This is an entry in the Blog Hop Challenge from The Submissive Guide at http://www.submissiveguide.com/2012/10/sgbhc-13-using-safewords/. I believe that the topic of safe words is a good one as I suspect different subs have different approaches. It will be interesting to see the entries from other bloggers to compare with my own comments.
“Do you have a safeword?”
Yes, definitely. If my dominant wife and I did not use a safe word and “stop” meant to stop, then she would stop after just several seconds of torture! During S&M play I often yell in pain, beg, breathe to try to get through the pain, gurgle, laugh without meaning to, take in a deep breath through clenched teeth, and even sometimes scream at the top of my lungs. Doesn’t seem very pleasurable, eh? Well, I am not a pain slut meaning I do not enjoy the pain for its own sake or for the endorphins. In fact, the endorphins rarely seem to activate for me (the two notable exceptions are when I seemed to reach “subspace” as I have blogged about months ago). It’s all pain and if my wife tortures me for 30-45 minutes then it’s all pain except during the brief times when she is between implements. Fortunately, she restrains me because otherwise I am rolling around all over the place which could be dangerous as blows rain down, although she is careful on the times I am not fully restrained.
My begging and yelling in pain is all real, at the moment I sincerely want the torture to stop. I have recently heard the term emotional masochist and that may fit for me. I do not enjoy the pain itself but I love the emotions of victimization and cruelty I feel from my wife.
Recently during a scene my wife asked me “Do you really want me to stop?” I wasn’t sure if she meant to break the scene, check in with me, or just taunt me and I think I surprised her by looking into her eyes and answering “Yes, please stop!” Deep inside I didn’t actually want her to stop because even though I really was sincere in begging her to stop, I have awareness inside of me even at those times that I really love what she does to me and I particularly love long scenes. I have blogged previously (in a “note to my wife”) about this effect of having two people inside of me during a scene. Nevertheless, I said “Yes, please stop!” but thankfully she didn’t, she said “Too bad!” and continued.
In any case, we use the yellow/red safe word system so that my wife can know with confidence that I am all good with her proceeding … if her ears can handle all of the screaming lol.
What about those who do not have a way for the sub to communicate a problem, via safe word or just saying that they have had enough? That would not work for us at all. My wife needs to feel confident that I am not in danger and for me not to be able to communicate would remove that confidence from her. Masters and Mistresses are not omniscient and can’t know everything going on with a sub’s body and mind.
I have read on FetLife comments such as “I trust Master so we do not need any way for me to communicate a problem” and this just wouldn’t work for me, even regardless of my wife’s view on this (she agrees with me). Trust isn’t the issue for me, of course I trust my Princess. She simply isn’t omniscient and we would both rather not have her property (me) damaged.
I have also read FetLife comments such as “Slaves do not have safe words, only subs have safe words.” That is word play and I don’t care much about definitions. Non-BDSM slaves have no safe words and also have no freedom to leave their Masters whereas BDSM slaves may always leave their Masters (even in Internal Enslavement contracts if a BDSM slave goes to the police there is no way that the contract wouldn’t hold up in a court of law). So BDSM slaves are not slaves if you want to use that non-standard definition of the word slave. Consequently, the word “slave” in a BDSM context is mostly what you make of it.
The implication that slaves do not have safe words is meant to denigrate those of us who use safe words, that we experience watered down slavery compared to the person making the comment. I am fine with that, although I disagree with the implied negative connotations. My preference in fantasy is to be a non-consensual slave tortured literally 24/7 but I simply couldn’t handle that in reality so yes I prefer a watered down version of slavery to allow for reality. In reality, I need to have a safe word dynamic. If someone is willing to play with fire (figuratively and possibly literally) without a safe word or way for the slave to communicate trouble, that doesn’t seem safe to me but I can only speak for my own preferences.
I have read of many others who do not use a safe word but instead simply communicate issues. That seems very safe to me, too, I don’t think there is anything more or less safe with that than with safe words. If stop means stop, then that seems safe to me.
“When was the last time you used it?”
BDSM has been in our marriage for about a year now but my wife has been torturing me for many years. Ba-dump-bump. Oh wait, did I type that out loud? lol. Actually, we dabbled in light S&M play early in our over 15 year marriage and we had a different safe word back then but I don’t think I ever used it. In the past year I have used the yellow safe word three times.
I used yellow twice on March 5th of this year during the over one hour no-break torture scene which I blogged about on March 5th and 6th and in those cases the pain was just too much for me. The first was when my wife put a clothespin on my nipple and then removed it and quickly put it back on. I think she was just trying to readjust it but after 30-40 minutes of torture already that was too much. I remember having one of those speed-thought moments in which a whole lot of things raced through my mind in the two seconds between the too-much-pain occurring and my saying yellow. I didn’t want to safe word because I wanted to bear the pain successfully and I also didn’t want my wife to think that she did something wrong. But I quickly acknowledged to myself that I am human (damn!) and had enough at the moment. My wife quickly removed the clothespin but kept me restrained spread eagled and I think it was about 20 seconds later I said green, and she moved on to the next torture.
Which was hard bastinado with the crop. I took a handful of blows of that but just couldn’t take any more of it and said yellow. My wife now usually uses a less sturdy implement on the soles of my feet such as a thin stick or my belt, and I can take a lot of blows from that but the crop is still just too much after a handful of blows. I think it was about 20 seconds later when I said green, and my wife continued the torture scene for another 15-25 minutes and it was all good.
I was very proud of my wife for continuing. She is new to BDSM in that she didn’t really have BDSM fantasies all of her adult life as I have (I say “really” because she has always liked to pick on people in a slightly cruel way, but she had kept that desire mostly at bay until she met me). Once we started with BDSM we discussed safe words as well as many other topics, because we enjoy talking with each other. We agreed that the use of a safe word by either of us didn’t mean that anyone did anything wrong, it’s just that things happen which may not be expected, that’s the nature of being human. Both times I said yellow during the scene I worried that my wife would shy away from continuing but that did not happen at all, she paused as we had discussed and then continued when we were green.
Another good effect from the experience of my using the safe word is that my wife’s confidence in my ability to safe word grew and since then she knows that I will safe word if I need to. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t check on me during a scene, but it does mean that if I am not safe wording then she may feel free to continue.
As usual, though, I have digressed and haven’t yet answered the question. The last time I have safe worded was several months ago when my wife was inserting into me a large dildo which was thicker than anything she had used previously (I blogged about it at the time though I don’t remember the date). She used plenty of lube but I felt too much pain and feared internal tearing so I said yellow. The amount of pain wasn’t that large compared to other agonies I have experienced (and loved) but pain in that internal area is tougher for me to take plus the fear of tearing (I did have a bit of blood there after the scene but not bad). I remember feeling a bit light-headed but I breathed through it and managed not to come all that close to fainting. It took me I think about two minutes to let my wife know green. She wanted to stop because of the danger of causing damage but I asked her to try again though much more slowly. To my surprise, with coaxing and patience she got it in and I was fine, although probably not coincidentally she has not used that dildo since.
“Are you afraid to say your safeword for fear of appearing weak?”
No, not afraid. I am weak!! I do not have any illusion that I am able to take a lot of pain and that isn’t important to me at all anyway. And I enjoy being made to feel weak and pathetic. Oh I know, being a sub makes us strong and I do not mean to imply otherwise, I just enjoy the feeling of being victimized by my wife’s cruelty and that includes being made to feel weak and pathetic, groveling, and all of that. Yeah, stereotypical for one type of male sub but what can I say, it fits my desires. Sometimes as I am yelling in pain and sincerely begging for mercy my wife will tell me how much of a baby I am to add to the humiliation.
Several nights ago, referring to a FetLife masochist friend of ours, my wife said as I was yelling in pain “I’m barely even tapping you, Leander would be laughing if his wife hit him this softly.” Gee, thanks Princess, way to make me feel like a wimp! Lol she got me with a good one there, and it’s probably the truth.
“What are your indicators that a scene has gone too far and you need to safe word?”
I can only speak for myself, of course, but I have never lost the ability to safe word during a scene. I have read comments that some subs get into a state where they literally would not be able to safe word out of a scene but that does not apply to me, possibly related to my perception that endorphins rarely activate for me during a scene. Consequently, it means that my wife can feel confident that she doesn’t need to step in and safe word for me.
My indicators are that the pain is too much (extremely subjective) and/or potential damage is being done. For example, when we first received electrodes for my wife to use on me, one time she started placing them in the middle of my back but at that moment, despite being in a scene, I reminded her that the directions stated to use them only below the waist. I didn’t use the safe word because I knew I wouldn’t have to, but I would of course have safe worded if she had said “Too bad” (which I knew wouldn’t happen). There have also been several times in which a wrist restraint was too tight and I just say that it’s too tight.
For my wife and me, the safe word may also be used not during play. I don’t think it would ever be needed because we could just discuss the issue and I would never say something confusing (I wouldn’t say stop when deep inside I wanted it to continue). However, the ability to safe word is there just in case. It is tough for me to think of an example but I will try now.
Let’s say that my wife commanded me to do something (that’s not a hypothetical, she does command and I obey!) but the something was going to inadvertently take me past a hard limit. I of course would let her know of the issue and she would change the command. But let’s say that she thinks I am just trying to be contrary or maybe in a mood, and let’s say that she says “Too bad, do it anyway.” She certainly has the authority to say that and I really love that she has that authority because it would allow me to whine without breaking the D/s dynamic.
Tangent time. Whining? What kind of a slave is Ted? Well, I happen to enjoy whining and as long as it is in a playful setting my wife seems good with that. She can respond however she wants, “Stop whining”, “Too bad bitch”, “You big baby”, or whatever. But I won’t whine if I feel that my wife would feel pressured to break the D/s dynamic. Once I feel comfortable that my whining would not break the D/s dynamic (we are not at that point yet, by the way, it’ll probably just take time) then we’ll see how it goes. It’s not an important issue, though, I am fine without whining.
Going back to my example, if my wife said “Too bad, do it anyway” even though I pointed out that it would go past a hard limit or for some other reason I just needed the command to be changed, I would say the safe word. Yes it would sort of break the dynamic so I would really want to avoid saying the safe word when not during play, but the ability exists just in case. As I mentioned earlier, neither of us want my Princess’ property to be damaged.
I want to add a comment about Domestic Discipline. This is a very popular dynamic in which a spanking occurs as a punishment. What is the point of having a safe word during a punishment? Wouldn’t that make the punishment actually a funishment, fun for the sub? Shouldn’t the sub just take the punishment, even beyond the point in which the pain is “too much”?
I don’t have an answer to this either direction. My wife has never punished me because I am a good boy all of the time. No, okay, that was just a silly brag, the reality is that I do make mistakes of negligence (some rather perplexing ones which could use correction) and my wife does funish me from time to time, but we do not have a punishment dynamic, and I am fine with that because I don’t think we really need it. Funishment if done well and with enough intensity (whether or not physical pain is involved) helps me correct the issue, or if my wife doesn’t want to funish me then of course that is fine, I want to be a better slave just from my own desires.
What if my wife did want to truly punish me? Let’s say that I was supposed to pick her up from somewhere but completely forgot and she had to pay for a cab? I’m just making that up but there could be other examples. Or let’s say that I forgot to do laundry one weekend while she was out of town and when she returned she had to wear something sub-optimal one day? She would forgive me and we would be fine because we love each other so much and she knows that I would not willfully disobey. If she wanted to turn it into a non-negative she might funish me but not punish me, I think. But what if she did truly want to punish me? What would work? I’m an emotional masochist and glutton for punishment so most anything cruel she would do to me would be enjoyable, even if not at all enjoyable at the moment. And if she went into hard limits I would safe word faster than you can say the word scat.
What if she did something not on a hard limit but wanted to disallow me a safe word? She could do that with just a very hard spanking. I honestly don’t know how I would react to that. A part of me would love her to have that authority but I would certainly be scared, and not scared in a fully fun way. I wouldn’t question “Could I take it?” because I wouldn’t have any choice and I wouldn’t really fear damage or injury because people all of the time take much stronger spankings than I take. I don’t know what would happen, though, because it’s scary. I guess a sub in this dynamic just takes it, no choice in the matter unless they want to leave the dynamic altogether. I wonder how they feel after taking a beating beyond the point of where they would otherwise safe word? Probably humbled and very much wanting to avoid it in the future.
I wrote all of the above on Oct 23 thinking that was when the blog hop was scheduled but the next morning (this morning Oct 24) I safe worded again and could probably re-write most everything above, but I will try to keep the rambling down to a dull roar.
I have insomnia from time to time (these days it seems a lot more common of an issue for many people) and I even wrote an article on my web page BDSM Cure For Insomnia (cheap plug). Lately I have been sleeping very poorly and it has been somewhat affecting my mood (I get quiet, hard to believe I know). My wife was going out of town later today (Oct 24) so last night my wife was going to give me probably a good thrashing. However, between not sleeping well and having a bit of a stomach ache, I just wasn’t feeling that I would enjoy anything more than a light scene so when she indicated that she wanted me to go into the bedroom I told my wife that I wouldn’t enjoy it so we didn’t play. I had basically safe worded (without saying the safe word so it doesn’t count lol) because my wife only enjoys mutual play. The slight stomach ache (which went away by the time we went to sleep) gave me an excuse, the reality was that I just wasn’t feeling like a rough scene due more to my insomnia – hard to believe that I didn’t want to play, but true. Maybe I should write an article Insomnia Cure For BDSM (j/k).
This morning after we had sex my wife asked me how my stomach was and I answered no problem. She then told me to get the paddle and come back to bed. I was good with that because I knew that we didn’t have time for a rough scene but I was wrong about that. After just a few whacks the blows became quite rough and rapid. Since we didn’t have much time before I had to go to work this morning my wife got right to action. There was then a flurry of hard swats (not nearly full force, the word hard is relative) and then, seeing how I was really squirming around, my wife climbed on top of my lower back to hold me down tight. I like that, it prevents me from moving around and it puts her in even more of a position of authority, and my kicking feet could not have accidentally hurt her from that position. Another hard flurry of whacks. I couldn’t take any more. I tried to breathe to get through the pain and I even thought about what I had written above about those who do not have a safe word during a true Domestic Discipline (DD) punishment. I buried my face in the pillow. One more brief flurry of whacks and I yelled yellow.
To add to the issue of insomnia, a few nights ago I read a fictional short story about a dominatrix giving a man a hand job to completion immediately before torturing him to make the torture more painful. Plus the dog ate my homework.
My wife stopped whacking, of course, and gave me some nice aftercare before she told me to get up to prepare to go to work.
I am writing this about 90 minutes after what I described above. In retrospect I have previously dozens of times felt a whole lot more pain from my wife than the whacks this morning but I just couldn’t enjoy the victimization and cruelty, as much as I hate to admit that there is ever a time when I wouldn’t enjoy that.
To answer one of the blog hop questions, I feel weak. I don’t mind that at all from a macho standpoint or from a pride standpoint of being able to take the pain, fortunately it isn’t a masochism contest against anyone else because I don’t care about that. However, here I am always wanting more torture and scenes much longer than our usual 30-45 minutes, and yet I safe word after just a 3-5 minute scene. Part of me wants to wallow but the reality is that everyone has their own threshold and mine at the moment is low (because the dog ate my homework).
So unlike yesterday when I wrote my very hypothetical thoughts above about a DD spanking punishment without a safe word, I now have safe worded from paddling on my behind. What would have happened if I didn’t have a safe word to use because it was a legit punishment in which a safe word was not allowed? That thought raced through my head for a couple of seconds just before I safe worded this morning. I guess I would have just taken it, obviously. And going forward I would make every effort not to do whatever it was which had earned the punishment. In other words, I am guessing that a legit threat of that sort of DD punishment could probably work wonders on a disobedient slave.
There is another side of this. The kinky part of me wants me to suffer and I love the dynamic/fantasy of non-consensual suffering. As I sit here now I fantasize about my wife continuing to whack me beyond my safe word (sweetie, fyi please don’t do that though because it’s too dangerous as you know). Sleep issues or not, my mind can still weave its fantasies.
I also love the dynamic of the Owner wanting to dish out more pain than the property would want, even if it is fully consensual play. My wife clearly did enjoy paddling my behind up until I safe worded, she was giggling at the jiggling of my behind with the angle of the lighting and just whacking me with glee. I love that, I really do. My safe wording fit into this dynamic so I get a kick out of that.
Are you as confused about this as I am? lol