No Safeword for Spanking, Release 2.0

One of the things I love about the spanking communtity – nay, the single thing I love most about it – is it is full of thoughtful people who are ready to think deeply and write honestly about their experiences. This is, in my experience, relatively rare in other areas of kink.

Anyway, a while back I put up a post “No Safeword for Spanking (I can’t believe I just said that)” here, with a shortened version in a Fetlife foum. At the risk of flogging a dead horse 😉 the basic point was that the safeword is crucial in BDSM, but not in spanking where safety is simply not an issue (although the wellbeing of the sub is), and it erodes the top’s core function – to take responsibility – so is fundamentally corrosive of what the spanking is trying to do.

Well, in all there were over 60 comments and cumulatively they have fleshed out the issue in my mind, but not changed it, mostly because the comments were generally in agreement. I did get mildly flamed for apparently prescribing to others. This was not my intention. Of course, live and let live. If a safeword works for you, use it! On the other hand, it is intellecually weak just to retreat to a whatever-works-for-you position. If the safeword is merely a dogma, or an inappropriate BDSM import, or political correctness, let’s shine a light on it.

Some pointed out the obvious: if you don’t know/trust the person use a safeword. Absolutely yes! This is, actually the corrolory of my point: the safeword is all about the bottom having an “out” in a high-risk or low-trust situation. Dispensing with it is the sine-qua-non of creating real trust.

There were people who said they need a safeword for medical reasons, reflux and the like. Sure. My thought about this is the same as my thought about all who argued for the need for feedback – which is that a “feedback word” is fine. That’s not the same as a safeword. Saying “reflux” and meaning time-out, is not the same as deciding when the spanking ends.

The fundamental point must remain the spankee does not decide. Or at least not during the spanking.

CultivatedDiscipline offered another reason for a safeword : “Not a word to be used by the submissive partner as a way of ceasing a spanking — but instead as a way for new or evolving partners to inform the dominant partner NOT to cease the spanking. Often, we hear the complaint from women “He does not spank me long enough” coupled with the comment from men “I don’t want to hurt her too much”.

This is an interesting “niche” use and I agree it would be applicable. Basically the safeword in place frees up the top. This is related to the consensual-non-consent use of a safeword that I mentioned in the initial post, the presence of which allows the bottom to resist vigorously or vocally an to be certain to be ignored in the absence of the word.

EmmaEnchanted also made a very pertinent point: (Anticipating the bottom to use the safeword if there) “shows a lack of appreciation for the bottom. We’re all obviously here because we get something out of the experience – a bottom who used a safeword out of context wouldn’t just be shortchanging their spanker, but also themselves.”

5 Responses to No Safeword for Spanking, Release 2.0

  1. In the ideal relationship with my HOH/Dom, I would not require a safe word because I know that he will protect me and observe my behavior knowing all is well…

    When there is no commitment or true relationship in place I always communicate and insure that a safe word exists just in case…


  2. Kitten says:

    i understand what You have said. i suppose to be politically correct, to each his own. i personally would trust my Master to know when enough is enough… to know me that well. He should know me that well, if He is my Master.

  3. Abe's Heart says:

    Would you let me know if I could link your blog to mine.

    I’m really liking what I see here.
    I’ll be back to read.

    ~Abe’s Heart~

  4. In our household spankings are purely for punishments. We do not have playful or sensual spankings they are all too real. For this reason we do not have a safe word. The spankings is over when my husband think is over. Our spankings are suppose to be painful and they need to remind me that I don’t want to be putted in that position again.
    At the same time he knows my body and he applies every punishment based in what I deserve in that moment. I know he loves me and he will know where I had enough.

  5. Z says:

    I don’t do high pain levels and that’s known. So, no safe word needed. The point is to have no control at all and to be really vulnerable, in an environment you already know really is loving and safe, so you can really let go. So, having a safe word kill the experience.

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