The Safe Word Hypocrite
Under the most basic general principles of safety I am all in favour of subs having a safe word. With so much discussion focused around consent, it’s an essential part of play that makes safety first and foremost for all concerned. For sure, the more you trust your partner the less you may feel a safeword is necessary – but the one time you need it, oh boy !!!
I’ve experimented with the traffic light system (green / amber / red), a handkerchief in the hand and a variation of that with a small ceramic bell. I’ve had safe words, though no domme has tried the trick of suggesting supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – well, not seriously.
I’ve found that the one thing in common with these methods is that they don’t work for me. It’s too long ago to recall clearly, so I do wonder if the first time feeling the thud and sting after a very responsible lecture on safe word usage was partly macho bravado. From which the pattern of a lifetime was set.
What happens that’s so odd ? The deeper into a session I go, the more inward my focus becomes. Introverted and introspective, I don’t just lose the ability to vocalise, I lose my sense of self-preservation and ego. I still remember that ceramic bell, at the beginning my hand clamped on it. There was no way to unwind the muscles to let it go. At the end she had to pry my fingers from it like a dead man’s hand.
Over the years it’s become totally ingrained. It’s very likely that my early mindset was one where I said to myself “I’m the sub, it’s not my place to tell the domme when to stop, so I will endure”. It’s never been about challenging a domme to break me and make me use a safe word, it’s been about trusting that person to have the knowledge and empathy to know when to stop. I’m very grateful to those who have understood this part of me and acted accordingly, especially my former mistress and now, my current domme.
I’m grateful because I understand full well just how freaking dangerous this has the potential to be.
When I’m on the bench and feeling right at the limit my subspace brain feels like someone totally different. It feels the crescendo of pain and tells me it can’t take any more, then as the pain subsides and I fold around it, the brain cheekily asks – perhaps one more, then ? Always it reaches the conclusion that if I’m asking that rational question, then I can’t stop, that somehow I would be cheating both of us. As a sub, I find that integrity to be a real bitch. I could play along and call out at about the right time to ‘give her what she wants’. But she’d know I was cheating and I’d feel like I’d failed and let her down.
This is another dangerous aspect. The only way that my brain could answer that it has to stop is beyond the point it’s already too late. I’ll black out.
My domme doesn’t deliberately test this, but the way she operates is to always push and extend my limits. By its nature, this at times goes very close to the line. I’m not scared of that line, I’d prefer to stay the sentient side of it but having strayed over it I know I can deal with it. I did a recent post about taking Jelly Babies to sessions, this is why. It’s a safety contingency measure, she knows exactly where they are in case I need sugar to bring me back.
I can’t stress enough how much I trust my domme in order to take me to the places where such things have to be considered. She’s pretty damned adept when it comes to knowing when one more stroke is one too many.
A domme is a natural cynic when it comes to a sub’s claims about themselves. Although I’d known her for over 6 months of hypnosis before we added CP into a more complete D/s relationship and she’d learned to trust my feedback, I could see it in her eyes when we first discussed my reactions to CP from past experiences:
Me: Marks don’t last very long on me
Her silent eyes: You just haven’t been hit hard enough
Me: I turn inward and am unable to safe word
Her silent eyes: You just haven’t been hit hard enough
Me: I have no clue what my limits are
Her silent eyes: You just haven’t been hit hard enough
There’s a lesson here beyond a discussion on safewords. Never try to bullshit a domme – you’ll get hurt. In that discussion I didn’t say (as so many do) “I don’t need a safeword”. I said “so far experience says that I can’t call a stop.”
So we have our duet, or is it a waltz ? And I know she’d love to hear me cry “enough” but accepts that my body breaks before my mind does.
And here’s an interesting thing, beyond that first discussion she trusted me enough to not even talk about a safe word – I don’t have one. I know she’ll stop when she deems that I’ve gone far enough. I still smile when I consider that her idea of my limits and my idea of those limits are not in sync. It’s in this area in between that my mind works overtime in trusting that she knows me and my reactions much better than I do.
I have no safeword, and yet I do. One time I was quite ill when I arrived for a session. I told her that I had no idea how far I could go. She wouldn’t have been able to read me as she normally does, so this was my responsibility. And yes, I safeworded that session. It probably wasn’t the fantasy image of a sub safewording – “Sorry, but I need to stop or I’ll throw up over your bench.” And that was fully appropriate. It might have been a simple “stop”, but I do things with panache even when sub par. She stopped immediately because she had no consent to go any further – it’s about trust, my friend, trust.
Given the starting conditions of that session, I never saw that as failure. To the contrary it was a success in taking responsibility under unusual circumstance. Safety is as much my responsibility as hers when the circumstances require it.
I don’t think that I will ever now have a safeword system. It doesn’t work for me in the normal, expected ways, only when there are exceptional circumstances.
I actually really value what safewords are and what they should be and what they signify in the majority of cases. They are invaluable in confirming consent or removing it. I really do not recommend bypassing the need for a safeword, I regard them as essential. At least in the early days of a relationship.
Okay, it’s a kind of hypocrisy along the lines of do as I say, not as I do. But I’d rather you all played safe and avoided getting hurt.
October 13, 2019 @ 3:30 am
I find reading this post, together with others on this topic, fascinating. There is so much of the psychology that comes into play, for the dominant and the sub. The hard part is to have two people who can’t read each others’ minds, and often not even their own (at least the sub) when the scene goes into uncharted territory.
October 13, 2019 @ 8:34 am
I spent quite a long time being frightened of the way I reacted because of the high danger potential. Among other reasons, this is what makes me a monogamous sub. Both my former mistress and my current domme read my mind to unfathomable depths. Both eventually reaching the place where I can trust without reservation. I find this amazing and sublime.
Many thanks for the prompt suggestion, it has indeed been fascinating seeing the various posts. xx
October 13, 2019 @ 9:45 am
You’re welcome 😊. It’s quite astonishing to read the different entries. My initial thought was what to do when the Domme knows the sub better,which my ales the VC sage word somewhat counterproductive. Thanks for all the great posts!!
October 11, 2019 @ 5:31 pm
‘The deeper into a session I go, the more inward my focus becomes. Introverted and introspective, I don’t just lose the ability to vocalise, I lose my sense of self-preservation and ego.’
I recognise this so much. My Dominant forces me to speak my mind and to tell me if something’s wrong by asking me ‘colour’ every other minute. It’s not sexy, but it’s necessary and it forces me to say how I’m feeling.
Thanks for sharing.
October 11, 2019 @ 6:23 pm
I knew some people would recognise the introversion. It’s safe with the right partner and processes in place. Outside of that, I’d be wary and even scared of going there with someone new because I recognise the dangers.
Bugger sexy – safe is the first priority and when safe, sexy takes care of itself.
Thank you xx
October 11, 2019 @ 12:13 pm
Really thought provoking and insightful post, like all things BDSM I think it’s so important to know and do what works for you, and know WHY you are doing or not doing something, thanks for sharing!
October 11, 2019 @ 12:28 pm
This is exactly it !! Thank you for reading and commenting. xx
October 10, 2019 @ 11:30 pm
Great post. You make some really thoughtful observations.
October 11, 2019 @ 11:08 am
Thank you, JG. Always appreciate you reading and commenting xx
October 10, 2019 @ 7:50 am
I think this makes perfect sense. I’m a little bit similar to you, in that I champion safewords and think they are vital for many people engaging in kink, however I’ve yet to use mine and the one time I got told I should have called red, I didn’t know I’d gone past a suitable point. I was being bitten, purposely to see how hard I could take it and it just wasn’t hurting enough to say red, I wasn’t looking at the biter and he continued until he couldn’t go any harder, without eating a chunk of flesh I guess. I had a massive We went past bruise territory and I ended up with a massive hematoma on my thigh and to this day I have a dent in my thigh from the damage done. It taught me a valuable lesson about ‘Doms’ who like to show off, and that perhaps sometimes the place I can go to isn’t the place I should go to and playing with someone who understand that the end goal isn’t making me say red, because I likely won’t is super important. Fabulous post as always Melody x
October 10, 2019 @ 8:24 am
It’s like many things, you don’t know what ‘rules’ to break until you’ve understood them in the first place. Driving is like that, the rules against which you pass your test become adapted over the years to actual driving conditions.
Safewords are similar. They are the place from which to safely start and adapt from – of course, I never even safely started with them 😉
I do know what you mean with your experience. I’ve previously used the ‘boiling frog’ analogy. As the heat is raised there’s a point where it’s too late to do anything about it because you don’t know you’ve gone past that point.
For obvious reasons I could never play with someone who had a goal of making me safeword. It’s why I’ve been very careful when in discussions with a domme to never couch this as a challenge to their skill or authority.
Thanks for great comment xx
October 10, 2019 @ 2:23 am
You can advocate for safewords and not use them in a way that may be normal to others. I wouldn’t say hypocrite in any way as your Domme knows how you operate. Just because you don’t actually say a specific word or perform a specific act doesn’t mean that you don’t have a safety method. Thank you for giving the glimpses into your life. 😊
October 10, 2019 @ 8:12 am
Thank you J.
Of course, my safety is embedded in her skill. x
October 8, 2019 @ 5:23 pm
Great post – thanks for being so honest too. I do like these windows you let us have into your sub life.
Your last line did make me smile. And I wanted to say “Me Too” – I just want everyone to be safe and happy 😉
My own post includes a bit about trust too – not out yet though x
October 8, 2019 @ 5:32 pm
Thank you, May.
There are so many different ways people use and interact with safe words. I hope the prompt provides a series of vignettes on how they are used for anyone contemplating exploring. By all means make your own decisions, but do it as an informed choice.
I’m glad to be back on the #F4T prompt and looking forward to yours and others posts 💋💋
October 8, 2019 @ 5:39 pm
My post is quite lightweight as my play is not that extreme when all is said and done. Or is it just that everything seems normal after a while? 😉 x