One True Wayism

Our Definition

the mistaken belief that there is only one “correct” way to practice BDSM and kink. 

Real Life Examples

Roland’s dynamic with their dominant does not include the protocols that are popular in his local kink scene, which has led to criticism and questioning of his identity, ultimately making him feel like he doesn’t belong in the community. 

Polonius felt scared away from the BDSM community when they started their learning journey, because the dress code at local events heavily favored people of one specific aesthetic.

Common Practices &


Everyone is different! You'll see this repeated throughout our website and glossary. Common practices and experiences involving one true wayism include, but certainly aren't limited to:

  • Being a sanctimonious jerk. 
  • Viewing people who practice BDSM differently as inferior or fake.
  • Putting a moral judgement on neutral things that are a matter of personal taste (such as being accepting of people who engage with flogging but shunning people who prefer electro-play, or uplifting brats/brat-tamers while denigrating service oriented dominants and submissives.) 
  • Broad, over-generalized statements of what “real dominants” or “real submissives” are like. 
  • Enforcing rules or regulations in kink spaces that alienate members of the community. 
  • Creating an atmosphere where conformity is necessary in order to be part of a community.

Got a beef with our definition?

Of course we don't speak for everyone! If you feel we are missing additional info, context, facts, history, or data, please email us and let us know!

While we can't promise every suggestion will make it, we'll always be working to keep this glossary thorough and inclusive!