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BDSM 101

BDSM is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, roleplaying, bondage, and other interpersonal dynamics. There are various levels of play,  can range from one-time experimentation to a lifestyle.

 

The term BDSM was formed by joining the term B&D (bondage and discipline) with S&M (sadomasochism, or sadism and masochism). The community as it is most often known as, is generaly an open bunch.  Within the confines of the community you will likely find a colorful mix of BDSM players; this may include cross-dressers, extreme body modification enthusiasts, animal players, latex or rubber aficionados, and others.

 

Know Your Position

 

Participants who exert sexual dominance over their partners are known as dominants or tops, while participants who take the passive, receiving, or obedient role are known as submissives or bottoms.

 

Individuals are also sometimes abbreviated when referred to in writing, so a dominant person may be referred to as a "Dom" or Sir for a man, or Dom or Domme for a woman.  Both terms are pronounced the same when spoken. Individuals who can change between top/dominant and bottom/submissive roles—whether from relationship to relationship or within a given relationship—are known as switches.

 

Playing Safely

 

BDSM actions can often take place during a specific period of time agreed to by both parties, referred to as "play", a "scene", or a "session". Participants usually derive pleasure from this, even though many of the practices—such as inflicting pain or humiliation or being restrained—would be unpleasant under other circumstances.  The fundamental principles for the exercise of BDSM require that it should be performed with the informed consent of all involved parties.

 

Pressing The Limits 

 

In general, BDSM play is usually structured such that it is possible for the consenting partner to withdraw his or her consent during a scene.   Failure to honor a safeword is considered serious misconduct and could even change the sexual consent situation into a crime, depending on the relevant law. For other scenes, particularly in established relationships, a safeword may be agreed to signify a warning ("this is getting too intense") rather than explicit withdrawal of consent; and a few choose not to use a safeword at all. This is sometimes the case for "punishment scenes" between master/slave couples or for some extreme or edgeplay scenes which may include abductions, or interrogation. This scene dynamic may be referred to as "consensual nonconsent". In some scenes or relationships it may be impossible for consent to be withdrawn in the middle of a scene, or the bottom may have the ability to revoke consent for a relationship as a whole, but not for a particular scene.

 

 

 

 

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