The Evolution of BDSM Grammar

It’s no secret that I love grammar. In my day job, I get regular phone calls and emails asking me to have the last word on a myriad grammar issues.

My first BDSM novel came out almost seven years ago. In that time, I’ve seen an evolution in the accepted grammar of the lingo. At first, editors applied general rules to the language. You saw things like:

  • safe word
  • d/s
  • dom
  • pain slut

Over the years, I’ve had arguments with editors (who had the last word because I wasn’t indie publishing) about each of those things. Those in the lifestyle use capitalization differently and they create new compound nouns. Now that I’m independently publishing, I’m using them the right way—the way those who live that way use them. You have no idea how painful it’s been to have to compromise my principles. So in my independent works, you’ll see safeword, D/s, Dom, and painslut used. This, of course, is one of the many perks of self-publishing.

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