OP: When is a safe word needed?

For every day (or night ) roughish sex you probably don't need a safe word. Saying " don't thrust quite so hard/deep" or "hey you are squeezing too tight" or " biting too hard" should be enough in those cases.

A safe word becomes desirable in a situation involving role play;usually disciplinary role play in which one person assumes the role of an authority figure and another the role of subordinate. Common examples are teacher/student, boss/employee, captor/captive and master/slave, but there are other scenarios too.

In these sorts of scenarios the subordinate, or submissive if you wish, might say "please stop," don't hit me any more," "I can't take it any more" or similar things as part of his/her persona in the game. In case the discipline/torture becomes too intense and the person on the receiving end really needs to stop the use of the safe word allows the torturer or dominant to know that this is genuine and not part of the "scene." This goes for "verbal humilliation" as well as "corporal discipline."

Before someone tries to correct me on the bit about role play allow me to add that a role play scenario is not the only situation in which a safe word might be used. People who are just starting out in BDSM style activities and have very little experience with this sort of sex play should probably have a safe word. This is a sort of insurance policy for the submissive partner. Of course a safe word should be mutually agreed upon before the activity begins. The people who are into S&M, pain play, might rely less on role play than people who are into B&D or Bondage and Discipline. Still if someone is on the receiving end of a whipping,waxing or piercing just being able to say "amber" if she needs a breather or "red!" if it is just too intense to go on is a great psychological tranquilizer.

If everything is going well the safe word will never be used. If you truly want to be dominant you have to understand your partner's physical, mental and emotional response stages; whether it be for vanilla ( non BDSM style ) sex or whether it be the most intense Bondage, Discipline or S&M scene. The dominant should be able to play the submissive like a virtuoso musician plays an instrument. If pain play is involved the dominant should be able to take the submissive right to the edge of the sub's limit without passing the limit. In a dom-sub couple with excellent communication the dom might actually expand the sub's limits little by little. It is when the dom suddenly passes the limit and the sub is not mentally or physically able at the moment that the safe word might be invoked.

If you are playing with a new partner and especially if you do not have years of experience in BDSM you should have a safe word.

As I said before my S&M friends usually go with the traffic light colors:"amber"= proceed with caution, but be prepared to stop and "red" = stop right here and now, go no further!

If a bit gag or over mouth gag is used a word like "OCEAN" is easy to pronounce. If a person is ball gagged or has tape over the mouth a signal such as blinking of eyes, a simple hand signal (two fingers up) or a double squeeze of the hand is better.

The safe word is a sort of safety net. There should never be a reason to invoke it. The idea here is to have a great kinky time.

Original Post: dlb - 04/02/2009 - 21:13

Posted: 17 Aug 03:31


My b/f & I have been discussing our more kinly sides. We're bidding on a love swing right now and the excitement of it has us discussing light rope bondage & spanking/paddling. Well, I've told him that if we try bondage part of the turn on (for me) is resisting & being overpowered. He's afraid of hurting me... which is fair since he probably could. So, we need a safe word. I'm looking for suggestions... words that don't belong in the bedroom but also words that don't mean stop. The reason behind that is because I might say stop... but not really mean it. I need something that will bring things to a screaching hault! Hopefully I'll never need to use it... but I want to be safe.


Posted: 02 Oct 22:01

Ok..being a 10+ year practitioner of bd/sm/ds/leather i can tell you that ALOT of people use "safe words" when getting into and exploreing their kinky side.....however, i've found that safe words have one basic flaw - its the word used to STOP things when one person feels the need. This often causes the person who will be using the safe word to be more focused on when to STOP as opposed to focusing on what's being done.

So, i will offer two alternatives:

1) Red, Yellow, Green: The "traffic light" option allows for bothe the DOMINANT and the submissive in the scene to COMMUNICATE in an ongoing basis. So, say you were trying some bondage, and your bf started tying you to the bed, with the traffic light system he can say "give me a color" and you, can say Green, yellow or red. Green means, ITS ALL GOOD..keep going, Yellow means, sometthings just a bit uncomfortable (your fingers are getting numb because one know's a bit too tight). This allows the DOM to make the adjustment and keep going and not breaking the mood. RED LIGHT means - STOP NOW AND UNDO EVERYTHING.

As you can see, this system gives feedback that both can use throught the scene and still not undermine the mood.

2) NUMBER SYSTEM: For me, i like this the most. I tell my submissives that from time to time, i'll ask them to give me a number from 1-10. 1, meaning everything's fine, keep going to 10 - STOP! This really gives a whole spectrum of options to both the DOM and sub. Why? well....as people get more into kink, say, paddling, the feelings change from minute to minute. I may paddle a sub 3 or 4 times and he/she gives an 8 as a number....so i slow down a bit.....ask again and she gives me a 4....then i go again and the same strikging that 5 minutes ago got an 8, now is a 6.!

So, explore...use safe words if thats waht u want and feel comfortable..or....try the TRAFFIC LIGHT or NUMBER system as an alternative.



Posted: 02 Oct 22:01

Add a Reply!