There are a lot of words that people can use for different reasons. These can also change between communities. People can always choose the words that are right for them!
We’ve explained some common terms. We do our best to keep this list updated, but we know that meanings and circumstances can change over time. Feel free to text us if you see something that doesn’t look right.
Addiction: When the part of your brain that helps with reward, motivation, and memory isn’t working well. This makes your body react differently to rewards and excitement. It might be very hard to stop yourself from going after rewarding or exciting things. A lot of people get addicted to things that make them feel good, like drugs or alcohol.
AFAB: Stands for Assigned Female at Birth. It means that when someone was born, a healthcare worker said they were female. They usually decided because they saw a clitoris and not a penis. Being assigned female at birth doesn’t mean someone’s a woman. They can be any gender!
Aftercare: Aftercare is a post-sex check-in between partners. This can include anything from cleaning up whatever space you used, tending to each other physically or emotionally, checking in with your partner and talking about the experience, cuddling, eating food, or soothing your senses because sex can be intense and physically taxing! Aftercare is common in BDSM and kink communities but is important to practice in any type of sexual relationship!
AMAB: Stands for Assigned Male at Birth. It means that when someone was born, a healthcare worker said they were male. They usually decided because they saw a penis and not a clitoris. Being assigned male at birth doesn’t mean someone’s a man. They can be any gender!
Asexual: A sexual orientation where someone experiences little to no sexual attraction to any gender. This can mean different things to different people, like only feeling sexual attraction in specific circumstances or not at all. It doesn’t mean someone can’t experience other types of attraction like romantic and emotional.
Aromantic: A romantic orientation where a person doesn’t feel romantically attracted to people or want to have romantic relationships. They can still feel sexual attraction and want to have sex.
BDSM: Stands for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism. This includes a lot of things that people might like doing with partners, like tying each other up or giving or getting control. Sadism is liking giving pain and masochism is liking getting it.
Blockers: Also known as puberty blockers. These are medications that younger trans and non-binary people can use to stop or slow down puberty. They work by keeping the body from making hormones like testosterone and estrogen, which cause puberty.
Boundary/Boundaries: What someone is comfortable or uncomfortable with. They’re the limits that someone doesn’t want anyone to cross. People might set boundaries about what they’re okay with during sex or in relationships.
Chemsex: The use of substances before or during sexual intercourse to enhance or facilitate the experience. Substances most commonly identified with chemsex include amyl nitrates (poppers), inhaled amphetamines, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB/GBL), ketamine, sildenafil (Viagra) and less commonly mephedrone and cocaine.
Chest: Some people can use the more general word to specifically talk about the chest of trans men or non-binary people who haven’t had top surgery.
Chest Growths: The tissue that some people have on their upper body. While “breast” is a gender-neutral term, some people may feel uncomfortable with the term due to gender dysphoria. Chest growths contain different types of fatty, fibrous, and glandular tissue.
Cisgender: An identity where someone’s gender is the same as the one often linked to the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a woman who was assigned female at birth is cisgender.
Compulsion: When you get a really strong feeling that you have to do something. Doing it might make you feel better or less stressed for a little while. But the feeling that you need to do it comes back. You might do the same thing over and over again, even if it’s not fun or you don’t really want to.
Consent: When everyone clearly and excitedly agrees to something before they do it. Part of consent is also checking in as you’re doing something to make sure everyone’s comfortable. There’s no consent when there’s pressure, someone is drunk or high, or anyone isn’t sure.
Emergency Contraception: Also known as the morning-after pill or Plan B. A medication people with uteruses can take to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, sex with a condom that tore, or rape. It can come under several different brand names.
External Genitals: The genitals that are outside of the pelvis. You can usually see these body parts between people’s legs. They include parts like the clitoris, labia, bottom growth, penis, scrotum, strapless, and urethra.
Front Hole: A hole in some trans men and non-binary people’s external parts. Some people like having it penetrated for sexual pleasure.
Front Hole Sex: When someone’s front hole is penetrated with a penis, a strapless, a sex toy, fingers, or something else.
Gaff: Underwear designed specifically for tucking. Some women, transfeminine folks and femme-of-centre folks choose to wear a gaff underneath their day-to-day clothing in order to smooth out the appearance of their pelvic area.
Gender Dysphoria: Gender dysphoria is a term that describes a sense of unease, dissatisfaction, or discomfort that a person may have because of a mismatch between their assigned sex and their gender. These feelings may be so intense they can lead to depression and anxiety and have a harmful impact on daily life.
Gender Expression: The way someone communicates their gender identity to other people through appearance and behavior.
Hanging Parts: These two parts hang below some trans and non-binary people’s strapless. They’re covered by flexible skin.
Internal Genitals: The genitals that are inside of the pelvis, between people’s hips. You can’t usually see these body parts, or they’re hard to see. They include parts like a vagina, uterus, ovaries, prostate, and ejaculatory duct.
Intersex: A catch-all word for people who are born with bodies that don’t have just “male” or “female” sex characteristics. Some people might have genitals, chromosmes, or hormones that are different from the male/female groups. Being intersex is not a medical problem, it’s just a common way that some peoples’ bodies are!
Libido: Also called sex drive. The physical or emotional desire to have sex, or to experience sexual pleasure or sexual release.
Monogamy: A relationship style that involves only dating or having sex with one person. A monogamous relationship involves two people who don’t have any sexual and/or romantic partners but each other.
Muffing: When someone uses fingers or other small objects to penetrate their partner’s inguinal canals. These are narrow, short tubes on either side of someone’s external parts.
Nonmonogamy: Sometimes also called polyamory. A style of relationship that involves multiple sexual and/or romantic partners, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. A nonmonogamous relationship might involve three people who date each other, two people who date each other but have other sexual partners, or something else!
Packing: When a trans man or non-binary person wears a prosthetic penis and/or testicles. This can give the appearance and feel of more bulging external parts.
PEP: Post-exposure prophylaxis. A combination of medications taken as soon as possible after potential exposure to HIV to prevent an HIV-negative person from getting the virus.
PrEP: Pre-exposure prophylaxis. A medication to prevent HIV for people at risk of exposure to the virus. It can be taken once a day, or in an event-based or on-demand basis, depending on when someone feels they may be at risk.
Queer: An identity that a lot of people use as a catch-all umbrella word for people who aren’t cisgender, heterosexual, or either. It is was once an offensive slur and some people still think it’s hateful. But many 2SLGBTQIA+ people have reclaimed it and use it for themselves and their community.
Sex Assigned at Birth: The sex that a doctor labels a child when they are born, based on their external genitals.
Sexual Arousal: The feeling of being sexually excited or “turned on” which can cause different physical reactions for different people. These include erection, relaxing of vaginal or anal muscles, vaginal wetness, or increased blood pressure.
Sexual Desire: The want to have sex – for pleasure, connection, conception, or any other reason.
Sexual/Physical Attraction: The feeling of finding someone sexually appealing or wanting to have a physical or sexual interaction with them.
STIs: STIs are sexually transmitted infections, previously referred to as STDs. STIs is now used because it is more accurate, as STIs are infections that have not yet developed into diseases. STIs can include bacteria, viruses, or parasites. They are usually transmitted during sexual activities through an exchange of bodily fluids or skin-to-skin contact where the infection is active.
Strapless: An external part that some trans women and non-binary people have. Some people like using it to penetrate a partner, like a strapless dildo.
Transgender: When someone’s gender different from the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender is a broad identity that includes trans men, trans women, non-binary people, and many more!
Tucking: When someone pulls their strapless or penis back and secures it between their legs. It’s more common for trans women, non-binary people, and drag performers. Someone can also push their hanging bits or testicles into their inguinal canals. These are the pockets where they descended from before birth. Tucking can give the appearance and feel of flatter external parts.