The roles below are those available to select on Fetlife. There may be other roles or more in-depth definitions of the roles. The definitions are the bare minimum for each of these as everyone’s relationships and statuses vary on a spectrum.
Pet: a bottom who enjoys animal play or a pampered submissive treated as a human type of pet.
Pony: a submissive dressed in a harness, often very decorative, usually with a gag and a butt plug with a tail.
Primal Predator: a primal who seeks to hunt and attempt to capture prey.
Primal Prey: a primal who seeks to be hunted by a predator.
Primal: a person who brings out the basest animal instinct that people feel.
Princess: a person who requires a very particular treatment of praise, care, and/or attention.
Property: a person who consensually gives total authority to their master/owner.
Protecting: a person who escorts and/or watches over a charge to ensure that the other is safe.
Pup: a person who identifies as a puppy or dog, or as having puppy or dog characteristics.
Rigger: a person who practices the art of bondage; mostly with rope.
Rope Bottom: a person who receives rope bondage.
Rope Bunny: a person who likes to bottom to bondage, usually feminine-presenting, or a demo model for rope work, such as shibari.
Rope Top: a person who performs rope bondage.
Sadist: a person who enjoys inflicting pain or humiliation on another.
Sadomasochist: a person who enjoys both inflicting and receiving pain or humiliation.
Sensualist: a person with a strong focus on the pursuit of sensual pleasures and interests.
Sibling: a non-gendered person under the control of the same dominant.
Sissy: a usually male-presenting submissive who uses feminization.
Sister: a female under the control of the same dominant.
Slave: a person who consensually gives total control to their Master/Mistress/Owner.
Slut: a person who embraces the freedom to engage in sexual activity in accordance with their desires regardless of conventional values.
Spankee: a person who enjoys being spanked.
Spanker: a person who enjoys spanking others.
Spanko: a person who enjoys spanking others; this person differs from a spanker as they are in a culture based on submissive, hetero-normative, white, cis-women being spanked because they are “naughty” exclusive of most of the excuses, fetishes, reasons, roles or motivations used in the BDSM community.
Student: a person being taught by an advisor, usually with hands-on teaching of skills.
Submissive (sub): a person who desires to give up control of themselves, or of certain aspects of their lives, to a Dominant partner.
Swinger: a person or couple in a committed relationship who swap(s) partners for sex.
Switch: a person whose role ‘switches’ between a Dominant/sadistic and submissive/masochistic depending on the person with which they’re playing or their mood.
Teaching: a person acting as an advisor, generally with hands-on teaching of skills.
Top: a person in control during a scene or in play.
Toy: a person who is treated and used as a toy, be it sex, play, dog, or fuck toy.
Training: instruction by a more experienced member of the community in various aspects of BDSM, generally educating and disciplining a submissive.
Under consideration: a lesser-power person still being considered or decided by a person of power.
Vanilla: a person who is not involved in BDSM, fetish, or kinky lifestyle.
Voyeur: a person who enjoys witnessing others’ sensual or sexual play.
All definitions are obtained from BDSM Glossary, a glossary of terminology related to BDSM/Kink/Fetish and sexuality.
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