The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has caused quite a stir in the literary world. Yet many have found that they are unfamiliar with some of the terms in the erotic series. Those who aren't aware of words used in the BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism) community may find themselves puzzled while reading some key scenes. Here is a guide to terms used in the steamy books.
Butt Plug: A flared sex toy used for anal stimulation that sometimes vibrates.
Caning: The act of striking one repeatedly with a cane.
Collared: The submissive is essentially owned by their dominant and engaged in a committed erotic relationship. This does not necessarily mean the relationship is exclusive. It may also be meant literally when the dominant places a collar around the neck of their submissive.
Contract: A documented agreement between the dominant and the submissive that clearly states what is expected of each individual. This includes what physical acts can or cannot take place as well as how long they will carry on the relationship.
Dominant: The individual who demonstrates full control in the relationship.
Fisting: The act of using ones entire fist for anal or vaginal stimulation.
Flogger: Refers to a device (usually made of leather) that is used by the dominant to beat or whip the submissive.
Hard Limits: What act either the dominant or submissive will absolutely not engage in.
Limits: What act either the dominant or submissive will likely not engage in.
Sadist: One who derives pleasure from inflicting pain.
Safeword: A verbal indicator that may be utilized to indicate when a certain act should cease.
Soft Limits: What act either the dominant or submissive are not sure they would like to engage in. Such uncertain limits may be altered following a negotiation.
Submissive: Also known as a sub, this term refers to the individual who has agreed to be dominated. The individual must obey the rules clearly enforced by the dominant. Their failure to comply may result in punishment administered by the dominant.
Suspension: A high risk form of bondage in which the submissive is hung/suspended from overhead point while bound.
Vanilla: An individual who does not engage in BMSM encounters or has no experience in that area. One may test out a vanilla relationship or engage in vanilla sex, meaning straight forward intimacy without the use of fetish toys or punishment.
Wartenberg Pinwheel: Used for sensation play. The wheel (which is attached to a handle) contains two dozen spikes that gentle pinch the skin without puncturing it.
A graduate of the NYU Media and Communications program, Justine has studied film and journalism in...