BDSM is an acronym which can stand for a great variety of things. These include "Bible Discussion Study Meeting", "Bondage, Discipline, Submission and Masochism", "Bored and Deprived Soccer Moms", "Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism", "Bacon Devilled Suffed Mushrooms", "Bondage, Discipline, Submission and Mastery", "Bronx Downtown Subway Map". No two people into BDSM will agree on what it stands for, how to cook it, what it means to be tied up on the subway, whether chastity should be mandatory for bible study meetup participants, or agree about anything else. This is a rule.
Though the practice has existed for centuries, it is only recently in the age of the internet (and Fifty Shades of Grey) that it has blossomed so.
The popularity of BDSM (whatever it is) has increased to the point where it is no longer considered a mental illness by the health department in Scandinavia, so you could consider moving there. Your local health department's opinion may vary, so please be aware of that (or run the risk being put into a straitjacket). But then again, you might enjoy that.
BDSM operates on the principle that you seek to be controlled or control and that you feel the intimacy is more arousing when control has left your hands or control is in your hands. Socrates himself was a fan of being berated by his wife as she emptied a chamber pot over his head, while Aristotle preferred Alexander the Great's wife riding him like a pony, thus inventing golden showers and pony play.
BDSM online communities are spaces for such individuals to look for and speak with other such individuals of similar beliefs and interests. This ranges over a wide variety of different kinds of people but for the most part they're all quite civil. Still though, the LGBT community tries to maintain a certain distance from their four lettered frenemies, unwilling to accept that being into leather whips, fur, metal chains, latex corsets, high heels, pain and ropes is something you are innately born with like being gay, as that would mean there's school children aroused by that, and that their sexual identity can't be changed without genetic engineering or by scientists inventing free will in a laboratory.
Online discussions often revolve around who knows more about BDSM, has the most slaves, or is most deserving of respect. Then there's the long discussions about safety and sanity.
BDSM parties consist of people wearing fetish outfits often consisting of latex, leather, rubber and other such materials, typically black, which often serves to emphasize their particular role or style (Dominant outfits, submissive outfits, etc..). Many often wear hoods or similar to conceal their identity and keep their interests anonymous to all but their closest friends.
Many BDSMers refer to their practices as ‘the lifestyle’ when discussing it with others. This type of person often literally integrates it as part of their lifestyle, either at home or at work. The bondage aspect can be quite secretive, for example with the use of the chastity belt (finding yourself locked in a Neosteel chastity belt that you cannot remove is an intensely submissive experience). The BDSM lifestyles can be extremely varied, such as the lifestyle of a female dominatrix or the lifestyle of a full-time slave (or "pet", as they sometimes preferred to be called).
Surprisingly most BDSMers are relatively open minded, well rounded, highly intelligent, and either are just getting into it or know every single damn detail about it (or they may think they do -- always check the science in properly peer-reviewed publications, it's surprising how many scientists are into BDSM too). It's true that some BDSMers are extremely fond of non-consensual bondage and rape (Radical Anti-Piracy Economy), however most, if not all of them, only practice BDSM with partners who are similarly into it or have previously agreed upon it as a possible occurrence. BDSM is not about rape and most (two thirds or more) of the BDSM community prefer it consensual and wholly voluntary, and don't really consider downloading to be piracy as there is no ship involved.
BDSM is still wrongfully considered a mental illness in many parts of the world, while religion gets off with a slap on the wrist from mean women with rulers dressed in all black. Legally BDSM is perhaps the ultimate scapegoat, excepting maybe that the robbery you just witnessed was just part of a movie, as you can argue that any screams for help heard by witnesses were just part of the scene you were acting out and all blood spatter set dressing. After all, some people are legitimately aroused by having cigarettes put out on them, bare knuckle boxing in bed or asphyxiating themselves while dressed as Batman, so it becomes difficult to tell what was consensual and what wasn't, even with abundant forensics evidence, as it could all theoretically be part of a prearranged legally and physically binding verbal contract you secretly formed.
Roles in BDSM
The dominant, or top, is in control of the activity. They are typically the one doing the tying and the one with all the power. Females are often referred to as "Mistress" and sometimes make a profession out of being a "Dominatrix", a dom-for-hire basically.
Males are typically referred to as "Master" and also often pursue the interest in a career of some sort, although I'm not actually sure what they'd be called.
The submissive person in the activities is called a bottom. They are subject to the whims of their top, and must take anything the top dishes out. They are more common than dominants however being a submissive is not a state of mind, nor is it a matter of personality. It is (in my opinion) a matter of preference. You could have the most dominant and uppity personality in the world and you could still prefer to be tied down than the one doing the tying.
Ms.Leyla says: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me. So throw me down, tie me up, show me that you like me!"
A switch is a person who can (and will!) act as either a top or bottom, sometimes within the same sexual encounter. They are essentially a person who can assume either role with matching ease and pleasure. Whether they are the one digging their heel into the back of your head or the one under your heel, they assume their role with ease. They're neither rare nor common and always a pleasure to meet. It is not unusual for girls to be switches, especially the innocent-looking submissive ones. A girl like this can really take you by surprise when you find yourself in a predicament that you're unable to escape from and completely at her mercy, for example when she puts you into an electronically remote-controlled chastity belt with a powerful shock battery.
Petplay is a form of BDSM in which the master or mistress assumes the role of the "Owner" and the submissive forms the role of the "Pet". What kind of pet varies all the time depending on what the dom (or sometimes the sub) choose them to be. Sometimes it is a matter of the sub acting and playing like an animal, other times... it's a matter of the dom training them to act like one.
An example of this would be for the pet in question to attempt to gain the favor of their Master/Mistress by bringing them slippers or some such similar degrading act.
Usually, if not always, being a pet will involving wearing a collar, and sometimes even an electronic shock collar.
Some more examples of this would be being made to sleep on the floor or in a cage or kennel of some kind (like a common house pet), being confined to an electronic "perimeter" (like a dog in a yard with a wireless perimeter "fence"), or being prevented from "barking" (speaking) by means of your electronic shock collar (like a dog being trained for obedience).
Finally, the rules for these pets are similar to those imposed on an animal during obedience training. Show them you are the boss and don't let them think otherwise. Reward them with treats when they are good then punish them with punishments when they're naughty.
This pet-training aspect has even been extended to the use of electronic shocks within a locked chastity belt. The electronically-enhanced chastity belt has been proven to be very effective in the obedience training of even the most recalcitrant pets. If your "pet" tends to stray, you can also use this kind of electronic chastity belt to keep them confined to a pre-defined wireless perimiter of your choice (often a location where they would not normally wish to remain), or to force them to move between a set of pre-defined locations (for example, to force your "pet" to carry out various chores under the control of your computer). Putting your "pet" on this kind of invisible electronic "leash" has indeed been proven to be far more psychologically effective than using a physical leash. Your "pet" has no way to resist an electronic leash, nor can they try to pull against you while they are electronically leashed, making them feel utterly helpless and controlled. Your pet can also be forced to recharge the powerful shock battery of their electronic leash whenever it runs low, leaving them with no way to evade your control.
If you are in space, there is no up or down, exactly the same as Gillette Mach 3 Turbo. You can't be on top or on the bottom. It should be noted that no one will be able to hear you scream, due to the lack of sufficient atmospheric properties. After you have been rescued from being assimilated by the Borg, you will find yourself wanting to wear very tight catsuits. You will find that a malfunctioning Holodeck will provide endless opportunities to engage in entertaining BDSM, especially when the failsafe systems also fail (making you wonder why they are called failsafe in the first place).
- Emergency Room: If you end up here you've been doing it wrong.
- Locksmith: keep a few reputable ones on speed dial.
- Slavery: The not-fun kind that comes up first in most peoples minds when you mention the word.
- Latex clothing: Just because you dress like a superhero doesn't mean you can survive getting your ass kicked like one.
- Wonder Woman: You'd be surprised how many hardened criminals actually want to be tied up by a powerful amazon's magic polygraph lasso.