Hi there...ok so if you've clicked this page, you either A) know what BDSM is, or B) have no clue, and are curious.
Well, for starters BDSM is short for Bondage/discipline/Domination/submission Sadomasocism. It is an alternate life-style choice, in which there is a power exchange between two people: The Dominant, and the submisive.
Dominance & submission I chose to start w/ D& s b/c it's easiest for me to explain. I, personally, consider it to be the starting point of all BDSM activities, without it..there would be no BDSM, b/c there would be no Doms or subs to do the bondage, or the S&M.
The Dominant (aka Dom for short wether it be a woman or a man Dominant), is the "leader" of the power exchange. The one who makes the final decisions, cares for the submissive (aka sub), and "owns" the sub.
The submissive is the "follower" of the power exchange. The one who does their best to please the Dominant, cares for the Dom, and is owned by the Dom.
Some may be asking "Owned? What do you mean 'owned'?" Well, here's the answer: Since the Dominant is the one who takes care of the sub, provides for the sub, the sub is seen as property..but the best, and most valuable property the Dom owns. Now, in anything that is explained in here, keep in mind that it is CONSENTUAL ON BOTH SIDES b/c without consent, it is nothing other than ABUSE.
Levels of the Dominant
There are three levels of being a Dominant: The Top, the Dominant, and the Master. All can be interpreted many different ways, by many different people, but this is how i interpret it to mean.
The Top: This is someone who likes to take the Domineering role in the bedroom, but nowhere else.
The Dominant: This is someone who is just starting out in the world of BDSM; someone who wants a sub, but does not want to be the Master of the sub; or is the Dominant of the sub, and does not feel it is time to be the Master of a sub. The Dom is often addressed as "Sir" or "Ma'am" by his/her submisive, and by other subs as a title of respect.
The Master/Mistress: This is someone who has been in BDSM a long time and knows the ropes (no pun intended) pretty well; someone who has collared their submissive. By their sub, they are refered to as "Master" or "Mistress" and are still called "Sir" or "Ma'am" by other subs.
Levels of the submissive
There are four levels to submission: the bottom, the submissive, the collared submissive, and the slave.
The bottom: This is someone who takes on the submissive, or passive, role in the bedroom only.
The submissive: Someone who is starting out in the world of BDSM; someone who wants to please the Dom, but not be owned, or collared, by them. Has a say in decision making such as clothes to be worn, what movie to watch, etc.
The collared submissive: Someone who has been collared by their Dom. Literally, they have a collar they wear, to show this status. A collared sub has less sway in the effect of decision making, and is seen as property of the Dom/Master. Sometimes this is as far as it goes, the Dom may now be considered the Master, b/c the sub is now their property. But it is all up to the couple to decide which way it goes.
The slave: For those of you new to the BDSM life-style, this may be seen as a very odd thing. But the term "slave" here is not meant in a bad way. The slave is seen as someone who wants to please thier Master in all things. To put their pleasure second to that of their partner. A slave may have a collar, or another symbol to show thier staus. Some like to get a tattoo, a piercing or a special bracelet. The slave is seen as the most devoted of the 4. The slave gives up all rights to decision making.
A Switch is someone who can interchange roles. They can be submissive, or they can be Dominant. Some are more switchable then others. There are those who switch the roles b/c one has a more dominant Domeneering side at one point and the other is more submissve, and visa versa. Then there are those who can be submissive to their Dom, but be Dominant w/ their other partner, or play-mate. (This is for those who engage in extra partners...like if one partner is bisexual, or for those who enjoy an occational 3-some.) Most people are, at some level, a Switch. Wether they are 90% submissive and 10% Dominant, then there are those who are 60/40. They are comfortable in any role, but still lean more to one side than others. Are there true 50/50 Switches out there? I don't know. Is it a posibility? Sure, why not?
Safewords and Contracts
A safeword is a word chosen by both the Dom and sub in the early stages of the relationship as a word to be used during a scene that means STOP. It's there so that if the sub can't handle any more of the play that is happening (Spanking got too hard to bear any longer, a bondage cuff became too tight suddenly, or somethng emotionally clicked and sent a bad memory or became mentally too much to bear). When this word (or gesture as the case may be) is mentioned everything stops. This word should not be used flippantly, or to get out of punishment. i have two levels of safewords: a "slow-down" word and a "stop" word. i use what's called stop-light colors. The slow-down word for me is "yellow", this means "I like what you're doing, but ease up a little, please." The safeword is "red", this means "I need everything to stop NOW."
For those times where the sub may be unable to speak (gagged, or not allowed to speak) there should be a safeword gesture. Mine for "Stop" is three taps..either on the bed or on my partner. "Slow down" is two taps.
For the times when a sub may be bound (tied up) and gagged, then there should be something in their hand that will make noise as it falls on the floor. Perhaps a small bell, or if you have hard floors, even a spoon from the kitchen will do.
Contracts are either verbal or written agreements made by both the Dom and sub, or the Master and slave as to what are the boundaries, conditions, and terms. They are discussed and carefully thought over before any final agreement is come to. both Dom and sub, and Master and slave have the right to voice concerns, and nothing may be put into the contract that was not agreed upon.
Bondage & disipline
This area of BDSM is exactly what it says, bondage and discipline. Bondage can be done in many many ways, from simply tying your lover to the headboard w/ a silken scarf, placing your summissive into a corset, or completely tying up your sub to immovable. Bondage is done for the feeling of control for the Dom over the sub, and for the feeling of helplessness, and being at someone's control by the sub. Mainly, it's done just b/c it's plain fun. It can be incorperated into many scenes, such as an interrogation scene, a hareem scene (gotta love velcro shackles), a maid and house Master/Mistress scene (corsets come in handy for these, especially if they are time-period based), and so on, and so on, and so forth.
Discipline, is used in the sence of training. It can be the discipline of learning to serve, learning to wear a corset properly, learning patience.
Or discipline may be used in terms of a switching, spanking, or flogging. This somewhat leads into S&M, but it can be seen as discipline if used to get a person used to a specific impliment.
Sadomasocism is another part of BDSM. You have the Sadist (which is usually the Dom, but can sometimes be the sub). This is the one who enjoys inflicting pain to someone else, for thier own and their partner's pleasure. It can range from a simple spanking, to a flogging, to caning, to a whole range of things.
There is the masocist (that's me) who enjoys having pain inflicted upon them, and it gives them pleasure. This can range from a spanking, to being slapped, to a caning, to yet a whole range of other things.
Punishment is used when a sub/slave has deliberately disobeyed the Dom/Master, or has done something unbecoming of themselves and, in doing so, needs chastisement.
While some subs/slaves enjoy being spanked, whipped, flogged, and punishment scenes, those are just play scenes. Some may not enjoy spankings given as punishment. Spankings can be a very effective. But do them so they don’t feel like a play scene. Make them chose the implement, after all, they brought it upon themselves. Make them wait in a separate room to think about why they deserve it. Don’t let it stop if they are crying, or pleading for you to stop. It’s punishment, it's not supposed to be enjoyed , or controled. (NOTE: If the safeword if given, then it should be stopped..always!) If you are in the appropriate place (a munch where the meetings of the Doms and subs is secluded,a play party, etc) , bare their bottom and place them across your knee in front of others. What could be more humiliating, and memorable, than that?
But if you feel that spanking shouldn’t be used for punishment because you use it for pleasure, that’s fine. Especially if they’ve been asking for a spanking, then if given as punishment, they got what they wanted in the end anyways.
I have a few suggestions of things that can be used as punishment that I, personally. truly do not enjoy, and the effectiveness of it.
1) Kneeling on rice. Pour a cup of uncooked rice on the floor and have them kneel on it. I've personally had this done...it hurts. It feels like kneeling on little pebbles. Very effective, and definatly a punishment that stays with you. 10 minutes for small offences, longest I've heard of it being done was an hour for a major offence. Especially effective if while kneeling having to explain why the certain offence is wrong. (Ex. Explaining why breaking the speed limit is wrong, explain why lying is wrong, etc.)
2) Kneeling in a corner. Effective because it’s humiliating, and if done for an extended amount of time, starts to be uncomfortable.
3) Writing lines. Effective because it repeats the message. It drills it into the head and helps it stick. (ex “I will not [insert bad thing done here] again because [insert reason why here]. If I do I will recieve/have to [insert non-desirable punishment here]”)
4)Speaking privileges removed. Effective because it says speaking is a honor, and should not be abused. Especially effective if they’ve gone on a snapping, disrespectful tirade. Either order them silent, and if they refuse, make them silent by way of a gag, and perhaps a light smack to the lips.
These are just a few things. Use your imagination, but be sure that no real harm comes to the sub. The best rules to follow are: 1) Nothing can be done that will ever HARM the sub/slave.
2) No sub/slave will ever be cut, burned, or misfigured.
3) If anything done causes the sub/slave to bleed, it stops immediately.
This is commonly known as the Principle of Safe, Sane and Consentual. Meaning your play must be safe, sane, and all parties must agree to it.
A page talking about the difference between enjoying, and acceptance of punishments. Links to other sites
This is a very informative site on D/s.
A Slave's Love Another very informative site.
Fly me home!