Negotiation and Safewords in BDSM

Negotiation and Safewords in BDSM

Negotiation and Safewords can build trust and lead to a higher level of comfort and enjoyment in any relationship. In BDSM relationships open communication before, during and after a scene helps ensure the safety and consent of both players.

Before a scene begins, the Top and Bottom need to discuss their limits. They must talk as equals outside of their dominant and submissive roles. When a dominant is dealing with an inexperienced sub, the dominant must realize that the sub may not have clearly defined limits because she has never considered some aspects of play. The experienced player should ask specific questions about limits. It may also be helpful to present an inexperienced player with a simple questionnaire to obtain this information.

Once the players have established their limits, both players need to agree on elements to be incorporated into the scene. Will there be spanking, bondage, oral sex, penetration? What toys will be used? While there will still be a level of improvisation, knowing the general parameters of a scene gives a sense of security to both players.

The players must also agree on safewords. A player uses a safeword to tell her partner that she isn’t comfortable with the level of play or that she wants the scene to stop completely. It is important to choose words that players would not ordinarily use in a scene. A submissive may say, “No, ” and mean, “Yes, ” and may say, “Stop, ” when she means, “More, please!” Consent is implied unless the safewords are used. Some people choose strange words like “Orangutan, ” but these safewords may be difficult to remember and may feel forced or unnatural to use. I use “Yellow Light” to tell my husband to ease up when something has gotten beyond my level of comfort. We have agreed that “Red Light” signals the unconditional end of play. Play stops immediately, and any bonds are quickly unfastened. A gagged or hooded player must use a nonverbal signal. The player can be given a ball or another object to hold, and the dropping of the ball then acts as a safeword. A dominant should ask a submissive during intense play what the safewords are. This reminds the sub of the safewords and ensures consent.

After the scene both players should freely discuss what they liked and disliked. This feedback session is invaluable for future play, and relationships will grow through this open communication. Players will become more comfortable with each other, and it may feel natural for them to test their limits and open themselves to new erotic experiences. Above all, trust is far more important than any negotiation and safewords. Remember that a player is not bound by any natural laws to respect a partner’s limits. If a player does not fully trust her partner, she should choose not to play.

Also you can watch our bondage videos with negotiation and safewords.

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