Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I was reading a post over at Finding my Submission (listed on the left), and there was a bit of discussion/disagreement between the commenters regarding safewords. Since my thoughts all revolved around the comments, I came back home with my little soapbox lol.

One commenter said that she had never understood the use of a safeword, that having one means you don't trust your Dom, and if you have a safeword, you are actually the one in control.

I disagree completely.

 For one thing, I absolutely hate conversations where someone comes off as "more submissive than thou," as if the submission of one person has any more quality than than the submission of another. You see it pretty blatantly sometimes with people who don't have safewords and enjoy criticizing those who do.

Ironically,  I have read things over at Finding my Submission that would have had me screaming a safeword at the top of my lungs regardless of whether I had one or not lol. Yet she hasn't.

ttwd is about what works for the individual, it's not a "one size fits all" kind of thing.

Anyways, back on point.

It could just as easily be said that the sub is really the one in control in any D/s relationship because she has given consent for her consent to be taken away. If she does not submit, there is no Dominance.
Does saying that make me feel in control? Nope. Not in the least little bit lol. I could say it until I'm blue in the face and it won't make me anymore in charge than I was five minutes ago.

A safeword isn't something you spit out because you're tired of playing, or because a break would be nice. In fact, I think most subs are quite willing to go to extremes in an effort to avoid saying it.
There's also the little fact that sometimes we forget we have them, or using words at all is like trying to speak a foreign tongue one has never heard.

A safeword is not a tool to control your Dominant--it is a tool for Him to know absolutely that He needs to pause then and there to evaluate His sub's condition.

Does having a safeword make you better or worse than someone who doesn't have one? Does it mean you have more or less control than someone else? I don't think so.

After the first year or so of exploring ttwd, I asked Alpha for a safeword.
Because I felt like He was spending a lot of time holding back, that having it in place would give Him more freedom to do as He wanted without as much fear of damaging me.
I wanted to be able to scream "no, stop" until I couldn't breath and have Him ignore it completely.
And the safeword served its purpose well though I never used it.

A while back, Alpha suggested we get rid of my safeword. I hemmed and hawed and stumbled around the idea. He pointed out that were I really to need it, I probably wouldn't be able to open my mouth and make words come out anyways. I had to admit, He was right lol.
And really, when I'm so far under that I can't see straight, I'm not a good judge of what is to much for me and there were a couple of times I should have used it but I didn't. Times when He was relying on the fact that I would if I needed to instead of just relying on His own judgement.

So we got rid of the safeword.
But do I think they are a good idea? Yes. Like wearing shoes in a junkyard (ooh, I'm gonna hear about that one, "you compared our relationship to a junkyard?!" lol), it's just common sense.
Am I lacking common sense? Maybe. I also hate shoes though.

Safeword or no safeword, ttwd is about the individual and their needs. So in the end, it doesn't really matter as long as you're doing what's right for you and your partner.
Though if you don't have one? You had better be damn sure the person in charge actually gives a shit and knows you better than you could ever hope to know yourself.


  1. hear, hear. i can't actually recall using mine...but knowing i have one makes me want to do more for Him...if that makes any sense. Does speaking in tongues count as a foreign language? :-p

    hate shoes too.


  2. I have a safe word, like pepper I have never used it. I find it releases me to explore further.

    However I am in total agreement with you that whether you do or don't is entirely a personal decision. Whatever works for you as an individual/couple/group is right.

  3. I've waffled on this one so much. My having one has allowed him to feel more free to explore and push, hence he learns me and himself better, hence needs for me to have the word less. But i have struggled at times to let go, especially when it is hard to take what is being done. I have had to work to supress the idea that i have a way out, focusing on that rather than letting go. In the end - this one is his choice and i have to figure out how to make it work for me.

  4. Like you said, it's common sense. It doesn't necessarily mean you don't trust your Dom, it just means that you both acknowledge that he is human after all and can and will make mistakes. It's there to keep everyone safe, not to give control to the sub, or an easy way out.

    I don't have a safeword, but no means no, and stop means stop for us so there is no need for one.

  5. I don't have a safeword, but then again, I feel like I don't need one.


    P.S. Not saying I'm right and those that have one are wrong. Just telling it like it is with Daddy and I:).

  6. It's funny, my first reaction ot this post was also "Hear, Hear". I think you stated it brilliantly Lil.

    Although I know the commenter over at sins blog is VERY new to TTWD and I don't think she was trying to be holier than thou.I think she was honestly trying to understand.

    I don't have a safeword, although I am approaching the point where it would be a good idea. You were dead on that it is both a tool for the Dom, and helps him not hold back. Thank oyu for another thought provoking post.

  7. BIG believer, here.
    See, I have this unfortunate tendency to pass out if you get my neck in the wrong position for too long.

    I can promise you that BG was much happier to have me squeak it out a time or two than to have me slump to a lifeless heap on the floor in front of him...

    To my mind, safewords are like the AAA membership of ttwd. All you need is one breakdown on the highway to make you say, "damn! why didn't I...?"

  8. Yes! I have one, but have never ever used it. To be honest I think it's more for him than me - he knows that no matter how much I protest, he's okay doing whatever he wants.

    There was that one time I should have used it but didn't... there is the part where making words come out is pretty much impossible, and the inability to judge your own limits when you're so high on submission.

    So now he knows he should sometimes use his own judgment as well. If I'm not about to pass out, I feel bad even thinking of using it.

  9. I don't have one. Honestly, the Lady and I have never discussed it, although I would have one if I felt I needed it, i.e. with someone I did not know so well. However, yanno, it might be a good idea, because we all get "carried away" in the moment...hmm. Food for thought, thanks. :)

  10. I do think that sometimes he knows me better than I know myself. But that's the stuff inside my head. And what he's usually hurting is the stuff outside my head.

    I think the safeword is a good idea. For me. But maybe it's just like a security blanket and it doesn't really protect me; I just think it does.


  11. I have one. Have never used it and doubt if I ever will because Sir knows me better than I know myself. It is however there if needed. When we discussed my having one, Sir thought it might be a good idea. He knows however I push myself further than he does sometimes, but I think it makes him feel better knowing it is available to me as a tool should I need to use it.

  12. Great post, and buckets of sense - thank you. I particularly liked your point about the safe word giving you the freedom not to hold back. I think that's very true in my relationship. And maybe we won't always feel we need it, but it absolutely has to be an option.


  13. Wow, this post got a lot more feedback than I bargained for lol.

    Pepper, yes! Speaking in tongues does count as a foreign language--it's actually the only one I speak fluently lol.

    Tame, it seems to be a bit of a consensus judging from the commenter--that it creates more freedom to explore than it does restrictions.

    greengirl, I guess it can be a bit of a give and take. It's kind of interesting that for me, giving it up was hard, and you sometimes struggle with having one. Like you said though, I guess it really comes down to Them and making it work.

    Alice, I agree with you completely.

    Conina, thanks for stopping by. I do see it as a tool for Him as opposed to a way for the sub to be in control.

    avery, glad the post inspired thought!

    Sin, even if it's just a security blanket, as long as that blanket serves some purpose in your relationship, it's worth having right?

    mijena, I do think we tend to push ourselves harder than they do upon occasion. If it serves you both well, it's worth having!

    J, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the post.
    It's interesting that others (besides me in my crazy corner), have found it useful as a tool for pushing things further as opposed to restricting things.
    And yes, imho, anyone who says it shouldn't be an option shouldn't be experimenting with ttwd.

  14. Jz, oops, somehow I missed you the first time around, sorry lol.
    That's scary for all I'm sure.
    And I think it's one of those things that people don't think about enough--kink can be life threatening and it's well worth taking very seriously.
    I like the AAA analogy!

  15. Fuck, skipped littlemonkey too! My bad lol. Maybe the pop-up window doesn't work so well for me.

    Ooh, it's not often I have brilliant moments lol.
    Well, since the commenter was so new at ttwd, I hope the comments she got in response helped her to understand better. That's the kind of person I think safewords are especially important for.


Play nice.