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Safewords, yes or no?

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Was having a conversation with a friend on here a few days ago and the topic of safewords came up. Sparking an interesting debate which I'd like to put to the forum.

Do you think safewords should be used in spankings? The discipline element means that the spankee should have no say in their punishment, and the spanker decides when they have had enough. BUT, then there's a level of trust required that you might not necessarily have when engaging with a new partner. 

My own personal view is they're kind of like car insurance, you should have one just in case there but its not there to be used. I tend to leave it up to the spankee whether they will have one or not. But some discussion surrounding safety should always be carried out before sessions one way or another.

What's everyone's thoughts?

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Yes - from experience when a session went dangerously too far. I won't play without one. The only time I ever had to use in ( prior to the session that turned into an assault ) was in a general bdsm scene - in that case it wasn't a spanking situation but where the Mistress was ticking my feet and I used it as I she was about to knock over her vase. In a spanking situation I would try not to use it and let the punishment flow properly but in a situation such as the assault where I nearly got seriously injured ( the paddle hitting my balls and kidneys ) I insist on one now. I don't give a stuff if the spanker says they know what they're doing. The woman who assaulted me said she knew what she was doing - she didn't.

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Safeword is a must when the two people involved in the spanking are meeting for the first time. And it is wise to keep the safeword for a few more sessions...this will ensure a smooth experience in getting to know each other and deepen the level of trust. Ultimately, as time goes by, I'm sure the spankee will feel safe to let his/her guard down without the need for safeword. But that kind of commitment takes time and convincing. It's not to be rushed.

It's indeed ironic since a spankee isn't supposed to have control over his/her discipline....but giving a safeword nullifies that part. But, safety is of paramount importance and once the necessary level of trust and communication is established, eventually, safewords can be deemed unnecessary. 

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I am a firm believer that safe-words should be set before any relationship.

Even if a punishment is earned (While technically, not allowed) if used, punishment stops to discuss. I ultimately have the final decision as to if it would continue.

I have been very blessed to not have to deal with the issues others have had to, where a sub basically uses a safe-word as a way  to top from below and guide a punishment.

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Safe words are a must, even in a long relationship.  Of course, the spankee knows the discipline is going to hurt, but unexpected things can go wrong, and there has to be an emergency stop.  In all my years of spanking, I have never heard a spankee use the safe word --and on second thought, that is amazing.  But there is always is one and should be.

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My experience as an EE with pro disciplinarians often with Domme skills, safe word required as it is used for medical situations. I have never used the safe word but my understanding is all activity stops to and the ER/Top assesses situation. If no medical issue, I understand most with Domme skills will pick it right back up or end the session. In my 20-30’s I always said no safeword but in my 40’s  I went running in the heat and over did it, I needed a safe word. After that feeling I always use safe or yellow-red words as ER or EE. But safe word hasn’t been used yet and I stopped running in the heat (when DC over 95’). 

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I don't think safewords are a must, but I also don't think they're worthless. Here's a very long post on the subject that I wrote over 15 years ago, but I this is still dead on. This post was directed to DD relationships, but I think the same reasoning applies to other spanking situations:

The use of safewords is a complicated issue, in my opinion. Many people think a couple should always have a safeword, but many others feel like an important part of the trust and submission involved in DD is the acceptance of spanking without a safeword. Personally, I've come around to the point of view that ultimately it doesn't really much matter in practice whether a safeword exists or not.

On the one hand, safewords are not nearly as big a protection as is sometimes asserted, for a variety of reasons. If the purpose is to give safety when you don't fully trust a spanker and fear he may be unscrupulous, I don't quite understand how that works -- if he's unscrupulous enough to go beyond agreed-upon limits, isn't he equally likely to ignore a safeword? In the more common case, the point isn't to protect against an unscrupulous spanker, but instead to allow communication of something the spanker doesn't see or understand. While that's fine so far as it goes, there are a lot of reasons it often doesn't work. If the spankee is really in distress for some reason, she may well not be able to say the safeword. Even if she can, almost every woman I've ever talked to has been extremely reluctant to actually use a safeword -- to many it feels like admitting failure of some sort, even though that's not the intent. In other instances, the safeword comes too late to be of much use -- the spankee doesn't become aware of the problem until it's already happened. To use a very extreme example, suppose a spanker is using a heavy paddle, and accidentally strikes too high and hits the tailbone, bruising or even breaking it. Saying a safeword at that point doesn't help much since the damage is already done. For these reasons, the spanker still has to be very aware and careful at all times how he is spanking, and how the spankee is reacting, both verbally and nonverbally. Assuming that everything is fine as long as the spankee doesn't use a safeword can be a very big mistake...

On the other hand, I don't think having a safeword automatically changes the dynamics of the DD relationship and is equivalent to "topping from the bottom". While that may be true in an erotic setting where the couple agrees on a red/yellow/green (stop/ease up/continue) scheme to control intensity, I don't think it's true in a DD setting where the safeword is intended only to signal when something unexpected has happened. A couple can arrange it so that misuse of a safeword doesn't have any real benefit, and may itself be a punishable offense. As such, a safeword isn't the spankee's way of controlling the spanking, it's just a method of communicating important information to the spanker, and can even be viewed as the duty of the spankee, as part of making the spanking a cooperative effort to improve behavior.

On a third hand, I think those who profess not to use safewords are largely kidding themselves. After all, is any half-way responsible spanker going to ignore a frantic "Yeowch! You broke my tailbone!!" just because the couple doesn't have a safeword? Particularly when just starting a relationship, a spanker would have to be crazy to ignore unexpected protestations or movements -- it's probably safe to ignore squirming and "Please stop," but I sure wouldn't ignore a concerted effort to get away coupled with "If you don't stop this instant, I'm going to call the cops!" Heck, even if a safeword DOES exist, I think the spanker in a new couple would be foolish to ignore such a statement just because the spankee didn't say "safeword." At a lower level, why would a spanker ignore a statement like "Stop for a minute and empty your pockets; your keys are digging into me" or "Hold on -- I've got a cramp in my leg"? Of course, I'm assuming that a responsible spankee won't make these things up, but that's just the same as assuming the spankee won't inappropriately use a safeword.

Having said all that, I'll admit to requiring a safeword when I'm disciplining a woman I haven't dealt with before or frequently, even though I'm not convinced it's all that useful to protect her. I think there's a little value in having a safeword to protect me, as the spanker. Although this is rarely discussed, I think it's important for people to keep in mind that anytime a spanking is given, the spanker is opening himself to both civil and criminal liability in most states -- spanking fits almost any definition of assault and/or battery. So when meeting a new woman, there's always the chance that if things go badly for whatever reason she may decide to call the cops or a lawyer. Although the consent of the "victim" is largely immaterial in the eyes of the law -- I'm still guilty of assault even if the woman asked for the spanking -- as a practical matter I believe that I'm in a better position if I can show that the entire spanking was consensual, and the presence of a safeword helps there. Although if the woman is really out to get me, there's no way for me to prevent her claiming she used her safeword and I ignored it... I sincerely hope this concern will always remain hypothetical, but it's something for spankers to keep in the back of their mind. For that matter, spankees should understand it's another reason why some spankers may be reluctant to be as firm as desired; there may be a fear, either conscious or subconscious, that if he really hurts her she's going to call the cops.

Another factor in favor of safewords is a little paradoxical -- the existence of a safeword, which some fear may result in the spankee ending a spanking earlier than really wanted, may instead have the effect of enabling a more severe spanking. Without a safeword, a reasonably responsible spanker is likely to err on the side of caution, and spank less severely than desired. After all, it's a lot easier to correct that next time by spanking harder than it is to make up for a too-hard spanking that leaves the spankee feeling unfairly treated or even abused. The existence of a safeword may give the spanker confidence to go further, knowing that the safeword will keep him from going *too* far over the line.

Finally, all of this is largely theoretical. In practice, although I know people that have safewords, I don't think I know of any instances in a disciplinary setting in which the spankee has actually used that safeword. The fact is, most spankers and spankees, especially in DD, are pretty responsible, and unexpected situations (such as cramps) are pretty uncommon, so the need for safewords doesn't actually arise.

 

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If it is to be a true discipline, I do not believe in safe words, it can not be a true punishment if they spankee knows that they can get out of it any time. The spankee should know, by agreeing to be disciplined (remember this is for TRUE discipline - not role-play)  they give up all rights to there body.

However, upon reading some of these posts, there might be a safe word just for medical emergency.

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We have a middle safe word for "I need a moment" or "I need to adjust", as well as a hard stop safe word.  We do D-s with real domestic discipline.as week as play.  The safe word are available at all times.  As the ee, it is my responsibility not to use them unless I HAVE TI, especially in a punishment.   If I could be injured, am losing my balance, the ropes on my hands have become to tight and i am losing sensation, or I can't breath for some.reason, he needs me to be able to communicate that, even in a punishment.  If I call a safe word he will stop and evaluate the situation and remedy it, and then, in theory continue as planned.  I have only ever used our midlevel safe word once, and that was during a funishment.  A new paddle hit much harder and differently than I expected and everything in me told me to nope out immediately.  Lol.  I called yellow, he stopped and checked in with me.  After a.minute I was ready to go again, mentally prepared this time.  He however was spooked and needed to tap out for the rest of the afternoon.  I also never ask or beg him to stop during a punishment. I feel that puts him.in an unfair situation, as he administers punishments becaise I requested we add them.to our dynamic.  

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45 minutes ago, Megthe said:

  As the ee, it is my responsibility not to use them unless I HAVE TI, especially in a punishment.   If I could be injured, am losing my balance, the ropes on my hands have become to tight and i am losing sensation, or I can't breath for some.reason, he needs me to be able to communicate that, even in a punishment.  If I call a safe word he will stop and evaluate the situation and remedy it, and then, in theory continue as planned. 

That is a good point also - perhaps I need to rethink my safe-word idea.

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What are some good safe-words that people use? It would need to be easy to remember in the middle of possible intense pain.

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3 hours ago, RedKnight said:

What are some good safe-words that people use? It would need to be easy to remember in the middle of possible intense pain.

In a rope how-too book they siggested yellow and red.  Yellow as stop and check in, the scene might still continue, probably an adjustment is needed, red being the stop and let me go immediately the scene is probably toast at this point.  So that is what we use. We also have the ultimate back up.of our real.names.  We don't call.each other our real names ever, so when one of us says it, it is like a record scratch to the others ears.  Immediately cuts through brain and makes us pay attention.

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Personally, I always use safe words until the EE brings up not using a safe word first. At that point, it's safe to assume you've built up a trusting relationship with one another. Ideally, real discipline wouldn't have a safe word but until you've built that trust up it's best for both parties to use one. 

7 hours ago, RedKnight said:

What are some good safe-words that people use? It would need to be easy to remember in the middle of possible intense pain.

Pineapple! Seriously, it doesn't sound like hardly any other words so it is hard to misinterpret and it's very hard to forget something so ridiculous. Apparently it's also the number 2 most used safe word in the U.S. right after "red". Go figure. https://www.bustle.com/p/the-most-common-safe-words-people-use-during-sex-7963114

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10 hours ago, RedKnight said:

What are some good safe-words that people use? It would need to be easy to remember in the middle of possible intense pain.

I use a traffic light system. Amber for slow down, red for stop.

 

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I definitely believe in safe words, and I would always require being able to have one. I won't be spanked by someone who won't let me have one.

That's not to say that, like other aspects of spanking, there isn't at least some level of mutual trust involved. An ee trusts the er to respect their safeword and stop when it's used, and the er trusts the ee not to use it unless they actually and truly need to. 

Pleading, saying "no" or "stop" or "that hurts" is a common aspect of spanking, surely in discipline and even in play spankings like funishment or role play. If I were doing funishment or role play, as someone more into the play side of things, I would want to be able to say those things as part of the scene without it actually stopping the scene. In spanking, because of the situation, saying those things doesn't always mean an actual withdrawal of consent or that there is a genuine serious problem, but is often a natural response to the situation. Having a clear word that defines the line of consent or a serious problem beyond those naturally occurring words helps to know when "no" actually means "no" or "stop" means to actually "stop" in the situation.

While I'm not in the discipline side, I can see the benefit in case of a medical emergency and being able to have one quick word that lets the er know they need to immediately stop so the situation can be dealt with rather than having to try to get out all the words to explain what's going on before they will understand the need to actually stop. Maybe the spankee shouldn't control the spanking as a whole and be able to stop it just because it hurts in general, but they should have a quick and easy way to communicate if there actually is a serious problem such as unknown genuine injury that needs to get addressed right away.

If someone doesn't see the benefit in safewords and has alternative safety measures in place, I respect that. But I personally feel that a safeword is necessary for me. And of course, all safety should still be thoroughly discussed between partners before anything happens to make sure everyone is on the same page and that there are safety precautions in case of emergency, and that the ee has a way to communicate any serious problems that require immediate attention, whether the spanking is disciplinary or not.

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for me its a tricky one, it's purely a discipline and punishment thing for me, and as part of that',is it right that I should be able to make it stop as such ??, but on the flipside of that coin there is a safety aspect of things too, letting someone do  things is a massive trust thing for sure, and i wouldn't allow anyone even close to doing it unless there was a connection, and that it was done out of caring and love.

Therefore part of me says yes and part says no :))

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I absolutely believe in safe-word use. When men explain to me what they're seeking, the most common request I get is "a serious, no-nonsense paddling" without a safe-word, to make the spanking as "authentic" as possible. Is there an unspoken belief that having a safe-word in place is cowardly? Or a feeling of excitement at having this power switch removed?

Please keep in mind that a contentious spanker already has an incredibly focused job of monitoring your movements, muscle contractions, breathing, and vocalizations-- while simultaneously landing each swat of our implement(s) with precision. So it increases the spanker's responsibility even more to have to perform without a safety net. Once we've had a few sessions with a partner and are in-synch with them, then yes, removing the safe-word can be fine, if both parties are comfortable with it.

However, what if a spankee started to have a heart attack during a session? I personally know of two younger men who died of heart attacks, one at 38 and the other at 44. We pray these kinds of scenarios never happen-- and hopefully they never do-- but what if an emergency suddenly arrises and you've instructed your spanker to ignore your pleas to stop? Or what if the session is more than you bargained for, as @ukspanko described upthread. I truly urge spankees to not be so quick to dispense with the safe-word. 

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I agree with Chawsee, I think a safeword is absolutely essential until two people know each other extremely well. I would even argue that a safeword is far more freeing than it is restrictive -- one of the things that is a part of my -ee side is trying to get out of or stop a spanking. I'm incredibly good at delaying or reducing a spanking by talking my way out of it. Or, during, by having my spanker feel sorry for me and lighten up (why am I admitting this??!!!). What I really and truly want is for my spanker to leg-lock me and spank me until I'm breathless, to ignore my pleas for her to stop, to spank me past the point where I'm trying to control what's happening and into the place where I'm accepting it. If there's a safeword in place, we can achieve that because my pleas of No! and Stop! and That's enough! are meaningless. They are mere markers on the road to where I need to be. Without a safeword, my spanker doesn't know this and might (and has in the past) interpret these as reasons to lighten up, or even stop. And we can't have that, now, can we?!

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1 hour ago, Chawsee said:

I absolutely believe in safe-word use. When men explain to me what they're seeking, the most common request I get is "a serious, no-nonsense paddling" without a safe-word, to make the spanking as "authentic" as possible. Is there an unspoken belief that having a safe-word in place is cowardly? Or a feeling of excitement at having this power switch removed?

Please keep in mind that a contentious spanker already has an incredibly focused job of monitoring your movements, muscle contractions, breathing, and vocalizations-- while simultaneously landing each swat of our implement(s) with precision. So it increases the spanker's responsibility even more to have to perform without a safety net. Once we've had a few sessions with a partner and are in-synch with them, then yes, removing the safe-word can be fine, if both parties are comfortable with it.

However, what if a spankee started to have a heart attack during a session? I personally know of two younger men who died of heart attacks, one at 38 and the other at 44. We pray these kinds of scenarios never happen-- and hopefully they never do-- but what if an emergency suddenly arrises and you've instructed your spanker to ignore your pleas to stop? Or what if the session is more than you bargained for, as @ukspanko described upthread. I truly urge spankees to not be so quick to dispense with the safe-word. 

With my relative inexperience in it, is hard to say myself, but absolutely you make a great point, like I said above about the safety aspect, It's not about feeling cowardly, it is about getting a earned punishment and clearing the debt/slate so to speak, like a weight of shoulders or a clearing of guilt a release from a mental prison even, I guess if you stop it then you dont feel you have cleared it.its a mental thing I thing 

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there is a means to ensure that the spankee does not have a heart attack during the spanking.  A spankee buys a heart and lung monitor. The Spanker holds the wrist of hand the monitor is on and places him in a corner when the monitor reaches 125. When it goes down to below 90 He/She can continue  with the punishment.  

This way the Spanker does not listen loose the His/Her authority, still be compassionate about the one He/She leads, nor worry if the spankee is just trying to stop it because the spankee wants to safe word out because of pain.

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For spanking to be a stress reliever I need to totally give up control and revert back to a little boy. That means no safe word. However that requires a lot of trust. With my wife spanking me I would have that level of trust. If I was meeting a spanker that I didn’t know then that would be a different story. 

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1 hour ago, StrictGent said:

I agree with Chawsee, I think a safeword is absolutely essential until two people know each other extremely well. I would even argue that a safeword is far more freeing than it is restrictive -- one of the things that is a part of my -ee side is trying to get out of or stop a spanking. I'm incredibly good at delaying or reducing a spanking by talking my way out of it. Or, during, by having my spanker feel sorry for me and lighten up (why am I admitting this??!!!). What I really and truly want is for my spanker to leg-lock me and spank me until I'm breathless, to ignore my pleas for her to stop, to spank me past the point where I'm trying to control what's happening and into the place where I'm accepting it. If there's a safeword in place, we can achieve that because my pleas of No! and Stop! and That's enough! are meaningless. They are mere markers on the road to where I need to be. Without a safeword, my spanker doesn't know this and might (and has in the past) interpret these as reasons to lighten up, or even stop. And we can't have that, now, can we?!

NOOOOO, we CANNOT have you getting away with THAT!!! Your detailed confession is therefore MOST appreciated and will be duly noted! :P:D

But laughing aside, you're right, StrictGent. A safe-word is essential, and far more freeing than restricting. You bring up a good point here.

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On 8/8/2020 at 6:37 PM, RedKnight said:

What are some good safe-words that people use? It would need to be easy to remember in the middle of possible intense pain.

You can use the "red" for stop, "yellow" for "I need a minute" and green is good.

 

I played/was punished by a man for 9 years, and did some VERY intense spankings, and never once used it for anything other than the fact that I have had 2 stomach surgeries, and sometimes positions really can start to hurt me. If I need a minute to adjust/calm down from dealing with the pain in my stomach, to focus on the pain in my bottom, it lets him know that. It doesn't mean I want it to stop, or I'm ready for it to. It just lets him know that something else is going on.

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On 8/16/2020 at 11:12 AM, StrictGent said:

I agree with Chawsee, I think a safeword is absolutely essential until two people know each other extremely well. I would even argue that a safeword is far more freeing than it is restrictive -- one of the things that is a part of my -ee side is trying to get out of or stop a spanking. I'm incredibly good at delaying or reducing a spanking by talking my way out of it. Or, during, by having my spanker feel sorry for me and lighten up (why am I admitting this??!!!). What I really and truly want is for my spanker to leg-lock me and spank me until I'm breathless, to ignore my pleas for her to stop, to spank me past the point where I'm trying to control what's happening and into the place where I'm accepting it. If there's a safeword in place, we can achieve that because my pleas of No! and Stop! and That's enough! are meaningless. They are mere markers on the road to where I need to be. Without a safeword, my spanker doesn't know this and might (and has in the past) interpret these as reasons to lighten up, or even stop. And we can't have that, now, can we?!

I literally just posted on another site an open letter to my hubbs about not confusing my tears for a safe word.  Like dude.  Now is not the time.for you to revert back to your pushover side.  LET ME CRY GOSH DARNIT!  I do not try to get out of spankings because even with safewords in olace my ER does not quite trust me to use them and often confuses me yelping, squirming, and crying with him being to harsh.  We are getting there but it is a frustrating process sometimes lol

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Yeah, I dunno about safewords.  It would seem like we should just be able to communicate normally and sort of read each other's vibes. If she has an issue with the spanking, she could just tell me.  That, or I would be able to sense that something is askew by reading her body language.  Normal communication would seem to be a more natural, fluid way of alerting me to some problem or issue.  Suddenly yelling out "Cucumber!" or "Yellow!" would actually be more disconcerting and jarring in the heat of the moment.    

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