Q: How should I use this glossary?
A: As a reference to help you understand some of the terms on the the Yes, No, Maybe Guide
- Anal rimming (giving / receiving)
licking, kissing, or sucking on another person’s anus for sexual pleasure.
- Anal sex
sexual activity focused on the booty: typically, a toy or penis penetrating the anus.
- Anal toys (giving / receiving)
sex toys designed to be safely inserted into the anus of any person. From butt plugs to anal beads to so much more, they stimulate the nerve endings of the anus, and give booty muscles something to clench during orgasm. Look for a flared edge, to stop the toy from going too deep into the anal cavity.
- Audio erotica
Porn that you listen to, no visuals. Think sexy stories that involve or culminate in sex, with moans/orgasms galore.
- Bathing together
head to the shower (or bath/hot tub/river/ocean) and get clean while you get dirty.
from nibbles to chomps, bites are a passionate sexual behavior that can be placed anywhere: ears to lips, booty to thighs.
exactly what it sounds like: a visual restraint placed over the eyes.
- Bondage (giving / receiving)
The consensual experience of erotic captivity, and physical helplessness.
Bondage typically involves the physical restraint of a submissive: tying them up with something as soft as silk, or as hard as handcuffs. The submissive experiences sexual gratification by relinquishing control, sometimes while being spanked, whipped, or denied orgasm: a process known as “bondage and discipline.” A key note here is that bondage doesn’t just happen – very often, it’s negotiated ahead of time, to determine props, techniques, and safewords. A bound person should never be left unattended, and should be constantly monitored for breathing and circulation – and a professional “dom” (dominant) is well-versed in safe practices.
Stroking gently, sensually or lovingly.
- Choking (giving / receiving)
Also known as erotic asphyxiation, with fingers applying pressure to the throat. Can enhance receiver’s sexual excitement, through inhibiting oxygen or air supply.
- Climaxing together
Simultaneous partner orgasm.
Those honey words, baby! Speaking kind, appreciative, loving, and overall grateful words directed towards another person.
A fetish predicated on humiliation: typically, a male partner prompts his female partner to “cheat” on him, either for him to watch, “reclaim” her afterwards, or hear about it later. It only works if the humiliator initiates the fetish – erotically and sexually, it doesn’t work at all if someone is being humiliated against their will.
Holding each other affectionately, with your choice of nuzzles, kisses, and hugs.
- Deep breathing together
Syncing up together as you inhale slow, exhale slow.
Oral sex, where the whole erect penis goes into the mouth and possibly the throat (hence, the name). You know you’ve “deepthroated” when your mouth goes down to the testicles or further.
- Dirty talk
The opposite of sweet nothings: flirty, suggestive, even raunchy words, spoken during sex or leading up to it.
Calling the shots, being in charge, or otherwise directing the sexual experience. As a dom (dominant), there’s no one “right” way to do it: you can soft dom with lots of praise, you can tease dom with orgasm denial, etc. The thing all doms have in common is their attention to consent and the safety of their submissive: if the submissive’s job is to release, the dom’s job is to structure the sexual experience.
- Dressing up
Costumes, cosplay, or any kind of themed clothes: you’re putting stuff on to get fancy, get imaginative, or get sexy.
Building up to the “edge” of orgasm, then intentionally taking yourself back down and again – either in partnered or solo sex. Through these cycles of stimulation, many people experience a more intense orgasm.
Stimulating the genitals and erogenous zones with a safe amount of electrical energy, using an electro stimulator toy. Only use toys expressly made for erotic and sexual purposes.
- Erotic massage
Massage with a sexual intent. But it’s up to you whether it’s a teasing massage simply to turn your partner on, or a sexual massage that involves penetration (fingers, tongue, toy, penis) or orgasm.
When you like to be seen having sex (or enjoy the thrill that you could).
- Eye contact
You know what this is! But eye contact can be sustained or brief, vulnerable or playful – it’s all about the energy you infuse in it.
One partner sitting over the other’s face – more of a kneel, than a full-on sit. Hot option for oral-genital or oral-anal contact. Also called “queening” (since you’re, ahem, on a throne).
Digital sexy time. Fingers in vulva or anus, for sexual stimulation.
Inserting a hand into the vagina or rectum. Once insertion is complete, the fingers are either clenched into a fist or kept straight. Fisting may be performed without a partner, but it is most often a partnered activity.
Playful talk or behaviors with a sexual undercurrent: an arm graze, light banter or teasing, eye contact and smiles.
- Food play
Bringing any kind of food or beverage (sweet and savory) into intimacy and sex.
- Foot massage
Rubbing someone’s feet in a sensual, relieving, or sexual way.
- Foot play
Bringing feet into sex: toe-sucking, foot massage, or any other pleasurable foot behavior.
A device used in sexual bondage and BDSM roleplay. Gags help to create a dominant/submissive dynamic, as the person in the gag is typically the submissive, and (consensually) unable to speak.
- Genital massage
Rubbing the penis or vulva, as well as the areas around them. This massage can lead to a “happy ending” (orgasm) or can simply relieve stress and discomfort in the genitals.
- Group sex
sexual activity involving three or more people.
- Hair pulling
the aggressive, rough, or gentle act of pulling your partner(s) hair during intimacy, as a way of arousing, asserting dominance, or guiding your partner.
secure restraints that limit the wearer’s movement…safely.
using fingers, palms, and the full hand to pleasure a penis – typically done by another person. Can be stroking, pulling, or rhythmic rubbing.
- Homemade porn
DIY, consensual video-taping of sexual activity. Can be private or distributed, just for fun or for income.
- Hot wax candle massage
body safe candle wax is dripped onto a person’s naked skin, then utilized for sexy massage.
Insulting, subjugating, or speaking profanely to another person as an act of arousing them, helping them climax, or simply being kinky. Note: never humiliate without consent.
- Internal (G-Spot) stimulation
touching the highly erogenous prostate for vulva owners, aka the G-Spot, with fingers, toys, or a penis. Despite headlines every few months asking “is the G-Spot even real?”, rest assured: every vulva has one.
- Internal (Prostate) stimulation
touching the highly erogenous and sensitive prostate for penis owners, with fingers, toys, or a penis. Located on the anterior wall of the anus in penis-owners.
- Oral sex
Fellatio, cunnilingus, blow jobs, going down on someone: it’s all oral sex, when someone uses their mouth to stimulate the genitals of another.
- Orgasm denial
The intimate and erotic act of denying someone or oneself the feeling or reaching orgasm. Similar to edging, but with a slight BDSM twist.
- Pain play
Bringing consensual degrees of pain into sex, for kink-flavored arousal. Think nibbles to nipple clamps, spanking to flogging.
Using a strap-on dildo to penetrate the anus of your partner.
- Penis rings
A cock ring or penis ring is a device worn around the penis, usually at the base. The primary purpose is to restrict blood flow from an erect penis, either to produce a stronger erection, to maintain erection, or both.
- Penis worship
Lavishing a penis with praise: think generous awe or compliments, typically during sexual activity. “Your cock feels so good,” for example.
- Period sex
Penetration, oral sex, digital sex, or any other sexual activity during menstruation.
- Phone sex
Simulating sex over the phone: dirty talk, descriptions of what you’re doing, heavy breathing, even orgasm can all be a part of it.
- Post-sex shower together
Bathing after sex, either for aftercare, cleaning off, or both.
- Praise kink
“Good girl,” “good boy,” “you did so well” – fawning compliments that feel a little kinky.
- Reading erotica
Sexy stories written on the page. You read it, you get aroused…the rest is up to you.
- Role playing
Acting like another character or person, either to bring a fantasy to life or for other erotic play.
- Rope play
Also called “shibari,” the Japanese act of decorative erotic bondage. Rope play can be utilized simply for sexual restraints, or for aesthetic visuals you might choose to photograph.
- Sex games
Board games (or question cards, sex dice, or other games) used for sexual foreplay or to dictate the entire sexual experience.
- Sex outside
Having sex in nature, out of the house, or in public.
- Sex party
A group gathering for sexual activity, also known as an orgy. Participants can get involved in sex directly, or can watch, flirt, talk and explore.
- Sex toy play
Incorporating sex toy into partnered or solo sex, either for stimulation or to help with orgasm.
- Sex toy shopping
You got it! Head to your local or online sex shop, buy some sex toys.
Exchanging sexually explicit messages, photographs, or videos through your smartphone. Can range from simple flirting (“ur hot”) to nudes. As with everything – make sure it’s consensual.
- Shower sex
Sex in a steamy environment. Just be careful not to slip.
- Slow sex
Erotically slowed down sexual activity, to heighten sensuality, orgasm denial, sensitivity or passion.
Smacking a hand on another’s body, especially on the butt, either as punishment or for light pain play.
Sideways sex, where the “big spoon” partner is laying down, facing the other person’s back, while the “little spoon” is facing away.
The release of prostatic fluid from a vulva owner during sex, when the G-Spot (vulva owner’s prostate) is engorged after lots of stimulation. To squirt, a penis or toy has to be out of the vulva.
- Strap-on play
A strap-on is a dildo attached to a harness, and worn by another person, it can be a means of penetration for the vulva or anus. Also called “pegging.”
- Strip tease
The gradual, erotic removal of clothing, piece by piece, often to music. Can include a lap dance, always intended to seduce and arouse.
Consensually relinquishing your power during sex. As a sub (submissive), there’s no one “right” way to do it: you can be a bossy/bratty bottom who needs to be disciplined, or an obedient good girl/good boy, who lives to please. The thing all subs have in common is their dynamic with the dom (dominant): if the dom’s job is to structure the sexual experience, the submissive’s job is to release.
- Swinging (or Swapping)
Trading sexual partners within a group, especially on a habitual basis. Most typically practiced between couples.
- Tantric sex
A slow, meditative form of sex intended to elevate partners to a higher spiritual state together.
- Temperature play
The use of hot or cold substances (think ice or hot candle wax) during sexual activity, to stimulate the body’s neuroreceptors and heighten arousal.
Sexual activity between three people.
Watching others having sex, with their consent. This could mean watching your partner masturbate, watching two partners have sex…lots of options. The thrilling part is not just the watching (like viewing porn), but the fact that it’s happening live.
- Vulva worship
Lavishing a vulva with praise: think generous awe or compliments, typically during sexual activity. “Your vulva tastes amazing,” for example.