Safe Words Are My Friends

Something happened recently. I was playing with a person I’d played with on numerous occasions when while using a strap or belt, I went a little high. By way of explanation, it was in a dark corner of Paddles and I misjudged the distance — it happens. What surprised me was that the person I was playing with felt the need later on to apologize for saying “Red” as if there was something wrong with that. It could not be further from the truth.

Safe words exist for a reason. Period. They are there for the safety of the person on the receiving end of things and because there may be no other way for the Top to realize the other person is in some state of distress. The fact is that I don’t consider safe words an insult to me — as if the person I’m playing with is telling me that I’m not good at what I’m doing. I may kind of know what I’m doing most of the time but there are slip-ups like the one mentioned above. Again, it happens. It also happens that at any particular moment, I may be out of sync with the person I’m playing with even though each of us may know the other person’s style and approach to play. Safe words work in this regard because they help me step back a bit and perhaps rework what we’re doing before carrying-on.

Unless it’s a completely headspace destroying moment, I can often pick up where I left off without much of a problem. It’s sort of like a director saying “Cut” before moving the cameras for the next shot. You keep the moment alive in your head and wait for the word “Action”.

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4 Responses to “Safe Words Are My Friends”

  1. I guess there can be a tendency to expect a progression, either on the part of top or bottom (or both). As in: we’ve played together x number times over x number of years, so therefore the quality of play between us should have progressed in some way. It’s just another variation on the same old human fallacy that we fall prey to in every aspect of life: I am older, I have been doing this longer, therefore I ought to be “better.” Reality is that every encounter is completely new. It’s an entirely new experience.

    Another way to look at it is that if people play together for a long time, they can get bored, because of a tendency to repeat the same patterns over and over again. So, if a familiar bottom “reds” then at least you know they aren’t bored! lol

  2. Sigh. I am so glad to hear a Top (especially one that I like and respect) say that safewords are “sacrosanct”. I know Tops who think safewords are stupid, and I know Tops for whom safewords are important. I like the guys who listen to the safeword – I’ve played with a Top for 5 years, and if I “RED” him, he stops and listens to me – I appreciate that. Good topic, Rad!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for this. I liked the ending, about how it’s like a director calling cut – especially in this instance. Being able to continue made me feel better, talking later made me feel better, and this post helped too 🙂

    Safewords are important, I think I had just startled myself.

    Great post.

  4. misstorid Says:

    Thank you.

    I’ve had the misfortune of playing with tops who are actually annoyed by safewords. Perhaps this has been her past experience?

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