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There have been some attempts out there to have some symbols for BDSM roles, however I wanted to give my attempt to expand the idea for anyone to use.

From my experience so far there are a good chunk of people that seem overly anti-labels so I want to start with the concept that these symbols are only meant for those with interest to self apply to themselves. Showing the first pass on FetLife someone managed to infer this was the same as Nazis labeling others and all I can say is we are currently in some pretty strange times. Meanwhile I've noticed most groups seem to like the idea of representation whether it be special terms, flags, symbols, etc. 

For some background; since I am a gear maker I have been familiar with the Tanos symbols which appear to be the only BDSM role symbols with some sort of usage when it comes to customizing collars and similar gear. Beatifully Bound seems to be the only place to keep up the symbol list since Tanos, the original creator, has no mention of the symbols on their website. As a result I consider the project abandoned and not to expect any updates. Conceptually the idea of the symbols is to allow discreet (as in unknown to vanilla people) declaration of a BDSM role. Thus a lower key way to declare compared to say big rowdy text that says CumSlut, SirDaddyDom, or whatever for all to see. 

So although clearly I was inspired by Tanos the system, I did have enough issues with it to try an attempt myself. For starters the system is sex specific which seems unnecessary. As a result I started by taking that out, however during development I did notice simple shapes did need something else such as interior details to make them more unique. Another oddity to me was seeing the main shapes change between owned and un-owned statuses. Other groups were added such as Switch which then don't keep the standardized look at all, so just look like a half-hearted addon. 

Moving on to my attempt, notes on the DSG BDSM role symbols so far:

  • Effort was put into the shapes to have them be overall simple, but could still be differentiated from a distance 
  • BOLD and LIGHT versions are offered to give some flexibility on the material and method the symbols may be used.
  • Since still in development, currently offering relationship display options by dots or circles.
  • Some may think the symbols look military inspired, although not the original intent, I do not see it as an issue.
  • Although based on the common tiers of top/dominant/master-mistress and bottom/submissive/slave, switch does not have the same tiers so that is why there is SWITCH2 for a symbol.
  • For those unfamiliar with some of the switch combos, they infer preference. For example A Switch Dom / Dominant Switch is a Dominant most of the time, however is switch capable.
  • Some may just like certain symbols more than another for example someone considers themselves Submissive, but likes the Slave symbol more.
  • Starting color concepts are to have Dominant roles be Gold, Submissives Red, and Switches Purple. Colors need some tweaking depending on the background to provide reasonable contrast.
  • If demand arises the system is made for possible expansion of further BDSM role representation by changing/creating more interior symbols.

Despite my intent is to make symbols that work for more people, I've been quickly reminded you can't please everyone so there is a difficult balance on being open to hearing additional ideas vs being more on the attitude of "take it or leave it". That said, I think wise to not declare perfection on the first try so I do plan to keep this page updated as any changes occur. 

Starting off with a Vector PDF to find a balance of being editable vector and user friendly, I am still happy to help with any format conversions if anyone needs them. Thanks for checking them out!

DSG BDSM ROLE SYMBOLS VER: 0.5 PDF: LINK

 

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