Consent. Communication and Safe Words

DaddyO's BDSM

by DaddyO


"I no longer use safe words."




That's right. Sure I respond appropriately to them (as you'll see outlined below), but I feel it is much healthier to simply use real words to convey communication between a Top and a Bottom.


I understand the point of having them, because occasionally during a role play or if defined as part of a demonstration of trust within a D/s or Sadist/masochist play pairing, the bottom will want to be pushed further and saying "no", "please don't" and other such objections may ruin the dynamic.


Here are how I understand what the universally accepted basics are...


Red is used to signal stop; end the scene; say "no more"; say "I can't take it anymore". The Top needs to immediately declare the scene over; the Bottom needs to communicate that they want the scene over. A scene can be halted for any reason by either participant. Someone may have been hurt or triggered or may simply feel "this isn't fun anymore."

The scene is stopped. The Top checks in immediately and communicates with the bottom to see what is needed. The Top may need to seek medical help or both may mutually decide to begin aftercare right away.


Yellow is used so the Top can check in with the Bottom; both participants can re-evaluate the activity and alter the pace; re-evaluate the toy and/or alter the way that it is used; ask to change to a different toy; ask for less intensity; ask to slow down; ask for clarification; report a trigger word or action that isn't so triggering that the Bottom wants to stop. Basically "yellow" is used if anyone has any questions at all.

The scene isn't stopped, it is simply halted.

Not everyone plays with "green" but when it is used, it means "I'm enjoying it"; the Bottom is asking for more; wants the Top to go harder; or to speed up; or intensify the topping activity.  The scene kicks into the next gear.


"Dropping the bear"
During scenes in noisy venues or in scenes with participants who are hearing impaired or in predicaments of sensory deprivation, I often will utilize an object held in the hand for a visual "safe word." For me, this is a stuffed animal (usually a teddy bear).  If the bear is dropped (or thrown), this essentially acts as a "yellow" where I check in immediately to find out if the scene needs to end or simply slow down.


When to Use Them
Having safe words available to us is simply an extra set of communication tools. I have found that in most scenes they are left in the tool box because simple English (or whatever language you both understand) generally is enough.


Some partners prefer to use them more extensively because, for them, they can be a good way to communicate.


Other people prefer to use them more sparingly because they find it easier to develop trust and a feel for their Top this way.


There is no shame or stigma in using safe words or "communicating too much" and they cannot be used too often.


Safe words are there for both participants to use. Yes, I have used them before as a Top.


Let me reiterate some of the principles I require:


All play I do is negotiated enthusiastic consensual play


Communication is essential in negotiation, in scene, and in aftercare.


Safe Words
I will not play with you if you feel for any reason you will not be able to communicate with me your needs or, if that fails, use your safe word.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 2011, 2017 

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