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TOPIC: Safe Words
Created by: stgalacouple
Original Starting post for this thread:
Safe words have come up recently in discussions in various topics, so it's probably a good idea to say more in depth about this topic.

A safe word is a word the submissive uses to stop a session immediately. "Stop" is an obvious safe word, but if dom and sub play the game in which "stop" doesn't mean stop, a different safe word is used. It can be anything, but a word that's easy to remember is a good idea.

What if the sub is gagged or can't otherwise speak? Instead of a safe word, the dom and sub would establish a safe action. Holding an object and dropping it to stop the session is a commonly used safe action. A ball with something inside it that makes a noise when the ball rolls (such as an easy-to-obtain cat toy) might help call the domme's attention to the fact that the object was dropped.

It is sometimes said that safe words are not needed. If "Stop!" isn't counted as a safe word, this might be true. However, a sub ALWAYS needs to be able to stop a session for reasons of serious physical distress. If the sub is having a heart attack, for example, the sub's not being able to stop the session would be a very bad thing indeed.

It's also important to say that a safe word provides no protection to the sub whatsoever if the dom is not willing to stop the session when the safe word is used. A safe word is only as good as the sub's trust in the domme. This is one reason why experienced D/s people keep talking about trust.

Dominants usually follow one of two theories about safe words. Some dommes feel that it is their responsibility to know the sub and understand what the sub is thinking and feeling during the session. If the sub needs to use a safe word, the dom feels as if he has failed to do that. Under this theory, the dom never wants his sub to have to safe.

Under the other theory, the domme wants to be sure her sub will safe if necessary. She will push her sub to safe from time to time just to test the system. If the sub doesn't safe, the dom knows that a discussion needs to take place, or he can never push his sub to the edge of her limits safely.

Of course all dominants want subs to use their safe words when it is really needed. A sub who safes for very minor things or to test the dom will find that he or she will soon be looking for a new dominant.

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The reason that "stop" often isn't used a safe word is that part of the scene could have the sub/bottom begging to stop: the intensity of the scene of is hightened if the bottom can seemingly beg for mercy and have none granted. A safe word allows for a scene to get to this level yet having a safe way to escape when needed.

The color system works great for us. Also, in those cases where verbalizing is not possible (for example, a ball gag is in use), a physical gesture needs to be readily available.

Remember that everyone's scenes are different. For some, it is as simple as taking someone over your knee for a spanking for which simply saying "stop" might work. For others, a full dungeon scene where verbal, physical, and mental torture are involved, politely asking your partner to stop may not work. By using "yellow," I am able to communicate to my Domme that this scene is getting close to not working for me without killing the mood completely; "hey, we need to make an adjustment so we can both continue to be in this." I've never had to use "red" (and I think I've only used yellow once or twice).

Brea CA
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If a bottom wants to stop everything, saying "stop" works perfect. If she she wants to slow down, saying "slow down" is easy to understand... no need for code words, unless you are including some sort of coercive roleplay in your scene.

Safe words are great, but I think a top still needs to take responsibility for being in tune and not going too far. Some bottoms won't use safe words when maybe they should.

The "scale of one to ten" idea is something very familiar to most. I use a ten scale when I am exploring edges with a new playmate, to get feedback about where she is. I say "ten scale" and she gives me a number -1 through 10- to let me know how close she feels to her limit - 10 says she feels she is at the max she can handle.

Pismo Beach CA
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We tried out several different safe words, but then came up with a simple solution. The word yellow mean slow down things are getting a little intense. The word red means stop immediately and completely. This is easy to remember, and it's almost idiot proof as most people are already familiar with slow and stop for yellow and red respectively.

Bristol PA
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lol...yeah well maybe that is what makes me so specail!

Most all of my play, including restraint and D/s play involves having multiple guys, each bearing (baring?) one cock. Hence, multiple cocks.

;^D

Youngstown OH
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Andy,

Multiple cocks eh?

Rumson NJ
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CockS How many do you have hiding in those shorts of yours?

Augusta NJ
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My middle finger is normally in use and she can feel free to use whatever fingers she wants to signal with but her hands are usually wrapped around cocks.

Youngstown OH
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What would the middle finger mean ;)~

Augusta NJ
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What!

No middle finger? :)

Rumson NJ
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I have used red and yellow as well and they are always easy to remember and their nmeanings are instantly clear. As a change of pace, I suggested using banana and cherry once but we decided that would just make us laugh.

For some play we also use hand signals. One finger = yellow, two fingers = red.

Youngstown OH
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TOPIC: Safe Words