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BDSM Play: A Not So Definitive List

Updated: Mar 25

If you are new to the world of kink, you may not realize there is a very wide range of kinky activities that make up BDSM. This post is a list of many but not all of the common types of BDSM play people engage in. Some are pretty basic and some are more advanced play that you should practice only with proper education and precautions.


Age Play: Age Play is a form of roleplay between consenting adults, in which one or both participants play an age different than their biological age. Age Play can be sexual or non-sexual. Age Play usually involves an individual pretending to be younger than they are, though that is not always the case. The older individual in the relationship usually takes on a more nurturing caregiving role.


Age Play can take the form of a Daddy Dom/ Little Girl or Teacher/student dynamics. Punishments come into play with spankings, time-outs, etc. Some age players will regress to babies and wear diapers while others prefer the older tween years.



Bondage: Bondage was covered briefly in the BDSM 101 blog post. It covers a range of ways to restrain a partner from the simple like silk scarves and handcuffs to more elaborate means like shibari rope bondage and mummification.


If you can think of a way to restrain someone, it's probably been tried. Always keep safety in mind. Circulation can be cut off to limbs, and it may be necessary to get them loose quickly in an emergency.


Biting: Odaxelagnia is a paraphilia involving sexual arousal through biting, or being bitten. From a nibble on the ear to full-on vampire fetishes, biting is an easy way to get into sadomasochism without needing any equipment or toys. Make sure you read up on sanitation before doing anything too serious!


Breast Play: Breasts and nipples are a favorite target for Dom's. Both pain and pleasure are the focus of this kinky play. They can be bit, flogged, pinched, clamped, sucked, and bound. Use your imagination!


Breath Play: Breath play involves, choking, smothering, or other methods of cutting off the oxygen supply, often resulting in more intense sexual interactions and orgasmic experiences.


Because you are restricting oxygen, it is a more advanced type of kink play and can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. Do not attempt without proper education and safety precautions, and avoid autoerotic asphyxiation altogether.


Caning: a form of corporal punishment using a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed ass, breasts, or hands. Caning is generally used to punish or discipline bad behavior. It can also be incorporated into role play such as teacher/student, or daddy/little girl play.


Chastity: Chastity involves a Dom's control over a sub's genitals, orgasms, etc. It often involves devices that restrict the sub’s ability to touch or use their genitals, such as a chastity belt or cock cage. It may be for a one-time play session or could be an ongoing part of a relationship.


Collars: A collar symbolizes submission. Collars come in a variety of types and materials. From iron to leather to a simple necklace. Collars usually have a ring that can be used to attach a leash or a chain.


Often a collar is used during a play session but also may be part of a formal "collaring" ceremony much like a marriage ceremony. A submissive who needs discretion will often wear a "day collar" that looks more like a necklace but still symbolizes the submissive collar.


Cock and Ball Torture: Common among the male submissives is CBT. It's humiliating, painful, and comes in many forms. Methods include grabbing, kneeling on, trampling, electro-stimulation, sounding, wax, ice, and fire. There are also several devices that can be used for torturing the poor soul who needs a good ball-busting.


Cuckoldry: a cuckold is the partner of an adulterous woman. In BDSM play, it's mostly about being humiliated by his or her partner by watching or being told of their exploits with others. The cuckold may be forced to wait at home knowing what is happening or forced to watch directly in a corner without participating.


Not as common but in the same category, is the cuckquean which is a wife with an adulterous husband who generally receives sexual gratification from watching her partner have sexual intercourse with one or more other women.


While cuckoldry is not traditionally BDSM, it has elements of Domination, submission, and humiliation and is definitely in the kink category.


Domination/submission: Obviously a major part of BDSM is a Dom taking control of a submissive. Sometimes it's in a committed 24.7 relationship and sometimes just in the bedroom or other short-term situations.


Edge Play: Edge play is generally thought of as being play that is riskier such as breath play or blood play. It is, however, more subjective than that. What is "edgy" to one couple may be routine to another. Edge play is really about exploring the edges and boundaries you are comfortable with and pushing past them. When engaging in edge play, its important to keep safety in mind when doing things you aren't experienced with.


Electro Play: Electro play involves using a toy or device that delivers a shock or electricity. These can include violet wands, EMS units, TENS units, and more. In most cases, the voltage can be dialed up or down. Violet wands also have different tips that provide varying sensations. Although scary sounding, elector play isn't usually as painful as other things like whipping. You should have training on using these, however, as some devices can pack a good jolt.


Face Sitting: As the name implies, face sitting is a Dominant (male or female) sitting on the face of a submissive (male or female) so the submissive can pleasure them usually by analingus or cunnilingus. It involves a certain degree of humiliation and control to sit on the face of a sub.


Fire Play: Fire play is often considered a form of edge play and can be very exciting but can also be a dangerous scene. Having a way to extinguish the flame is a necessary precaution as well as training in the methods being used.


If done correctly, fire play can leave few, if any, marks on the skin. On the other hand, if so intended, it can permanently brand the skin of the sub. Fire can be applied in various ways such as candles, alcohol, fire flogging, etc.


Fisting: involves inserting a hand into the vagina or rectum. Once insertion is complete, the fingers are either clenched into a fist or kept straight. While fisting isn’t strictly a BDSM practice, it can be incorporated into a scene due to the pain/pleasure element.

Flogging: Flogging, also called whipping or caning, is a punishment administered with a whip or rod, with blows commonly directed to the person’s back. It was imposed as a form of judicial punishment and as a means of maintaining discipline in schools, prisons, military forces, and private homes. In BDSM, flogging is most commonly administered using a flogger or cat-o-nine tails. The sensations vary from mild to very intense, depending on the force and implementation used.


Foot Worship: An act in which someone will beg, lick, suck, smell, or jerk off to a Dominant's feet. The Dom will most likely be teasing the sub who is supposed to be very loyal.


This kink involves an element of humiliation, with the sub being “only good enough” to worship and serve at their Dom/me’s feet.


Forced Orgasms: A forced orgasm is a consensual BDSM play whereby a person is forced to orgasm in a way that is beyond their control. Forced orgasms may be induced with manual stimulation of the genitals (in the form of a handjob or fingering). The stimulation may involve the use of vibrating sex toys, such as a vibrator, typically a wand vibrator. Forced orgasm may also be combined with other orgasm control plays, such as orgasm denial, or edging.


Genital Torture: The infliction of pain to the genitals for sexual enhancement is a common BDSM play activity. This includes cock and ball torture, listed above, or pussy torture. There’s a whole range of possible sensations and ways to torture the genitals. Wax play, electro-stimulation, caning, clamps, vacuum pumping, and clothes pins are just a few.


Hair Pulling: Hair pulling is a great way for those new to BDSM to experiment with light dominance and pain.


Hair pulling can range from a light grasp at the back of the neck, to harder pulling and is used during positions like doggy style. Care should be used not to jerk or pull too hard so you don't hurt a sub's neck.


Humiliation: Humiliation is a subjective issue and is dependent on context. It does not need to be sexual in nature; as with many other BDSM activities. It is the feelings that are obtained from the experience that are desired, regardless of the nature of the actual humiliating activity.


Usually, there is a feeling of submission for the person being humiliated and dominance for the person implementing the humiliation. Erotic humiliation can be done verbally, physically, or both, and can be either private or public.


Humiliation play can be taken to a point where it becomes emotionally or psychologically distressing to one or the other partner, especially if it is public humiliation. Erotic humiliation can become extreme enough to be considered a form of edgeplay, which may best be approached with advanced negotiation and the use of a safe word.


Ice Play: A safer companion to fire play, ice play involves the use of ice cubes, cold water, popsicles, or other cold objects on a sub. Nipples and genitals are favorite areas for Doms to torture a bit. Ice play does have some dangers so care should be taken when placing ice directly onto sensitive areas.


Impact Play: Impact play is a kinky activity in which one person is struck by another person for the gratification of either or both parties which may or may not be sexual in nature.


There are a range of activities that are considered impact play and include popular BDSM play such as caning, spanking, slapping, whipping, and flogging. Punching, kicking and face-slapping can also be part of consensual impact play. Depending on the force of impact and the type of device used, the sensations can be sharp and stinging to dull and thudded.


Knife Play: Knife play is a form of consensual BDSM edgeplay or "fear play" involving knives, daggers, and swords as a source of physical and mental stimulation. Knives are typically used to cut away clothing, scratch the skin, remove wax after wax play, or simply provide sensual stimulation. Knife play can be used to draw blood which increases the risk factor and proper safety measures should be used.


Needle Play: Needle play is sticking a needle through the skin of someone else. Play piercing or needleplay can produce an endorphin high, which can last for hours.


Needle play should always be carried out using new sterile hypodermic needles or acupuncture needles on skin that has been cleaned with an antiseptic such as alcohol or povidone-iodine by people who have been properly trained.


Orgasm Denial: This type of play involves continual arousal without being able to experience the release of orgasm. The orgasm may be put off until its denial is no longer bearable, or denied entirely. Orgasm denial is a form of power and control of a Dom over his submissive. Many Dom's enjoy making their submissive squirm to the edge of orgasm and then deny them.


Pegging: Pegging is performed by a female Domme on a male submissive. Think strap-on being used to take a male sub anally and you get the idea.


Pet Play: a form of roleplay where at least one participant plays the part of a non-human animal such as a cat, dog, or pony. Pet play can bring up many opportunities to explore BDSM. Bondage and confinement, leashes and caging, kneeling and crawling before your master, treats and punishments, plus training are all elements that can be used in pet play.


Pussy Worship: This can range from light massage and oral to face-sitting. It is exactly what it sounds like; getting down on your knees to worship at the pussy of your Domme and is similar to foot worship. How you worship is up to your Mistress, but this type of play can be incorporated into all levels of kinky relationships from single scenes to 24/7.


Rape Play: A consensual kink between partners that have decided to act out a simulated sexual assault while maintaining ongoing consent throughout the scene. It can also be considered a form of edge play, as it can be very intense. Rape play or consensual non-consent is another form of dominance and submission, involving force and role-play, and sometimes bondage. In a kink context, it is ALWAYS consensual and consent can be withdrawn by the use of safe words.


Role Play: Role-playing is acting out a role, or imagining your BDSM play is happening within a particular “scene”. Common examples include doctor and patient, officer and criminal, teacher and student, or even animal and owner as with pet play. Role-playing is a fun way to act out your BDSM fantasies and let your imagination run wild.


Sado-Masochism: Sadism is the sexual enjoyment of inflicting pain, humiliation, or suffering upon another. Masochism is the opposite, in which a person derives sexual pleasure from receiving pain, humiliation, or suffering from another.


Sensory Deprivation: This involves depriving a person, usually a submissive, of certain senses, such as sight or hearing. Depriving a sub of a sense not only helps make them feel more helpless but also makes their other senses, like touch, more sensitive to stimuli and usually results in an intensely erotic experience.



Sounding: Sounding is the act of inserting a metal rod into the urethra. Sounding tubes are meant to be used medically, but people figured out that they experience sexual pleasure from the act. The sounding tube can reach very sensitive parts inside your penis that, if stimulated, can create some very intense orgasms.


Spanking: Most everyone knows what spanking is. Paddles, crops, open-hand, over-the-knee (OTK spanking), light or extreme. This form of impact play is likely the most common activity in BDSM.


Suspension Bondage: Suspension bondage is advanced BDSM. A submissive can be put in bondage and suspended off the ground fully or partially. In this way, they are put into a very helpless state.


Practitioners of BDSM suspension must know what they are doing, as it can be very intense and comes with risks.


Wax Play: This kink involves dripping wax from a candle onto a submissive’s skin. Depending on the candle, this type of temperature play can range from a warming sensation to extremely hot. Burns can result so education and precaution are important, as always.


Whipping: Whipping can be an incredibly intense form of impact play. Education and practice, must be taken before incorporating whips into your BDSM play as it can leave welts or even cut the skin. Several types of whips can be used for various degrees of pain and sensation.


Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments and I will consider adding it to the list!

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