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BDSM Symbols The whip wheel 1

BDSM Symbols: Identification Signs In Everyday Life

BDSM is still largely considered a taboo subject. As is common in many subcultures, BDSM sympathizers also use various BDSM symbols to identify themselves to like-minded people in everyday life. But what conclusions can I draw from the various symbols? And what does BDSM have to do with the Celts? In order not to accidentally address someone about an alleged BDSM inclination because you misinterpret BDSM symbols, you have to be able to read the signs. Some will surely look familiar.

BDSM Symbols: The Triskele - Sign of the Trinity

The Triskele is a varied symbol consisting essentially of three shapes evenly spaced around a center and found in cultures around the world. The variant of the sun wheel, which is widespread in Celtic culture, found its way into the BDSM movement by reinterpreting the three spirals into the three areas of interest in BDSM: i.e. tops , bottoms and switch . The Triskele is usually worn as jewelry on chains or rings, but can also be found on clothing, as a tattoo or as a car sticker.

bdsm symbols Triskele

Attention: Modifications of the spiral or hook-shaped triskele are also used by ethnic organizations . A presentation of the triskelion in public is either a clear commitment to BDSM, a kind of fan cult to the Celts or something that you should urgently refrain from doing.

BDSM Symbols: The whip wheel as a BDSM emblem

On the basis of the Triskele, a clearer and still best-known symbol of BDSM enthusiasts was later created: the whip wheel. The three spirals were thus reinterpreted as whips, slightly stretched, inserted into a closed circle and three significant points added.

BDSM Symbols The whip wheel 1

The three-part design was created by an anonymous designer using the pseudonym Quagmyr based on the cult novel “History of O” by Pauline Réage as a subtle insider symbol for followers of BDSM. Similar to the triskele, the whip wheel is usually worn as a decorative symbol. The most common is a kind of signet ring based on the story of the O. But pendants and ear studs are also becoming increasingly popular.

The three-part design was created by an anonymous designer using the pseudonym Quagmyr based on the cult novel “History of O” by Pauline Réage as a subtle insider symbol for followers of BDSM. Similar to the triskele, the whip wheel is usually worn as a decorative symbol. The most common is a kind of signet ring based on the story of the O. But pendants and ear studs are also becoming increasingly popular.

In addition, the whip wheel symbolizes the three main areas in BDSM : B and D for bondage and discipline , D and S for dominance and submission and S and M for sadism and masochism .

On the other hand, the tripartite division also represents the highest values ​​of the BDSM movement: safety, health and mutual consent, better known as the SSC principle .

BDSM collar and how it differs from the choker

Nowadays, it can also be found in the collections of major fashion brands , but the collar was once considered a clear identifier among BDSM fans. A tight collar was often a gift from a Master/Mistress to the Serf and was intended to indicate ownership.

In the group of collars, a distinction is made between work collars and going out collars. Work collars are often rough and massive, made of sturdy materials like leather or stainless steel, and fitted with eyelets or a lock to provide plenty of options for strenuous sessions .

A going out collar, on the other hand, is rather simple and stylish, made from softer materials or padding around the edges. Nevertheless, it can be observed that the variants made of metal are increasingly being worn as collars in public.

bdsm choker

Whether it’s a work collar or a collar for going out, both variants also have a ring for attaching a leash. In adaptation to the “History of the O”, these rings are also called “O-rings” or “Ring of the O” , whereby the latter mainly refers to a finger ring.

Due to mainstream adaptations of the choker, BDSM collars are no longer clear symbols. If you come across a velvet choker with a lace hem or a playful plastic choker in public, it is probably more of a fashion accessory.

BDSM Symbols: The Leather Pride Flag

Like so many other subgroups, the BDSM scene began to demand a common flag over time. On June 25, 1989, the artist Tony DeBlase presented the design, which is still known today, as part of an “International Mr. Leather” event.

The flag consists of nine horizontal stripes of equal width. From the top and bottom, the stripes alternate between black and royal blue. The central stripe is white. There is a red heart in the upper left quadrant of the flag.

Initially, the homosexual leather scene in particular adopted the flag for itself, but in recent years it has also become increasingly popular in BDSM circles of all orientations. The flag can be found as a sign of identification as a print on clothing and stickers, as a tattoo or as a post on social networks. Of course, she can also be seen at parades such as Folsom Pride or Christopher Street Day . Not yet misused, the flag still clearly stands for lacquer, leather, kink and co.

Key as a Subtle Display of Ownership

Handcuffs and the corresponding keys can be found in most toy boxes of BDSM learners and are therefore also well known as BDSM symbols for the scene. It is not uncommon for miniature handcuffs to be worn on necklaces or bracelets.

But since this is not exactly subtle, many have started to wear the spare keys for handcuffs, chain locks, chastity cages or belts as jewelry. For example as a pendant on a necklace, anklet or bracelet. A trained eye recognizes this type of key immediately and says a lot about the owner.

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Symbol of BDSM: The Ring of O

“Basically, the ring you wear gives me, like everyone who knows that sign, the right to dispose of you.”–History of the O

Also based on the BDSM novel “History of the O”, the “Ring of the O” is becoming more and more popular as an identification mark. The literary model describes the ring decorated with the triskele or the whip wheel. Today, however, a much simplistic design from the film adaptation, reminiscent of a collar in shape, is gaining traction: a plain silver-colored ring with a movable smaller ring hanging from it, reminiscent of the collar and thus a nod to earlier slave jewelry.

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The hand on which you wear the ring also says something about the person in question: on the right hand you identify yourself as a submissive bottom, on the left as a dominant top. Switchers usually wear the ring on a chain around their neck. But since the ring is also finding its way into mainstream fashion, its clear meaning is unfortunately becoming increasingly blurred.

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