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Exploring the Edge: Extreme Terminology in BDSM Humiliation Play

By CAGE Staff​(staff)     April 6, 2024

Today, let's talk about edgeplay terminology kinks.

What is Edgeplay Terminology?

The exact terminology that that is considered "edgeplay" will vary based on your culture. Common examples include homophobic slurs, Nazi play, and race play.

However, that isn't an exhaustive list. Anything that is prohibited by the culture around you may be part of edgeplay terminology play. This could include sexism, ageism, religion, STI status, disability, and more.

TRIGGER WARNING FOR THE BELOW PARAGRAPH: Multiple slurs, violence activities,

People into edgeplay terminology may enjoy scenes, words, and activities that act out various parts of their interest's history or activities. This may include roleplaying a historical slave auction, calling someone a “faggot” or “untermensch”, roleplaying a wheelchair-reliant person's chair being taken from them, roleplaying domestic violence and rape, pretending a person has to give oral sex in order to qualify for a promotion, and more.

As you can see, the intensity and potential offensiveness of edgeplay terminology can really vary by scene and how it's done.

Why Does It Turn Some People On?

Using words and acting out ideas we're not supposed to is taboo. Just like swear words held mythical powers when we were little, some of these words hold a shiver-inducing power that can make them extra-erotic to play with in consensual scenarios.

Some people also play with edgeplay terminology to "take back" words that have been used in negative contexts. Using a word, over and over, tends to take away some of that "mythical power" that comes from words we're not supposed to use. By using these words over and over within scenarios, it can normalize the term in a positive context and take away some of the negative connotations it's been associated with in the past.

Others yet will enjoy edgeplay terminology as a way to work through trauma. As many of these edgeplay terminologies deal with identities that are often marginalized in our culture, hate crimes, assault, and public humiliation are not uncommon. For some people within these identities, being able to roleplay their trauma scenarios with different, consensual outcomes can be part of the healing process (but this can also be mentally risky! Ensure you've done a thorough negotiation before a scene like this!)

Finally, some people use edgeplay terminology as part of their humiliation or degradation play. Words hold power, and in many cases, these words are spewed in non-kink contexts to try to make someone feel "lesser than". In consensual degradation scenarios, when that's desired in a trusted space, some of these words can be a quick tool to enact that headspace.

Where Can I Do Edgeplay Terminology Play?

The thing about edgeplay terminology play is that it's very, very personal. While you (and your partner, if applicable) may have agreed to use these terms and act out these scenes, the fact is that they aren't appropriate in most public areas. This is part of what makes these words "edgeplay terminology" to begin with. If you were calling someone "sweetie pie", it wouldn't elicit the same taboo reaction as these edgeplay terminology words do.

This means that most edgeplay terminology play isn't an option for public play without permission of a dungeon master or a forum owner.

A lot of people don't find these words arousing or sexual; they view them in a hate speech context. Unfortunately, in a world where hate speech is still very alive and well, even if you're well-intentioned, it's impossible for a third party to know whether you're using them within a well-meaning context or a hate speech one.

Even outside of that, many people within these marginalized identities still find these words to be extremely traumatic. They may be triggering, upsetting, and painful. They did not consent to randomly come across these words in sexual spaces, and using edgeplay terminology freely in public spaces can cause a lot of unintended harm. This can especially be the case if the person using these words and acting out these scenes isn't part of the marginalized group that the words are describing. This means that edgeplay terminology play should be kept within private spaces unless you've previously cleared any play with the owner and audience of a specific space. This allows you to explore the themes, words, and ideas that you want to explore without causing distress and harm to others around you.

How to Bring Up Your Interest with a Partner?

Because these words are so personal and viewed in a negative context within our societies, this can be a very difficult kink to bring up with your partner.

First off, I'd recommend a close, trusting relationship with any play partner you choose to explore this with. These words can trigger pain, panic, fear, and depressive responses, and they should not be played with lightly.

You should also have a good understanding of your partner's past with these words. If there is a lot of trauma surrounding edgeplay terminology, it may simply never be an arousing kink for them. Knowing their background also has an additional benefit: it can keep you both from accidentally stepping into triggering territory by avoiding any likeness to previous traumatic scenarios.

You also should negotiate as if trauma responses may come up. This will involve discussing what both of you need if one of those triggers happens. Do they need space? Do they absolutely need to NOT be left alone? Do they need positive words and apologies? Make sure you both have a firm understanding of how to help the other work through those sensations if they come up. Words have meaning, and in this case, these words can be mentally and physically dangerous.

The reality is that this is a fringe, edgeplay kink. Like many edgeplay kinks, it's rare to find someone who shares an interest in exploring them.

Edgeplay terminology has a higher likelihood of being a "no go" than many other kinks. Just like dental play, many people have had poor, traumatic experiences in their non-kink lives that may make it impossible to view these activities in a positive, arousing light.

If bringing this kink up to a prospective play partner, ensure you do so with respect, tact, and gentleness. We never know the entirety of each other's battles, and in the case of edgeplay terminology, some of these words may be at the center of someone's traumatic experiences.


wickedguy​(sub trans woman){transwoman}
i would be a lot of fun for a dom or a domme as his/her slave
May 13, 2024, 9:23 PM