House is used in several different ways within the BDSM scene, but always to represent a group of individuals pursuing some common purpose and wishing to establish some form of identity together. The construction "The House of X" is a very common way of titling such households. A person that is part of a household is said to be either "'Title' of the House of 'X'", or simply "a member of House 'X'".
A House provides an alternative model to the leather family, for groups of people living together in a D/s or M/s structure. Most D/s Households have a clearly identified head of household, who may be referred to as the head master or head mistress.
Many D/s Households are prominent within their local BDSM scene, and may organize events or their local chapter of an organisation such as MAsT. Having a shared household identity is both convenient and affirming, in the a similar way that many married couples prefer to share a surname.
BDSM Publishing and Fashion Houses
Similar names are also uses by some BDSM publishers, such as the House of Milan and House of Gord, and fashion businesses, such as House of Harlot. This usage also overlaps the mainstream concept of a "publishing house" or a "fashion house", but has an added dimension within BDSM due to its historical and modern D/s associations.
House of Domination
The term House is also rarely used to refer to a business of professional domination. Similar to the usage in publishing or fashion, it represents a commercial venture. A House of Domination is an establishment from where multiple pro doms operate and there may or may not be a specific D/s hierarchy between them.