It’s party season! Which often means lots of play parties! (I’m going to Provocation’s XXX-mas party tonight, in fact). One of favourite naughty bloggers, Ballsy Billy, recently talked about safe words…
When playing, I like to use the universal road sighs of green, yellow/orange for safe-words. I’ve never had the submissive I’ve been playing with use a safe-word, although, I have had to slow down a bit with the cautionary word yellow. Nevertheless, whatever your plans, you should always have a safe-word.
What is a safe-word?
A safe-word is a word that a submissive will use to stop play immediately; it should be used in times of distress, fear, physical danger, extreme pain, or any time when the submissive feels the scene needs to be stopped. A safe-word is not a cop-out and should not be viewed as a bad thing to use. It is to ensure safety.
When should a submissive use a safe-word?
A submissive should use a .safe-word if:
- They feel something is wrong with their body
- They can no longer endure the scene, whether this is due to mental stability or pain
- They are in fear or they don’t trust their Dominant
- Generally, any time they need the scene to stop right away.
Safe-words should be easily recognizable; they shouldn’t be similar to the name of a player or any sounds made during a scene. They should be absolutely clear.
When a Dominant gets to know His/Her sub very well, they will learn their sub’s limits and know how far they can go. But with new couples, and even with experienced couples, some signs of distress or danger might not be immediately clear, and depending on the sub’s mental state, he/she may be able to mentally handle a scene on a good day, but not on a bad day.
Dominants can use safe-words too!
If a Dom feels a role-play is going too far or the sub is pushing them too far, or they believe the sub cannot handle a scene and the sub hasn’t safe-worded, the Dom can end the scene with a safe-word.
What are some examples of safe-words?
There is a “traffic-light system”; the words involved are green, orange/yellow, and red. During a scene a Dominant may ask “stoplight?” and a sub can respond with the following. Of course, they can say “red” or “orange/yellow” at any time, too, if the Dominant knows what it means.
“Green“ – Everything is fine, continue, move on!
“Orange/yellow” – I want to slow down, there’s something I want to discuss, I have a concern, etc.
Red“ – Stop immediately.
During a role-play, the sub may also safe-word by referring to the Dominant by first name, effectively dropping out of character and exiting the scene.
“Banana” is a popular safe-word, too!
What if the submissive can’t talk?
A submissive should use a safe-word even if he/she has been ordered not to speak. However if they are gagged and unable to speak, there should be a safe-signal; some kind of non-verbal gesture that serves the same purpose. These can include stomping the foot twice, violently shaking the head, clapping, a specific grunt, holding up two fingers, etc. It depends on the situation and what parts of the body are immobilized. It’s especially important with bondage, if the sub is gagged, to have a safe-signal that is easy to preform and easy to recognize.
What if a Dominant says I don’t need a safe-word?
STAY AWAY FROM THIS PERSON! Safe-words shouldn’t have to be used, but they’re there as a precaution, and for safety. Anyone who says you don’t need a safe-word is dangerous. If a Dom/me doesn’t allow a safe-word, their sub has no way of exiting the scene should something go wrong. Never, ever trust anyone who doesn’t allow safe-words or says you don’t need them. A Dominant must always care for His/Her submissive’s health and safety; a safe-word is a vital safety measure.
Can a safe-word be used during a punishment?
Yes! Punishments are not meant to be abusive or traumatic. They’re meant to discipline, to be a deterrent. No punishment should ever be harsh enough to warrant the use of a safe-word.
A safe-word should never be seen as disobedience. Using a safe-word is not being obstinate, being difficult, it is not refusing an order. It is protecting the safety of the players.
Hopefully you will never have to use one, but let’s have a safe-word just in case.
Subs, you know your body better than anyone else. Trust your instincts. If you feel there is something wrong, if you feel the need to safe-word, USE IT. It is better to have a scene cut short than to have a problem.