Safety in BDSM Is Not Always Black and White

4 05 2009

A post on one of the websites I frequent today spurred a thought on the issues of safety and BDSM. BDSM is a high risk activity, along the lines of hiking and camping, white water rafting, or even bungee jumping or parasailing. That said, I am more philosophically aligned with RACK not SSC. Each and every one of us do not have the same issues with safety. What is safe for me, may be highly dangerous for another. Theses are things that we must keep in mind when planning or witnessing a scene.

  • Different activities have different risk level. What this means is caning has one level of risk, caning needles, another. A violent wand is a great thing, but combining that with a piercing can cause risks that you may not have taken into account.
  • Different physical issues carry different risks. A young, flexible, nubile toy does not have the same risk level as a BBW, 63 year old slave. Both can be played with, but don’t make the old slave crawl along the floor, because you may need to pick her back up.
  • Different mental issues cause bad risks. If you don’t know everything about your sub, how can you know that putting a gag in her mouth will cause her to freak out. (Yes, this has happened to me, but that is another tale.) Be careful, take the time to get to know your partners as fully as possible, and take responsibility when the bad things occur.
  • Different play styles carry inherently different risk. Does the person playing start hard without warmup? Iron butt syndrome? Or perhaps they prefer to use a more gentle touch. The hard core player who changes it up with his partner without warning, is likely to cause some mental distress. A gentle player who suddenly wacks his sub hard, may end up causing physical and mental trauma. Watch what you are doing, and be ready to handle the fallout. And if you see a player playing differently than you are comfortable with, don’t let that be the sole factor in deciding that the scene is “bad”.

So, I want you to keep these issues in mind when watching or planning out the evenings events. Do you have the experience to judge if an activity is unsafe? Or are you having an issue because it makes you afraid? Squick you?


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