Play is the term given to taking part in a BDSM scene. It is a deliberate use of the word's ambiguous meaning - suggesting both a play in the literary sense (taking in the roleplay aspect) and play in the child-like sense (taking in the experimentation, gleefulness and wonder aspects). Often in BDSM clubs, "Shall we play?" is the equivalent to the vanilla "Shall we dance?".
Play can take many forms, from a light session where two people get to know each others likes and dislikes to a heavy or lengthy scene between two or more committed "players" who know each others' limits and are willing to push or be pushed at their boundaries.
Many people engange in promiscuous play to learn about themselves until they have found the role they are comfortable in. Many BDSM couples also engage in play with either a third person or separately with another partner. It is almost always the case that these play encounters are of a non-sexual nature.
- Play and the links there.
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