aka traffic light system and why it’s my favourite
Safe words are just that, words that we use to be able to call (or stop) a scene when we need to, to make a scene safe for us to be vulnerable in and perhaps push our boundaries in a way that feels controlled.
Safe words are used to relay information regarding how someone is fairing in a kink scene, or for a top to check in with a submissive or bottom whilst in a kink scene (in case of the traffic light system, see below). Safe words are words we use to indicate when we need play to stop (or keep going, see below). These can take a variety of form and are often used because when playing with kink, words like stop, might not mean stop.
A few safe words which I have come across are:
The for individual words list goes on. Some examples of where these might be used could be:
You are getting caned and you want this to stop but you don’t want to use that word (perhaps you are in a role play where stop does not mean stop). Or you need a break. A sensation has moved from pleasant to painful. You need to call a scene for any other number of reasons (you are hungry and cannot concentrate, you get foot cramp etc…) Why they are so important is that when you discuss them at the beginning, one is given the permission to relax a little more, knowing that your boundaries will be respected, that you can call the scene at any time. This gives you responsibility towards remaining in consent with your body when you are playing with others, as both a top and a bottom. It creates a shared language, which the other in the scene can be listening for, to ensure that the everyone is consenting in the scene.
The safe words I like to use in my personal and professional play are the traffic light system. These are fairly self explanatory but I will give a drill down below:
Green- everything is good/great
amber/orange- I am close to an edge/close to too much/any more/any faster/any harder would be too much
Red- immediately stop all play/activity. It’s too much/difficult/uncomforable/painful.
Why I like these safe words is because there is more nuance with the additional information, for example when someone says amber or orange, that does not mean that all play has to stop, instead you can slow down, keep the exact same pace and give no more or check in to change things to ensure that the bottom/subs experience can continue.
Talking about safe words is important at the beginning of any play scene, as is checking in in general. Checking in before every play scene is imperative because someones body/likes/dislikes could have changed. Likewise if you play with multi people you want to ensure that you are listening out for the correct safe word (as discussed before stop might not mean stop).
Safe words are hugely important and really allow all the players in a scene to breathe a little more easily, relax a little more and explore and push (gently) some of their boundaries.