When I first saw this topic I wondered what I would have to say about safewords… again. I already posted about it for the 30 days of D/s here, and made various other small mentions of it. However, it turned out to have come at the right time.
Honestly, Mr.R and I haven’t had much need of safewords in the past. We didn’t engage in consensual non-consent, and didn’t see a need for a word to say ‘stop’ outside of literally saying stop. Master could easily read even the tiniest movement from me, and quickly noticed when I was uncomfortable or wanted a change. However, as we’ve gotten deeper into our impact play, things have changed.
We’ve made use of impact play in the past, but nothing very serious. A year or so ago (I don’t know, maybe two…) we stepped it up. It didn’t start as a conversation, but a natural desire and move made by both of us in the moment. Bondage was already the crux of our play. We had a few different nights in a hotel; one of which involved me hanging from a very secure pipe over the bed. 🙂 I made some specific requests in the heat of the moment that stepped up our impact play into a whole new category. We’d already been pushing it, but this was a bit of a bigger step. From there, it ventured into our regular play at home.
The first time I found bruises on the inside of my thigh we both had a moment of panic. That can’t happen again- both of us proclaimed. We had no recollection of the exact moment when I got them, being lost in the moment the night before. It had been quite a lot of fun, but decided the moment had gotten away from us, and we would be more careful in the future. In the meantime, I made sure to wear clothes that covered up my bruises while they healed and faded.
Since then, our impact play is (sometimes) more planned, and always more ‘impactful.’ A few marks are welcome tidbits. They aren’t the goal, but they are an expected and welcomed part of the process. I appreciate and relax under the kind of impact that also leaves marks, and expect our impact play to continue to grow. We both have plans to let it progress in a natural way, pushing our limits, edging even deeper. It has also made us discuss the need and use of safewords again.
Safewords - A word established and communicated about before kinky play, the use of which would stop all kinky play by the top, or dominate partner, in a scene where the bottom, or sexually submissive partner, is having their limits pushed.
We do not, however, plan to use a single safeword, but rather stop light signal words. These words are a bit more in depth then a single word that stops the scene. It is a way for Mr.R to check in with me, to see how close to the edge I am getting. Green would indicate that play should continue as it currently is, or that he could push me even closer to my edge. Yellow means I am getting close to the edge, or that I have some need (bathroom, water, food…). At this point, Master would be able to make decisions about which way to move forward in the play. He could either lighten the play, so we could continue the impact without pushing into red limits, or switch gears entirely, knowing it was time for the next thing. It would, of course, be his call at this point, knowing where we are in the grander scheme of the entire scene. My feedback of yellow, would inform his decision in the moment. Red would mean I am at my limit. I have been pushed far enough, and am ready to move onto the next thing, or be done with the play entirely.
The best thing about this method is that it gives Mr.R a way to check in on me at any time. I can quickly and easily – in a single word – tell him exactly where I am at. There’s a great thread that spells out the system here. I like the description there because it also describes possible actions to take in a yellow call, and brings up the idea of using blue to ask for more pressure, more pain, or to push the bottom further.
Here’s what is said there:
A lot of BDSM players employ the stoplight method of safewords:
RED – means stop whatever it is you are doing to me RIGHT NOW! and get me out of, off of, or away from whatever it is we are doing! It means ‘I need help NOW!’ When the safeword RED is used, the Top immediately ends the scene, and does whatever is necessary to help the submissive.
YELLOW – means ‘hey, Bub, slow down, give me a minute, you are getting way too close to my hard limits’. When the safeword YELLOW is used, the Top needs to slow down, check in with the submissive, or maybe switch implements or stroke intensity, AND check in with the submissive. Communicate, if possible. Find out what the submissive needs, maybe a drink of water, or it could be he needs a ‘potty break’ or some snacks to raise their blood sugar.
GREEN – means ‘oh yeah! This rocks! Keep going please!’ When the safeword GREEN is used, the Top needs to continue doing whatever wonderful and erotic things they are doing to the submissive, and enjoy the submissive’s reactions. It does not mean the Top can be less vigilant about communication or observation, and it means the Top needs to remain fully aware of any possible concerns.
Some people also add “Blue” for “More please/harder/faster/etc.”http://safespacenetwork.tumblr.com/post/28842319494/the-bdsm-color-system