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Updated:10/04/2022

BDSM Titles and relationships

In BDSM, you’ll find all kinds of titles and types of relationships which are used to help define the relationship between you and your partner. Titles and relationships are personal and unique, but we’ll be going over the most popular titles below.

Let’s focus on relationships where you and your partner can create consensual power imbalances. For example, where one partner takes the lead while the other follows.

It’s not necessary to use titles, but it can help clarify which parts of BDSM roleplay you’re interested in. 

For some people, titles are a way to separate you from your ‘everyday’ self. This can help make you feel safer; by creating an alias, you have the opportunity to explore your kinkier side.

There is not a ‘one size fits all’ in BDSM; you can always adjust the power balance or even swap titles as you and your partner see fit. It might take some time to discover what drives you wild and what doesn’t work.

Two people stand close to one another touching torsos.

Titles 

When you start a BDSM session, you’ll see what roles you and your partner naturally take and that’s where titles can come into play. 

When you find the right titles and dynamics finally align, it takes the experience to new heights because you can then define what you are to one another. 

However, there are also plenty of people who participate in the BSDM lifestyle who don’t use titles at all. It can be enough to just use sex toys or different settings. 

If you’re interested in titles, we’ve compiled a list of examples for you.

What would the dominant partner like to be called? 

  • Dom 

  • Top 

  • Sadist

  • Owner 

  • Boss 

  • Lord/Lady

  • Sir

  • Mrs 

  • Mistress

  • Daddy

  • Master

  • Goddess 

A person in a BDSM cage being held down by another person

What could the submissive partner like to be called?

  • Sub 

  • Bottom

  • Masochist 

  • Pet 

  • Plaything

  • Slave

  • Kitten

  • Little 

  • My Love

  • Slut

  • Princess 

Some people use certain rules for roleplay, for example saying the title of the dominant party every time you address them, but it can vary from relationship to relationship. 

We’ll take a closer look at that in a second.

A person with a BDSM collar on, while another person holds the leash

Relationships

Regardless if your relationship is romantic, friendly, or purely sexual, there are many ways to explore BDSM. It's completely customisable for you and your partner.

There’s not one way that’s better than the other as long as everyone is consenting and enjoying the ride.

There’s something that you should a-l-w-a-y-s remember to do, regardless of what the relationship is. Aftercare!

One person holding another person from behind while they sit down

Aftercare: This is important as it helps to keep a safe and enjoyable experience. Set aside some time for aftercare every time you participate in roleplay. It can be where you just hold one another after, cuddle or provide some type of care for the submissive party.

It’s important for a multitude of reasons but here are a couple of examples as to why:

Sometimes you can experience intense emotions or the full effects of the roleplay after it’s finished.

You can also experience a sudden change in mood when you might need more aftercare than usual. This doesn’t make you clingy or needy and you should never have to deal with it by yourself.

Here is where you make your relationship strong and safe, where you build trust, share insecurities, and be emotionally vulnerable with one another. 

If you need inspiration for different relationships, we have a couple of examples for you. 

 Close-up of two people hugging

The time-to-time relationship

Here the relationship only starts when you both agree on it from time to time.

You meet and agree to the terms and you end with a focus on aftercare.

When it’s a time-to-time relationship, it can be a good idea to use a physical marker to represent the relationship. This can be a collar, for example, to symbolise when you start and when you end. That way you are both given the go-ahead to begin a session.

You can find more examples or ideas here –of how you can create a BDSM session 

The 24/7 relationship

This is a relationship where you belong to one another 24/7 in the conditions you agreed upon – regardless of whether or not you live together. 

There is a mutual understanding and the principles are in place all of the time, there is no need to always bring in sex, sex toys, or other bondage equipment 

Instead, it’s about the actions and affections where you show respect for one another. 

Even though it’s the dominant party that keeps the order, both partners need to be taken seriously and seen as equals in the relationship. Even if you roleplay that you are unequal.

The ownership in relationships like these are often symbolised in a piece of jewellery such as a collar in the form of a necklace, ring, or piercing. 

A close-up of a person with a necklace on

People in 24/7 relationships often have play or routines in everyday life.

It can be remembering to drink a litre of water at bedtime. You might think these are simple rules, but it’s used to make sure the submissive is meeting their needs and taking care of themselves.

Examples of punishments: 

  • If the sub forgets to send a text to the dom in the morning, they’ll get 5 spankings.

  • When eating together, the sub shall always wait for the dom’s permission before eating.

There can be thousands of different ways you can set up rules and punishments. It’s just about finding what works best for you and your relationship. 

And remember, Even if you have agreed to set terms and relationships or even signed a contract, you can always withdraw your consent and change anything you are uncomfortable with – regardless of the relationship you have.

The play is only good if it’s good for everyone. 

A close-up of two people holding one another's forearms

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