Safe words are something we introduced into our play as soon as we started our D/s power exchange. Although they probably could have been used in our vanilla sex, as we have always played around with lite BDSM to a lesser extent in the bedroom. I think they are important from my sub perspective as there can be a feeling of not wanting to let PurpleSole down by stopping play. With a safe word there is no guilt, it’s an instant out if I’m not comfortable. I’m not saying PS would ignore any resistance previously, it just sits better with me.
Of course there are also situations when ‘no’ might not mean no, con non con play for example. So it’s even more important that a safe word is used to betray the actual no.
For our verbal safe words we have a traffic light system in place. Red means stop, my limit has been reached. If I’m in restraint they would be removed with haste. Amber for caution, this usually provokes a conversation on how things could be adjusted or changed. I find this useful as there are times when stopping completely isn’t necessary, for example a wrist cuff is digging in and making my hand numb. A quick adjustment to make me comfortable and safe, then we continue.
Green we use as one of our check ins. During play if PS wants to make sure I am OK with something he will ask me with our prompt. It’s a quick way that doesn’t detract too much from the play itself. Sometimes PS will notice something that could be pretty small, like a change in my behaviour and want to be certain that everything is fine.
When in subspace or deeper play PS will often be much more aware of things than me. We have written before about how PS has suddenly ended play and commenced aftercare. He had asked our check in prompt and after no reply took action. I hadn’t noticed my body was limp and when I came back around had a severe headache. If we didn’t have our traffic light system play could be potentially dangerous.
It can be so easy to read body language wrong. While I have faith in gem to tell what she does and doesn’t like there are times I can see her make unusual movements. Making my own judgement to take a step back assuming pain or discomfort.
I err on the side of caution, rightfully so. I wouldn’t want to be the one that takes it too far the other way. I would much rather build up over months, years. We always learn about each others limits. They evolve and our play adapts.
For some play we have safe actions, where my mouth is obstructed or we are doing sensory deprivation play PS will give me an item to hold and I can drop it if I need to get his attention. We also use safe actions for impact play for a couple of reasons. Although I am able to reply verbally, the check in PS likes to do, I found detracted from the play for me. Impact is a type of play that sends me into sub space quite quickly, but having to formulate words to reply to PS was keeping me from enjoying this state completely. PS came up with a hands system for me, he will place his finger in my palm and I am to squeeze it if I am fine to continue. If I have no response he will end play. This is a simple action that I don’t have to think about and also works fine if my wrists are restrained in any way.
The second reason PS came up with safe actions to use as well was due to my inability to use safe words sometimes. When deep in play my overriding want is to carry on despite my own well being, or I am just not very self aware at this point in time.
Knowing that littlegem is safe is a top priority. But there have been occasions when I have stopped play prematurely. While I want to put and keep her in sub-space I need to know that there is no danger. The safe words and actions we put in place give me the information I need instantly, but what if I get no reaction? When gem becomes unresponsive or weak I have to be aware of the situation as a whole. If she is standing while cuffed I am more inclined to stop play, I don’t want her to collapse and potentially hurt herself. However if she is in a comfortable position and I see no reason for her to be in danger I will continue, while constantly reading her body language for any changes.