In the realm of BDSM and kink play, safe, sane and consensual rests as the buzz phrase to encourage newcomers to join (we’re safe!), illicit normalcy (we’re not crazy!), and utilize tactics to insure we’re all in this together (we all agreed it was ok … right?).
Let’s look at our phrase a little more closely. Safe: I will never hurt you physically or mentally. Sane: I’m not certifiable, I promise! Consensual: I will only do to you what we have previously agreed upon or what I know you like.
Sounds easy, right? Not so fast … how does one maintain a long term status of being “safe, sane, and consensual”? Well, mostly through referrals based on their humanity and appropriate observance of safe words. “Safe words” are often used to confirm “consensuality” but they are also often used as tactics in a covert war of passive aggressivity. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE safewords. Safewords used well are great indicators of limits that can tell you in a moment without dropping scene where your bottom is at. And as a top, you can ease off, toy with that limit for a bit, or push it, depending on the bottom and their psychological and physical state.
Awesome, you say, let’s run out and do a gang rape scene with a safe word – careful there. Many people have little emotional land mines of psychic waste that may emerge only in scene. Something may come up for them or for you that you never expected. More often than not, in play, psychic waste can be triggered by the simplest of phrases, (I know a woman who cannot be called “baby” in scene), causing the triggered person to become overwhelmed and often distressed to the point that only years of therapy can help.
Noticing when you are pushing your bottom to the point of their safe word, even if they do not call it requires being present and fully observant of your bottom, because guess what? Due to stoicism, ignorance, (thinking you want them to “take it’), or endorphins flying so high they don’t feel the over extension of their boundaries, they will not always use their safe word and oh yes, someone will probably get hurt.
Does this mean “playing” (what a fun term), is better off when done “safely”… ok honey, I will just pat your ass and call you kitten … No. Playing will always push someone’s boundaries at some point. Talking/negotiating is paramount, whether it’s for 10 mins or an hour, start somewhere and establish a safe word. Compassion comes in handy for both the top and the bottom to forgive any unintentional misdeeds. You must be able to forgive yourself and forgive the other. And finally, are you committed to continuing the play? Be honest.
But first a word from our sponsor … I have a gazilion years of experience and I still fuck up. Yes, once in a blue moon or every 14 years I fuck up. I recently had a little mishap where I called a player out on a rape fantasy. Too real. He lost his trust in me in the moment and called his safe word. No worries, we resolved the scene and scheduled another time to play.
We are special people (the naked horned beast’s), chosen ones. We know what it’s like to be abused and therefore we abuse no one. My personal favorites are the ones who know the fine line. I like to take and kidnap them through seduction or coersion, it doesn’t matter …
Clothes off, wallet or purse locked tight in a safe or better yet, thrown away … all their own doing … they are mine to do with what I will. I like towering over my helpless “victim” tightly bound in bondage and squirming beneath me, afraid and defiant simultaneously. We know it’s a game and yet it seems so real. They are naked, exposed, and completely vulnerable to my vast array of whims. What will it be today? Shall I beat them with a sjambock until they beg for mercy? Shall I take them over my spanking horse, tightly bound, administer a hot soapy enema and rape their ass repeatedly, or perhaps I will apply electricals to their genitalia and watch them scream and squirm, wanting more and yet absolutely terrified at how far I can go, we can go together.
People are afraid of themselves at the end of the day.
Finally, I say, I can do all three, I can do whatever I want because, 1. We have a safe word or 2. We have no safeword.
My most recent “no safe word” subject and I have been playing for years. In fact, he is featured in some of my most masochistic videos. I have even been asked on numerous occasions how much negotiating was done prior to our play. None, I respond, his only limits are bodily fluids, which make me often taunt him with them anyhow 😉
Ultimately, the safe word will not matter, because I have been cognizant of their psychic and physical space and I know what I’m doing – and so will you if you pay attention.
Bottom line: live and learn, live and learn.
Addendum: Look up RACK (or Risk Aware Consensual Kink) or read this wonderful piece on Consent by Flaming June.