Safewords (Mostly) Suck

Many folks into BDSM use safewords as they’re an essential part of being SSC (Safe Stupid Cockwaffles). I happen to detest safewords for a couple of reasons. That said, if you happen to be on the pro-safeword side of the issue, please know I totally judge you to be either a wannabe submissive or a training-wheel dominant.

I joke. I jest. I kid. And I kid because I love.

Of course, when someone says, ‘just joking,’ there’s usually a grain of seriousness to their comment. So put me down as kinda joking in regards to the dig above. I mean, yeah, I can see why safewords are useful to newbies, or on the set of a porn shoot, and other specific situations; but when it comes to lifestyle D/s, I’m not a fan.

Why No Safewords?
Though I’ve mentioned this topic before, I’ve never fully explained my position. The short version is safewords exist as a kind of get-out-of-unpleasant-situations-free card for a submissive. In this capacity, they undermine a Dominant’s power and position. The ability to invoke a safeword means I’m capable of ‘forcing’ a dominant to stop an action I find unbearable.

Doesn’t not having a safeword put you in danger?
No – because there are these things called hard and soft limits. However, much like safewords, established limits only provide as much protection as the amount of respect a dominant has for them. So the qualities of a dominant are equally important, qualities such as common sense, experience, empathy, and intelligence. Essentially – I have to be certain my dominant values my physical and psychological wellbeing.

What if your dominant snaps?
If someone loses their shit, do you honestly think screaming a safeword will make them stop?

What if you say ‘no’ or ‘stop ’and mean it?
When I say either of those words, I mean them. However, within the construct of a D/s dynamic, what I ‘really want’ is trumped by what my Dominant wants to do. Again – words like intelligence, experience, and empathy come in.

Of course, those involved in a lot of roleplay or rape fantasies have a different set of guidelines to keep things straight. But in my world, no means no.

The Bottom Line
Lifestyle D/s requires a lot of physical and emotional investment. And while I don’t want sex, submission, and beatings to feel like ‘play,’ the fact of the matter is they are. I could devote a lot of words to misinformed ideas about power exchange, but I’ll save that for another time.

Given the limitations, those involved in lifestyle D/s relationships share a number of extremely raw moments and enact vulnerability that’s both physical and emotional. The stronger these moments are, the less like ‘play’ the experience is, and that’s exactly what I want.

Practices & Practicalities
As to how the day-to-day reality of not having a safeword plays out, I’ve found it to be a lot less dramatic than some readers might think. Without cooking up abstract scenarios, I find myself short on specifics and merely repeating some points above.

But they’re worth repeating: establish limits, make sure you know and respect the person you submit to, and use your common sense. Oh and I’d add one more thing – take things slowly. In my humble opinion, anyone considering lifestyle D/s or some other kind of BDSM relationship needs to be prepared for a fuckload of discussion, negotiation, clarification, experimentation, and then some more of everything I just listed.

Important Disclaimer [Read This Shit]– I’m no expert. I’m just some guy on a personal blog, so read, discuss with others, and spend some time thinking about repercussions before submitting to or  dominating someone. If you don’t, there’s a good chance of ending up in a situation you regret.

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7 thoughts on “Safewords (Mostly) Suck

  1. I agree with your general thrust and I like what you say about “no means no, but…”.

    However, I regard my safe word as less of an off button and more of an emergency cord: in some situations it’s hard to tell or articulate the difference between “no (that hurts)” and “no (I’m in danger)”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the comment because it got me thinking about signals. I need to go back and make myself clear that when engaged in certain activities a submissive may lack a voice or other ways of communicating distress. For example, a sub heavily restrained and gagged should have some form of unambiguous distress signal worked out with their Dominant that indicates something is terribly wrong.

      However, your point is different, in that you want a phrase that acts as an ‘emergency cord’ to indicate real danger when you’re able to speak. Firstly, I hear you’re concern, and, really, we are on the same page except for a point of semantics. You want a certain phrase to mean ‘danger’ but I’m at a loss to think of phrases indicating real danger that could be misconstrued.

      “I might be having a heart attack!”

      “Something just tore inside me! Stop!”

      If I said these things or something similar, my Domme would immediately know I was in distress. It would not be ‘sexy talk’ for me to say I might be dying or something ripped. Hell, she is so dialed into my responses during sessions that she checks in when she thinks something might be amiss and I’ve said nothing. And, again, I am NOT talking about casual or pickup play with someone you just met a day or week ago. I’m talking about someone who you have a substantial history with and you trust.

      Could something still go wrong? Absolutely. And I’ve read the same horror stories or variations of them that I’m guessing you’ve heard. At the end of the day, it comes down to doing whatever it is you need to feel you’re safe.

      And what you’re advocating isn’t a get-out-of-distress-free card because you want a ‘unique’ phrase that means ‘I am in real danger of some kind. Stop Now.’ So if you said ‘safeword,’ and it turned out to be bullshit, I’ll bet a dollar to a dime that your Domme would sit you down for a chat then and there.

      Whatever works for you, I just don’t feel the need to have a unique phrase.

      But, again, thanks for the comment, and I’ll go back to revise my assertions to provide a bit more detail.

      Like

    1. Yeah, this is just my hyper-subjective and (admittedly) jaded opinion. If safe words work for you, who am I to say you’re wrong? At this stage of “The Game” (With apologies to Mr. Watts) – safe words simply aren’t for me.

      Liked by 1 person

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