Of Safewords and Overload

Safewords are a funny thing. Pretty regularly you’ll see “It’s ok to safeword” on twitter, blogs and all of the places we collectively go to read, write and interact. This is critical, important, and something too many people consider leaving out of a D/s or kink scene. Beforehand, it’s easy to be swept up in the draw of a scene, or a relationship, or both.

But, in the heat of the moment, that’s NOT the time to be calling out “zucchini fries!!!!” at the top of your lungs, thinking it’s your safeword. Get that stuff established at the onset.

For us, we’re in that tempting zone. That space where you can see people say “well, we’re a long-term couple, we don’t need a safe word” or “I trust (her) completely with me, I don’t need a safeword.”

But… the thing is, you do.

I’ve full-out safeworded once. We have the boring “Green, Yellow, Red” system – but that middle “yellow” has been as important to have as Red, it’s been a safety that says “hey, you know this situation is super intense for whatever reason – just a heads-up…”

The reason I’m even writing about all of this “no shit, sherlock” need for safewords is two-fold. First, “RED” is the Wicked Wednesday prompt, but second, because it immediately had me thinking about how important the whole thing is.

I’ve used yellow a few times- it’s just a thing of indicating that is more intense than maybe it was last time, or more rapidly escalating than it did last time, or unexpectedly at the hairy edge of causing a problem.

This is so important to share with the person you’re with. It gives them a critical heads-up that they should watch even more closely, should be aware that things are really piling on, that things are moving past intense to … whatever that next level is.

I’ve come to be a little fascinated by yellow. Most of the time, it passes in a flash. Probably 99% of the time. Your body and brain clash, you feel the overwhelming sensation or whatever and your brain just kind of screams out “oh hell no!” and “Yellow” quickly follows.

Learn these. Is that a bad sensation or is it a surprise? The reason I ask is because … if it’s within the bounds of limits that we’ve agreed to, and it’s super intense, your body may adjust. Or you may need that Yellow to re-jig your thoughts on “hey, that’s not so bad” or “whoa, that was too much…”

But red? Like I said. Red has been used once. Charmer has my back 100% of the time, and the odd thing was, we weren’t even at a place we hadn’t been before, that we hadn’t been beyond before. But something in me just screamed that I needed to stop. She stopped in a flash, checked in with me, and we reset mentally, physically. I’ve never felt bad about it at all, and the key thing is this:

Safewords are important for that very reason…

… we weren’t even at a place we hadn’t been before, that we hadn’t been beyond before. But something in me just screamed that I needed to stop.

Things change. Your mental place can be different, your physical reactions can be different.

Never, ever play without a safeword. Just set it up. Know it. Know that it’s ok to use it. And explore where those lines are. Explore what pushes those buttons, and have fun.

15 thoughts on “Of Safewords and Overload”

  1. Yes, my post for wicked wednesday talks about how I’ve never shouted red, never given a safeword either BUT I have brought actions to an end by speaking. It’s that communication that’s key. And having that safeword is the ultimate comfort. Because even just knowing it gives you power.

  2. I do believe that it IS important to have a safeword system. We too use the stoplight method, and where I have never used red, because he knows me very well, I will use it if necessary, and not feel ashamed about it 🙂

    Rebel xox

    1. Looking back, I thought it was interesting that the only time I’ve used red is when we were doing something normally well within “green” – it just hit differently for some reason and we went in another direction. It was a surprise to me, for sure. She said she was thinking it was more intense than previously and was already pulling back, but yeah… bodies and minds are complex! Fun to learn and explore. 😉

  3. Wonderful use of the prompt! Safewords can never be over discussed in my book. Pet has one and it was mandatory. We know each other well but like you said it can take just that one time in the wrong headspace to make things feel wrong.

  4. I couldn’t agree more, in my time with Bakji we’ve yet to use our safewords, I suspect because we are fairly cautious folks, BUT 100% we have them and we have both said many, many time going into play that we expect them to be used whenever is necessary and that’s no different now 4 years down the line as it was after 4 months. I am a huge fan of safewords and it makes me very happy to see other folks are too. Fabulous post, thank you for adding it into the F4T mix this week x

  5. I am learning all the time in the kink world and I am not so keen on a safe word in general for my relaionship but this light system sounds great. I have been in a situation before where I just wanna say -“Hey – nearly enough for me” and this system would work so well for that x

  6. I’m exactly on the same page as you are, and like you said, sometimes what ‘green’ on one day, is suddenly ‘red’ on the next for no apparent reason. The safewords are my means of communicating this change to my Dominant, who’s not upset with me for using it, but glad that he knows what’s going on and doesn’t have to guess.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. At a minimum there has to be a mechanism where the other person understands you need to stop. Nuances and variations up to that point are often what develops as a relationship matures.

  8. I love the sharing of your personal experience. It makes me rethink my own attitude. Rather than seeing safewording as a way to keep scenes within bounds (I’m really good at stopping short of those in other ways), it’s a way of safely exploring where the lines are. And they aren’t at the same place every day.

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