Are Safewords Necessary?

Are Safewords Necessary?

Are Safewords Necessary?

When exploring and negotiating kink activities, it’s important to put safety first. Although kinks can be incredibly pleasurable, safe and consensual play depends on all parties being aware of any potential risks involved. One way to ensure this is through the use of safewords – a pre-agreed upon signal between partners which indicates that a stopped or change in activity is required. Read on as we explore why having safewords during your kink exploration should always be an essential part of your plan!

Play safe

  • safewords are intended to keep BOTH parties safe – they are a necessary measure, especially in emotionally/psychologically and physically taxing scenes
  • it’s always okay for either partner, regardless of role, to pause or end a scene by using a safeword
  • safe words should not be just “accepted”, they should be encouraged, pre-negotiated, and completely respected
  • not using a safewords does not make you a better submissive
  • using your safeword never makes you a weak, lesser-than, or bad submissive
  • no sub should fear punishment or reprisal if they use a safe word to pause or end a scene
  • the concept of “a good sub” is a bullshit tactic used by wanna-be Doms to maintain control
  • if your Dom uses these strategies, please consider the implications to your mental and physical health by giving control to someone who does not value your safety and wellness

The Traffic Light System vs “Pineapple Anaconda Mississippi”

The “traffic light” is a popular and common safeword practice. It’s easy to use and very clear, provided that all parties understand how to use it and have discussed its use.

This is the general ‘template’ for the traffic light – wording may differ from other examples.

Safewords: A Non-Negotiable for Me

Personally, I’m a fan of the “traffic light” in place of more arbitrary or creative safewords for a few reasons (you may feel differently and that’s fine):

  • red/yellow/green is easy to remember, especially when used consistently
  • it’s more nuanced than a full-stop safeword
  • it requires more communication and invites more questions or discussion
  • when in subspace it can be hard to recall one’s own name let alone a random word assigned to the scene. For the Doms/Tops it gives them more info than a traditional safeword no matter where the bottom/sub is at.

As always, it’s up to the people in the scene

Whether you use safewords or not, whether you require them or not, is up to you and you are entitled to your position. As a sub, if safewords are important to you it’s okay to not consent to a scene without one – this is also okay for Doms.

If you are a Dom/Top that doesn’t believe in safewords, don’t be surprised if people won’t play with you or trust you. For many, not having a safeword is a dealbreaker.

Safewords may never get used, but their existence is still valuable, in some cases lifesaving. It’s imperative that you do what you need to to feel safe, understood and trusting in any scene you participate in – that should be non-negotiable. Safe kink is sexy kink!

What if you can’t speak your safeword?

Sometimes kin activities make it hard to speak, like being gagged or otherwise silenced. In these cases, safewords are still applicable! The simplest way to have a non-verbal safeword is a hand signal that indicates your needs. Some people like to hold an object, and when they release it, that is the equivalent of their safeword. Just remember that the riskier the play, the more vital a safe exit strategy becomes.

Both parties need to take responsibility

As a bottom or sub it’s your responsibility to use your safeword as needed. Be honest about your needs and to express them without fear of reprisal. As a Top/Dom, you have the responsibility to be listening and watching for your partner’s safeword. You must also actively monitor their overall comfort and safety. Always be very clear before the scene begins, about how either of you can/will stop the scene if needed.

Final thoughts

It is clear that there are varied opinions about the safety of safewords in different situations. Overall, each individual must decide what works for them. However, both parties need to be on the same page when setting boundaries in any type of sexual situation. This mutual agreement builds trust between partners for any future activities. Ultimately, safety should come first. Having a safeword is beneficial for partners as it can provide guidance and help ensure comfortability throughout BDSM activities. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter – do you find that safewords are non-negotiable? What have you experienced? Tell us in the comments below!

I'd love to hear your thoughts ...