O&P website and blog,
are where most of my new writing on M/s appears. The IE website will stay
online indefinitely to host the IE Essays and lili's writings.
lili and I pursued our M/s relationship from 2000 to 2008, and lili has kindly given her permission for these essays and posts to remain here, in the hope that submissives and slaves will continue to be helped and inspired by them.
How safe is a "safe-word"
Posted by lili on Sun 8 Oct 00, 8:23 PM
Within the context of a stable, ongoing ownership based
relationship how safe is a "safe-word"?
Ask yourself, when you say 'safe-word' in what context
do you mean to use this 'word'?
Does it mean you have a word which, when spoken by you,
has the power to stop whatever your Master is doing
immediately? Do you use it to draw his attention to
something you need to tell him? Does he retain the
authority to continue once he has heard you and
reviewed the situation? Most importantly, have you ever
used your safeword?
Your answers may be crucial in establishing how 'safe'
and useful your 'safe-word' actually is.
Many people claim to hold "safe-words" for use
in "scenes" but not for use in punishment.
Others will defend the use of "safe-words" by saying:
"We have a safe-word because of the unpredictability of
reactions to the things which are going on during
a "scene". What is done may trigger an unpredicted
response in the slave, one which neither Master nor
slave can forsee".
On the surface this would seem quite sane and sensible,
but to those people I would ask this question:
What makes you think these reactions are any more
predictable or controllable during punishment rather
If you were in a situation when you started
experiencing a bad reaction or indeed were in some
degree of sub-space, do you think that you would always
be capable of even remembering what your safe-word was,
let alone use it?
Consider this scenario:
You are engaged in some form of S/M play with
your Master. You have become a little 'floaty' as you
begin to enter sub-space, but you are not totally
there. It occurs to you that Master is striking a
little harder than usual. It is hurting, but it is not
unbearable. In true submissive style, you grit your
teeth and bear it.
Now he seems to be hitting a little harder than you are
used to. What do you think? You may think "Ok, maybe he
is pushing my limits, he knows me, he understands me, I
trust him, he must think I can take it". So you take
Meanwhile he is thinking, "well I am hitting a little
harder than usual but she seems to be ok, I am watching
carefully but she is not complaining and no safe-word".
Now this goes on, you continue to take it, he continues
to give it, you have become trapped in the circle of
(what is commonly known as) "submissive pride".
Eventually either he stops or you safe-word, either
way, you loose.
Either the trust is damaged because he did not know you
were in trouble (and you will feel that he should have
known) or you feel really bad because you used your
safe-word and took back some power.
I know I have over simplified this scenario. It should
have been mixed with all the complexities of sub-space,
masochistic and sadistic urges (as well as the common-
all-garden sexual ones). Plus the overwhelming urge
most submissives experience in wanting to "please" the
I guess the most important question to ask yourself is:
Do you honestly think you would consistantly use your
safe-word at those times you would need to, even in
circumstances similar to those I have highlighted above?
Please note that I am NOT saying a slave should be able
to take whatever the Master chooses to give, nor am I
saying that she should not be given the means to
communicate any distress she is feeling.
What I am saying is that, in my opinion, relying on
_one word_, a word which has the power to stop the
Master, carries with it more negative implications than
Edited Fri 6 Jul 01, 9:50 PM by lili