I’ve never had a safe word. Though I understand why people would want a safe word, especially in a BDSM scene or a situation of inflicting and receiving pain, I’ve just never felt a need for one…mainly because we really haven’t done anything warranting a safe word. Normally, I just say “stop” when I don’t like something or when I can’t handle it anymore. Sure, he’s pushed it past my “stop” (just a tiny bit) but 99% of the time, “stop” has worked. I’ve never been in a BDSM scene, though…nor have I been in a situation where He was inflicting or I was receiving great or unmanageable pain.
there are few things I’d like to try that might necessitate a safe word:
But, even in these situations, I can’t imagine why “stop” wouldn’t still work.
I know a lot of people use “the color method”:
Green – everything’s good
Yellow – things are getting uncomfortable, or I may be in need of something or a change (which gives the person inflicting the pain a heads-up that something may need to shift in order for play to continue)
Red – stop (once again…it seems “stop” would still be rather adequate here…and pretty obvious)
Others like to pick a really strange word you wouldn’t normally use in conversation…but I’m not sure I’d even remember it if I were truly uncomfortable. According to several websites I checked, the majority of safe words are either the colors mentioned above or fruits (pineapple, peach, banana, avocado…). Me? I’d most likely forget the damn word and then sound like I had turrets as I screamed out random words until I got the right one. It might be comical, but not as effective as simply saying “stop.”
I don’t have much beyond that to say about safe words, because in my relationship, it’s just never really been an issue. Maybe it’s because we’re married and have pretty good sense of each other’s body language and needs already. Or maybe it’s because we haven’t engaged in the type of play that would push us to go so far I couldn’t remember how to say “stop” and he couldn’t understand what I was saying. Maybe some people don’t really mean it when they say “stop,” or maybe I’m supposed to push myself beyond my wish to stop, though that seems rather unadvisabel to me.
For me, and for us, “stop” has been a pretty good word. It’s obvious. And it gives us a chance to quit and regroup if necessary or simply move on to another activity. I guess I’ve just never been in a situation where I couldn’t voice my needs, and He didn’t listen.
I’m definitely not an expert, and we all have different relationship needs, so I’ll leave it with this: I think safe words are a really good idea if you are playing in any way that might create pain or discomfort, where your partner might not be able to understand what you mean when you say “stop.” I also get the idea of pushing yourself beyond your limits or allowing your Dom to push you beyond your boundaries as a sort of challenge or way to help you grow. But, I think that “stop” is a relevant term. Even if I had a different word, say “red,” I’d use it at the same time I’d say “stop,” because I am internally aware of what I can handle and what I can’t. And if I’m allowing someone or pushing myself beyond that, I won’t say “stop” until I really can’t handle it anymore. My husband doesn’t want to truly hurt me, and I don’t want to hurt myself, so….
I think we’ll stick with “stop.”
And a non-verbal sign to stop (I was thinking maybe we should have a little stop sign I could hold up) might be a nice bonus for those times when I can’t speak.
(Disclaimer: The opinions in these articles are simply that…opinions. These are my personal feelings on issues of D/s. It is important to note that I am and always have been in a consensual relationship, and any activities I partake of, I have done so with full consciousness and willingness. Also, on the issue of pronoun usage, I use HE/she pronouns, with the Dominant being the He and the submissive being the she. This is for ease of writing and because it is what I identify with. Pronouns are interchangeable, so feel free to fill in with those that work best for your situation. Be nice in the comments. I’m not here to be berated or argue the issues, I’m just here to explore my own feelings and opinions and share them with those that may find benefit in doing so.)