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Choosing a Safe Word

What’s In a Safe Word?

Sex can be awesome. When there is open communication and partners are on the same page, sex is a fun and exciting way to discover your sexuality and explore yourself or your relationship with your partner. Sex can also not be so awesome. When there isn’t open communication and partners are not on the same page, sex can be overwhelming, triggering, or even scary. To keep it fun and safe, communication is necessary; this is especially true if you are trying out something new. Specifically with BDSM (bondage, discipline/dominance, submission, and sadomasochism), you should have a safe word; you may want some advice before choosing a safe word.

Choosing a Safe Word

If you have decided you are ready and want to try BDSM, congrats! Exploring a new consensual sexual activity is exciting and opens the door to new things. In any sexual experience, enthusiastic consent must be given by each partner before beginning the endeavor. Consent means something different for every individual and doesn’t mean giving permission for all activities, so being very clear about your limits is crucial.

No one should ever be pushed beyond their comfort zone. Awesome partners recognize and respect where their partner is at in their sexual journey. BDSM is a balance of trust between partners, and part of establishing that trust is setting boundaries beforehand. Also, by talking beforehand, you go into the situation with a deep understanding and most likely won’t have to stop and restart play.

A great way to establish trust and ensure partners are on the same page is by establishing a safe word. A safe word is a word a partner can use to stop play if they’re feeling uncomfortable. During a BDSM encounter or “scene,” a partner can use the safe word to jolt the other partner out of a scene and be attentive to their partner’s needs.

Because “yes” and “no” can be part of a scene, pick a less common word that won’t stir up any confusion. Some people use “red” for stop or “yellow” to say they’re nearing their limit. But, you can use any word you like. Rose, dragon, borborygmus, grapefruit, you pick!

Using a Safe Word

Never hesitate to use your safe word if you’re feeling uncomfortable. Whether out of pride, inexperience, or eagerness to please, some people don’t communicate about their limits during sex. But speak up! No one should ever feel pressured to do something they don’t want to. Good partners respect boundaries and make their partner feel comfortable.

The bottom line is consent isn’t a one-time deal. Consent should regularly happen throughout any sexual act, BDSM or not. Did you like being spanked the last time you had sex but don’t want to be spanked today? That’s totally fine. Are you in the mood to have more aggressive sex? That’s totally fine. Do you love your partner but just don’t feel like having sex right now? That’s totally fine.

Your choices about sex always deserve respect. When you honor your thoughts and feelings about sex, you own your sexuality. When you honor your partner’s thoughts and feelings about sex, you respect your partner’s sexuality. Open and transparent communication makes for fun and explorative sex. Play on!

Shop Body Safe Sex Toys Now

After Choosing a Safe Word, Check Out Vibrant’s Body Safe Kink Collection!

Vibrant has an array of body-safe sex toys for every body. Check out our kink collection! Or, chat with us, and we can help recommend the product that’s perfect for you. We’re available 9am-9pm EST daily on our website chat (just push the purple button at the bottom right!) or call us at 866-316-VIBE(8423).

Vibrant Staff

The Vibrant Staff writers are a group of sex-positive cis women and queer folks employed by Vibrant. Our contributors are passionate about educational advocacy, sexual autonomy and freedom, healthy relationships, and sharing their experiences with you!

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Vibrant Staff

The Vibrant Staff writers are a group of sex-positive cis women and queer folks employed by Vibrant. Our contributors are passionate about educational advocacy, sexual autonomy and freedom, healthy relationships, and sharing their experiences with you!

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