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BDSM is an acronym which can stand for a variety of things. These include 'bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism', ‘bondage, domination, sadism & masochism’ and ‘bondage, discipline, submission, mastery’. No two people into BDSM will agree on what it stands for. Or agree about anything else. This is a rule.
Though the practice has existed for centuries, it is only recently in the age of the internet that it has blossomed so.
edit The Philosophy
BDSM operates on the principle that you seek to be controlled or control that you feel the intimacy more arousing when control has left your hands or control is in your hands.
edit The Community
BDSM online communities are spaces for such individuals to look for and speak with other such individuals of similar beliefs and interests. This ranges over a wide variety of different kinds of people but for the most part they're all quite civil.
Online discussions often revolve around who knows more about BDSM, has the most slaves, or is most deserving of respect. Then there's the long discussions about safety and sanity.
BDSM parties consist of people wearing fetish outfits often consisting of latex, leather, rubber and other such materials, typically black, which often serves to emphasize their particular role or style (Dominant outfits, submissive outfits, etc..). Many often wear hoods or similar to conceal their identity and keep their interests anonymous to all but their closest friends.
Many BDSMers refer to their practices as ‘the lifestyle’ when discussing it with others. This type of person often literally integrates it as part of their lifestyle, either at home or at work. Such as dominatrix's, full-time slaves/pets and similar people.
edit Psychological Aspects
Surprisingly most BDSMers are relatively open minded, well rounded, highly intelligent, and either are just getting into it or know every single damn detail about it. It's true that some BDSMers are extremely fond of non-consensual bondage and rape, however most, if not all of them, only practice it with partners who are similarly into it or have previously agreed upon it as a possible occurrence. BDSM is not all about rape and most (2 thirds or more) of the BDSM community prefer it consensual and wholly voluntary.
BDSM is still wrongfully considered a mental illness, unfortunately. Much as gay people are considered a sin by religious straight people, BDSMers are similarly considered degenerates by close-minded conservative people. This is wrong and it's another example of how close-minded many people are. A Blue person might consider Red disgusting and vice versa; the Red person might consider the Blue a bully and a meanie, but that doesn't mean either of them should hate another person for their colour. The two ought to get along and ignore each other's differences.
edit Roles in BDSM
edit Dominant/TopThe dominant, or top, is in control of the activity. They are typically the one doing the tying and the one with all the power. Females are often referred to as "Mistress" and sometimes make a profession out of being a "Dominatrix", a dom-for-hire basically.
Males are typically referred to as "Master" and also often pursue the interest in a career of some sort, although I'm not actually sure what they'd be called.
edit Submissive/BottomThe submissive person in the activities is called a bottom. They are subject to the whims of their top, and must take anything the top dishes out. They are more common than dominants however being a submissive is not a state of mind, nor is it a matter of personality. It is (in my opinion) a matter of preference. You could have the most dominant and uppity personality in the world and you could still prefer to be tied down than the one doing the tying.
Ms.Leyla says: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me. So throw me down, tie me up, show me that you like me!"
A switch is a person that can (and will!) serve as a top or bottom when needed, sometimes within the same sexual encounter. They are essentially a person who can assume either role with matching easy and pleasure. Whether they are the one digging their heel against the back of your head or the ones under your heel. They're neither rare nor common and always a pleasure to meet.
Petplay is a form of BDSM in which the master or mistress assumes the role of the "Owner" and the submissive forms the role of the "Pet". What kind of pet varies all the time depending on what the dom (or sometimes the sub) choose them to be. Sometimes it is a matter of the sub acting and playing like an animal, other times... it's a matter of the dom training them to act like one.
An example of this would be for the pet in question to attempt to gain the favor of their Master/Mistress by bringing them slippers or some such similar degrading act.
Usually, if not always, involving wearing a collar.
Some more examples would be made to sleep on the floor or in a kennel of some kind like a common house pet.
Finally, the rules for these pets are similar to an animal's. Show you are the boss and don't let them think otherwise. Reward them with treats when they are good then punish them with punishments when they're bad.
edit In Space
If you are in space, there is no up or down, exactly the same as Gillette Mach 3 Turbo. You can't be on top or on bottom. It should be noted that no one will be able to hear you scream, due to the lack of sufficient atmospheric properties.
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