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An old Post.

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
So I was searching the Library, and I cannot for the life of me find this post I made before I took my hiatus. A lot of people seemed to think it was rather inclusive, and well written, so I'm posting it again. Thankfully I saved it.

What is BDSM?
This is another one of those questions that I've spent a lot of time trying to find a 'correct' answer for, when in fact, the only 'correct' answer is what you feel is correct.

Submissive, subordinate, and slave. Submissive and slave go hand in hand with one another on some level. Unless the slave is completely unwilling. Submissive is the Nature of the person, and slave is the position of the person, in a relationship. Subordinate and submissive sometimes go hand in hand, but not nearly as often. And Subordinate and slave are kind of the same thing, but not entirely.

Now, let me define the terms as I see them.

1 : A person held in servitude as the chattel of another.
2 : One that is completely subservient to a dominating influence.

1 : To submit.
1 a: To yield oneself to the authority or will of another. : surrender b: To permit oneself to be subjected to something.

1: Placed in or occupying a lower class, rank, or position. : inferior
2: Submissive to or controlled by authority.

Now, all of these seem to go hand in hand at some point or another. To be submissive one must first yield to submit. To be a Subordinate one is placed under authority of another individual. To be a slave one is completely subservient. But there IS a difference. Wanna know what it is?


In this lifestyle, one decides which of the three they wish to be identified as. You decide to be submissive, subordinate, or slave to your Master/Owner/Mistress. Sometimes you choose two, sometimes you choose one, sometimes you choose to be all three. Your decision as a submissive/subordinate/slave dictates the kind of play you do. After all, any Master worth their salt will not force you to do something you don't feel comfortable doing, unless you specifically say you want to do it regardless of how you feel because it is something you've wanted to try.

If you have no limits except those which your Master places, then you are a slave.

If you have set limits that you do not want to cross, you are a submissive.

If you have set limits but leave them to your Master's discretion, as in, you will consider crossing them after much preparation, you are a Subordinate.

BDSM for me can be broken down into these three fundamental categories of what the bottom can choose to be. These fundamental categories shape us as individuals, and lets the Top know where our lines are. I wouldn't suggest anyone new to the lifestyle to be a slave, just as I wouldn't suggest anyone with self-esteem issues to subject themselves to severe verbal degradation. It can cause severe harm, and be not pleasurable for the bottom, and not pleasurable for the top.

There is also the physical aspect of what defines BDSM. Spanking, plain and pleasure intertwined, slapping, restraining, etc. But most people even remotely curious about BDSM understand these aspects of it. Then that bears the question of what if a person is mentally a slave, but physically their body cannot handle the amount of pain the top wishes to inflict upon it.

Therein lies what defines the differences between Tops. There are no pretty words, except maybe Sadist and Dominant, but there are a myriad of different categories a Top can be placed in. I'll touch base on three fundamentals.

Physical Tops prefer to inflict their dominance on a bottom through physical means. Whips, physical restraints, and other things that impose upon the corporeal body are what gets a Physical Top off. The mental aspects one feels with this kind of Top is a direct result of the physical dictation of his/her actions. They may enjoy a bit of mental BDSM, but not nearly as much as they enjoy beating your ass.

Mental tops are not physical beings. They restrain you by telling you to stay still. They prefer to get into their bottoms' head, and wreak havoc on their psyche rather than on their body. Nothing gets a mental top off more than to see their bottom fall right into their trap. Mental tops tell you to masturbate to the point of orgasm, and then stop, never going over that edge till they are satisfied you have been tortured enough. These kind of tops don't usually inflict physical pain, but prefer mental restraints on behavior.

Verbal tops are all about letting you know your place, and that it's lower than them. Verbal tops are insanely different than Mental and Physical, and more rare, because most people find verbal BDSM to be akin to verbal abuse more so than the other two. Verbal tops degrade you, debase you, and batter at your self-esteem with harsh words that are usually untrue. If you, as a bottom, don't see that their words are simply used in place of a whip or rope, then you will fall prey to the downward spiral of self-esteem. Verbal tops are the ones that have to, in my opinion, be the most careful, because physical pain heals over time. Harsh words from a lover that strike home a little too much take a lot longer to heal.

These three base categories are generally incorporated into each other(IE; A top has a submissive tied down with a vibe in her cunt, telling her not to cum and telling her that she's a dirty, filthy whore for enjoying this). Most times, because of how complex a creature we are, tops will incorporate all three of the fundamentals into a scene. Generally speaking a top gets off, though, on one of the three. He/she may enjoy all three, but there's the one aspect that gets them going more than others. Like bottoms, it's up to the top to decide which of the raw categories he/she is.

If your nature is to be a slave, then you will no more be able to change that than change the weather. If you deny it for too long it becomes an aching hunger than burns with the fury of one thousand suns.

Switches are a variable between the slave/submissive/subordinate and the Physical/Mental/Verbal. They are still fundamentally based on these categories, but they utilize more of them then the average bear. Again, a switch chooses which category to refer to themselves as, and the basic principle behind my initial post is still valid even for them. ;D

The choice of which term we use to define ourselves as a bottom or as a top will determine how others of the opposite end of the equation will view us. That's why we must take care to choose the truthful one, as oppose to the one we want to be true.

The last thing I will touch upon, which was not included in the original post, are Sadists, and Masochists.

By Definition;
1: A sexual perversion in which gratification is obtained by the infliction of physical or mental pain on others (as on a love object).
2 a: Delight in cruelty
b: Excessive cruelty

For the purposes of BDSM, that 2b shouldn't apply. But otherwise, I feel this is quite accurate. A Sadist is accepted as someone who enjoys inflicting pain. The only thing is, most people assume that only physical pain is attributed to this. On the contrary, however, a Sadist can also be described as an individual who inflicts emotional, and mental, pain on a subject, either by humiliation, degradation, or objectification. This is usually categorized into a Mental/Emotional Top, rather than a Sadist, and is widely accepted as that. So, I would assume, if you are the type of Sadist who enjoys this other part of Sadism, you might want to consider clarifying it.

1: A sexual perversion characterized by pleasure in being subjected to pain or humiliation especially by a love object.
2: Pleasure in being abused or dominated: A taste for suffering.

This definition is also pretty cut and dry acceptable for the term. However, like Sadists, most Masochists identify as a Masochist purely by the physical aspect, and either are unaware, or forget, that the mental and emotional aspect of Masochism exists. A Masochist is someone who is just turned on by pain, humiliation, degradation, etc. The power exchange is only a means to an end, that end being some form of 'torture'. This is not to say that all Masochists are uninterested in the power exchange(PE). The PE is a fundamental aspect of all BDSM, regardless of what role you perform in this.



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