There are rules to every game, and learning about kink starts with identifying some basic BDSM definitions -- and reading this week's cover story, "Kink of the Jungle," of course. Below is an abbreviated selection of terms that may be unknown to non-kinksters, or as they are known, vanillas. Read them with caution, because if a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, then a little more might inspire a permanent vacation to the dark side.
Anal training: Inserting progressively long and/or girthy objects like butt plugs into an anus to stretch the sphincter for sexual activity. Author's note: Lube is your friend.
Black sheet party: Slang term for an orgy involving people into BDSM. Author's note: Not to be confused with a blanket party -- that is the bad kind of bad.
Cell popping: A form of body modification, also referred to as micro-branding, which involves using a red-hot needle or poker to make a series of dots on the skin. Author's note: Of course it hurts, but so does love.
Dragon's tail: A type of whip with a broad, triangular piece of suede or leather that tapers down to a point. Author's note: So much ouch.
Emotional play: A type of psychological BDSM play involving humiliation, fear, shame or other elements that cause the recipient to have an emotional response. Author's note: It's like watching Fox News, only more fun.
Figging: Inserting a piece of ginger or a hot chili pepper into the anus to produce a burning sensation. Author's note: Make sure you can remove it. That trip to the E.R. is not one you want to explain to your HMO.
Golden shower: The act of urinating on someone. Author's note: It's the bio-filtered drink of champions.
Hard limit: A non-negotiable boundary that is discussed and agreed upon as part of safe BDSM play. Author's note: "No" really means "no" here.
Informed consent: The principle of consent being given with full knowledge of events, circumstances and participants -- and the ability to give consent, i.e. not being coerced or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Author's note: This is why screwing dogs is a bad idea -- also because screwing a dog is gross.
Jerkoff: The vanilla idiot who shows up uninvited at a kink play party and tries to screw everything that moves until he is either asked to vacate or is removed from the premises. Author's note: Seriously, nobody likes this guy.
Knife play: BDSM play that involved the use of knives to psychologically torment and/or draw blood from a player. Author's note: Jeweled daggers work well here.
Lactation: A fetish for human female breast milk, sometimes involving the actual expression of milk. Author's note: Mothers need love, too.
Mindfuck: The act of manipulating someone's perception of reality. Author's note: The Tea Party does this every day. Negotiation: The act of discussing rules and expectations within a scene, or in a BDSM relationship. Author's note: Scenes can go sour without communication, so talk.
Objectification: The act of dehumanizing a person for pleasure. Author's note: Human footstools could be the new cool furniture.
Pansexual: A person who engages in erotic or sexual play with persons of any gender or sexual orientation. Author's note: Yep -- it's time you all learned that it goes beyond bisexual these days.
Queening: Also known as "face-sitting," this act involves a person who consensually "forces" another person into mouth-to-genital or mouth-to-anal contact. Author's note: Going ass-to-mouth is optional.
Roman showers: The act of vomiting on another person. Author's note: Don't judge. Maybe it's hot to get someone's tummy goo on your face.
Soft limit: A boundary that is more flexible, one which can be "pushed" to a comfortable degree. Author's note: "You wanna wedge what up my ass, exactly? Okay, fine."
Twue dominant: A "twue" dominant is a pejorative term for a dominant who expresses that his/her way of interacting is the only true way. Such a dominant can also be nicknamed "Count/Countess Domula" or "Sir/Lady LordyBalls." Author's note: Internet sites are loaded with these people. Use caution, because they won't.
Unicorn: A single, bisexual female, often a submissive, who enjoys playing with couples. They are called this because they are hard to find, and even harder to capture, like a mythical creature. Author's note: Good luck finding one of these.
Vampire gloves: These are leather gloves with small metal spikes embedded in the palm areas, used to produce a stinging effect on skin. Author's note: These are perfect for beginners to experiment with.
White Knight: A sometimes derisive nickname for dominant men who "rescue" female submissives from other unsuitable dominants, situations, or from themselves. Author's note: These guys are called Captain-Save-a-Ho in the vanilla world.
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X: Also known as ecstasy, this is a street drug that you should not use during scene play, because getting wasted and sceneing is not a good idea for reasons of safety and consent. Author's note: Trust me, the sensations you experience in sober BDSM play will be enough.
Your mother: The woman who gave birth to you may be into kink. Ask her sometime over tea. Author's note: She told me all about her kinks yesterday while I was spanking her goodnight.
Zipper: A series of clothespins along a length of string or yarn, then placed on parts of the body and removed either one by one or all at once to produce various sensations. Author's note: And you thought all they could do was hold underpants onto a clothesline.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "The underage sex trafficking panic was fueled by anything but science."