It's after naked yoga, and we’re sitting in a bar in downtown Denver. We’ve just endured an hour of stretching abound with dangling boobs, balls and fat rolls — and now we need a cocktail. 

Caroline is sipping a cinnamon whiskey drink and chattering on about BDSM. I’m fascinated, absorbing every word she’s saying until suddenly, it sounds like she’s speaking in tongues. 

“At one [sex] party, some of the Slytherin play made me splinch,” she says. 

I stop her right there. What the hell are you talking about? I’m pretty damn sure “Slytherin” and “splinch” aren’t words in the English language. 

“You’re right,” she giggles. “They’re expressions from Harry Potter.”

This was the moment I discovered my childhood’s beloved boy wizard had become a perverted partner to the BDSM community. As Caroline and friends insisted — and a gang of Harry Potter erotica lovers later confirmed — kinksters are using the language of Harry Potter to secretly discuss their sexual practices out in the open.

Vanilla folks, people who have tame non-kinky sex, are called muggles. Doms and subs, the dominant and submissive partners of a sexual power dynamic, are called wizards and witches. A sex toy is called a wand. Azkaban is someone’s sex dungeon. The list goes on. 

Colorado’s BDSM scene is a tight-knit group of sexual deviants. They’re united by their love of bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism — all activities that combine sex and pain. 

But beyond “how to train your slave” seminars, it’s risky to talk about BDSM. Not long ago, people with unconventional sex lives were deemed mentally ill in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

A gentle nurse could lose her job if colleagues learned how she paddled her partner’s ass in the bedroom. A strapping father could lose custody of his kids if he was caught crossdressing in his wife’s skimpy skirts and Victoria’s Secret panties.

Caroline is a 47-year-old teacher and counselor. She works with young kids, so it’s understandably difficult to discuss cock and ball torture during naptime or PTA meetings. 

“We used to be able to talk about BDSM in public or at work, and no one would know what we’re saying,” Caroline says. “After ‘Fifty Shades’ came out, we needed new language that wasn’t so easily understood, and we all seemed to agree on Harry Potter expressions.”

Not long ago, the kinksters didn’t need code words. It was the menace of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series that drove BDSM out of its underground culture, into the mainstream. 

The books awakened America’s sexual fantasies, bringing millions of housewives and soccer moms to climax with its depictions of violent sex. But because it exposed (and misrepresented) BDSM’s sexual practices, “Fifty Shades” is like Voldemort to the kink scene.

Even J.K. Rowling has expressed annoyance with the wildly successful smut. When Rowling was told in an interview that “Fifty Shades” shattered her record for books sold on Amazon U.K., she responded, “Just think how many books I could’ve sold if Harry had been a bit more creative with his wand.”

In an attempt to minimize the damage of one best-selling book, the BDSM community has ironically destroyed the innocence of another. 

Still, I often picture Caroline at the elementary school, using Harry Potter code words to slyly discuss fun times at the sex dungeon — without corrupting the minds of the children all around her. It’s magical, in its own way.

Suburban Dictionary

The hosts of Potterotica, the erotic Harry Potter fan fiction podcast, confirm that Harry Potter is a secret way to speak BDSM. Host Allie LeFevere, utilizing her unique position at the intersection of sex and Harry Potter, asked loyal followers to share their sneaky BDSM expressions.

Aguamenti – When you’re super wet.

Gillyweed – When you go down on someone for a long time and need that extra lung capacity.

Death Eater – A rimjob.

Longbottom – Ass play.

Unicorns – Swingers or a bi-girl who is down for threesomes.

The Dark Mark – A spanking.

Ravenclaw – Mindfuck play.

Scourgify – Commanding a sub to clean up after sex.

[cover photo Rooster Magazine]