Identities & Roles in the BDSM lifestyle


When first starting your journey in the BDSM lifestyle, you will read and hear a lot about “roles”. There are 2 definitions for “roles” in this lifestyle;

1. How you identify in this lifestyle, and/or within a dynamic. (For example: submissive). 

2. What your role is in a scene, a role playing title that is directly related to the kink in the scene. This is not a title outside of the scene, has nothing to do with your dynamic(s), potential dynamic(s) or lack of desire to have one. (For example: Sadist)

While your *identity* (def 1.) is a more permanent title, it can change as you or your dynamic evolves. Your *role* (def 2) can change with each scene or even during a scene.

There is a lot of confusion and incorrect information being spread about the 2 different definitions of BDSM roles. To be honest, it would be easier to understand if it was separated and became *identity* and *roles*. Since it is all grouped under one word, regardless of the different definition, many people in the lifestyle lazily group all of the left / people together and the right / people together. *I say lazily because with a small amount of research it is very clear what the differences are. This is mainly because of a certain BDSM test, and it being looked at as a starting point, conversation starter and worse of all as how you “pick” your role (yes this happens all of the time, and even pushed by some groups). 

Look at definition 1 as who you are as a person, who you are in a dynamic, and who you are OUTSIDE of a scene. Definition 2 is who you are role playing as DURING a scene/kink and if you are the giver or receiver. 

Your identity (def 1) will NEVER be your role (def 2), and your role will NEVER be your identity.

The roles (def 2) are basically some type of Top or bottom title, and are always kink related. Just about everyone that has a kink in their life is either a Top/bottom *in that scene*. This does not take away from your identity in the lifestyle. If your identity is to the left of the */ (which is the D-type identity) you can take on either Top or bottom roles during the scene. Same with the right of the /* (which is the S-type), you can continue to be on the receiving end, or you can be the one giving the kink and take on the Top role. 

Knowing both your identity and kink roles will help you during your research and education, it will also help in looking for and vetting partners (relationship and/or scene partners). When someone taking that test mentioned above gets the results and the test gives them a kink role as their identity (which it does, more times than not) it has created a breakdown of the REAL identities. For example brats are a kink, it is a negotiated behavior of a bottom, it can be related to primal play, S.A.M. Or punishment scenes. You can be a submissive that plays the role of a brat during a scene, but brat is not something that you can identify as in this lifestyle. IF you have negotiated that the behavior will continue outside of the scene, that is unique to your dynamic, and still is not your identity. It should not be taught as an absolute and should not require changing the meanings to those identities or roles. i know this is something pushed by *The New Generation* (TNG), and a hot topic for those that don’t understand the difference between an identity and a role during a kink scene. 

One very important key factor is that Top/bottoms should be respected in this lifestyle. It takes just as much research, education and experience to be a Top as it does a Dominant, same with bottoms and submissives. 

I will be going over the different identities and who they generally seek as a partner (you are not limited to just those counter partners). I will also be going over the different types of roles, and their definitions. These notes will all be titled the same, with what part it is in this series. 



Power exchange is where one person gives the other a certain amount of control over them and the relationship. Some level of power exchange happens in every relationship, both vanilla and BDSM.   This has nothing to do with kink, or their roles in the bedroom/scene. This should be discussed and agreed upon before starting the relationship. 

**LGBTQ+ disclaimer a lot of my research is done on older articles where it wasn’t always inclusive with gender and/or sexuality. 

🌀The Vanilla Side🌀

▫️Equals: both parties have a say so in decisions concerning where they live, big item purchases, chores, etc. They can “switch” it up by one handling certain jobs because it’s more convenient for them.

▫️Female-led relationship (FLR): A female empowering relationship. The female (or the one in charge if it’s a lesbian couple) makes all decisions, makes sure all chores are completed, bills paid, and the couples socializing with others. Kink is also not a driving force for this relationship.

▫️Male-led relationship (MLR or Taken in hand): Domestic Disciple or 1950s household. The one in control makes the money, controls where and how it is spent. Chore list would be left for the partner that stayed home, dinner at a certain time. Much like the “1950s” household. Kink is not a driving force in this relationship.

🌀BDSM Side🌀

🔹Total Power Exchange (TPE): . A Master or Mistress has complete control over their slave. This is considered the more extreme dynamic within the BDSM lifestyle. This isn’t something to jump right into, it takes time and growth to become TPE. 

🔹Power Exchange: This is a D/s, DD/lg or CG/little (this is also for Mommies and little boy/boi.) There is a negotiated amount of power exchanged, a lot of the dynamics reserve the rights to negotiate limits, rules and punishments. 


There are basically 2 identities in the BDSM lifestyle. Dominant and submissive. The one in control, and the one being controlled. 

🔹Dominant: The umbrella identity for the person in control of their relationship and partner on some level in the BDSM lifestyle.  The Dominant takes on the responsibility for the wellbeing and proper training, guidance for their submissive.  

🔹submissive: The umbrella identity for the person who has consensually given over some level of control to their Dominant. They are obedient and compliant to their partner. They should always conduct themselves in a respectful manner recognizing their behavior is a direct reflection on their Dom. 

Here is a list of the different types of Dominants and submissives.

▪️Master/Mistress: A type of dominant that has ultimate control over their slaves. They usually seek a TPE dynamic. 

▪️slave: A type of submissive who gives total power to their Master. They sometimes are considered possession not a partner (but still a person), and might speak or type in 3rd person. 

▪️Owner: similar to a Master, they are the owner of a slave that identifies as a pet or service slave (not to be confused with animal play). 

▪️Pet: a non-sexual slave that does not have any animal traits. They are sometimes referred to as an object not a person, this is not a commonly used definition of this identity since pet/animal play (a role) has taken over this word. 

▪️Dom or Domme: The person in control of a D/s relationship and a submissive. 

▪️sub: The person giving up control to their partner in a D/s dynamic. 

▪️Daddy/mommy Dom: A Dominant that is protective and supportive, much like a parent (hence the name). This is not someone that is “into” incest or pedophila. This dynamic may have less power exchange than others, depending on the dynamic.

▪️Caregiver: can be a big or a non gendered alt for Daddy/Mommy. This person usually makes sure the little is taking care of themselves, meds and eating properly.

▪️littles: A submissive that has the characteristics, behaviors and mindset of someone younger or childlike. This has nothing to do with age play or age regression. …Depending on some behaviors littles might identify as middles, bigs, babygirl/boy.

🔹Gorean is part of the BDSM lifestyle that originated from the science fiction writer John Normal. It is a M/s relationship based on servitude and slavery. Most of the time it follows old “traditional” gender roles with the women serving the men (Master). It has changed some and there are practicing Masters that are female/fem/NB, with male/NB slaves.  (Just wanted to note, that in doing research for this, in more than one article it stated that those that follow a Gorean lifestyle dont always claim the BDSM lifestyle.)

▪️Gorean Master: A Master that follows the rituals and practices created within the world of Gor (fantasy/adventure novels by John Norman. 

▪️kajira (female)/kajirus (male): The slave to a Gorean Master.

🔹Keyholder and someone in chastity is not technically an identity, but there is a level of power exchange. It’s not a role either, because they are not role playing chastity. 

▪️️Keyholder: Someone that holds the key to a chastity (belt or cage), there does not need to be a relationship/dynamic or any other power exchange.

▪️chastity/locked: the person wearing a chastity device that trusts someone to hold the key.  

🔸Switch: This is a person that can be the dominant person in one dynamic and the submissive person in another dynamic. Being both roles in the same dynamic is close to impossible, and would be counterproductive because of always changing your mindset. Usually this is confused with someone that identifies one way in their dynamic, but can be the opposite role in the scene. This has nothing to do with kinks or roles, i explained why in part 6 under *switch.



The Leather community started around the 1940s having strong roots in the gay biker community and The Old Guard. They are considered part of the BDSM culture because of their kink and S&M practices. Most Leather traditions come from military protocols and rituals. These traditions can vary depending on the region and the size of the clubs and community. This has been a cause of debate because not everyone agrees with certain traditions, saying some practices are “romanticized” versions of Leather. With BDSM becoming more mainstream, a lot of the traditional Leather community do not claim to be part of the BDSM culture.

In the late 1970s lesbian S&M Leather clubs started showing up in bigger cities. One of the largest being Leather and Lace, it was also a support and social group. They had a code of conduct they adapted from The Old Guard training they received from local Leather men. 

While at its start it was only gay men, now under “New Leather” or “New Guard”  it is considered pansexual, including straight people and there are women, fem and NB members as well. 

MasterTaino on Fetlife explains the different “degrees” of a Leather family. It’s not always a group of people living in the same house. It’s much more than that, it’s about being loved, respected and feeling they belong. Below is part of what he wrote, the link takes you to the completed writing on Fetlife. (Remove the “*” and put a “.” to use the link.)

🔹The Community – Many of us like to refer to the Leather Community – or any of their subcultures – as our Leather Family. In this community we feel like family because we are among like-minded individuals who share a lot in common with us. Others as well see a segment of the community as their family, for example, the members of their Leather Club, organization, event, etc.

🔹Our closest friends – It is very common for us to refer to our closest Leather or Kinky friends as “our Leather Family” as well. I have many of those. People who have been with me alongside my journey and whom I consider brothers and sisters but they do not belong to my formal Leather Family. When we are with our closest kinky friends, we are family.

🔹The Households – There are many of us who live together in a household and as a family. In my case, it is I and my slaves. We are a household and a family. Other households in the Leather Community are integrated by three or more people who are partners among themselves. Several years ago, there was an International Mr Leather titleholder from Florida who lived with his two partners. And they are family. Sometimes there is a couple that brings in a third person as part of their household and family. Sometimes there are two Masters with several slaves. A household can be built in many ways. Each person does it in a way that works for him or her. And there is nothing that will not allow just a couple to consider themselves a Leather Family.

🔹Back-patch Leather Family – This is something that is seen more and more recently. This is where I have evolved in the past few years. My family is now integrated by 12 members in addition to my live-in slave. Currently we have a female Senior Master, and several Masters, Junior Masters and slaves. These members do not live with me, but in different cities in Virginia, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania.  They all wear a leather vest with our family crest patch on the back. Not all of these types of families have or wear patches but there is a trend in that direction.

MsTori on Fet explains what a leather family is, and how they really encompass what a family does for each other. For copyright purposes they have asked only to share the link.

As you can see below when writing about the Leather community the L is always capital, much like The Old Guard. It’s a way to show respect to the community and honor the elders. When writing about roles and identities Leather is always first, and capitalized. The dominant/top identities/roles are also capitalized (just like in BDSM) and the submissive/bottom identities/roles are always lowercase. For example a Leather boi or Leather Daddy.

🔹Leather Top: a person in the Leather community that does or leads the 

Leather bottom during a kink/scene.

🔹Leather bottom: a person in the Leather community that receives during a kink/scene from a Leather Top.

🔷Leather Family (as per Fetlife glossary): Leather Families are those that have bonded through the Leather lifestyle and have elected to join together as a Family. Traditionally, a Leather Family shares some common protocol and rituals, and a person becomes a part of a Family by invitation. Being a part of a Leather Family does not imply that members are intimate, sexually or romantically.

🔹Leather Daddy: A dominant that is a masculine-presenting person, usually older, that is in the leather community.

🔹Leather Mommy: A dominant feminine-presenting maternal figure that is in the Leather community. 

🔹Leatherboy: a submissive that is masculine-presenting in the leather community.  

🔹Leathergirl: A submissive that is feminine presenting that is in the Leather community.  

🔹Leatherboi: A submissive that can be any gender, can be fem or masc presenting that is in the Leather community.

🔹Leatherman: A masculine-presenting person in the Leather community, that is into the kinks and S&M. (Much like a kinkster in BDSM.) This is more a role than an identity.

🔹Leatherwoman: A feminine-presenting person in the Leather community, that is into kinks and S&M. (Much like the kinksters in BDSM.) This is more a role than an identity.



Bondage is a scene related kink for Tops and bottoms. Bondage can be something as simple as cuffs on during a scene, or at a more difficult skill level as shibari. Take your time learning the different types of bondage, what gear and/or rope used, and most importantly of all the safety needed to have a successful and safe bondage scene. For those interested in bondage, start out by using cuffs or other bondage equipment before trying rope. If you move on to trying out rope make sure you have done research on the different techniques and all safety involved, watch plenty of how-to videos and attend a rope demo (if available in your area). Discuss any medical issues, medications and injuries BEFORE using rope or doing any suspension.

The 12 different types of bondage.

▪️Western Rope Bondage: is done with cotton, nylon, or hemp and is focused mostly on restraint, typically so other things can be done to them. It differs from Japanese bondage as the tying is the act that is being done.

▪️Japanese Rope Bondage: is done with jute and is usually referred to as shibari. Often used both to restrain and stimulate the bottom 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.

▪️Device Bondage: using things like cuffs, stocks, cbt, spreader bars, crosses to restrain someone, typically to hold them in place while another kink is performed.

▪️Mental Bondage: Being forced to remain in a position by the orders of the Top no equipment is used or needed on the bottom. A Master can also use mental bondage on their slave when training them with slave positions. 

▪️Objectification Bondage: Placing the bottom in a dehumanized way, much like human furniture with using rope and other restraints to keep them in place. 

▪️Costume Bondage: wearing restricting clothing like harnesses or gimp suits. This is more about the look than the actual bondage.

▪️Sensation Bondage: is a form of restraint which focuses on making the restrained person conscious of their own body and the sensations it is experiencing. These sensations are typically pleasant, but may also include painful sensations if the Top and bottom person agrees to it.

▪️Fetish Bondage: tying breasts, genitals or using a device on them like clamps for sexual excitement

▪️Sensory Deprivation Bondage: using devices such as hoods, gags, mitts, blindfolds, earplugs or headphones to give the sensation of being helpless while their other senses become more sensitive to stimuli. 

▪️Predicament Bondage: a type of bondage in which the intent is to place the bound person in an awkward, difficult, inconvenient, or uncomfortable situation, or to set out a challenge for the bound person to overcome.

▪️Suspension Bondage: is when the bottom’s weight is totally or partially suspended. Usually using  ropes, hooks, chains, and  cuffs, bars and rigs. Can take hours to construct, and is considered an art form. 

▪️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.

▫️Floor work is all bondage done on the floor, table, bed etc, with no suspension. Can use any safe type of rope and/or restraints.

▫️Suspension is where a Rigger uses any safe type of rope and/or restraints, sometimes using a pulley lifting a person or object.

🔹Bondage Top: uses restraints like rope, cuffs or spreader bars. Practices floor work only.

🔹Bondage bottom: likes receiving restraints like rope, cuffs or spreader bars etc. Practices floor work only.

🔹Rope Top: (giving)does floor and suspension but only with rope.

🔹Rope bottom: (receiving)does floor and suspension but only with rope. 

🔹Rigger: someone that suspends people or objects using pulleys, rope, chains, hooks and cuffs etc  


The most common fibers used for bondage are hemp, jute, nylon, and cotton. Hemp and jute are usually associated with traditional Japanese Shibari, while nylon and cotton are usually associated with traditional Western bondage. There are many other types of materials, so try the different types of ropes and go with what works best for you, your partner and the scene. 

*Natural fibers* 

🔸hemp,  jute and linen are flexible, rough texture, high friction, low stretch, moderate durability, good strength

🔸Cotton is flexible, soft texture, moderate friction, moderate stretch, low durability, low to moderate strength

🔸Silk and bamboo is flexible, soft texture, moderate friction, low stretch, moderate durability, good strength

🔸Manila (abacá plant), sisal (Agave plant), and coir (coconut) are stiff, harsh texture, moderate friction, low stretch, moderate durability, moderate strength

*TIP* Not commonly recommended for bondage because it is stiff and splinters easily. High quality Coir is the most usable of this group, especially by those who enjoyed a very sadomasochistic experience from their rope.

*Synthetic fibers*

🔸Nylon, paracord and MFP (multi-filament polypropylene) are flexible, soft texture, low friction, moderate stretch, high durability, very high strength

🔸Synthetic hemp (Promanila, Unmanila, Polyhemp, Hempex) is flexible, rough texture, moderate friction, low stretch, high durability, very high strength

🔸Polyester and POSH are moderately flexible, moderate texture, moderate friction, low stretch, high durability, good strength

🔸Generic polypropylene is stiff, hard plastic texture, low friction, low stretch, high durability, very high strength

For further information check out



Sadomasochism (SM or S/m) is giving and receiving pleasure from inflicting pain or humiliation on another. This is a scene specific kink for a Top and bottom. This is not inherently sexual, but sex can included if everyone consents.

Sadomasochism comes from joining *Sadism* and *masochism*.

Here is a little history about those terms. 

The term sadism origin comes from the author Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) who was known for practicing sexual sadism, and wrote about it, with Justine being his best known work.

The term masochism is named after the author Leopoldo von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895) who expressed his masochistic fantasies in his novels.

In 1890 German psychiatrist Richard von Drafft-Ebing introduced the terms *sadism* and *masochism* into the medical field with his research in “Psychopathology of sex”.

In 1905 Sigmund Freud described SM in his “Three papers on Sexual Theory” as stemming from irregular psychological development from early childhood. SM was placed on the DSM (what psychiatrists use to classify symptoms and deviant activities of mental issues or disorders.) BDSM activists protested against the philosophies of the 2 psychiatrists whose theories were built on assumptions and their observations of psych patients. The consensual part of SM (practiced by people in the BDSM lifestyle) has since been removed from the DSM and is not considered to be part of a mental disorder. 

Top/bottom roles in a S&M scene. 

🔹Sadist: takes pleasure in inflicting pain, cruelty or humiliation on others. Some sadists get the same gratification from watching others do those things. Is a Top role, and does not have to be sexual.

🔹Masochist: receives pleasure from physical and emotional pain. Most masochists will need a warm up at the beginning of the scene, and increase the pain as the scene plays out. When in the right mindset, they are able to turn the pain they receive into pleasure. This is a bottom role that does not need to be a sexual scene. 

🔹Sadomasochist: A person who enjoys both inflicting and receiving pain or humiliation.

🔹Pain slut: a masochist that enjoys extreme mental, physical pain with no warm ups. They enjoy the actual pain and do not “turn” the pain to pleasure.

🔹SAM: (Smart-Ass Masochist) is a bottom who doesn’t want to submit, but rather challenges and/or annoys the Top in order to entice them into punishing the them.

🔹Spanker: A person who enjoys spanking others

🔹Spankee: A person who enjoys being spanked.

A good spanking should include the following

  • It is given with skill
  • It is done with the consent of the spankee
  • It is done with care and consideration
  • It hurts but not too much
  • It is done in a calm and controlled manner

🔹Degrader: The Top/Sadist shames or embarrass the bottom/masochist 

🔹Degradee: The bottom/masochist is ashamed or embarrassed by the Top/Sadist words or actions. 

🔺EDIT: I should have included a mention of cuckolding here. This is a mix of SM (because of the humiliation) and non-monogamy. I will go into more detail about the roles in cuckolding in part 7. 

Humiliation and degradation play. This can range from gentle teasing to objectification. It is a form of Emotional Sadomasochism, and it can be pleasurable to all participants. The Top/Sadist seeks to shame or embarrass (humiliate) or reduce in status (degrade)  the bottom/masochist during play. Degrading is saying things to lower their self esteem. It is intended to break down the person. This is not the same as enjoying being called a slut or whore, that is erotic humiliation. Examples degradation are force cross-dressing, small penis humiliation, dehumanizing into an animal slave, degrading names and insults like fat, ugly, stupid etc. 

Here are different types of SM play, the scene can be based off of just one of these (like a spanking) or you can add it to other kinks you are planning in your scene.  Make sure you have done your research about these kinks and have decided if YOU personally want to experience them (giving and/or receiving). Most of these kinks are dangerous and can really harm you (or even kill you) if done incorrectly. 


Bastinado (feet torture)

Punching / Beating

Face Slapping

Biting, scratching, hair pulling, pinching

Nipple and Gential Torture  


Choking – Windpipe

Choking – Arterial

Gagging (fingers or similar means)

Gagging During Oral

Breath Play

Water Torture

Smothering and Trampling

Fire Play

Cupping / Suction  

Branding, Cell popping, Scarification, Tattooing, Cutting, Piercing, injections


Knife Play (non-cutting)

Electric Play

Ice / Cold Play

Hot Wax Play



Humiliation (private)

Public Humiliation

Verbal Abuse

Dilation – Vaginal

Dilation – Anal



If you are interested in learning more about SM I suggest Consensual Sadomasochism by: William A Henkin & Sybil Holiday.




In part 1 i went over the identities within a dynamic, in part 6 i will go over the roles that are kink/scene specific. Tops and bottoms are the participants in a scene where one or more kinks are performed. You do not have to be in a dynamic with the person you are in the scene with, and sex (at any level) is not a requirement. Your role can change with different scenes, partners or even during the scene. While typically the D-type will take on the Top role, and the s-type will take on the bottom, this does NOT have to be the case. The role in the scene has nothing to do with your position in your dynamic (if you choose to be in one). Any s-type can Top their D-type (with their consent of course). If there is any power exchange during the scene, it is temporary and ends at the end of the scene.

[Side note: This is where a lot of people get confused and consider themselves a switch. You are NOT a switch if you Top your D-type during certain kink/scenes]

Here are some kink/scene Top and bottom roles that did not fit with the other parts in this series. A lot of these are the ones that get confused with BDSM identities/positions, because of Fetlife and the infamous BDSM test blurring them together. These roles are kink specific, showing if you like to give, receive or are versatile to do both.

🔷Play Partners: The person you are in a scene with, usually ongoing and does not require a dynamic or vanilla relationship. The power exchange, if any, is limited and ends with the scene. 

🔹Top: the person giving or leading the kink within a scene. The Top is usually capitalized, and listed to the left of the /. 

🔹bottom: the person receiving or being led during a kink within a scene. The bottom is lower case and is listed to the right of the /.

🔹Service Top: A Top in a scene that is not receiving any power exchange, but is topping to give a kink or pleasure to the bottom (of the scene).  For example a sub that tops their Dom in a scene.

🔹Switch: This term doesn’t really fit in the *roles/kinks* side of BDSM. Some will teach that it means to be able to top and/or bottom on some kinks. When discussing roles or kinks you can mention if you like to give or receive or can be versatile (both). Calling this a switch can get confusing because an actual switch is someone 〰️that can Dominate in one relationship and submit in another. If you are a sub that has a Dom that wants you to top them during a scene, you are NOT a switch. You are a sub that can top during a scene. 


▪️Animal play: Someone that behaves and/or dresses like an animal. The principal theme of animal role play is usually the voluntary or involuntary reduction of a human being to an animal. Animal role play may or may not involve sexual activity. This can be done in a group, like a furry play party.

▪️Pet play: Only the bottom takes on the role of an animal, the Top remains human, and treats the bottom like a pet. The bottom might have ears or tail to match that animal, collar, water/food dish (eating and drinking on the floor), sleeping in a create or on a pet bed, using the bathroom similar to the pet (like outside, on a puppy pad or litter box) 

▪️Pack: A group that identifies as Primal 

▪️Alpha: The prime Top in a BDSM scene or pairing.

▪️Mate: Those who have formed a bond through primal play.

🔹Handler: A top during an animal play scene. They give instructions/orders to the pet/bottom. Most commonly with pups and ponies.

🔹pet: This is a bottom role in animal play. Like other role-playing activities, the extent of animal play depends on the preferences of the participants. Entry-level animal play may involve imitating the sounds of animals, crawling about on all fours, being hand-fed or petted, or wearing a collar. In more extreme cases, a human pet may wear masks or prosthetics or undergo bondage-based body modifications to more closely resemble the animal.

🔹ponyboy, ponygirl (see pet play): A bottom dressed in a harness, often very decorative, usually with a bit gag and a butt plug with a tail. Often they will pull their Top in a cart. Meetings and competitions are held for fans of this play.

🔹Furry: (see animal play)  A furry can be a Top or bottom. The furry fandom is a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. A Furry is a person who identifies in an anthropomorphic role.

This is part of the Leather community 

🔹Bootblack (Leather fam): A person who applies leather-care techniques to a pair of boots or other leather items. Bootblacking may be a gesture of submission, a part of military-style uniform play or part of boot worship, but it does not necessarily need to be part of a scene and may be a service given privately or publicly (at bars, clubs or events).(Fetlife glossary)

▪️Primal play is a type of BDSM play that focuses on raw feelings and actions of our natural impulses and urges. 

🔹Primal Predator (Hunter): someone who seeks to hunt and attempt to capture prey.

🔹Primal prey: someone who seeks to be hunted by a predator.

🔹Brat tamer: a top that enjoys the acting out or having their buttons pushed by the bottom to the point where they either “attack” (a primal play response) or give them a punishment (the goal of a SAM, or punishment scene)

🔹Brat: is someone that pushes the boundaries and rules in a scene to get dominance and/or pain from their Top (tamer) . This is a form of primal play or pain play (SAM).

🔹Exhibitionist: is a fairly broad term as it includes everything from sexual acts performed in public to exposing oneself or another in public. Some people enjoy exposing themselves in public because of the shock value, others like the possibility of getting caught but don’t want to actually get caught. Make sure this is done ethically and with the consent of those around you.

🔹Voyeurs: A voyeur finds pleasure watching people engaging in private acts, including sex. This can be in a club/dungeon, or in private (consent is a must, no matter the location). This should also be done ethically and with the consent of those you are watching.

🔹Kinksters: Someone that enjoys kinks in BDSM, but doesn’t necessarily seek a power exchange dynamic or an identity in this lifestyle.

🔹Hedonist: Person with strong focus on pursuit of pleasure, especially the pleasures of the senses. 



Ethical Non-monogamy (ENM) is having a romantic and/or physical relationship with more than one person. Everyone either knows each other, or that there are other partners, it all depends on what you and your partners are comfortable with. ENM is an umbrella term for swingers, cuckolds, poly, open relationship/marriage, casual dating and more. While this is not really part of the BDSM lifestyle, the two lifestyles do cross over a lot. Here are a few roles that some kinksters also take part in.

🔹Swingers: Traditionally this was couples that would swap partners with another couple. Now there is a huge party scene that meets up at homes or hotel rooms. Ethical swinging has a lot of rules to protect everyone’s health and respect their limits. Some groups or parties will now allow singles (not bringing a partner) to attend the parties. This is completely about sex, and less about the other partners. This alone is not part of the BDSM lifestyle, but there are some that enjoy mixing the two lifestyles.

▪️Cuckolding is a kink where typically one partner (Cuckoldress) has a sexual relationship with another more alpha partner (the bull). The other partner or cuck, enjoys the humiliation during this scene. This is a negotiated, consensual and desired from all partners. The humiliation can be verbally or just knowing your partner is engaging in “better” sex with the bull.

🔹Cuckold (male) cuckquean(female): They are the beta partner. It is someone who derives psychological masochistic pleasure from the humiliation they receive from watching (voyeur)  their partner have sex with an alpha partner (bull). Sometimes the cuck is made to clean up the bulls mess as part of the humiliation. The humiliation is a key factor that separates this from Stag/vixen (hotwife). 

🔹Cuckoldress: the partner to the cuck. They are allowed to have other partners (everything is consented) and use the sexual encounters to humiliate their cuck/partner with an alpha partner(s) (or bull). Along with the bull, they are exhibitionists.

🔹Bull: The 3rd party of a cuck fetish scene. They are usually picked because they are either better looking or better in bed than the cuck.

🔹Stag: This is a husband/partner that enjoys showing off and sharing their vixen wife/partner (aka ‘Hotwife’) with others. It is sexually similar to cuckolding and swinging except there is no swapping and no humiliation. The stag will either enjoy watching other people have sex with their partner (vixen) or they will join in. 

🔹vixen (Hotwife): receives sexual gratification from other people, their partner (stag) is active in the selection of partners. Similar to cuck but without the humiliation, and no swapping so it’s not considered swinging. 

🔹Bull: This is the same as the bull in the cuckold scene, except it differs the bull does not humiliate the stag. Everyone’s attention is usually on the vixen.