Learning How to Communicate Safely
Your Questions …
What is a “safe word”?
What does “safe word” mean?
When should I use a safe word?
Who needs safe words?
What are some examples of safe words?
Safe words are usually regarded as a word or set of words used to cue discomfort or a boundary during sex or sexual activities. These words are often unusual or infrequently spoken especially during sexual acts.
Using words like “no” and “stop” aren’t always ideal. They can make your partner panic and cause disruption in your playtime or, they’re involved in the sexy play you have planned.
Safe words became popularised by the 50 Shades of Grey series (something we’ll discuss at a later date) and have now entered the sexual lingo of many.
Why Would you Need a Safe Word?
Having a safe word, especially if you’re into BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism) having a safe word is critical for communicating during a scene. A scene is simply a pre-negotiated act of BDSM between consenting adults.
Frequently, words like “stop” are incorporated into scenes, therefore using them as an actual means of communicating your boundaries wouldn’t work very well.
Often times people use a series of safe words to indicate how they’re feeling about the act they’re engaging in.
One of the most popular ones is the “traffic light system.” Red means stop, yellow means proceed with caution and green means good job or add intensity.
This is often popular in BDSM groups where you can hear Dominant’s asking their submissives “what’s your colour?” almost constantly.
It is a healthy and simple way to express whether you’re in or out of your comfort zone without ruining the intensity of the scene or the rough play you’re participating in.
When Should I Use a Safe Word?
In our opinion, safe words are important for any sexually active couple or group to have. This way you can explain how you’re feeling with a single word without having a knee-jerk negative reaction to words like “stop” during consensual sex.
First of all, discuss it with your partner(s) before you engage in any play. They may already have a safe word that they’re used to. Make sure you have a clear agreement about what you have chosen before going forward.
Using the example of the traffic light system, you would use green whenever you want your partner to increase the intensity of whatever you’re doing, like spanking. It’s a simple way to ask for more!
If you’re getting slightly uncomfortable and want to slow down a little bit, saying the word “yellow” is ideal to let them know that you’re okay but you are reaching the edge of your comfort zone.
Of course, “red” is the most important of the three. This tells your partner you are uncomfortable with the activity and no longer consent to the action. This should bring the activity to a full halt so you can discuss what went wrong or made you uncomfortable.
***Pro-Tip*** There are also non-verbal safe words you can use when you’re a little (or a lot) tied up. If you’re using a gag or anything that prevents a person from speaking during play, there are a ton of creative options for you. Putting a bell in the restrained person’s hand is popular, or something like snapping your fingers is another great option.
What are Examples of Safe Words?
Here’s where the fun lies! They’re totally and 100% up to you and your partner(s) just make sure they aren’t’ words you usually use in bed. So, things like “harder” and “lick” probably aren’t ideal.
According to Lovehoney.com after completing a survey they found several of the most popular safe words (we’re excluding the traffic light system colours.)
Other than these few ideas, you can also pick something like a celebrity name (that you don’t fantasize about ideally), a food (we recommend Vegemite), or a pop culture reference.
Congratulations on educating yourself our sexy friends! If you have any funny safe words that you use, reach out and share them with us!
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it on social media, just tag us at @myamorashop when you do!
Get out there, get in there and get off there!
Elaine S. Turner
Sex Coach, Clinical Sexologist & Sexuality Educator
Domsubliving. (2020, February 23). 6 Things You Need to Know About Safewords. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from https://www.domsubliving.com/6-things-need-know-safewords/
J. (2018, January 27). Most Popular Safe Words. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from https://www.lovehoney.com/blog/2018/01/27/most-popular-safe-words/
Levi, A. (2018, January 23). The 10 Most Common Safe Words People Use During Sex. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from https://www.health.com/sex/most-common-safe-words-sex
R. (n.d.). What is a Safe Word? Learn the Basics of Kink Communication. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from https://www.lovense.com/bdsm-blog/what-is-a-safe-word