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Safe Words For BDSM

  • 4 min read
Safe Words For BDSM

WHAT IS A SAFE WORD?

Let’s talk about how to turn a good kinky romp into a great one. We know that cleanliness (unless that goes against your kink), lube, safety, and consent are hard mainstays of any sex play. In kink, we take the safety and consent a bit further to include BDSM safe words.

Safe words are words used during sex, particularly BDSM or other kinks, to signify that someone has reached a physical, mental, emotional, or moral limit. It’s a way of setting a boundary so that each act remains safe and consensual for all parties. Sometimes safe words are limited to just one which translates to a hard stop, but in other cases, safe words are used as a part of a system akin to a traffic light. Using a color system with words that would never be associated with your current session is a great way for gauging and communicating your comfort level.

WHY ARE SAFE WORDS IMPORTANT?

Safe words are important for establishing boundaries and solidifying a safe and secure space for relaxation. The more relaxed you and your partner are the further you can comfortably venture into your desires and roleplay. People are generally more comfortable letting go of their inhibitions when they know a safe, secure, and respectable space has been established for them.

The best way to figure out which BDSM safe words work best for you and your partner(s) is to have a discussion about them before starting to play. You should always have a conversation negotiating the terms of your consensual session, particularly when playing with new partners. Discussing safe words, hard boundaries, and triggers each and every time ensures safe fun for everyone.

SAFE WORD EXAMPLES AND HOW TO USE THEM

Communication is key for any good relationship, especially in the BDSM world. Set up a trusting environment with your partner. It will take some planning to allow you to establish your safewords and how they will be used. An important distinction is knowing how to differentiate between kink or roleplay dialogue and legitimate safe word usage. Because of this, it is recommended to pick safe words that would never (likely) be used in the context of your bedroom play or kink.

One of the best ways of doing this is through a color BDSM traffic light system, with Green meaning to go faster, yellow meaning to go slower or calm down, and red meaning that you have reached your limit and need to stop completely. A good way to do this is by simply saying the colors aloud, or to pair each of these with a safe word that is an object of the corresponding color such as fruit. Just make sure to switch up your safe words if you’re exercising your fruit fetish.

Kinky Safe Words To Go Slower

“Yellow, Pineapple, Mustard, Taxi”

Use these phrases to signify that your partner needs to decrease the intensity, back off, or slow down a bit. The yellow safe word should be used when you are still in the mood, you’re just not comfortable physically or emotionally with how your current play is moving.

Kinky Safe Words To Go Faster

“Green, Avocado, Broccoli”

Green phrases are to signify assurance that you like the direction your play is going or to increase the intensity. Typically, green safe words are used to either reassure your partner that this is going the way you’d like, or to encourage them to amp up their activity.

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Kinky Safe Words To Stop Completely

“Red, Tomato, Apple, Fire Truck”

Red safe words mean that someone has reached their physical, emotional, or moral limit and needs to fully stop the session. Red phrases are the “ejector seat” of safe words meaning that all kinks, roleplay, and acts need to immediately halt, and reassurance and check-ins need to be done between all parties with no characters or kinks assumed.

ALTERNATIVES TO USING A SAFE WORD

In some cases, having safe words or a BDSM traffic light system of safe words is ineffective. If your partner is wearing a ball gag, or speaking clearly isn’t possible due to disability or a heightened emotional or mental state, having a verbal safe word just won’t work.

In this case, many partners agree on having nonverbal safe words. This could include a gesture like tapping, making a fist, or snapping fingers. Alternatively, holding an item that they will drop when they reach their limit has been proven effective. This method is especially good for activities with high physical stress, as the item can be dropped either voluntarily when a person is ready to quit, or by physical exertion when their own body is telling them to quit.

Other effective, non-verbal methods include implementing an easily held object such as a noisemaker, bell, or dog clicker. These signals are best for persons who are physically unable to speak or have their speech obstructed by their roleplay activity. Just be sure to secure the object to your hand with a string, cuff, or other method so that you don’t inadvertently drop it during more strenuous acts.

Safe words exist to enhance our fun, set boundaries so that everyone is safe, and give us the vocabulary we need to talk about the sex we want to have. Have fun choosing the safe words for you and your partner and don’t forget to discuss non-verbal options too.