BDSM is a term which describes a number of related patterns of human sexual behaviour. The major subgroupings are described in the abbreviation "BDSM" itself:
- Bondage (B)
- Bondage & Discipline (B&D)
- Domination & Submission (D&S, DS, D/S, D/s)
- Sadism & Masochism (or Sadomasochism) (S&M, SM)
While a full description of BDSM practices would be impossible to list here, practitioners tend toward exploring sensations (both physical and emotional) generally thought of as unpleasant by the majority of the human population. These sensations may include humiliation, whipping, cutting, urine play, electricity play, denial, forced orgasms and restraint.
It should be noted that the techniques used in modern American body modification have their roots in the West Coast BDSM scene.