Last week I wrote about the use of safewords versus the use of plain language. Today, I want to get a little more personal with it.

COVID means it has been a long time since I have seen my Dom in person. We always knew that we would see each other infrequently as we live on different continents, but it has been over a year and it looks like it will be another year before we see each other again. Neither of us is into online play so as it stands we don’t have much of a dynamic right now, but that let’s us explore our nuances on a much deeper level.

Admittedly, I have an almost impossible time safewording if I need to. Like many, I feel immense guilt and shame if I have to safeword. Which is ridiculous, because the advice I give to anyone else is that there is no shame in safewording, in fact, it makes you a more trustworthy submissive. So, I am a hypocrite, I get it. Part of the reason that I struggle is that it just feels unnatural to yell out RED, I want to be able to say something that sounds natural in the moment. Yes, I realize that the problem with this is that it makes it so much more difficult for the Dom to pick up on.

I have a safeword. We use the standard traffic light system. But, we have had many a conversation about this and the next time we are together we will also use some plain language. “Stop” will also become a safeword.
The reason that I am not comfortable with relying only on plain language is that I know I often say, “please no more,” and, “I can’t…” which does not mean stop. So there does need to be a backup in case he doesn’t pick up on the natural phrase, and that is on me. We will work together to come up with a system that works for us.

On top of all of that, because the relationship dynamic that we both desire is one of domestic discipline, I get real punishments. In theory, I don’t want to be able to safeword to get out of a punishment, but in reality, I know that a safeword is still necessary in case of true injury, a medical emergency, etc.
While some people will be vehemently against this, we have decided that there can be consequences for disingenuously safewording. I will never be in trouble for safewording if something is actually wrong, however, if I use my safeword (including “Stop”), just to get out of a punishment, then yes, there will be consequences. It is a huge gray area and we will continue to re-evaluate this after each occurrence, but for now it is what works for us.

Oh, safewords! One of the first things that many people believe is a “must” in any type of BDSM play. I am not disparaging of safewords, they cam be integral, but I truly believe that too many people in the BDSM community disregard the idea of plain language.

Plain language is just that – words mean words. If either partner says “stop” or “no more”, it means stop. Clearly, this wouldn’t work if you are engaging in any type of consensual non-consent (CNC), but it is particularly good for people who are new to these types of activities.

Many subs feel that they are somehow disappointing their Dom if they safeword (I am not an exception to this, even though logically I know it is not true. I still struggle to safeword). Some also feel that it is awkward to say a predefined safeword as it doesn’t feel natural in the moment – which some may argue is the point, that the safeword stands out. And that point is not wrong. I just want to suggest an alternative to the standard “you must ALWAYS have a safeword!” advice that is so often seen online.

I do believe there are some benefits to using plain language (perhaps in with a safeword as an added backup!) when starting out on the journey into BDSM. I have often found myself in relationships with vanilla men where I tried to introduce BDSM into our relationship, my partner was always afraid of hurting me. Which is an understandable concern, most people have been raised not to hurt others, and when they are not getting any inherent sexual enjoyment out of causing me pain it is difficult. Despite repeating over and over that I would use my safeword if things got to be too much, they all continued to struggle.

With my current husband, I moved to the idea of plain language and he felt much more comfortable. “Stop” and “Please no more” became my safewords. It was clear to him, there was no confusion.