Consent and safety are (well, should be) the two mandatory considerations of everyone engaging in any BDSM activities

Consent and safety are (well, should be) the two mandatory considerations of everyone engaging in any BDSM activities

Most people I have spoken to in the BDSM scene find that their list of limits is a constantly evolving thing, whether through deeper trust, awareness or just changing as a person over the years.

Safety In BDSM

Because BDSM deals with the deepest part of the psyche in relation to both sex and intimacy, such as handing over control of yourself to another person sexually and for other behaviours, safety is absolutely paramount.

There are ways to protect yourself (and your partner/play partner) from physical or mental hurt and abuse in BDSM. Top of the list: don’t engage in BDSM with anyone you don’t know well or don’t absolutely trust to respect your safeword/consent status/list of limits.


What is a safe word? A safeword is you or your partner’s ‘immediate release’ word during any type of BDSM session or activity. Should this word be spoken at any time, then the activity should immediately cease. Because BDSM often involves elements such as consensual non-consent (ranging from “please stop, you’re hurting me!” but not really meaning it all the way up to rapeplay fantasy) it’s very important that the safeword chosen before you begin is a word that wouldn’t be said as part of any BDSM scene.

Therefore, it should be obvious that a word like ‘stop’ or ‘no’ are out of the question as effective and good safewords. You might say these words anyway and not really mean them!

My own chosen safeword for myself and anyone I get involved with in a BDSM context is ‘lemmings’, but you might choose another random word such as ‘giraffe’, ‘orange’, ‘wardrobe’, ‘myxomatosis’… you get the idea.

Another way to ‘safe out’ of a BDSM activity is through the use of traffic lights, where red means ‘stop immediately’, amber means ‘let’s stop and discuss this, I’m not 100% comfortable’ and green is the reassurance that everything is ‘absolutely spot-on, cheers’ (try not to read that in an extremely British accent!)

If you’re using fetish gear which prevents a person from speaking (like a hood or mouth gag) then it’s best to arrange some hand signals or give the person who is in a vulnerable position a buzzer to press in place of a spoken safeword but which is respected just as much.

BDSM Community

Will your BDSM pleasures be absolutely private, for you or you and your partner alone behind closed doors, or would you like to become part of the BDSM community in your area?

Yes, there is a very large BDSM community out there that you can meet up with in ‘real life’ as well as on internet forums. These meet-ups can be relaxed chat and making friends at what’s known as a ‘munch’, or you could visit fetish clubs for chat with the possibility (and immediate availability) of more. Google ‘local BDSM munch’ or ‘fetish clubs’ for your area to get more information – or make use of the search box on open-minded social media like Twitter.

What are SSC and RACK?

SSC stands for Safe, Sane and Consensual. RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. As you can tell, there are subtle differences between the two when it comes to the safety aspect.

Some may choose to enjoy RACK, where risky behaviours and activities might take place with any parties involved and this is part of the thrill and appeal.

I engage only in an SSC form of BDSM myself, because I want everyone involved in my BDSM activities (including myself) to be reassured of absolute safety at all times.

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