Note: For purposes of conciseness, I've mostly just included terms and acronyms that I use and may use in this blog. Also note that these definitions are more how I have come to understand them in my time in the lifestyle. Other people may define them differently. This is by no means a comprehensive glossary. I may add more terms or acronyms as they become relevant or if someone asks about a term specifically. 


BDSM – Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism. Some people debate whether Dominance/Submission is part of it, but I use the 6 term breakdown.

CMNF, CFNM – Clothed Male Nude Female, Clothed Female Nude Male

CNC – Consensual Non-Consent

DD/lg, D/g – Daddy Dom/little girl, Daddy/girl

D/s – Dominance/subsmission

LDR – Long Distance Relationship

M/s – Master/slave

O/p – Owner/property, can also be Owner/pet, although not as common.

OTK – Over the knee

SAM – Smart-assed masochist

TPE – Total Power Exchange

M/f, F/m, etc. – This is how I show gender arrangement in a power/authority dynamic, where m and f equal male and female, capital letters indicating which gender in the arrangement is the dominant. So M/f would be Male dominant/female submissive. I do not use alternative capitalizations outside of acronyms.


1950s Household – A D/s or M/s dynamic, typically male-led, based on an idyllic representation of 1950s American culture. Think Leave it to Beaver, Donna Reed, or I Love Lucy.

24/7 – A dynamic in which the power exchange or authority transfer is constant. May or may not be live-in, although often refers to live-in dynamics.

Aftercare – Typically refers to the recovery activities performed after an S&M session. Can involve food, drink, cuddling, sex, or a number of other comforting activities. Not everyone does or wants aftercare.

Authority Transfer – Another term that essentially means power exchange, but I find it to me more accurate, so I use it a lot.

Bondage – Activities involving restraint. Can include rope, chain, cuffs, or other materials.

Bottom – The person who is acted upon or receives a sensation during a BDSM play session. Bottoms are often also submissives, but the term bottom does not automatically mean that the person is a submissive or submitting in the scene.

Collar – A symbol indicating ownership. Can be a literal collar that goes around the neck, or other symbols such as a ring, or a necklace, or even a tattoo. It depends on the people in the relationship and what symbol they choose.

Consensual Non-Consent – 1. A relationship in which there is an Original Consent given at the beginning of the relationship that covers all future activities without having to receive new consent and irrelevant of the s-type’s feelings at the time of the activity. Activities may or may not be sexual in nature. 2. Can refer to CNC sex, in which the top can have sex with the bottom when the bottom doesn’t want it, but has consented to it previously, basically “rape play.”

D-type – Refers to dominants of all flavors. i.e. master, dominant, daddy, owner, top, mistress, etc.

Dominant – The person with the authority in a power dynamic. How much authority is dependent upon the agreements of the individual relationship.

Dungeon – A room or space where people engage in BDSM activities.

Flogger – A whip with multiple lashes. Used often in impact play.

Gorean – A person who practices the philosophies, rituals, and customs described in the Chronicles of Counter Earth novels (Gor) by John Norman. Often involves an M/s dynamic, most often with male masters, and relatively high protocol.

Hard Limit – An activity one will not perform or participate in for whatever reason. Typically it is not even to be discussed as a possibility unless the holder of the limit brings it up. May also refer to a human limitation, or something one cannot physically or mentally perform.

Masochist – a person who enjoys pain in some form, either physical or emotional pain.

Master – Usually refers to the owner of a slave. Can be gender neutral. Also, a title within an authority transfer relationship that is not M/s.

Master/slave or M/s – An authority transfer dynamic, usually 24/7, that typically involves a higher level of authority transfer than D/s, i.e. the slave gives up more power or control and the master has authority over more areas of the slave’s life.

Munch – A meeting of a group of kinksters in a vanilla setting in order to talk and socialize. Often at a restaurant.

Pain slut – A masochist who enjoys a heavy degree of pain.

Pet - An s-type who is an object of love and affection, as well as physical affection, or dehumanized to the point of being an animal.  Can refer to someone in an animal play dynamic (kitten, puppy, pony, etc.). Also, a term of affection for an s-type. Pet has a number of definitions, so it's hard to pin down.

For me, as in, what I mean when I say I'm a pet, is something similar to a slave, but with lots of physical affection and affection in general, including petting and cuddling and perhaps some cute mannerisms or something. I don't want to be treated as an animal. I want to serve, but I also want to serve as a companion and an object of affection and care.

Primal – Someone who feels they are more in tune with their baser instincts. May or may not identify with some form of animal. Often make reference to an inner beast.

Protocol – Established rules and rituals for interaction between d-types and s-types. Protocols may apply to relationships only, or may apply to interactions with those outside of the relationship. Communities can also have community protocols that apply to all members. Certain communities are higher protocol than others.

Sadist – A person who enjoys giving pain in some form.

Safe word/Safe sign – A word or other signal used to indicate distress in a play scenario, or to slow down or stop play.

Scene – A specific period of BDSM play. May also refer to the BDSM community when called “the scene.”

Service Top – A person who performs the actions of a top according to the bottom’s desires.

Slave – One who submits or gives up control/power/authority in a power dynamic. Typically surrenders more control/power/authority than someone who identifies as a submissive, but this is not always the case. May or may not have a submissive personality.

Submissive – One who submits or gives up control/power/authority in a power dynamic. How much depends on the relationship. May also refer to a submissive personality.

Top – The person who acts upon or gives sensation to another in a BDSM play scenario. May or may not be dominant.

Vanilla – A person not involved the BDSM/kink lifestyle. Also, anything not related to kink or BDSM.