sadism: Taking pleasure in inflicting pain and/or humiliation upon others, or observing others being hurt (see sadist above).
sadist: A person who enjoys inflicting pain and/or humiliation on another, or observing others being hurt or humiliated, either for power and control or for sexual arousal.
sadomasochism: An activity or practice involving the inflicting or receiving of pain and/or humiliation. (Also see sadist, masochist.)
Safe, Sane and Consensual (SSC) (also see RACK): A standard of conduct for the healthy enjoyment of BDSM participants; similar to RACK, but with an emphasis on making any activity as “safe” and “sane” as possible.
safecall: A prearranged call to advise a friend that you are okay; especially useful in “first meeting” situations (see safe meeting practices below).
safe meeting practices: Common-sense precautions to be used when physically meeting someone for the first time. Traditionally, they are for the safety and reassurance of the submissive, although Dominants should also be somewhat cautious. Practices include meeting in a public place, and having an observer present or setting up safecalls. (Note: also a good idea in the “vanilla” world!)
safeword, safe word, safety word, safe signal (see “out”): A predesignated word or nonverbal cue used to stop or slow down a BDSM scene. [Discussion coming soon]
Saint Andrew’s Cross: (see St. Andrew’s Cross)
sapiosexuality: The attraction to or arousal by intelligence and its use.
scat play: Play involving the handling of feces.
scene: 1. A period of time devoted to BDSM activity (also session, play (1)).
2. Of or about the BDSM community, usually capitalized (“the Scene”).
scent play: Smelling the areas that emit scents, such as armpits, anus, vulva, and scrotum. This may be for enjoyment/arousal, or for humiliation play.
self bondage: The act or practice of tying one’s self up or otherwise restraining oneself, sometimes as a part of masturbation. Includes some mechanism by which the person may be freed, which may include a timer mechanism to release a key or otherwise release the person. Should be considered edge play and inherently dangerous.
sensation play: BDSM play where the intent is to push the subject’s sensory limits, using light touch, heat/cold, objects of different textures, etc. Often in conjunction with sensory deprivation.
sensory deprivation: Use of various objects such as blindfolds, ear plugs, etc. to deprive the subject of one or more senses. The intent may be to enhance other senses, such as touch (see sensation play), or to cause insecurity. Often used as an exercise in pushing limits or fostering increased trust.
service: Acts, chores, or labor, sexual or otherwise, performed by a sub for the benefit of a Dom.
service-oriented: A person who enjoys performing a service, which may be sexual or nonsexual, BDSM related or not. This can refer to anyone from Top (as in service Top) to slave; the common element is that the person gains satisfaction from doing a service for another. Also see doormat.
service Top (see Top): A Top whose focus is on giving a bottom what s/he desires.
session: (see scene)
sexting: The use of a cell phone to send suggestive or sexual text messages.
shibari: A Western name for Kinbaku, a type of bondage originating in Japan and characterized by extremely elaborate and intricate patterns of rope, often used both to restrain the subject and to stimulate the subject by binding or compressing the breasts and/or genitals. The aesthetics of the bondage are considered to be a very important element of this form of bondage.
signal whip: A type of small singletail, usually three to four feet in length, lacking the rigid handle of a bull whip. Different from a snake whip in that the cracker (popper) is braided into the thong of the whip.
singletail: Any of a class of whips having a single lash; most commonly applied to bullwhips and signal whips. Singletail whips require skill and training to use properly, and are not easy to master.
sissy: Has many definitions. Simplified (and limited), a male sub who uses feminization (dressed as a “girl” or naked), often to reach a different emotional or mental state.
sjambok: Heavy leather whip of South Africa, traditionally made from hippopotamus or rhinoceros hide, or from the penis of either species. The sjambok has a variety of uses, with the most obvious being cattle driving; the South African Police Service uses it for riot control.
slapper: A paddle with two pieces of leather that make a loud “popping” sound when used.
slave auction: See auction. An event in which submissives are “sold” to the highest bidder, usually for a limited time, and with prearranged conditions.
slave positions: Primarily used for Gorean or high protocol, these are formalized positions, names and sometimes signals that slaves are expected to assume when their Masters or Mistresses uses that name or signal. Other than the set from the Gor novels, every household or top will have their own list. They serve various uses, from practical, humiliation, sexual, play, punishment, or comfort. There may be only a few, or more than 3 dozen See also Gorean slave Positions.
sleepsack: Bondage device similar to a sleeping bag or body bag. Usually very confining; often has straps for added restriction. Caution: may induce claustrophobia!
slut: A term used variously in centuries previous (see Wiki), currently used as 1) in mainstream society, an insult implying a woman is sexually promiscuous; 2) in the BDSM community, a humiliation word for arousal (either gender); 3) people who take the courage to lead their lives on the concept that “sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.” (The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities, by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy.)
smart-ass masochist (SAM); smart-ass subbie (SAS) (see bratty, pushy): submissive who exhibits bad behavior (such as sarcasm, talking back, or disobedience), either because his/her Dominant enjoys it or to get attention.
snake whip: A type of small singletail; does not have the rigid handle of a bull whip. Different from a signal whip in that a snake whip has the cracker attached to a fall.
snakebite kit (sensation or torture play): The kit comes with rubber suction bulbs which are capable of exerting a high amount of suction. Can be used on sensitive areas such as armpits, nipples, genitals.
snowballing: The act of of kissing another person with a mouth full of cum and transferring it to them.
sockpuppet (account) A second account or ID on a social site set up for the purpose of doing something you don’t want connected to your “main” ID. *Example: a second Facebook account set up to express the kinky interests you don’t want your family, friends, or co-workers to know about… more often, an account set up for the purpose of causing trouble online.
soft limit: A limit which is not necessarily set in stone. It may be flexible, may be pushed or may change over time and/or with experience or knowledge of that type of play.
sound: A smooth rod, usually metal, for insertion in the urinary passage; comes in a set of graduated sizes. Medically used for expanding the urethra in cases of genital defect, or damage resulting from illness or injury. In BDSM, used forurethral play.
spanko: Person who enjoys spanking others. There is a whole spanko culture, separate and different from the BDSM culture. Texas, circa 2014, an increasing overlap is causing clashes, because much of spanko culture is based on sub hetero-normative white cis women being spanked because they are “naughty” exclusive of most of the excuses, fetishes, reasons, roles or motivations used in the BDSM community.
sploshing: The use of copious amounts of food (whipped cream, pudding, Dinty Moore’s beef stew, etc.)
spotter: A person who monitors the safety of a bottom/submissive during a scene, most commonly scenes that involve complex bondage, particularly suspension scenes.
squick: An expression of discomfort or revulsion in response to something. (Example – That picture made me say “squick!”. (DeFUNition: Supposedly, this word was invented to resemble “the sound produced when a Dominant has intercourse with the submissive’s brain.”)
St. Andrew’s Cross: A popular type of bondage furniture consisting of an X-shaped cross, equipped with restraint attachment points.
stone: a woman (or man) who does not wish to be touched genitally.
strap: A tool of impact play/punishment. Usually consists of one or two long leather strips attached to a handle.
Strapping Orgasm: An orgasm that is achieved by an individual that is using a strap-on on someone else whether oraly, vaginally or anally.
sub drop (see aftercare): An emotional condition following intense BDSM play. May experience a wide range of emotions from weepy to clingy to angry to lost and more. This can happen immediately after play or many hours later, making diagnosis difficult. It can last for a few hours or days. It can often be prevented by aftercare immediately after the session.
”sub frenzy”: A very strong, sometimes overwhelming, desire to find a Dominant partner or to become immersed in BDSM-related activities. Sometimes seen in people who identify strongly as submissive, particularly those who have either newly discovered their submissive side or who have not partaken in BDSM-related activities for a long time. People in the grip of “sub frenzy” may make unwise or unsafe choices.
submissive: Person who desires to give up control of themselves, or of certain aspects of their lives, to a Dominant partner. There are as many “styles” of submissiveness as there are submissives. Some may submit only occasionally (as in bottom); others may yearn to submit all of themselves (as in slave).
submissive survey/questionnaire: See checklist.
subspace (see aftercare, “floating”, sub drop): A “natural high” that a bottom may experience during an intense physical or emotional. The sub may feel disconnected from time, space, and/or their body, and may have limited ability to communicate. It is critical that the Dominant takes responsibility for the submissive and care for their well-being while they are in subspace. Subspace can vary widely between submissives and in any sub’s reaction to a given “scene”. The degree and length of “floating” can be used to gauge how strongly s/he was affected by the “scene”.
survey: See checklist.
suspension: Bondage (usually rope) in which the submissive’s weight is totally or partially suspended. Often considered an art form, and can take hours to construct.
suture play: The practice of temporarily suturing or sewing parts of the body, particularly the genitals, for sexual gratification. Forms of suturing include sewing the labia closed and sewing the foreskin of the flaccid penis to the scrotum.
swinger: Someone in a committed relationship who swaps partners for sex.