Written documents outlining the rules and expectations of a relationship.
IN vanilla, a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. Contract law is based on the Latin phrase pacta sunt servanda (literally, promises must be kept).
The term social contract describes a broad class of philosophical theories whose subject is the implied agreements by which people form nations and maintain social order. Social contract theory provides the rationale behind the historically important notion that legitimate state authority must be derived from the consent of the governed.
BDSM contracts operate specifically on that principal- that the governed have CONSENTED to wanting this, have participated to some degree or another in negotiating the relationship, and want this.
Contracts are defined as a binding agreement between two or more parties for performing, or refraining from performing, some specified act(s) in exchange for lawful consideration.
Some disagree with the term, some modify other forms of agreements, and some just flat out don't use them.
ALL of that is OK, if it works for *their* relationship.
Most of us would like something a bit more traditional, maybe something with some historical signifigance, reflecting the stronger bonds of inflexible, irrevocable permanent property ownership.
In the U.S., *enforcing* such a contract is illegal. That doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, that people do things illegally, or that they create situations that make them essentially just as bound and chained as any indentured servant throughout time.
We have a collection here of contracts found on the net, collected by friends, and under review. We hope that in your searching for just the right words, these help you in your M/s journey.