Regarding Safewords

This post is reposted from its original spot on naga.toys on Tumblr.

I saw some conversation earlier this evening that really got under my skin, and I felt like I should respond.

Let me be clear. I do not intend to slander or offend anyone with this post. I just feel that another viewpoint should be shared on the matter.

A kink group was talking about various things with a newcomer, someone who was relatively inexperienced with kink and its workings. When someone raised a question about the use of safewords, a reasonable, sensible discussion began on their use and selection, and the necessary conversation that needs to accompany them before every scene. Everything went pretty well.

Until it didn’t.

One person replied: “I don’t use safewords.”

The conversation was several hours old by the time I caught up on it, so my opportunity to respond to something still unfolding had long since passed. So I’ll put my response here.

That behavior is not something we should be teaching newcomers.

Experienced players know themselves enough to know what they need. But newcomers should learn good practices early.

I respect everyone’s abilities to act as they please. Individuals have the freedom to choose how to conduct themselves in their own lives. And in the context of well-established, long-standing relationships built on a sturdy foundation of trust, this behavior makes sense.

But in the context of new players, discouraging the use of a safeword is dangerous behavior. Newcomers may not fully understand their limits, and likely have not tried every single piece of gear and equipment out there. In the event of a true issue, where whoever receiving the actions feels uncomfortable, a safeword is an invaluable and necessary rule.

One does not purchase a fire extinguisher with the hope of using it. You purchase a fire extinguisher because fires happen, and you should be prepared to handle one if it happens. A small investment ahead of time will save your money, your time, and possibly, your life.

These relationships should be built on respect, care and a lot of trust. People’s emotional, mental, and physical well-beings are being put to the test to varying degrees, and this fact should not be taken lightly.

I personally will not play with anyone who will not respect my ability and my right to use my safeword when I feel it is necessary. Even with in-depth discussion beforehand, accidents and issues can happen. You respect me, and I’ll respect you.

Thank you, if you have taken the time to read this post. I welcome any comments and discussion on this.

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