Kitt Crescendo and I met at Authors After Dark last summer as we shared dinner with CJ Ellisson and Hildie McQueen. We stayed in touch and got together for coffee when I was recently visiting in Florida. We talked a bit about how there’s so much BDSM written into stories without a lot of explanation for the terminology. BDSM encompasses a VERY wide range of psychological and sexual ideas and I thought that maybe a lot of you don’t read quite as much kinky stuff as Kitt or I. But, it’s not like you can stroll down to the library and ask for a dictionary. So, I invited Kitt to give us a glossary of BDSM terms and tell us about her new novella Four One Night:
Life is all about taking chances. You’ll never know how far you can go unless you try. Well, that’s my philosophy, anyway. My name is Danielle Monroe, but everyone calls me Dani. I’m the kind of girl that doesn’t just pay lip service to living life to the fullest. I reach out and grab it!
After a brutal day at work, unwinding by taking one of my best girl friends to a club for drinks and dancing was just what I needed. It also gave me the opportunity to make a shared fantasy with my boyfriend, Michael, come true. All it took was a quick phone call, a few friends, and the stage was set. Now, if I could just get everyone to take a walk on the Wild Side with me…
There’s no harm in asking, right?
Talking Alternative Lifestyles, Fantasy Fulfillment & Freebies
by Kitt Crescendo
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me,” or so the saying goes.
With the ever increasing popularity surrounding books with BDSM elements, I’d have to say there’s some truth to that statement. Or at least a healthy curiosity. Professionally, I’m thrilled to see some of the best erotic romance authors finally gaining the popularity they have long deserved.
But here’s the thing with an “underground” or “alternative” lifestyle… Sometimes it’s like visiting a foreign country. Understanding can be difficult because they speak a completely different language.
Yes, most have done an absolutely fabulous job at explaining that there is a difference between “hurting” and “harming” within the parameters of this lifestyle. Most of us who’ve read Cherise Sinclair or many of the other fantastic writers have at least heard the mantra “Safe, Sane and Consensual.” Those actually in the lifestyle know all too well how important this is, so it’s fantastic to see the seriousness with which this is approached.
After talking with Stephanie, we thought it might help to make a Glossary of Terms for BDSM books. Hopefully this helps, and if I missed something, please tell me in the comments and I’d be happy to address it for you. Knowledge is power, after all.
Most Commonly Used BDSM Terms
The time after a scene or “play” is done and the participants recover and discuss the prior events and their thoughts, reactions and feelings about what they’d done. The Dominant uses this time to observe the submissive in order to prevent “sub drop”
Several lifestyles combined into one acronym. B & D-Bondage and Discipline. Bondage is literal (rope, cuffs, and anything else that can hold you down). Discipline can be spankings or other methods used (usually) for punishment and pleasure. D/s-Dominance & submission. The ‘D’ is always capitalized or “Dominant” to signify who is in charge within the context of the power exchange, just as the ‘s’ is usually minimized to signify voluntary submission. S & M-Sadism & Masochism, aka Sadomasochism. This area directly deals with physical pain. Sadists enjoy giving it. Masochists thrive on receiving it.
Used to designate an item given to the submissive to signify “ownership.” This can be a collar, necklace, tattoo, or even wrist cuffs or bracelets. Often, in books, they have locks and the Dominant is entrusted with the key. This step is taken as seriously as marriage (sometimes more so). Removal is a statement of separation or denying ownership.
Though not legally binding, BDSM contracts are used (not by everyone) to outline both expectations and a timeline between Dominant and submissive. Most often used between people entering a 24/7 relationship.
Sometimes known as ‘Tops,’ they thrive on being entrusted with the sexual & physical well-being of a submissive, often within the context of a dungeon, club, playroom or bedroom. Others live in a 24/7 relationship where they are in charge 100% of the time. They often prefer to be addressed as ‘Sir’, ‘Master’, ‘Ma’am’, or ‘Mistress.’
Description of any and all alternative sexual preference like spankings, sensory deprivation, bondage, foot worship, and so many others.
Limits and Limit List
Limits are areas that a submissive is afraid of or deems unacceptable to explore. Soft Limits describe the areas for which a submissive is unsure. Hard limits mean absolutely no. A limit list allows you to express the areas for which you’re interested or not and their levels. This allows you & your partner a jumping off point for negotiations.
A word not normally used during sex, pre-set between a Dom & sub to stop a scene. Some people, especially starting in the D/s lifestyle, opt to have 2 safe words like ‘Yellow’ and ‘Red.’ Yellow alerts the Dom that the sub is afraid, unsure, or hit a soft limit and need to talk before deciding if they should stop or continue. ‘Red’ means you’ve hit a ‘hard limit’ or something that you absolutely can’t or won’t do. A Safe Gesture is a previously agreed upon motion, like squeaking a squeak toy, to stop the scene. This option usually happens when gags are involved.
Term used for a pre-planned (often pre-scripted by the dominant) scenario designed to explore sexual curiosities, proclivities or limits.
Within the context of BDSM, this person has voluntarily given up all rights to the person they’ve chosen to Dominate them. They live the lifestyle 24/7.
Endorphin rush or “high” due to cultivation of a combination of excitement, fear, pain or sexual stimulation within the context of a scene.
Often refers to a personality trait that naturally tends to let someone else take charge or to a person who chooses to cede their control to someone they trust. Behavior is usually limited to bedroom, dungeon, club or playroom play and only within agreed scenes or as laid out in their contracts, though not always.
Someone not limited to being strictly Dominant or submissive. They are equally comfortable taking charge and submitting and tend to prefer the variety it allows them.
Now that we’ve just barely scratched the surface, I’d like to say that it’s not uncommon for some of these elements to find their way into bedroom play or fantasy fulfillment without actually being part of BDSM. You know, kind of like how getting your hair pulled or your butt spanked at the right time can enhance sexual pleasure. Does it mean you’ve “joined the lifestyle?” No. Well, not necessarily. It just means you enjoyed some hot, steamy sex.
In Kitt’s most recent book, Four One Night, you’ll find some elements of the lifestyle, but in the context of fantasy fulfillment. She’s giving away a copy for Kindle (Amazon US) and a $10 Amazon Gift Card! Make a comment…about the excerpt, BDSM or any other thoughts you’d like to share, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to be held on March 14th! YOU MUST USE THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM but your comment should go into the post comments below and not in the rafflecopter form.
As we reached the guys, I let go of Candace and hooked my hand around Michael’s neck. Eager to share my pent up hunger, I yanked him down to indulge in a hard, heady mating of lips and tongue. The rough demand in my kiss was my loud and clear message that the time on the dance floor left me hot and ready for action.
When we finally separated, Michael whispered against my lips. “Holy shit! You and Candace were amazing out there, but now I feel left out.”
My lips pursed together, but laughter still escaped. “Not for long!”
His eyebrows drew together, curiosity written all over his face. “What exactly does that mean?”
“I’m going to tell her to kiss you,” I shrugged.
He blinked, surprised, and then snapped his fingers. “Just like that? How do you know she’d go for it? She doesn’t really know me!”
My head shook back and forth as I attempted for a look of feigned disappointment. “So little faith! Watch and learn.”
Candace stood next to James, chatting, when I strutted over and pulled her to me again. My lips slammed down over hers and my tongue delved into her mouth. My assault continued until she moaned, eagerly giving way to my marauding. The sultry sounds she was making were unmistakable as her body nestled against mine. This girl was putty in my hands.
Breaking away, I stared down into her baby blues. “Now, go kiss Michael.”
With a nod ok she headed to where he stood watching us, a glint that looked a lot like mischief in her eyes. The green in his hazel became more intense as he tracked each predatory step she took. Though his arousal was obvious by the tightening of his pants, no words were exchanged. Candace leaned into his body and rubbed her hardened nipples against his chest. Slowly, she pressed her petal pink lips to his, giving him a taste of the wet, hot passion she shared with me. Surprised, he froze. The moment he realized this was no longer a fantasy, his tongue rushed to meet her desire.
“You are so hot.” he groaned as he peppered wet kisses from her cheek to neck and back to her mouth.
From where we stood, James and I watched their dueling tongues. Though it was sexy, my need to join them was strong and my pulse raced in anticipation. It was time for me to take the reins.
My body felt hot and overly tight as arousal seeped through every pore. Mischief surged through me as I looked up at my best friend. “Ready to join the party?”
He eyed me carefully as a slow, knowing smile spread across his face. “Michael wasn’t kidding when he said you wanted to play tonight.”
I snorted. “Tell me you’re not dying to join in. Watching them.” The jut of my chin in their direction sent his gaze flickering back to the lip locked pair. “It’s kind of hot, right?
“Kind of?” He dragged his attention away from the scene to roll his eyes at me. “You are a wicked, wicked woman. But you already knew that. It’s part of your charm.”
I pulled him down and smacked a noisy kiss on his lips. “Baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
I’ve always been an avid reader with a vivid imagination, cementing my role as family story teller and librarian. As a military brat, I told stories to my younger siblings to keep them entertained while we travelled the world. Following my mother’s lead, poetry was my first medium for writing. With my love of all things steamy and romantic, it was only a matter of time before I began to write my own sexy stories.
I live with my best friend who I’m also lucky enough to call my husband, and my two dogs. Despite living in Florida, I’m a Midwestern girl at heart. I’m passionate about music, coffee and chatting it up with people who share my passions.