Whether you have an interest in BDSM or not, you’ll know that having a safe word is one of the basic essentials everyone talks about. It is a word or phrase used to stop the act should things get too much, but is sitting down and talking safe words really that vital to your fun?
The short answer is yes. If you are going to dive into the world of BDSM, you need to sit down with your partner and talk safe words. But why? Why is it that BDSM requires you to have a safe word, and what if you never use it?
Why do we need them?
To put it simply, a safe word is a word you can use in the middle of the action to make it stop. Your partner will then stop immediately upon hearing it. No isn’t enough. For a lot of people, when they are trying out BDSM, protesting with a “no” is part of the fantasy. They might beg for their mistress to be lenient with them, but they are still having fun and enjoying themselves.
Your safe word is for those times when the fun stops. It is a clear indication, when used, that you need to stop the action. This could be for a number of different reasons. It might be that you are enjoying yourself but, as can happen with rigging, you might find that you are losing sensation in your limbs. Yes, it still feels good and you are enjoying it, but this is a time when you have to stop before you cause further damage to your body.
However, some of the time it is used because things have gone too far. It might be that you aren’t ready for this next step, or perhaps you aren’t enjoying it as you thought you might. By saying the safe word you have picked out with your partner, you are showing that they you want to stop. You might just take a break and pick up later, or you might leave it at that. The point is that you get the chance to talk to your partner and discuss why you said it, without feeling ashamed of it.
What about when you can’t speak?
A good dom will listen when you use safe words. They won’t continue, which is unfortunately something we see in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. In the very first instalment, Anastasia begs for him to stop, is in clear distress, and even uses their safe word… only to be ignored. A good dom will stop immediately if you use the word. But what happens if you can’t speak?
Usually you will agree with your dom on what to do if you need to stop the action but you can’t speak. For example, if you are gagged. You will come up with a signal together to show that you need to stop, and as said above, a good dom will listen and respect you.
If you have built a strong relationship with your dom, the chances are that they’ll be able to recognise when you feel uncomfortable. Even if you don’t use safe words or signals, they may still stop the action to ask if you wish to continue. Then you can indicate whether you want to or not. It ensures that you are always in control, even when it seems as though you are not.
The most common safe words
Recently, Lovehoney decided to see how their users feel about safe words, taking a look at the most common words chosen to indicate that things need to stop. While some of the words chosen related to celebrities, the vast majority of us seem to favour food and colours. Colours work well for BDSM beginners, as you can use the traffic light system. You tell your partner ‘green’ if things are good, ‘amber’ if you are nearing your limit, and ‘red’ if you have reached it.
Fruits are by far the most popular safe words to use. While the colour red takes the top spot, pineapple, banana, and orange are all up there. Peach, apple, and vanilla also appear. As does, interestingly, the word unicorn. If you are looking for a more unusual food to use, banoffee, fairy bread, and Marmite all seem like popular alternatives.
If you’d rather stick with a celebrity name to make things more interesting, the top five are as follows: Donald Trump, Justin Bieber, Superman, Betty Boop, and Tinkerbell. We have quite the variety there, and while these words might seem strange on their own, they will each make an excellent safe word. After all, no-one can confuse you shouting Donald Trump for a cry of pleasure, right?
If you never use it…
One issue that some find is that they set a safe word and then never use it. They feel that, because they have chosen one, they have to use it. That isn’t the case at all. If you never feel you have to use it then you clearly have a great relationship with your dom, and that they understand your needs.
What is your safe word? I’ll admit that I was intrigued to see that my safe word, pineapple, was one of the most popular. Is yours on the list? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.
Since then she has gained a fine reputation with her blogs on sex advice, sexual health and amusing news stories from around the globe. She is also a campaigner for the rights of sex workers from all over the world.
In her spare time, Lara keeps herself active by going running, and is something of a film buff. She also loves to go travelling.
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