As with any alternative lifestyle choice, there are occasional quotes that become vital in defining the philosophies of the practitioners. In using the words of others, we can better understand some of the ideas and ideals that we aspire to. Through these words, we can better define, and thus explain to others, certain aspects and elements of the D/s and BDSM lifestyle. Some of these thoughts may be agreed with, others may be argued, in doing so, we create our own lexicon of ideas and formulate how we, as individuals within the lifestyle, wish to mold it to our own needs. If you have a quote to share, please e-mail it to the Garden with full crediting.

"In sensual magic, a genuine punishment is merited only if the two parties have a dominant submissive relationship, with clearly-spelled-obligations, and the bottom has clearly broken a rule. Loyal and responsible bottoms will continue to punish themselves for misdeeds long after the top has forgotten them. Rather than have the bottom be emotionally absent because he or she is wallowing in remorse, the top designs an appropriate punishment, the bottom agrees that it is fair and submits to it, and once it has been inflicted, the matter is done, the crime is forgiven, and things can move on."

~ Sensuous Magic, Califia, Pat pp. 77& 78, 1st. edition 1993, Masquerade Books.

"It is the Master, not the punishments, that make the slave."

~ Ann Rice

"To serve with Honor, one must allow Him to capture the tears buried within ones soul."

~ Unknown.

"I've already told you: the only way to a woman's heart is along the path of torment. I know none other as sure."

~ Donatien Alphonse Francois (Marquis De Sade)

"W/we are all slaves to something, and Masters of Others, there cannot be one without the other. a Master is a slave to the attention He/She has to give to keep the slave as a slave."

~ Harlequin{p}

"Most welcome, bondage, for thou art a way,
I think, to liberty."

~ W. Shakespeare, Cymbeline V:iv

'a submissive can control a scene. Actually, ultimately, the submissive controls the scene totally, unless she's playing with a nut.'

~ Carter Stevens, Different Loving

"Render others as happy as one desires to be, and never inflict more pain upon them than one would like to receive at their hands".

~ Donatien Alphonse Francois (Marquis De Sade)

"I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don't mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don't mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding."

~ Anaïs Nin

"It's hard for an educated woman to turn her head off. That's part of the joy of being a submissive. None of the decisions are yours. When you can't refuse anything and can't even move, those voices in your head go silent. All you can do, and all you are permitted to do, is feel."

~ Cherise Sinclair, Dark Citadel

"A Master is not someone who merely revels in the benefits that he reaps from the power and control that he wields over his sub. A Master is not just an automaton who emotionally doles out orders and watches with amusement as his minions perform his bidding. A Master is not a person who only relishes the benefits that his superior status entitles him.

Certainly all of these characteristics could and often do exist within a Master. He may be demanding and at times selfish. He may genuinely enjoy and even be aroused by the power that he has over a sub. He may be able to expertly control his emotions, issuing his commands and enforcing his discipline with stone-faced determination.

But a true Master, a Master such as Matt, was so invested in his sub that he was actually in a way a slave himself. He was a slave to his love for me. He was a slave to his responsibility. He was a slave to the passion and the commitment. He was a slave to his overwhelming desire to protect his property at all costs. He was a slave to his slave. I knew without questions that he loved me so much he'd literally lay down his life for me. He owned me, and his ownership owned him"

~ Jeff Erno, Puppy Love 2: Building a Family

"The number one job of the dominant is to continually seduce consent from the bottom."

~ Joseph Bean

"Fear triggers the fight-or-flight response, fueled by adrenaline, which, as it turns out, is chemically related to amphetamines. Granted, it's a very different kind of high for mindfuckers: not a mellow, floaty "my vulva is one with the universe" high but a jittery, revved-up "oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck" kind of high. Endorphins are like great downers but adrenaline is uppers all the way. And it's just as addictive. Don't believe me? Go ask anyone who likes to jump off bridges or out of airplanes. - Edge"

~ Tristan Taormino, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge

"Fear, anxiety, arousal, and pain; all are emotions and sensations. They are neither right, nor are they wrong; good nor bad. They are simply passions, a most important part of life. Feel them, fully experience them, surrender to them, and learn to accept them. As a submissive, you must let go."

~ Nikki Sex, Fate

"The craft of a master is not imposing dominance, but winning submission."

~ Ann Somerville, Remastering Jerna

"D/s can be dangerous, because it explores the most primitive sides of ourselves. Those involved must have a high degree of trust and very, very healthy devotion to one another. Like religion, it can be a spiritually enlightening experience, or it an expression of psychosis. And somewhere in between, it can be tremendously fun."

~ Joey W. Hill

"In my eyes, BDSM is not a sexual experience, it's a spiritual connection."

~ Simon Shroud

The power of submission lies not in the abilty to kneel before another, to give over ones's body or in the wearing of a collar. The power of submission can be found in the heart of one who gives her love to another freely knowing what joy and pain will come from it.

~ Roguer

"Pleasure, pleasure, pleasure! Always your goal is pleasure. Pain, yes of course! Yet pain must only be used as a means to add to your sub's sensation of pleasure. To do otherwise is un péché noir - a black sin. Such will tarnish the soul."

~ Nikki Sex, Bound and Freed

"And sometimes I misbehave on purpose."


"It's called being a brat. Ben will sometimes indulge me [and punish me], but occasionally I have to listen to a lecture about asking for what I want. And those times, I get sent to bed without an orgasm."

~ Sierra Cartwright, With This Collar

"Given involuntarily, and in an atmosphere of distrust, pain is torture, whatever the motive," suggests David. "But given consensually, between equals, pain can be a most incredible form of love."

~ Geoff Mains, Urban Aboriginals: A Celebration of Leathersexuality

"Submissive men, men who desire to serve as consensual slaves, are on one of the most difficult journeys in the world today, because they have rejected patriarchal privilege and embraced their own heart's calling instead."

~ TammyJo Eckhart, At Her Feet: Powering Your Femdom Relationship

I am your servant. I shall not be free. You will protect me; you will keep me safe; you will guard me. You will keep me sound; you will protect me from every demon.

~ Ancient Egyptian woman's slave contract

How does a master center a slave? Being centered is a Zen term that means a person is balanced, calm, healthy, peaceful, grounded, nourished. Some might see it as a relaxed state, one of calm, creative, full of the realization of being well-off, in communion with one's self and one's environment... How does a master center a slave? He does it by creating, with his slave, a right relationship, that is, one in which each is free to be him or herself; one with openness, honesty, and clarity of purpose. Centering comes from having a clear focus, mutual support, encouragement, and purpose.

~ Jack Rinella, SM Leather

I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults.

~ Gore Vidal

It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.

~ Marquis de Sade

A riding crop and a blindfold doesn't make it BDSM. There is a big difference between being kinky and being in the scene. It's not a sexual thing to me, it's a very spiritual thing.

~ DominaBlue


"The beautiful woman bent on her adorer a strange look from her green eyes, icy and devouring, then she crossed the room, slowly donned a splendid loose coat of red satin, richly trimmed with princely ermine, and took from her dressing table a long thong attached to a short handle, with which she was wont to punish her great mastiff. 'You want it,' she said. 'Then I will whip you.' Still on his knees, 'Whip me,' cried her lover. 'I implore you!'"

Venus in Furs

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