BDSM Guide

0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Torments in BDSM is a collective name for a set of techniques and actions or groups of practices related to deliberate infliction of severe pain, suffering and/or physical discomfort for the purpose of punishment (see Punishment in BDSM), extracting confessions (see Interrogation play) or giving sexual pleasure (see Sadomasochism). The application of torments in BDSM can also pursue broader goals such as coercion within agreed limits, control, etc.

The application of torments in BDSM implies the presence of an active party that organizes the scene and applies the torture and a passive party that suffers the effects. The conditional name of the active party is Torturer or Tormentor, and of the passive party - victim. In the context of BDSM, the active party can be Dominant, Master, resp. Mistress or Sadist, and the passive part - submissive, slave, masochist.

The application of torments in BDSM is part of games known as hard play and pain play. When the torments are combined with humiliations and degradations, the combination is usually referred to as the complete program. In BDSM gay circles, especially those involved in police and military BDSM, the torments are sometimes described with expressions like forced march, and their combination with humiliations like double-time and double quick.

There is no consensus in BDSM as to which activities can be defined as torments. Very often the term is used with the aim of arousing, and not so much to characterize the actions performed (see interrogation play). In some cases, the BDSM practices themselves contain the word torture in their name - electrotorture, Cock and Ball Torture (see CBT), tit torture, etc. In other cases, the term torments means any action related to the infliction of physical pain without specifying its purpose or level of impact beyond which the treatment should be qualified as torture.

The prevailing opinion in BDSM circles tends to define as torments only those actions or practices that are usually (or at least in the popular imagination) associated with a relatively high level of pain such as e.g. piercing the nipples with needles, using electric shocks, causing burns (e.g. with a cigarette), etc. However, following the same opinion the term does not include as torments BDSM practices such as spanking and paddling, canning or flogging, although each of them implies multiple possibilities for a high level of painful stimulation. Usually, the separation of torments from other BDSM practices requires that pain, suffering, and physical discomfort be caused intentionally, often by different methods used in combination and with a high level of creativity and with no other purpose than to make the passive party (victim) to suffer. In its pure form, this definition perfectly describes sadomasochism along with its inherent role-playing games.

Regardless of whether an action in BDSM can be defined as torments or not, it should be done wisely, safely and within the limits agreed upon by the partners. Otherwise, it would be a manifestation of violence, and in many cases a crime.