12 Abbreviations You’ll Need To Know if You Want To Join The BDSM Community

Disclaimer: This post mentions topics involving consensual sexual violence. Not suitable for individuals under eighteen years of age. Reader discretion is advised.

Source: Adobe Stock

In life, there are many abbreviations that we need to understand, and all of them can confuse you and trip you up. There’s CBA and MSM when you’re learning to drive a manual car, and let’s not forget all of those used on social media! Just when you thought you’d heard it all, here are 12 more you need to know if you want to speak the lingo in the BDSM community.


Let’s take it from the top, BDSM is a 3-for-4 acronym which comprises of B&D, D/s and S&M. All too often, people think that BDSM is tying up and spanking, but really BDSM is a whole number of things, from blindfolds and gags, to food play, teasing and, oh yes, spanking. There are so many things that come under the umbrella acronum ‘BDSM’, and we’ll look at some of them in just a moment.

2. B&D

B& D, or Bondage & Discipline, is not what it sounds like. In BDSM, we use ‘discipline’ more in the way that one talks about having ‘disciplines’, rather than being disciplined! Basically, in this sense, it’s about the way we behave rather than being punished. Think kneeling or staying in certain positions (such as serving as a footstool) to please our Dominant partners, these are the disciplines we’re talking about here.

3. D/s

D/s, the middle part of the BDSM acronym, stands for Dominance & submission. We usually write it like that because a capitalised D denotes respect and authority to our Dominant partners. D/s is ordering your partner around, or having them order you around. Make no mistake, having someone take charge tell you what to do when you’ve been in control all day can be incredibly erotic!

Source: Adobe Stock

4. S&M

Ouch! S&M is the bit that hurts, and usually encompasses things like spanking, flogging and caning. With that being said, S&M can also encompass things like teasing and edging, ice and wax play and tickling your partner. It’s all up to you what you do!

5. SSC

The foremost and most popular abbreviation is SSC, which stands for Safe, Safe & Consensual. When you’re starting out, SSC is the best and first one you need to know. Before doing anything kinky, remember SSC. Is it Safe to do- do you know what you’re doing? Is it Sane- is it something that is sensible to do? Is it Consensual – Do you both want to be doing it? If you can answer yes to all three of these questions, then it possibly meets SSC.


Instead of SSC, many more experienced kinksters (ourselves included) preferred to adopt RACK, or Risk Aware Consensual Kink. That doesn’t mean that we forego safety, but it does mean that there is less dispute over whether an activity is safe or sane. We can think about the risks, find ways to overcome them and then decide if we want to proceed or not. However, I would not advise anyone to consider a RACK scene with a partner that you have only just met, as RACK requires an extensive amount of trust and communication from both parties.

6. M/s

Getting more into dynamics now, M/s stands for Master (or Mistress) /slave. In essence, M/s relationships are still D/s relationships at their core, but they may have much stricter rules around dress and behaviour, and some may have multiple submissives, or complex relationships consisting of several submissives shared between several Dominants. For some people, an M/s relationships might seem too harsh, but it is important to remember that all dynamics are entered into consensually and nobody is doing anything against their will.

Source: Adobe Stock

7. O/p

Similar to M/s, O/p stands for Owner/pet. Owner/pet relationships vary between people, with some seeming quite strict, whilst others may appear more playful and loving. O/p relationships involve a submissive partner who enjoys getting back to their primal nature and acting like an animal, and a Dominant partner who likes owning them and training them how to behave to please them, hence, an ‘Owner’. Many pets may enjoy acting like puppies, kittens, bunnies, ponies or any other animal, or no animal in particular. Outfits also vary, and many pets simply ‘feel’ their inner animal, in the moment, just like this kitten does!

8. DDlg, or DD/LG

Ever liked calling your partner “Daddy”? Welcome to DDlg! There is absolutely nothing weird about DD/lg, and for many people, it creates a very safe and loving dynamic to be in. Again, tastes and preferences vary widely, and what one person is into won’t be the same for someone else. There are also many variants of these dynamics, including DD/lb (Daddy Dom/little boy), MD/lb (Mommy Domme/little boy), MD/lg (Mommy Domme/little girl) and Cg/l, or Caregiver/little dynamics.

Interested in these relationships? Do be sure to visit my dear friend Little Penny Berry for all kinds of useful advice and resources! She’s a great friend and a wonderful writer!

Photo by Daria Sannikova on Pexels.com


Adult Baby Diaper Lovers, or Adult Babies, find great comfort in regressing mentally to a life like that of a baby. They often enjoy wearing diapers, pacifiers and other baby-related paraphernalia, like rattles and toy trains. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with ABDLs, and for many, some youthful regression is simply a welcome break from an otherwise immensely stressful (and very adult!) job.

10. TPE

TPE, or Total Power Exchange, is just that – the giving up of complete control to your partner and allowing them to make all of the decisions for you. For some of us, it’s only fun for a session, for others, it is a lifestyle they choose. TPE and M/s or O/p relationships most frequently go together.

Don’t forget, the keyword here is ‘exchange’. The submissive willingly gives up control to their Dominant partner, nothing about it is forced (unless that’s agreed upon, too!).

11. CBT

When you enter our wicked world, all other ‘CBT’s really don’t look the same. CBT, or Cock & Ball Torture, is exactly that, and it is something that a lot of male submissives enjoy for its intense sensations. It’s nothing to be afraid of, but worth being aware of if you want to join in on the conversation!


YKINMK(YKIOK) is probably the longest abbreviation in BDSM, and is really about kink-shaming. YKINMK(YKIOK) stands for Your Kink Is Not My Kink (Your Kink Is OK). What this means to say is that, even though we don’t necessaily share the same kink as someone else, we won’t judge them for it. Just because someone is into something you might find really strange or weird doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with them, it just means you have different tastes and preferences. Just remember this little American Dad tune:

Kink-shaming is cruel, hurtful and unnecessary. Having been kink-shamed before, I know first-hand how alienating it can be. Remember YKINMK(YKIOK), and just as importantly, remember that your kink really is okay – whatever your kink may be!

Stay safe and have fun out there, people!

Hugs & kinky cuddles,

Helen xx

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