ROLES:

Master – this title would be given to someone who has mastered something or someone. It is a non-gender specific title – a woman can be a master. Many choose this title for themselves, but there are factions within the BDSM community who would regard that you cannot choose to use the title Master – it has to be bestowed on you, usually with a ceremony, often called a covering ceremony.

Mistress – a title for a female Dominant – “Mistress” is very commonly the title used for a professional Dominatrix, although not exclusively. Some lifestyle Dominant women might choose the title Mistress. There is, for some women, a negative connotation with this title – especially those of us who are a little older. In earlier times, in the vanilla world, “Mistress” was the name given to the illicit lover of a married man.

Owner – someone who has accepted total responsibility for another person, who may identify as a slave.


Dominant – simply a person, male or female, who takes the dominant role in the BDSM interaction. It’s a term that applies to someone who has a dominant role in a D/s relationship, ie in more than just casual play.

Dom – an abbreviation of Dominant, in this case usually a male dominant.

Domme – an abbreviation of Dominant, with a silly addition on the end to make it sound fancy, or to distinguish it from Dom – a Domme is a female dominant.

Domina – another term for a female dominant, more commonly used in Europe.

FemDomme or FemDom – a term for a female dominant who is usually dominant over a male submissive.

Kinkster – someone who considers themselves to be kinky, probably linked to kinky sexual behaviour

Submissive – a person who chooses to give up control of certain aspects of their lives or their behaviour to a dominant partner. Also Sub or Subbie.

Slave – a person who consensually gives total control of their lives and their behaviour, and their choices to their Master, Owner or Dominant.

Switch – someone who has both dominant and submissive behaviours and preferences, generally at different times, and may also be with different people.

Pet – a person who is treated much as a loved and valued pet, example a puppy or a kitten. See Pet Play for more information

Brat – a submissive who is cheeky, talks back, is mildly disobedient or disrespectful in a playful way.

Kajira – a Gorean word for a female slave

Kajirus – a Gorean word for a male slave
Top – someone who takes the upper hand in a “play” session or in a scene

Bottom – someone who takes the lower or “receiving” role in a “play” session or in a scene

Sadist – a person who derives satisfaction from inflicting pain or humiliation – not necessarily sexual or erotic

Masochist – a person who enjoys receiving pain or humiliation – which may or may not be erotic or sexually satisfying

Sadomasochist – someone who enjoys activities which involve sadism and masochism

Ageplayer – person who is involved in “play” or in a relationship which has 2 participants of significantly different ages – this type of BDSM is generally nurturing, e.g. parent/child, teacher/student. See Age Play for more information

Adult Baby – one who plays a role of a baby or a toddler – often includes dressing up in baby style clothes, sometimes includes diaper play.

Daddy / Mommy – the “adult” partner in Age Play

Hedonist – a lover of all things sensual, beautiful, a pleasure-seeker.

Babygirl / Babyboy – the “child” partner in Age Play.
Lolita – a temptress who has the appearance of being underage

Little – a “child” in Age Play

Primal – this is a relatively recent role in BDSM use. We think it means a person who is in touch with their raw natural animalistic instincts, behaving in an animal-like manner showing lack of significant cognitive skills, reacting to impulse instead of reason in extreme emotional situations. Passionate and even barbaric.

Fetishist – one whose sexual gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body etc.

Vanilla – someone who is NOT “into BDSM”………..all other flavours are presumably kinky 🙂

Unsure – people who are curious, exploring, finding out, but not yet decided whether BDSM offers anything for them