You have a safeword for your BDSM kinky fun. Right?

I know there's a debate in the world of BDSM and D/s between the safeword crew and those who don't want one. I land firmly on the side of having a safeword always. It's rarely used but it's always there.

We could debate the merits of having one or not. That may be a discussion for another day. Today let's talk about actually using your safeword and what should happen next.

To Safeword or Not – That is the Question

Whatever word you use (mine is “red), your safeword is in place for your health, safety, and well-being – and that of your Dominant. It's protection against real harm. If you ever need to use it, there should be no shame attached to it.

Many submissives feel, at some point in their D/s relationship, that using their safeword disappoints their Dominant. It's like we think we have something to prove, and if we call out “purple eggplant” in the middle of a scene, we're weak. Wrong! On so many levels.  (For the record, if your Dominant makes you feel bad about using yours, there's a problem there. A big one.)

Yes, sometimes a safeword is used out of fear and lack of trust more than the bad kind of pain or some issue that affects your health, mental or physical. Most of the time, though, things have gone just a smidge (or more than a smidge) over the line, and your Dominant hasn't picked up on it. Using your safeword is part of your responsibility as a submissive. How can your Dominant trust that the kinky things you do are safe if you're not willing to admit when you've had too much?

Once you scream out “gobbledygook,” everything should stop. It may stop for a minute, it may end the scene, but everything comes to a screeching halt.

What Happens After the Safeword?

Every situation is a little different, just as every relationship is different. This is one of those “results may vary” kind of things. That being said, some actions are pretty common.

  • All play stops immediately. Make sure to speak up so your Dominant hears you.
  • Your Dominant speaks to you – asking what hurts, what's wrong, what you need.
  • You must attempt to answer your Dominant even if you find it difficult to speak. Share as much information as you can.
  • Resolve the issue and continue playing OR
  • Stop the scene and begin aftercare.

Aftercare is one of those squishy things that never looks the same each time, and everyone handles it differently.

Loving D/s relationships and D/s play partners will have different types of aftercare but some things are typical:

  • A blanket to keep you warm
  • Water or something to eat
  • Hugs, hand-holding, cuddles – but some people don't want to be touched either, and that's okay
  • Talking about the scene and how you feel

Don't let anyone tell you aftercare isn't important. You've just been sent on an endorphin high and what goes up, must come down. Taking a few moments to feel comforted and simply sip water can do wonders for your mental state. If nothing else, it helps bring you back down with less of a jolt.

Aftercare is even more important after you use your safeword. You may be feeling hurt or sick. You could be scared and need reassurance. In my own experience, aftercare immediately follows the use of a safeword. Part of that is because it's so rarely used that Southern Sir knows something must be wrong if I use it. Part of it, though, is that he needs reassurance that I'm safe, healthy, and whole – and that he didn't do something to hurt me. Remember, aftercare isn't just for submissives.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and none of us would ever need our safewords or be afraid to use them. This is the real world, though. There's no shame in having a safeword or using it. You're not weak, and your Dominant (probably) didn't do anything wrong. Whatever your word (chicken parmesan, oak tree, I'm a little tea cup), it's there to keep you safe.

Keep your expectations high for what should happen once you use your safeword and never let anyone shame you for it.

Are you afraid to use your safeword? Did you have a bad experience after you did? Share in the comments below!