Wiki Help

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Can I join the wiki and become an editor?

Absolutely, it's free and we welcome self-starting contributors with integrity and knowledge. We also provide talk pages for each article and a discussion forum to discuss various and contrasting opinions about articles. We encourage you to share your constructive views to help the database become more comprehensive!

We are seeking self-starting volunteers with researching, writing, illustration and computer skills for this project at this time.

Edits and articles from users are submitted and managed for approval by the admin team as a form of quality assurance. Your submission may be heavily edited, reformatted, or even rejected in the interest of maintaining a quality standard of information. Good information is allowed to come from anywhere, bad information will be rejected, and the difference between the two is interpreted by the site arbiters through the lens of the site values.

Be sure to treat others who work to maintain and contribute to the site with dignity and respect at all times. Account abuse as well as generally annoying the otherwise good natured site staff will eventually lead to an account being disabled and there is no recourse for this. Everyone on the site is a guest (with exception to the site owner) and is expected to behave like a good guest would. For further clarification see the site values below. If that is still not enough, consider that this platform may not be the right one for you to express your ideas/information.

How do I start?

We recommend that to start you work on making simple, noncontroversial edits such as correcting grammar and spelling or adding appropriate citations and suggest your first few articles to the staff for review. Further, if you have an opinion or perspective to share, do so on the talk page of the article in question. Article pages are for presenting information, not opinions (aside from best practices advice). You may freely debate topics on the talk page, but editing them into an article is at best, poor writing, and at worst, vandalism that will be deleted and eventually result in a ban if the behavior persists.

Can I quote other writings?

Absolutely, be sure to attempt to gain permissions from the author whenever possible and cite correctly. If permission is denied, seek a different source or extrapolate an idea with a legal citation or simply do not use it. If you are unsure about citations, ask in the fetgroup how best to extrapolate something.

What is the acceptable writing style?

In most circumstances, except where otherwise noted, the Manual of Style for Wikipedia is considered to be the acceptable guide for style of writing.

Utilize inclusive language so as not to assume anything about the reader beyond their interest in reading the article (which also does not indicate they are interested in performing anything presented).

Using neutral pronouns unless speaking about a gender or sex specific and dependent topic is important. If it can be gender neutral it should be presented as gender neutral; the same is true regarding medical sex designations and sexual orientation where applicable. Similarly assumptions about relationship styles and their definitions and value judgements about those is something to steer clear of. This is why you will often see usage of statements like “Partner(s)” because there is no valid reason to assume a singular partner or plural partner in most contexts.

Note: While debate is allowed and encouraged on the talk pages to help establish new view points and perspectives, all contributors are expected to be courteous and respectful as guests of the site.

Giving Advice in your Article

We do not give explicit medical or legal advice. This is a direct liability and issue of concern for the site. We do talk about medical and legal things from a point of fact basis in relevant areas, but avoid doing so as much as is reasonably possible/responsible.

In cases of medical concern, indicate to the reader that we do not give explicit medical advice and they should consult with their licensed medical doctor/physician or therapist/psychiatrist as appropriate.

In cases of legal concern, indicate to the reader that we do not give explicit legal advice and they should consult their local laws/personal lawyer.

Stick to explicit, provable facts as much as is reasonably possible when crafting an article.

Many sites offer nuanced perspectives, and those perspectives have value. That is not the mission of the wiki. It is intended to be used as an educational tool. As such it requires we do everything reasonably possible to reach an academic standard when presenting information even though there is not a specific license for BDSM teaching or training. As such, we stick to what we can reasonably show to be true.

This includes discussion of "woo/wu/woo woo" topics in that they must be discussed from an objective factual basis, which eliminates a lot of the discussion surrounding those topics directly, but does not eliminate them as woo phenomenon can be shown factually to exist on a broad enough spectrum to be a relevant discussion. What we do not do is make any sort of claims about these topics that we cannot objectively show to be true. Expect "woo" style articles to be the most heavily policed and requiring the greatest burden of proof provided by direct citations from reputed scientific journals and for such articles to have the highest rate of rejection and extensive editing before any possible publication.

When an overtly contentious point comes up, utilize a “best practices” section. Present the reader with facts in the establishing article prior to this, and then options to consider to make an informed decision. Use the word “consider” liberally. Bear in mind not every disagreement should be settled with a best practices section, but rather, when both sides of an argument can be shown to have explicit value depending upon context and circumstance.

As an example: "Should one file a police report when experiencing a sexual assault?"

Many will default to a myriad of answers emotionally rooted in their personal values. The truth is that context/circumstance matters a lot here.

Some will say yes or no, and there are many good reasons for and against each position. This is why we say “consider filing a police report”. This not only divorces legal liability from the site, but also empowers the user by providing them information (reasons why and why not) and letting them decide what is best for themselves based on nuanced context. The purpose of education is to empower others, so let that be your guideline when presenting an idea for the reader to consider.

How do I learn to edit articles?

Most of the software is pretty intuitive for simple edits if you can format an email or word document, however if you are having trouble or you want to learn how to be an expert editor and make all kinds of fancy pages, check out the editing help article on Wikipedia, we use the very same software they do!

Should I link offsite?

Linking offsite should be done only after excerpting basic fundamental information from a source to create at least a stub page to allow at least a basic understanding of the concept in question before sending the user offsite, but whenever possible it is best to expand over time to create write a new article, especially since most concepts may have additional information applied within the context of BDSM, an exmaple might be to link to an article on piercing for in depth piercing knowledge after the concepts are excerpted and piercing is presented in the context of BDSM. It is acceptable and encouraged that you use notable sources whenever possible and cite them correctly.

Is learning from the BDSMwiki really as good as learning from classes or from other paid sites?

That depends highly on what you are trying to learn. The BDSM wiki is primarily for reference and should not be used to replace hands on learning of dangerous techniques. Further, the BDSM wiki focuses on technical information, which while that focuses on boiling down the information to its core elements and simplest forms to make them easy to understand and digest, much of BDSM is all about nuance and that is something that no one can speak meaningfully about because there is no one true way, nor can anyone plan for every circumstance. What we can do is offer useful and verified information as well as offer what we consider to be good advice to new kinksters in the forms of best practices. Is that better or worse than some other form of learning? We contend that it is not better or worse, but that it is a free and good form of learning with not better or worse but different applications. We contend that your learning "should" encompass taking advantage of lots of different sources to consider and that your learning be a life long journey, not a destination.


When editing, please keep the following things in mind:

The BDSM Wiki Administration values:

  • Learning and education
  • Freedom and integrity of information
  • Inclusive, tolerant, and positive attitudes
  • A variety of perspectives
  • Concise language
  • Making Best Practices information available to minimize risk for others
  • Respecting the right to privacy of others

How do I become a wiki staff member?

Staff members are added as needed, and are selected from those that regularly participate, have a positive attitude and have skill levels consistent with what is desired for the role in question. If you are interested in a staff position, consider editing and contributing for a month first to ensure working on the wiki regularly is for you, and then consider contacting the staff to inform them that you are interested in joining the team. This in no way indicates you will be selected for such duties, but helps us compile a list of those that are interested and cross reference their skill sets and participation levels to ensure we add the best candidates to the staff.

How do I discuss a topic on the discussion page?

When viewing an article, click the Discussion link at the top to be taken to a page for discussing that article.

Do you have a link exchange program?

Yes, we do!

If your website is of professional quality and presents a service or information directly associated with BDSM we would be happy to offer a link exchange by listing you in our Resources section. If you are interested in being added to the Resources section, please simply leave a note with your website, email, paragraph length description and potential graphics to use as well as your stated interest here and we will ensure you have a page added to those areas, as well as email you the page we have put up for you, and the appropriate graphics and links to ad our website to your website.

Even if you do not have an industry associate page, you are welcome to share our website in a professional manner on your website, profiles, groups, and other digital mediums as an educational resource for others.

Is it OK to make an article about a specific, real world person?


This is a legal liability and concern as well as a privacy issue, whether they consent or not, and also adds a lot of unnecessary drama. Other organizations are better equipped to catalog “who’s who” such as leather libraries and organizations. Let them be the history keepers, it is specifically what they do. We are here to distill information and make it freely accessible, not to raise or silence voices/names. The very nature of wiki participation involves a certain level of anonymity to begin with and we value the advantages provided in this specific context.

Additionally, we do not support outing others, nor making allegations in this public space, or participating in hearsay. You may link to professional publications when necessary to reference a specific piece of educational information, but only when it is necessary within the context of an article. If you feel someone is a threat to themselves or others or has committed an illegal act, please take your evidence to the local authorities. If you feel you have been violated, please feel free to avail yourself of our Emergency resources center.

I found offensive material on this wiki

Our goal is to provide a space that includes everyone, regardless of gender, bdsm role or tradition, race, ethnicity, or disability. If you find language or content that offends you, considering leaving a note on the talk page of the article in question. Please note that makes attempts to use inclusive language whenever possible, and your viewpoints and information may help us provide better insight into a topic. Thanks!

I have a question pertaining to BDSM that isn't answered in the BDSM FAQ

Consider taking that question to the talk page of the subject you are asking about and asking your question there, chances are we'll make efforts to include that information. If you would like immediate answers, consider asking a group that you trust for their opinions.

There are other sites that already cover this stuff

In many cases that is true, and much of the technical information can be found on various sources around the internet that are not wikis. This wiki aims to present this information in a way that is different in scope and depth than previous efforts have and to organize it in an easy to understand and well structured database. We hope you enjoy and share it!

Article Structure

Articles are to be broken up into a series of areas to discuss, using the necessary areas for each subject to best convey the scope. Additional areas may be added for specific articles as needed, but most articles will likely be limited to the following discussions:

  • Opening Definition - used to briefly discuss and describe the concept
  • Parameters - An area that describes the scope of a concept
  • Criteria - An area that specifies necessary components of a concept
  • See Also - list of related articles that have a similar or adjacent concepts presented
  • History - historical context
  • Best Practices - information provided as good advice for beginners
  • Criticisms - an area to discuss altering viewpoints and contexts
  • Technical Information - specific information for reference concerning technical aspects
  • References - citations list

Using Pictures

Do not use photos containing real life models to demonstrate an idea, always use royalty free illustrations that you either own and are donating in the process of uploading (for any use by the wiki organization) or are within the public domain.

Illustrations should avoid resembling any sort of pornography and are strictly for denoting specific ideas that are explicitly better explained in a picture format than in a text format. Most articles do not need pictures, limit their use to an instructional necessity only. As an example, it is worth showing the gay pride flag picture on an article about the gay pride flag as this serves an instructional purpose that is better explained in a picture format. One could theoretically describe the flag in text only, but it wouldn't be nearly as effective as simply showing a picture of the flag itself.

Original Research

Because not much scientific research exists on the practices, techniques and technical information regarding BDSM in many cases original research is used, especially concerning information designated as Best Practices. Seek to include citations whenever possible. If you are a well respected subject matter expert, consider linking one of your writings to support a claim made on the wiki or adding it to the talk page to help open discussions to include additional perspectives.

Capitalization Conventions

Capitalization Conventions should follow standard American English conventions with exception to articles that specifically discuss capitalization protocols and a deviation is required to demonstrate the protocol. Or when a term is defined that is best represented in a BDSM context with a capitalization alteration, such as with the term (D/s) which demonstrates the noted power exchange practice and the standard representation of the term in common parlance within BDSM culture.