What is BDSM?

In case you stumbled into my corner of the internet by accident, let’s start with the basics.

What even is BDSM?

Please consider the following as “Emily’s Cheat Sheet to BDSM”, rather that the need all, be all explanation. There are much more technical and in depth definitions all over the internet, but here is my stab at explaining the lifestyle and some of the terms I may throw around on my blog.

BDSM stands for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadochism and Masochism. It can sound like another language at first, but is just the term used to encompass all things involved in a lifestyle that celebrates power exchanges and kinks that may lie outside of the social and cultural norm.

Submissive: Someone who chooses to submit to and obey their Dominant. I chose my wording very carefully. Submission is a choice, a gift. It is not something that can be forced or taken, but the decision to trust another with your wants, desires, and needs. A submissive can be male, female or anywhere on the gender spectrum. There are a tons of varieties when it comes to submission: slave, pets, littles, baby girls, brats, etc which I explain more in depth here.

Dominant: A Dominant falls on the other hand of the spectrum in this power exchange and assumes control and responsibility for His/Her submissive. Female Dominants are generally referred to as being a Domme and male Dominants as a Dom. Just as submission is a gift, I consider my Dom’s willingness to lead and assume responsibility for me an incredible honor and gift. Some varieties of Dominant behavior may include Daddy/Mommy, Top, Master, Mistress. For more insight, check out my interview with my Dom.

Kinks: A kink is anything that veers away from what is considered traditional, vanilla sex. Everyone has kinks, even if they aren’t familiar with the term. Like being spanked during sex? Kink. Super into group sex? Kink. Fantasize about a little light choking? Kink. In BDSM, kinks are generally a little more well defined, which makes it easier to communicate your desires and needs in a language all parties can understand. But, more on that later…

Masochism: A masochist is someone who enjoys receiving pain or humiliation from their partner. There are levels to masochism just like anything else, but if you enjoy testing your pain tolerance and get turned on by the thought of being bent over your partners knee while he spanks you over and over and over… you may be a little bit maso, darlings.

Sadism: Sadism is the flip side of the delicious coin that is sadomasochism. A sadist enjoys inflicting pain and humiliation with their consenting, willing partner. This can be inside or outside of the bedroom, but is always consensual.

SSC: Your girl loves a good acronym, and this one stands for safe, sane, and consensual. This is the basis of BDSM and if anyone tell you otherwise- run! Safe, sane, and consensual means that all parties are informed on the risks, know the difference between fantasy and reality, engage in safe activities, and are in the right frame of mind when they consented.

Safe Words: Safe word is a verbal or nonverbal indicator that will immediately stop the scene. This can be as simple as a “red light,” or something a little more creative like “pineapple.” Your safe word is yours and needs to be something that you will be able to say easily- even if you’re tied upside down or just had four mind blowing orgasms back to back. A safe word ends the scene, period.

Aftercare: Aftercare is a crucial part of BDSM and is the time spent together immediately following a scene. This can look different for everyone, but may involve a whole lot of cuddles and communicating about what just happened. This is the time to connect with your partner and make sure everyone is safe and comfortable with what just went down.

Limits: The number of kinks within the BDSM community are endless and everyone should discuss with their partner what they are and not willing to do during a scene. Hard limits are things that should be discussed prior to any sort of scene with any partner that under no circumstances should be brought into a scene, and if it is crossed, that is reason to immediately end a scene. These are meant to protect your physical and emotional wellbeing. Safe, sane, and consensual, remember?

I know it’s a lot, but believe me, knowledge is power. Learning to navigate this lifestyle and the terms used within it is a very important part of fully enjoying everything it has to offer- and keeping yourself safe in the process.

Suddenly yours,

E

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