of a doctor or nurse and the bottom a patient, scenes, examinations, procedures, and/or equipment such as uniforms, rectal thermometer, catheters and sounds.

MENTOR: One frequent way to explore BDSM is for a top to begin by bottoming, or apprenticing, to an experienced top that can teach the person safety, ideas, style, and technique.

MIND FUCK: Another common element of DS is the mindfuck. Mindfucks are a kind of trickery, illusion, or gaming with the bottom's mind. Sometimes mindfucks deceive the bottom into believing that whatever is going on is real when it is not. Thus, a common mindfuck is for the top to show the bottom a sharp knife, but then substitute a dull item (like a letter opener) before running the blade over a nipple or inserting the item into the bottom's cunt. Alternatively, the bottom might discover afterwards that the situation was worse than the bottom believed at the time. Yet another kind of mindfuck is for the top to cause the bottom mild embarrassment or confusion, tripping the bottom in his or her own words. More generally, mindfucks include any sort of mental manipulation.

MISTRESS: feminine title of respect accorded one who dominates or owns a consenting partner. Female equivalent of Master.

MUMMIFICATION: A specialized kind of bondage in which the whole body, including the head if some form of breathing tube is used, is wrapped tightly using materials like cling film (saran wrap) and gaffa tape, cloth or latex bandages until the bottom is completely immobilized.