Safewords – Pineapple! Monkey! Rainbows!
Safewords Safewords Safewords. I think a lot of times people feel it is kind of a buzzkill to talk about safewords. But they are helping to create the framwork in which whatever play or D/s dynamic you want to have, can happen in. The framework itself gets shaped through negotiations and communication beforehand but a safeword during play can mean that new negotiations need to happen.
See, when you are in a D/s relationship or engage in BDSM play, you want it to feel real. You want to feel free, you want to let go, might it be as the Dominant or the submissive. You want to be able to live out your urges and get your needs met. But that of course involves the person you are playing with, that you are in a relationship with. Safewords are a great reminder of the importance of just that. Just because you have power and someone gives you control, doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want.
There is a huge a difference between control and power, and doing whatever you want. And that difference is empathy and responsibility. Your partner is still a human being, and for you to even want to engage in any kind of dynamics with them, you need to respect them. That actually goes both ways, by the way. A submissive has responsibilities too, communication being just as important as obedience. So unless both communicate, are respectful of each other’s boundaries and are responsible, things can get out of hands quickly.
A Dominant might not want to hear that safeword and ignores it. A submissive might be scared to use the safeword because they feel it would mean an act of disobedience. Or they first after the play mention that something went wrong for them, and accuse the Dominant of abusive behaviour. Having a safeword is one thing. But you also need to use it when it is needed, and you need to respect it when someone uses it.
How to pick a safeword
A safeword can be something that is personal to you and your partner, or it could be as simple as saying “red”. Red is the safeword at most playparties and is easy to remember. When you are in several D/s dynamics and each has its own safeword, it can get quite confusing! I remember not remembering the safeword!
“Ah crap, this hurts too much. Ooooh. Too much, I think I need to safeword. Ah. Apple? Pineapple? Banana? Strawberry? Aaaah, I don’t know. “
– “Girl, have you forgotten the safeword? “
– “Is it a fruit? Oh my god, tell me if it is a fruit?” –
He chuckled and stopped what he was doing.
– “It was a cute animal, wasn’t it? Mouse! “
He started laughing.
– “Stop laughing at me! Kitty? Puppy? I know! Hamster! They are cute! Is it hamster? “
He can’t stop laughing.
– “Well, whatever. I am calling it. Red! Red Red!”
– “I already got that from the expression on your face, don’t worry. You are adorable.”, he said, while still chuckling and holding me tight.
However much forgetting the safeword can lead to funny situations (with the right partner, laughing during sex or play can be a very beautiful thing!), it can be extremely scary to not remember your safeword. When there are triggers or a lot of pain, it can be difficult to think straight. So your safeword should be something that you a) wouldn’t otherwise say in a play or sexual context b) something that is easy to remember (don’t get the dictionary out, use somethng simple) and c) and if you can’t remember the specific safeword you have with your partner, then make sure that saying “red” carries the same weight as the other safeword.
There are situations in scenes where you are unable to speak (when you are gagged for instance). Remember to agree upon a sign for those kinds of situations. It could be a making a fist, stomping your foot five times or whatever else you can come up with!
When to use the safeword
The safeword is used when you would say “no” in vanilla situations. You use it when you are too uncomfortable and there is no pleasure in the experience anymore. It can be used when someone crosses boundaries and tries to push your hard limits (things you absolutely do not want to do). You use it when you get triggered and your mood tips over into actual fear or even flashbacks. You use it when it gets too much. And remember it is okay to use the safeword for things that usually work for you, our pain tolerance, our resilience, our lust,, can change from day to day.
I can understand that using the safeword can feel like you are a bad submissive (or a bad Dom) for not being able to take what your partner gives you. But actually, it is the opposite. You are considered safe if you use the safeword sometimes, because it shows that you are alert, that you are aware of your feelings and limits and that you are one for safe play. Not using the safeword and then later telling your partner that they have hurt you, is really unfair! They need to be able to trust you and your ability to read yourself right.
Of course, in the first second after a safeword got used, it feels bad. I mean, you stopped play, you stopped fun. I have been there. It is a really “Damnit”-moment. But it can actually bring more depth into your dynamics with your partner, if you use the safeword, you will be considered a safer person at playparties, and you might actually learn something about yourself too!
By the way, I want to add that Dominants can use safewords just as much as submissive. It is not unheard of that a Dominant uses it, especially if someone is too bratty and they lost interest, or another scenario could be that the submissive is really physically hurt but so deep in subspace or subfrenzy that they ask for more and more and more.
What if they don’t stop?
If someone does not stop play when you said the safeword, they are absuing you. It is as plain and simple as that. But but but? No Buts. (just butts, y’all!). If in a vanilla scenario, someone says no, but the other person continues, it is considered rape. It is non-consensual. If you say the safeword, you are withdrawing consent in a D/s scene. That means whatever happens after you have mentioned the safeword and it is still play from their side, is abuse. It is really as simple as that.
Be mindful of those who say “Oh, but I didn’t hear it, you need to speak louder!” or “Sorry, I was just so into it, I just needed to quickly finish”. Sure, a benefit of a doubt is always okay. But again: you did not give consent anymore. If they couldn’t hear you, then they didn’t pay enough attention to your reactions. They just wanted to finish but you didn’t consent anymore? It is rape.
If someone does not respect your use of the safeword, please consider leaving the dynamics and not playing with them again. Your well-being is important.
(Picture is from Google)