BDSM is an erotic preference and a form of sexual expression involving the consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy power role-play. The compound acronym BDSM is derived from the terms bondage and discipline (B&D or B/D), dominance and submission (D&S or D/s), and sadism and masochism (S&M or S/M). BDSM includes a wide spectrum of activities, forms of interpersonal relationships, and distinct subcultures.
Bondage and Discipline
The term "Bondage" describes the practice of physicall restraint typically using rope or chains. Bondage is usually, but not always, a sexual practice. While bondage is a very popular variation within the larger field of BDSM, it is nevertheless sometimes differentiated from the rest of this field. Strictly speaking, bondage means binding the partner by tying their appendages together; for example, by the use of handcuffs or by lashing their arms to an object. Bondage can also be achieved by spreading the limbs and fastening them to a St. Andrews cross or spreader bars.
The term "Discipline" describes the Psychological restraining, with the use of rules and punishment to control overt behavior. Punishment can be pain caused physically (such as caning), humiliation caused psychologically (such as a public flagellation) or loss of freedom caused physically (for example, chaining the Bottom to the foot of a bed). Another aspect is the structured training of the Bottom.
Dominance and Submission (D&S or D/s)
"Dominance and submission" is a set of behaviors, customs and rituals relating to the giving and accepting of control of one individual over another in an erotic or lifestyle context. It explores the more mental aspect of BDSM. This is also the case in many relationships not considering themselves as sadomasochistic; it is considered to be a part of BDSM if it is practiced purposefully. The range of its individual characteristics is thereby wide.
Sadism and Masochism (S&M or S/M)
The term sadomasochism is derived from the words sadism and masochism. In the context of consensual sexual activities, sadism and masochism are not strictly accurate terms; there is a significant difference from the medical or psychological usage of both terms. Sadomasochism refers to the physical aspects of BDSM. Sadism describes sexual pleasure derived by inflicting pain, degradation, or humiliation on another person. On the other hand, the masochist enjoys being bound, spanked or suffering within the consensual scenario. Sadomasochism does not imply enjoyment through causing or receiving pain in other situations (for example, accidental injury, medical procedures). Discipline often incorporates sadomasochistic aspects.