Tag Archives: Definition

6 Things You Need to Know About Safewords

Ever since Fifty Shades of Grey, the meaning of “safewords” has become more popular.  But many people, even in the BDSM community, still don’t know how to use them the right way.  The definition of a safeword is a code to communicate when a submissive is at their limit, or close to it.  I’ll show you some practical examples and a list of ones  you can use in your next play session.

BDSM
Safewords
To use
Meaning 
Examples 
List
Definition 
Fifty shades of grey
Pineapple

1.  Why “pineapple” is a good safeword to use

By definition, the words “No” and “Stop” are not safewords. A safeword needs to be something you would not normally say in a play session or scene. That’s why “pineapple” is such a good example. If you pick a word that is too common, the meaning can become unclear.

Why Fifty Shades of Grey used “Red” and “Yellow”

There’s a good reason why Fifty Shades of Grey chose those two examples. The most popular safeword is “Red”, meaning the sub cannot tolerate any further demands. When this word is said the Dominant’s actions cease completely with immediate effect.  The safeword “Yellow” is used to bring to the attention of the Dom that the sub is close to their limit of endurance.

Red and Yellow are my favorite and the ones I use with my Dom, but we also have an alternative.  Back when we were vanilla but also doing kinky things, I would use his middle name as a code.  I had used it for so long that it was still a habit so we decided to keep it.

When you are in the middle of a very intense situation, it is somewhat of a knee jerk reaction to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.  So pick a safeword(s) you feel comfortable with.

List of popular examples:

  • Apple
  • Red
  • Pineapple
  • Dom’s middle name
  • Banana
  • Yellow
  • Safeword
  • Mercy
  • Oklahoma

2. Safewords can help establish BDSM limits

If a couple is exploring something new like anal play, safewords can help guide the Dom as to what is acceptable and what is too far.  One of the roles of a good Dom is to push the boundaries of their sub a little, to see what they are and aren’t OK with.

To use safewords in this way a Dom can check in with the sub during a scene and ask, “What color?”  The sub can then replay “Red”, “Yellow”, or even “Green” to indicate that they want to go further.  You could even practice this technique to get a sub comfortable using safewords.

3. Subs can abuse their safewords without meaning to

Let me start off by saying that there is nothing wrong with using safewords.  They are a sacred part of BDSM, and are there to make sure everything stays safe, sane, and consensual.  A sub should never feel guilty when they use them legitimately.

The problem arises when it becomes a way to get out of something they just don’t want to do.  It can become the vanilla equivalent of saying they have a headache.  Besides sexual requests they may use a safeword when a situation becomes too emotionally difficult and they just want a break.

In short, the sub becomes the one in control when they safeword because they just don’t feel like doing something. Find out what the Dom and the sub can do to fix this here.

4. You can try getting rid of them… maybe

In some Master/slave relationships there is the concept of Total Power Exchange (TPE).  This means that the slave has relinquished all rights, even the right to a safeword.

If the sub consents to this (and they have to consent) there needs to be complete trust in the Dom’s control, and his knowledge of the sub. This is best for long term, 24/7 relationships.

If you’re not ready for this step, an alternative could be agreeing to forgo safewords during discipline.  This has the advantage that a sub is more liking to learn from their punishment or not misbehave, if they know they cannot safeword out of it.  The Dom would then have total control over the discipline and not the sub.

Another possibility would be to not let the sub use “Red” while being punished, only “Yellow”.

5.  You need a nonverbal signal too in BDSM

If choking or gagging is acceptable you won’t be able to talk, so agree beforehand on a safe gesture instead of a word.  This can be a hand signal or placing an item in the sub’s hand that they can drop when they have reached their limit.

The downside to these is that their arms and hands would have to be free at all times.  And there is the risk that the Dom may not be able to see the signal during a BDSM scene.

To get around this my Dom and I have the agreement that my hands and arms are always free during choking, and our “safeword” is that I will tap his body anywhere I can.  Once he feels it he releases me immediately.  Try a practice session before committing to your signal.

6. Subs can forget to use their safewords

Sometimes the Dom may make demands of the sub that cannot be met without incurring physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or other harm.  That is when the sub should use their safewords.

However, in that circumstance the sub may already be distraught because of the severity of the situation, and they may forget their safeword.  Or it may not instinctively come to their mind.  If the Dom is sensing that the sub’s condition is becoming deeply upset and agitated, he should remind them of their safewords.

Also if something new, or if something extremely intense is going to happen, then the Dom should remind the sub of their safewords again beforehand.

My Dom is very good about this, but one thing I like to do during something very demanding is to repeat my safewords to myself in my head.  This way they will more readily come to mind if I need to use them.

No one should ever say, “a real sub doesn’t have safewords.”  If a sub is new to BDSM or coming in to a new relationship, it is a huge red flag if they say they don’t have safewords.  Safewords build trust and bring meaning into the relationship.  Be comfortable using them and you will experience greater pleasure.  🖤

What’s your favorite examples of BDSM safewords to use? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Keep reading: Myths you need to stop believing now

Topping from the Bottom: 3 Examples to Avoid

What does “Topping from the Bottom” really mean? Ever since the book 50 Shades Freed made the phrase popular, the meaning has become somewhat cloudy. In BDSM, the definition of “Topping from the Bottom” (or “Below”) is when a submissive starts to become more of the dominant in the relationship.  I’m going to show you three examples of topping from the bottom, and what both the Dom and sub can do to fix it.

But first, you may be wondering: Why does it even happen?

Topping from the bottom, Mean, Definition, Examples, Meaning, Bellow, Book, Sub, Phrase, Fifty Shades Freed

What does Topping from the Bottom mean for the relationship?

Topping from below sometimes happens subconsciously but it can also be done on purpose.  It’s a lot like using reverse psychology, and can turn the tables of control without the Dominant realizing it. 

Usually the submissive is the most to blame for this manipulation, but the Dom is equally at fault when they allow it to happen.  I admit that I have topped from below before, and it can be a hard habit to break in a relationship.

Examples of Topping From the Bottom in real life (not the book 50 Shades Freed):

While 50 Shades Freed may have made the phrase a flirtatious cliche, TFTB can actually cause serious problems in a relationship. Here are three to watch out for:

1.  Being a constant brat on purpose

Some Doms like their sub a little bratty every once in a while.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It can keep things interesting.  Where it becomes a problem is when a sub is routinely a brat, using the behavior to lash out.

Instead of a way to be more playful, it becomes the main way to receive attention and to get what they need.  Needless to say, it can irritate the Dom and make them want to give up.

What the submissive can do:

If you genuinely want more attention or feel that your needs aren’t getting met, speak up!  As long as it’s done respectfully there is nothing wrong with communicating what you want.

For example, I’ve acted out before after a hard day just to get in trouble.  I know this will get me that stress-relieving spanking I so desperately need.  I’ve learned though that it’s so much better to say,  “Daddy, I’ve had a hard day.  Can you please spank me?”

It makes him happy and so much more aware of my feelings.  And the next time he sees me stressed he knows exactly what I need.

If you’re not comfortable speaking up, you can also write your feelings in a journal (either online or in a book) that your Dom can read.

What the Dom can do:

When you catch your sub being bratty, try to figure out if they’re just acting out for attention.  Remember: this isn’t 50 Shades Freed, so instead of just immediately turning to discipline, ask your sub what’s really going on.  If you sense they’re upset, give them permission to talk.

Encourage them to maybe use an “I statement”, a phrase where they say, “I feel X when you do Y, and I’d rather you do Z.”  Also, having your sub kneel while you talk to them about their unacceptable bratty behavior can put them back in their place.

2.  Safewording… without really meaning it

Let me start off by saying that there is nothing wrong with using safewords.  They are a sacred part of BDSM, and are there to make sure everything stays safe, sane, and consensual.  A sub should never feel guilty when they use them legitimately.

The problem arises when it becomes a way to get out of something they just don’t want to do.  It can become the vanilla equivalent of saying they have a headache.

Besides sexual requests, they may use a safeword when a situation becomes emotionally difficult and they just want a break.  The sub becomes the one in control when they safeword because they just don’t feel like doing something.

What the sub can do:

Before you safeword, ask yourself if you’re just trying to avoid doing something.  If you were to meet your Dom’s demands would it really incur physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or other harm?  If not, safewording in that instance would be dishonest and could lead to a break in trust.

Remember that topping from the bottom in this way isn’t playing fair. If there are things that you absolutely will not do, make sure to include them in a contract. Click here for some examples.

What the Dom can do:

If your sub safewords, remember that it means they are close to their limit of endurance, or they cannot tolerate any further demands.  Always respect their safeword even if you believe it isn’t genuine.  Your actions should cease completely with immediate effect.

Afterwards, if you do believe the safeword was used casually, tell your sub.  Remind them of the real purpose of BDSM safewords and that misusing them will break your trust.  This firm lecture will probably be enough to put them back in their place.

3.  Saying, “Well, actually I think…” or a similar phrase

When a Dom makes a decision it should stand.  A sub from time to time can voice their opinion respectfully when necessary, but routinely getting a Dom to change their mind will only  hurt the relationship.  This can happen in many different areas.

Some examples include the Dom wanting to have sex in a certain position, but the sub suggests another one instead.  Or he wants to book reservations at a particular restaurant, but she says she’d rather go to a different one. When this happens and the Dom gives in, it shifts the control in the relationship.

What the sub can do:

When your Dom makes a decision, don’t undermine it.  Even if it’s not what you were wanting that doesn’t matter.  Your role is to please your Dom.  If it’s something you really disagree with you can let them know respectfully.

Another option is to ask them afterwards if next time you can do your choice, or voice your feelings in a journal book.  Remember:  this isn’t 50 Shades Freed. You are in a real BDSM relationship, and they are your Dominant.  Topping from below will only erode that.

What the Dom can do:

When your sub says, “Well, actually I think…”, or a similar phrase, listen to their suggestion, but then let them know that you are the Dom and you make the decisions.  Of course they are not always going to act perfectly or by the book, but tell them that this behavior is below your standards.

When they do go along with what you want make sure to give them praise.  It is OK to give your sub choices every once in a while, but do not make it a habit of yielding to them.

Remember that regularly topping from the bottom brings manipulation into BDSM, and can mean there are underlying issues in the relationship.  Life isn’t 50 Shades Freed. So review these examples, stay focused in your role as a Dom or sub, and the power and control will remain healthy. 🖤

What’s your definition of the phrase Topping from the Bottom?  Chat with me in the comments below.

Keep reading: 9 Signs of a Fake Dom >>