Stop is not a word I ever want to say during a scene, but having the ability to communicate that need is vital for me.
I have been in a number of sticky situations where I haven’t negotiated carefully, and safewords have been an unknown. In those cases I was always left unfulfilled. I had not been pushed hard enough, far enough. These occurrences were in the days when Sir had seemingly disappeared. I was also in the early days of my separation from P and in a dark place where I didn’t respect myself enough to care about my safety. This lack of regard was unhealthy and foolish, but I can’t change what was, just learn from my experiences. I know that when I met sir I was very lucky, that he was a safe man to take me on my journey in those early days. He talked me through scene safety, ensured I knew his expectations on how we were to communicate. A 1-10 rating system with red in emergencies worked well for me, and I was able to communicate clearly with him at all times while he got to know me. Red was my safeword. My “stop.” I did use my red once in sirs presence, but not as a result of his actions. The inexperience of another threatened to take me away from my submissive headspace and I needed him to know. For the first time ever I had used a safeword, he understood and respected it.
The scene redirected and play continued, all four of us happy.
On the other end of the safety spectrum I had one with H. He wanted me to use Have Mercy which I had to work hard to remember. I didn’t need it during our play normally, a gentle sadist who didn’t push me over the edge for a paingasm. He did abbreviate my name (A BIG FAT HARD LIMIT!!!) and I called Have Mercy twice before shouting STOP!! His friend was the one to stop, and H joked that he had forgotten my safeword. For me that put an end to our play partnership, and really our friendship. It is important to me that my safeword is respected and remembered. I would only ever use it in an absolute emergency and what may seem like a small thing to others may in fact be a massive deal for me.
The mistakes of the past are lessons for the future…
…and along with the return and departure of sir, this time with guidance on safety and pre-meet discussions, I was in a much better position to move forward with future play mates. Fast forward to late 2017. I finally met someone I had been in vague contact with for years. CST is a safe player, and an enthusiastic negotiator. I have a folder on his shelf. My likes, limits and safewords. He has the potential to negotiate the fun out of the scene, but I found humour and comfort in his need for knowledge and order. He is also a thoroughly sadistic Dominant. And while I may never have felt submissive towards him we have shared a number of sadomasochistic adventures. With him I was able to ask to be pushed to my red in an impact scene. I knew he would never put me in danger, the risk to us both if anything were to go wrong was/is abhorrent to him, but I knew that he would take me to red so that I would know where it was, and so that I would be able to recognise it. When the time came he was close to calling it as I spluttered “Red” to our spotter, through rivers of tears and a flood of endorphin fuelled orgasms. The pile of discarded impact toys could wait while he wrapped me in a blanket and our spotter fetched me a glass of water and a cup of tea.
(Disclaimer: I could never recommend Red as a destination, but it was important for me to know if I would know where my limits were physically.)
What about if I can’t talk?
Gags, tape, hoods, cock… they could stop my red! I have learnt over time that when I enter subspace (and I slip quite readily into the buzzed space) I love to continue playing but stop being able to communicate verbally. With CST we covered non-verbal safety communication before our first meeting. A way to communicate without speech. I had 2 codes, one was a hand waving for “Stop, come and check in” and the other was 3 times flashing my fingers signalling “can I come?” I also find that the better I know someone the more they can read more subtle forms of communication, if they are observant. They know when to change things up a little, or back off. Thus increasing the time we can continue with our play time.