I will, of course, start with the obvious things. I don’t play with anyone without a safe word. Those are my rules, you can have different rules and someone else to play with. No, a safeword won’t keep you safe from someone who won’t respect your limits. Just like seatbelts won’t keep you safe from a drunk driver, but you still wear them. It is just safer. And not just for you. A safeword can help me me safe too. See, while I might like hurt you in a way we both enjoy, I do not want to harm you. There is a world of difference between those two things.
All of that seems obvious to me, you may not agree and that is completely your right.
The thing about the concept of safewords that might be a little different for me is that I don’t believe that they are limited solely to kink moments (That is what others call play or a scene) it has always been my opinion that safewords are a concept that should be expanded into all of life.
What? I hear you say, kink concepts applied outside of the confines of D/s? Well, yeah, that is exactly what I am saying. In my opinion many of the tools we try to use in D/s have a place in wider life. Concepts like fully informed on- going consent, like negotiating limits and boundaries and reexamining those on a regular basis are well suited to all of life. Imagine if your job used those principles. or your extended family. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? We practice acceptance of people with kinks different from our own (however imperfectly) so why couldn’t we use a safeword as a practice beyond kink.
If you are having a tough day and feel like you need a break… safeword. If you are having a fight and the emotions are a bit too much at that moment…safeword. I know, someone is going to say “But Michael you silly man. people will just use that to avoid hard topics and discussions!” So I don’t know how a safeword works for you, but how it works for me is that whatever we are doing at the moment stops immediately, just so I can check in and find out why. Then we decide together whether to resume or change activities, or even just stop. It doesn’t mean that we will never do that again, just that we need to talk about it (see, there is that pesky communication again) and find out what needs to change.
This is why I think that it will work in more places than kink. To be honest I wish we could all just have a safeword for all of life so that when things got to be too much it could all just pause for a bit while we catch our breath. I don’t think that there has been any year in my life that could use a universal safeword more than 2020
Just to be on the safe side.