This is not a complete guide.  There are WHOLE websites out there that can explain more.  

BDSM Info

BDSM is an umbrella term for a variety of (often erotic) practices or roleplaying; it is an acronym representing three components:

  • BD: Bondage & Discipline (playing with physical restraints, training, punishment, etc.)
  • DS: Dominance & Submission (playing with obedience, power exchange, service, humility, etc.)
  • SM: Sadism & Masochism (playing with pain, degradation, fear, etc.)

More often than not, other 'deviant' sexual practices are also considered to be part of BDSM.
BDSM is a consensual activity respecting the fundamental rights of every human being involved; this separates it from sexual and domestic abuse.

Safe, Sane, and Consensual

This slogan is the golden rule of BDSM. Play should always be safe: long-term damage or injury is not permitted among the vast majority of the international kink community. And above all else, play must be consensual. There is a difference between “rape fantasy,” which is role-play, and actual rape — something the international kink community condemns. This is why safe words and hard limits must be respected: they keep the play consensual and safe and allow submissives to stop whenever the scene ceases to be enjoyable. Keep these three words in mind and you will find yourself part of an awesome community of people into more kinks than you can possibly imagine. Welcome to the ball.

BDSM Archetypes

Everyone is different, and finding two kinksters with the exact same preferences is probably impossible. There are however a few common 'archetypes' that people can identify with to varying degrees (from 0% to 100%). Curious to what extent each archetype suits you? Take the test! The list below is by no means complete but it should cover the most common ones.

Dominant

Dominants like to be in charge. Some like to have their partner obey them without questioning, others like some resistance while taking it their way. Some are dominant only in the bedroom, others are dominant throughout their daily life as well. Unlike the top roles (giving pain/bondage/degradation), being dominant is more about who decides what happens (and takes the responsibility that comes with it) than about the contents of what happens.

Sadist

Sadists enjoy inflicting (certain types of) pain on their partner(s), usually in a sexual context.

Rigger

Riggers like to tie up and restrain their partner(s), using rope and/or other attributes (chains, cuffs, spreader bars, etc.). Whether for sexual enhancement, for art or just for fun, they enjoy having their partners completely at their mercy.

Master/Mistress

Masters/Mistresses receive complete control over the life of their slave(s), and all responsibilities that come with it. They go a step further than dominants in the sense that their power exchange is present 24/7 and in all aspects of their life (except for negotiated exceptions such as during their office jobs). Their primary focus is to create a stable and safe environment for their slave(s), to allow optimal servitude.

Degrader

Degraders like to degrade and humiliate their play partner(s), either by acting upon them in a degrading way, or by or by forcing them to do things they consider degrading.

Owner

Owners own human pets/properties and take responsibility over them, on a 24/7 basis. Sexuality is not necessarily involved; in some cases role play attributes are also provided (e.g. a cage for the pet). There is no link at all with sex with animals (which is simply not on the BDSM spectrum), and many pets don't even feel like they're playing an animal, it's more about the typical relationship between an owner and a pet.

Littles

Littles (girls/boys) are submissive spirits with a strong flavor childlike innocence. They long for a nurturing loving dominant who plays a guiding, almost parental role in their lives. While they require a softer approach to be dominated than most other submissives, their submission can be just as deep as that of other submissives or slaves. Sexuality is not necessarily involved, and there is no link at all with pedophilia (which is simply not on the BDSM spectrum).

submissive

submissives like to follow. Some like to give the control away to their partner(s), some like to have it forcibly taken from them. Some are submissive only in the bedroom, others are submissive throughout their daily life as well (usually with limitations). Unlike the bottom roles (receiving pain /bondage /degradation), being submissive is more about who decides what happens (and takes the responsibility that comes with it) than about the contents of what happens.

Masochist

Masochists enjoy receiving (certain types of) pain from their partner(s), usually in a sexual context. Masochism is independent of pain tolerance: it is purely about the ability to enjoy (or get aroused by) certain levels of pain.

Rope bunny

Rope bunny likes to be tied up and restrained, using rope and/or other attributes (chains, cuffs, spreader bars, etc.). Whether for sexual enhancement, for art or just for fun, they enjoy being totally at the mercy of their partner(s).

Sir/Ma'am

Sir/Ma'am is a term used a fair bit in the bdsm and d/s lifestyles and is used to refer to one’s dominant. The term is used to reference the power exchange, or imbalance as some would say, and it is there as well to denote a level of respect. Not to mention, it is often the term people entering the life style come into contact with first. Many dominants in the community, not even ones you may directly be playing with, enjoy being referred to as Sir/Ma'am. Sometimes they have earned that right, sometimes they have not. Over my years of bdsm and d/s styled porn watching Sir/Ma'am is the more common term used.

Degradee

Degradees like to be degraded and humiliated by their play partner(s), either by being acted upon in a degrading way, or by being forced do things they consider degrading.

Pet

Pets are property of their owner in daily life. Sexuality is not necessarily involved; in some cases role play attributes are also provided (e.g. a cage for the pet). There is no link at all with sex with animals (which is simply not on the BDSM spectrum), and many pets don't even feel like they're playing an animal, it's more about the typical relationship between an owner and a pet.

Exhibitionist

Exhibitionists enjoy showing their naked body or a sexual activity to other people. Consensually, of course.