When Is A Safeword Not A Safeword?
Updated: Feb 15
I was recently asked by someone on Fetlife to provide some training material for their website, based in the US. Lovely. I can do that. They asked me to provide guidance on safety positions and the use of the #safeword or an acceptable substitute during #breathplay. I can't do that.
SSC vs RACK
Broadly there are two foundations in #BDSM, two codes of behaviour that most people subscribe to, designed to guide and set boundaries between play partners.
#SSC - Safe, Sane & Consensual
Sane and consensual is a no brainer. This should always be the case. Consent is absolutely paramount and only the sane can consent and understand consent. The issue I have is the word 'safe'.
I don't believe that anything can be considered fully safe. Safe is what it is, until it isn't anymore. Safe implies that all risk has been removed. This is naive.
#RACK - Risk Aware Consensual Kink
That word consensual again. Again, a no brainer. We must conduct everything with consent, even if it is non-consensual consent.
The important words here are 'Risk Aware'. This implies that something can go wrong at any time no matter how much you have prepared. Risk is something that you must always look for.
This is why I do not believe in safewords.
Safewords Are Dangerous!
"Woah, hang on a minute! A safeword is used to slow down to stop the play".
But if the Top is relying on the #submissive to use the safeword...? Hasn't the Top failed? Let me explain. The Top (or #Domme or Dom) should always be in a position where they are aware of every breath and every twitch of the body they are playing with. If both players follow SSC and the use of safewords, does the Top continue to play harder and harder until the sub/bottom finally utters their safeword?
Two things here.
If the sub stops play by using their safeword, they are actually the top. They are controlling play.
If the submissive cannot use their safeword, but wants to, the play is now non-consensual.
There are 3 reasons why a submissive cannot use their safeword.
The submissive has forgotten it.
The top has forgotten it.
The submissive is past the point of being able to use it.
All the above worries me.
When I first started out as a #professionaldominatrix I decided very early on to state 'No safewords' on my website. This showed that I was a proper Domme. Strict. No nonsense. Scary. Exactly how clients prefer it. Total power exchange.
Clients pay to hand over power to the #Domme. A clever Domme will ensure that they know exactly what the boundaries of play are because a happy client is a returning client. Many clients will stop visiting a #Mistress because she ignored hard limits or showed little respect for the pre-agreed boundaries.
'No Safewords' was on my site long before I really thought all of this through. It started off as a boast, but now it is an ethos. I believe in #totalpowerexchange but I am not stupid.
I believe in learning a new body and mind so well, through play, that I know exactly how much a client can take and how much more they can't take long before they do.
My style of play is unique. I know more about their body than they do. Their body and I communicate, whilst their mind just comes along for the ride.
I don't need safewords or dropped tennis balls to guide me. Your body tells me all I need to know.
Nurse knows best.