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Erotic spanking image taken at Studio Biederer, Paris, 1930.
Erotic spanking image taken at Studio Biederer, Paris, 1930.

This glossary of BDSM (an initialism for bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism, and masochism) terms defines terms commonly used in the BDSM community.

BDSM activities are described as play in BDSM terminology.[1]

Etymology

BDSM abbreviations have their origins in classified personal advertisements, where euphemisms for paraphilic and socially-disapproved practices were required by periodical editors to circumvent censorship and obscenity law.

The term BDSM is a portmanteau of initialisms intended to encompass all of the following activities:

Capitalization conventions

Some people in the BDSM community begin dominant terms with an upper case, for example: Top, Master, Dom, Domme, etc., as well as to begin submissive terms with a lower case, even where normally incorrect, chiefly in acronyms and abbreviations, such as D/s for Dom/sub. Some extend this to honorifics and capitalization: for example Master Rob's slave, linda, may refer to him as Sir and herself as i (or as "this slave", restricted from referring to themselves in the first person). Others are highly dismissive of this "slashy speak".

BDSM glossary

Animal roleplay at Cologne Pride, 2014
Rope bondage in an uncomfortable bondage position at BoundCon, 2013.
Rope bondage in an uncomfortable bondage position at BoundCon, 2013.
A submissive female, strips off her clothes (at the command of her master), while maintaining "Attention" pose (left). The same female in "Inspection" pose - used when the Master/prospective Master has to inspect a nude slave's body[citation needed] (right).
Wax play can create colorful patterns on the subject
Wax play can create colorful patterns on the subject

In addition, high protocol refers to groups or individuals that adhere to strict roles and role-based rules of conduct, whereas low protocol refers to groups or individuals that are more relaxed. Old Guard now usually refers to high protocol groups, particularly gay leather BDSM groups; people who use this phrase may be romanticizing a perception of leather history: see Old Guard leather.[citation needed]

See also

References

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