His Lordship’s girls - in what I’m sure was a very clever and amusing moment - took it upon themselves to hide some of his things. And apparently they felt that *my* bedroom made a good playground for their antics. My space. Which they entered without permission.
The upshot: my Master’s Stick has been misplaced. And only one of those silly little girls remains to take the punishment.
I wonder which of them thought it was a good idea to play with a magician’s wand. The instrument of his Will, the tool he uses for punishment.
I wonder just how clever they’re feeling right now.
"I am bisexual" does not tranlate as "I want to have a threesome with you and your girlfriend".
I have a weight problem. It’s not the biggest problem in the world - I’m 5’1 and I weight 150lb. I have a BMI of 28.3. I’m a size 14 (UK). So I’m not obese. But I am overweight, and I’m heavier than I would like to be. I’m heavier than I feel I am.
I’ve been working hard on my weight - watching what I eat, exercising more. Over the last year or so I have lost about a stone… and some of it I have put back on. I tend to find my weight hovers around 156-158lb when I’m not doing anything to keep it under control.
I struggle with weight loss. I love food - I love cooking, trying new flavours, going to restaurants. I read cook books for fun. I have a pretty good relationship with food, as in I don’t comfort eat or eat out of boredom. But I don’t always eat the right foods. I love pasta. I love potatos. I love baking. I refuse to imagine a world without chocolate.
I don’t drink fizzy drinks or munch on biscuits and cakes. But I do spend winter making wonderful hearty stews, pies and stodgy puddings. Whilst this might be fine in and of itself, I don’t spend as much time in the gym to make up for the indulgence as I should.
Working exercise into my routine has been hard. Developing something resembling a routine has been hard. I am not a creature of habit! I go to bed at different times, wake up when I’m ready, eat when I’m hungry. I don’t have a set work schedule as I can pretty much turn up when I want… or not turn up at all on some days.
So for the last couple of weeks, I have been dieting. As in, that is what I have been doing with my days. I have set myself targets for when I have to exercise, and trying to stick to that. I’ve been writing down every calorie I consume and planning my meals meticulously. I have even altered other plans to fit my dieting, because I know when I’m going to get hungry.
I am so frightened of fucking it up, of finding myself in some unplanned situation that causes me to break from my plan, that I am avoiding doing anything not scheduled in.
Today I have been dieting. Tomorrow I will be dieting. (Except ‘diet’ is the wrong word because I’m not doing anything crazy like only eating cabbage soup. I’m just eating ridiculously healthily.) And until this becomes something I just do, instead of something I have to plan for, it’s going to be taking up most of my thought processes. Because it is something I have to choose to do. Something I have to work at.
His Lordship, who is long and lean and can eat his way through half the cakes in the bakery without gaining an ounce, can’t understand this. I know he thinks I’m obsessing, and I know he thinks it’s unhealthy. But I don’t know how to express that this is everything I can think about right now without confirming his fears.
I know I’m supposed to love myself as I am. My friends are wonderful and supportive and make shocked faces when I tell them how much weight I want to lose. But we’re not talking crazy numbers here. I just want to move from ‘overweight’ to ‘normal’. Not to suggest that there is an ideal magical weight all women should aim for… I’m talking BMI scale. I’m talking being a size 12 instead of a 14. Being able to run for the bus without getting red in the face. Looking in the mirror and not being surprised, because the reflection isn’t what’s in my head.
Today I was dieting, so that one day this can just be the stuff I do, and I can think about something else.
I’ve enjoyed hashing over the safeword issue, but I don’t want to keep going over old ground. Suffice to say, I do not use safewords and do not believe them to be the bullet proof vest of the kink world. I recognise their value and their purpose and would encourage their use as part of a safe dynamic. Particularly at the beginning of a journey or relationship. But I do not use them, and they have never been a part of my journey.
One thing that kept coming up throughout this discussion is the concept of ‘responsible’ play. Which has me wondering, what is that precisely? And can I really be accused of being irresponsible because I don’t use safewords?
Being responsible is about being accountable for your actions and the outcomes of those actions. I have spent my adult life seeking to know and understand myself, my motivations, dreams, desires, fears. Submission is a big part of that search for understanding, as it forces me to confront the best and worst of me, and to take ownership of that.
Within a scene, my Dom takes some responsibility for me. I expect him to own his actions, to recognise that in the context of the scene I may not be in the best position to judge what is right or wrong, or to communicate clearly what I need in that moment (need and want being different things that are often highly confused within a scene). I hand that responsibility to him, and he accepts it. But that does not alleviate me of all responsibility.
I have a responsibility for myself, for my own safety and development. I have the responsibility of ensuring I am placing myself in the hands of someone who will use me wisely. I have the responsibility of communicating my needs, desires, fears and limits clearly, and I have the responsibility of ensuring that they are not abused - that I am not abused. In short, I am responsible for my own decisions and actions, my own path, and no one and nothing can alleviate me of that responsibility.
The words ‘safe, sane and consensual’ get banded around a lot in the BDSM world, and I think many people repeat the mantra often enough they forget what it actually means. Safewords become the Holy Grail of ‘safe’ play, and a submissive can be lulled into the entirely false sense of security thinking that if she has a safeword, nothing can go wrong. But a safeword is not a money-back guarantee. Uttering your safeword is not an assurance the play will stop or change course. You may be playing with someone who has no respect for you or that safeword. If you have not taken responsibility for yourself and have placed yourself in a questionable scenario, a safeword will not be your escape hatch.
This is not to say that safewords are irrelevent or ineffective and shouldn’t be used. It is to say that they are simply one element of what might be considered safe. And having a safeword does not give you a merit badge of responsibility if you have failed to take account of everything else.
To suggest that play cannot be responsible without a safeword is, to me, shortsighted. Such an opinion appears to assume that there are no other precautions that could be taken, which is of course not true. My partner and I communicate extensively before, during and after every scene. When I told him, before our dynamic had even begun, that I do not like to use safewords, we discussed all the other ways we could make our play safe.
The first few times you play with someone are always a gamble, safeword or no, because you don’t know each other. It’s a learning curve. My responsibility on those occassions is to judge whether this dom is being respectful and responsible towards me. His responsibility is to demonstrate he is not a dick and that he knows what he is doing. I expect not to be broken in those first few encounters, and I expect to see adequate thoughtfulness and aftercare. And above all else, I expect to have ample opportunity to communicate what is happening with me.
I believe it is possible to communicate distress without a safeword. I am experienced enough to know the stages of distress that I go through. I have certain phrases that I utter at different points of the cycle. By observing this over the years, my Master has developed a pretty good understanding of where I am psychologically and physically, and how much further he can ‘safely’ push me. If I’m exhibiting unusual behaviour, that is a signal something is wrong and we need to touch base.
Of course, this degree of understanding cannot be present at the beginning of a dynamic, where a safeword can have far more value. Which is why we often say they are useful at the beginning of a journey or relationship. But more than likely, as you grow to understand your own process and your partner, you will find them less and less relevent.
Most submissives I have known have eventually come to a point where they ask not to have a safeword. They feel confident and capable in their own ability to communicate, and they have enough trust in their partner to not feel the need for the safety net. Graduating to play without a safeword opens up an entirely new realm of experiences. Not better experiences, but different.
Looking back over my time in the lifestyle, I can think of a few occassions where I was in a genuinly unsafe and potentially harmful scenario - and in none of those situations would a safeword have helped. I was once throttled to a point all the blood vessels in my face burst and I was literally scarlet for a few days. I couldn’t have uttered a safeword then if I’d wanted to - couldn’t breathe. My biggest scar is down my left thigh, the result of a breadknife being drawn quickly and unexpectedly down it. By the time I knew what was happening, the blood was flowing. No time for a safeword. I was once punched in the stomach unexpectedly by a man. That hurt and frightened me. But again, it was too quick for a safeword. These were not scene based scenarios. Safewords would not have helped. And I have to take responsibility for these actions taken against me because they were all the same guy, and three distinct occassions. In his defence, he was under the impression that I *enjoyed* this sort of extreme behaviour. I talked to him extensively about how I felt when he did these things, and about what I thought was acceptable and unnacceptable behaviour. When I did not see any major modification in his behaviour, I stopped seeing him.
Within this lifestyle, there are no guarantees. It is a risk every time you place yourself in the hands of another. We can take precautions, but nothing is foolproof. And so in the end the best we can do is take ownership of actions, accept responsibility for ourselves when we walk into a situation by walking in openly, knowingly and having communicated as clearly as we can, and remove ourselves from that situation if it turns out to be harmful or damaging to us.
Responsibility here appears to have become a scale by which we judge others for their relative ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’. Asking whether playing without a safeword is ‘responsible’ is to ask whether that play is good or bad, according to some scale which can only have value to the judge. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are judgement calls, grounded in taste and aesthetics, moral stance and ideology. Whether there are any inate qualities or values by which anything can be held more right or wrong, better or worse than another thing is an interesting question from a philosophical point of view. meaning, I can’t answer that - can you?
I would hold that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are relative. There can be no objectivity because ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are emotive subjects. If I accept myself as an autonomous being, if I take responsibility for myself and my actions during play, surely by definition I am playing responsibly? The mechanism for that responsibility is irrelevent, being that it is personal to me and has no impact on anyone but me - and my partner, of course, though let’s assume my partner also entered the scenario knowingly, willingly and responsibly.
Of course safewords are important and valuable and have a relevent place in the BDSM arena. But why must their irrefutable value mean that not having a safeword instantly devalues play by rendering it unsafe and irresponsible? Can we not accept that with the whole spectrum of people and experiences operating within this arena, there might be more than one way of doing things? And cannot we attribute value based upon intent and outcome, rather than some abstract notion of what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’?
LETS HAVE A MOTHERFUCKIN DIALOGUE UP IN HERE
Hey! I’m Bee, 390nm’s girl, and I wanted to throw in my two cents to the discussion. It’s weird that you speak of the “place beyond” that you wouldn’t get to if you had a safeword, because it contradicts what you said earlier about how you used…
“So basically you prove your submission—your intent to reach new depths/heights by not mumbling “red” or “rrh” or “ed” (may backfire if dom’s name is Ed) during a scene”
To me, the idea of ‘proving’ my submission by refraining from uttering a safe word is not a healthy attitude when going about safe words. Reading that statement links safe words with needing to ‘prove’ something, approval/disappointment, and worth as a submissive in a way I completely disagree with.
It’s already been made clear that I don’t believe in safe words, considering my original reblog of a post about them is what sparked this entire debate.
If I was under the impression that my submission was something that was valued based on whether or not I used my safe word, I wouldn’t want to use my safe word. If I have to ‘prove’ my submission by refraining to use my safe word, what happens when I use it? According to the logic I’ve been presented using a safe word ‘proves’ I’m not fully submitting in some way, and that’s an incredibly toxic message to associate with something that’s intended to be used as a judgment-free measure of when something goes wrong.
Furthermore, to judge a submissives level of submission on something as simple and black-and-white as a use of a safe word makes something as incredibly complex as a D/s dynamic really, really simple.
Yesterday I addressed this issue in a separate post because I didn’t want to potentially step on anyone’s toes and I’m not really huge on confrontation, but I think the fact arguments have actually come to imposing rules and regulations on how consenting adults chose to live within their dynamic is a bit ridiculous.
“Anyone who is practicing this right now needs to be aware that what they are saying is actually teaching, whether it be a “trip report” or a deviant little missive captioning a dirty picture. We are building the future ourselves, and if we don’t want to see a bunch of little hurt people on cnn making everybody look bad, we should encourage our readers to explore safely first, and maybe take that edgy leap once they’re truly ready.”
I really don’t think that the argument that someone (in this post you appear to be referring to minors/someone in your position when you were younger) could read something and misinterpret the clear, concise, explicitly-stated message (that both artofbabalon and I have always preached) ‘I don’t believe in safe words for myself, but I’d never encourage someone else to not use one’ to mean anything but that. If someone should somehow find an ulterior meaning in those words, well, I think that really says enough.
I don’t understand the concept that consenting adults who consider themselves more than capable of engaging in a D/s relationship should refrain from living their life a certain way or allowing themselves to publicly express because someone could take it upon themselves to act carelessly and get hurt. That’s really the same as arguing that people shouldn’t participate in extreme activities like skydiving or bungee jumping (both of which share the same common disclaimer with the safe words in this matter) because someone could get hurt if they took it upon themselves to engage in those activities in a way that wasn’t safe. Any activity has risk attached to it, especially when we’re talking about D/s and the extremes that sometimes go along with it.
I can’t help but pick up on a sense that people who think that people who don’t use safe words are engaging in stoic, communication-less scenes in which a submissive/bottom/etc. has completely lost his/her voice. That ‘no safe words’ means no communicating verbally/non-verbally before/after/during a scene, a lack of empathy, and a Dom who isn’t paying attention to his/her sub’s needs.
All of which are simply untrue. Artofbabalon managed to make this point (and a lot of other points I had myself-now I just look like I’m stealing!) before I decided I wanted to weigh in on this argument myself: if you’re playing with a safe word, you’ve put that safe word up on a pedestal as the determining factor when establishing when something has gone wrong. There is nothing wrong with that and I think a safe word can be incredibly beneficial in plenty of relationships, but why is this a tool that’s being forced on me? Why is a safe word being pushed on anyone?
That really just brings me back to my next point: everyone in the tumblr BDSM community who posts sexually explicit content features a disclaimer to the extent of ‘NSFW blog/18+ only.’ Our blogs are meant for mature audiences-adults. If someone under the age of eighteen/legal age in their country were to access a blog that is clearly marked as being for viewers above their age limit, read my consistent disclaimers about my views on safe words and how I’d never personally never encourage someone to go without them or speak ill of them and then still ignore consistent warnings and have a negative experience…that would not be my fault. It would absolutely be unfortunate and I’d never wish a negative experience on anyone, but I can’t police people any more than I already am with consistent warnings.
I am a consenting adult writing about my own experiences that I am perfectly capable of making. To say that I’m ‘not skilled at submitting’ (referencing a previous post in the debate) because I chose to put myself in situations where I allow myself to feel a sense of helplessness in a controlled environment with someone who can read me very well and with which communication (both verbal and non-verbal) are taken very seriously before/during/after a scene discredits the concept that I’m someone capable of being trusted to make decisions for myself.
Of course there’s a risk, there is always a risk. No one is arguing that there isn’t one…but there is a risk with everything involved in BDSM. That’s just plain fact. Safe words can be beneficial, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have the potential to be a way of expressing fear or when something becomes really, really hard to deal with. And that’s fine, because that’s what they’re there for. But some people want to push/be pushed past that point. This is okay because:
- I am an adult.
- I am more than capable of choosing what experiences I might consensually want to experience.
- D/s is anything but black-and-white and can’t be categorized into a simple list of ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s.
- I am fully aware of the risks involved and should a scene go wrong then I’d be prepared to talk about what went wrong and why and how whatever went wrong could be avoided the next time.
- I wouldn’t resent someone for pushing me a bit harder than I’m ready to go in that moment because it was something I wanted.
- I understand that ‘no safe words’ doesn’t mean ‘no communication’ or throwing caution out the window.
- I know myself, and I know myself well. I understand that not all of my experiences will be good, but I will learn from all of them and grow from everything I come to experience.
- I know the difference between a situation that has the potential to go horribly wrong and might damage me physically or mentally and something that will be hard to endure that will teach me something invaluable. I have no problem speaking up if I think a situation is unhealthy or harmful, and I trust myself not to engage in extreme situations with people who don’t know me well enough to have an idea of how an experience will affect me and respects where I currently am/am able to endure.
- I understand the fundamental importance of safe words, as well as the pros and cons that come with both using a safe word and foregoing one.
- I am a legally consenting adult capable of choosing how I want to live my life. I trust myself. I know the difference between how I’d feel in a healthy relationship and in an unhealthy relationship and I trust myself enough to know I wouldn’t tolerate anything that I considered to be damaging or unhealthy. I understand that people experience things differently, have differing opinions, and may choose to live their lives completely differently than I do mine. I respect that, and I’d never tell someone that their choices were wrong/damaging/unsafe/etc. because I can only speak for myself.
- I am a consenting adult capable of choosing the experiences I want to have.
Smart lass, that American Whore (but shh, don’t tell her I said so…)