7/29/2011

Safewords in CNC Relationships




Can a CNC ("consensual non-consent") relationship have a safeword?








My answer is yes.








I know CNC relationships don't have to have safewords. I know some people who feel that a slave or sub having a safeword means the Dom does not have total control. Hence the quote, "A slave with a safeword is just a Domme on her knees." I know some Masters/Mistresses/Doms/Dommes live by this and don't allow their slaves to have safewords. I also know slaves and subs who do not want a safeword and that is okay too. I'm not saying you have to have one. I'm just saying that I do.








My Dom wants me to have a safeword because he wants to make sure he never pushes me past the point of "hurting" me to "permanently damaging" me. He can't read my mind, and I think he'll admit he's not a super perceptive person with these kinds of things.








I want to have a safeword because, well, it keeps me safe. It makes me evaluate what is happening to me: am I upset or am I being harmed? is it in my best interest to stop this activity?








We have both agreed that my safeword is to be used in emergencies only, when I need it, and not just when I don't feel like doing something. It is a way for me to tell my Dom that I am freaking out and need to stop for my emotional health and safety, not a way for me to express my dislike of an activity we're doing (that's what fighting, squirming, crying, and begging are for :-D)








There have been times I have hated something he was doing to me (usually something that triggers me, like getting in my personal space too much) and was panicking, but as long as I could take it, I didn't safeword. (No, it's not about proving anything; it's about only using my safeword when I honestly need to.)




LoriAdorable and Rogue Bambi are both bloggers who have mentioned that they sometimes feel uncomfortable with CNC relationships because the sub doesn't have a safeword. They rightly point out that a sub could end up in an abusive relationship that way. I'm just saying that the sub can have a safeword. Those relationships do exist. Mine is an example.

3 comments:

FeministSub said...

"A slave with a safeword is just a Domme on her knees."

Ugh, that really pisses me off. Why can't people just let others conduct their relationships the way they want to, without getting all judgmental and pompous about it?

It's funny, I wonder if a lot of this arguing about definitions and the One True Way isn't at least partially an internet thing. I went to my first munch recently and was interested to hear that all the couples that identified as Master/slave had safewords that they said they used for the same purpose as you and your husband.

On the other hand, I know another couple where their dynamic is fairly laid-back, but he is definitely in charge of the sexual part of their relationship. They don't have a safeword because 1. she often loses the ability to safeword when she's in subspace so a safeword is not actually useful and 2. they've been together so long that he knows how to tell when something is genuinely hurting her.

I personally think safewords are a bit fetishized. Not that they aren't useful or important, but they shouldn't replace genuine conversation about limits and boundaries and they don't take the place of being in tune with your partner.

Mistress L said...

I definitely agree. All humans need a safeword in my opinion

pasthurt said...

I just now noticed that you mentioned me in your post! Funny it should be about CNC, because that is exactly where we are heading with Wonderboy.

I do have a safeword, Red, but I don't think I'll ever use it. The thing is, the communication level we have now is a lot more than liking/not liking, enduring/not enduring. He feels every little quiver of anticipation, when I'm really into what ever it is he's doing. When I'm not, he feels the vacancy, and starts asking me what it is and what it means. He doesn't punish me, not really, so enthusiastic (consent) is what we're looking for. It's hard to miss.

I mean, I don't need my safeword, because he's not a robot that only understands red, yellow and green! But I didn't understand this before we went there ourselves. Obviously it's a problematic choice for a relationship, but I think putting a name on it and choosing it just makes it visible. There are a lot of people out there doing shit like this and they have never heard of a safeword or domestic discipline. Why is it only so wrong, if you choose it for youself?

Feministsub,

I personally think safewords are a bit fetishized. Not that they aren't useful or important, but they shouldn't replace genuine conversation about limits and boundaries and they don't take the place of being in tune with your partner.

This is such a good point. There's no magic button that can save everything, when you talk about a relationship not a scene. It's really wise to have a way to communicate real discomfort or emotional distress in a way that leaves nothing to chance. But I honestly believe that I don't need my safeword for that. Not with Wonderboy, who almost wouldn't use me as his sex toy, because I wasn't thoroughly aroused - even when I begged him to do it!

So there. Maybe my views have changed a bit. Or maybe I was just in denial...