Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Forum - Vol. 127 - Safe Words

Hi all.  Sorry for the late start today.  I was tied up with something and not close to a computer.

Well, that was a lively discussion on consensual non-consent. Seventy comments (including my replies).  I'm not sure we've hit that many before.

This week's topic is tangentially related to consent.


"Safe Words."  A word some people agree to that can be used to call a halt to the action when it gets too hard, too extreme, outside the recipient's comfort zone,  if there is real injury or danger of an injury, etc.

Do you use a safe word in your DD relationship?  We don't, and my sentiment regarding them is expressed succinctly in the above captioned photo -- if you can call an end to it any time you want, then it's not really discipline.  For us, the whole point of DD is putting my butt's fate in her hands, letting her decide when enough is enough, and making sure that some punishments are way more than I want to repeat.  A safe word seems to me to be an import from BDSM that seems inconsistent with the primary goals of domestic discipline, at least to the extent it can be used to call an end to a spanking just because it is hurting too much, i.e. where there is no medical issue, injury, etc. that demands a stop or some kind of adjustment

 What do you think?  Yes or no on safe words?  Are there some situations (medical emergency, real injury, etc.) where it is appropriate but others (the spanking just hurts a lot) where it is just trying to avoid the punishment itself and should not be allowed?  (Note:  An earlier version of this post lacked this clarification.  I have edited to the post to reflect the comments made by KD, below, which raised this important caveat about medical issues, etc.)   If you do use one, care to share what it is?

Hope you have a great week.

Dan


55 comments:

  1. Shilo doesn't currently have a safeword, but my preferred safeword is "Purple"

    Maybe when a couple is beginning, one is necessary, but I think once a couple gets more established, punishing/disciplining too harshly is less likely to happen.

    I do recall once in the early days, I got a bit carried away (I was ANGRY), and healing took a few weeks. Now I won't administer discipline when I'm angry, because I don't want a repeat.

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    1. Hi Mary. Whether "spanking in anger" is something couples should avoid could make a good weekly topic. Given my lack of inspiration lately, thanks for the idea!

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  2. When my wife puts me over her knee for a paddling, and i'm nearing my breaking point, i'm allowed to place my hand on her ankle. Any other placement, i'm allowed to use the words yellow and red.

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  3. "Mommy" and a few more will be applied and then sent to face the wall. Cannot use "Mommy" freely, learned that quickly, my bottom will be stinging, red, she will insure that. "Mommy" is her word, insures I know who is in charge.

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  4. No safe word, but haven't felt the need to use one either. I think our wives have a good idea of our needs and limits and I trust mine to decide. I like the idea that I can't stop the punishment also! John

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    1. Hi John. The issue of whether you can easily call a spanking to an end might be a good litmus test for whether it really IS punishment, versus "funishment," BDSM, or some other non-DD activity.

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  5. Whether one uses a special word to distinguish between what one might say in desperation versus what one may need to say seriously, or if the same can be accomplished more naturally, I adamantly believe the recipient of punishment should be able to communicate a problem to their Top.

    Using a 'safeword' is not a free ticket out of punishment and I am always confused when this is said. They are meant to call a temporary halt to the action when yelling "Hey stop stop!" might not be taken seriously.

    I suffer from nosebleeds in winter. If I'm face down and exerting effort to endure a punishment sometimes I'll just start to bleed.....and not just a trickle. Now yelling "nosebleed!" is not technically a safeword....but it calls a halt to the action. And I suppose yelling out the problem might be better than a contrived safeword, but sometimes the issue is complicated, the situation frantic, and one's clarity not at peak. So a single word that stops things is not a bad idea.

    I have called a temporary halt due to:
    nosebleeds
    heart palpitations
    severe cramps
    intense muscle spasms
    and even occasionally to an off-target hit that sent me rocketing to the moon

    I agree that a couple very in tune with each other can communicate things like this without a safeword because the Top can tell by tone that the objection is serious and not superfluous, but a new couple loses nothing in having one....and it could save a life in the event of a medical emergency a busily spanking Top is unaware of.

    Rosa is serious about punishment, but she has expressed an interest in keeping me alive as well. Continuing to spank as my heart is racing towards a potential coronary is not her way of proving she's serious and not playing, nor is willingly having a heart attack my proof of sincerity.

    And even if you're healthy as a horse, what about if you're kicking from pain and end up catching your toe on the nightstand and breaking it? Odds are in that moment your "OW OW, stop!" might not be as effective as a safeword.

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    1. I agree there needs to be a way to communicate a real problem, and the examples you give would be something I'm sure people would agree are real problems. I've had to get her attention for back problems, as I have a chronic back problem that isn't usually a problem but can be if she spanks too high up.

      I do see those kinds of "real" problems as being distinct from being able to stop a spanking because the spanking is hurting "too much." Your response suggests I should have made this topic more nuanced and asked whether a safe word can be used to simply call an end to an intense spanking. I have now edited the post to ask that question expressly.

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    3. Well, my friend, in that regard, I rest firmly with the majority (as does Rosa). We actually do occasionally use play spankings as a fun game, but we are also very much a DD couple. When it's punishment time, Rosa makes it hurt, spanks until she feels vindicated, and doesn't take an "I don't feel like it" or "not so hard' as valid input from me.

      I do realize the old 'red, yellow, green-code' popular with BDSM scene players and the whole SS&C dogma have etched "safewords" into responsible kinky players' lexicon, but DD is different and some of the hardcore BDSM-ers would side with us on this issue. Safewords have a dual purpose I suppose: true safety cut-off switches and pain moderation for BDSM players. I'm all for the former for everyone, but probably only for the latter for BDSM-sceners.

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    4. Agreed, and that seems like a good way to sum the differences.

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  6. Dan
    As far as I am concerned there is no need. When we started discipline we both agreed never to spank
    in the anger of the moment. I think I am perfectly able to distinguish between Peter crying out with an
    injury and his moans and cries that I know like the back of my hand.
    I would suggest any couple venturing out into punishment read a bit about where injuries can occur.

    anna

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    1. Hi Anna. I agree. I guess I can see how safe words might play a bigger role when people are just starting out.

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  7. Hi Dan. We don't have a safe word. My feeling is that she is in total control. I don't know how hard , fast or sometimes what she will use. If we had a word or something similar that would give me the control over the situation and that would defeat the purpose.

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    1. Hello Dan,
      No safe word. That would make it a game and that's not what I want ( or Jay either) Simply learning how to administer a spanking eliminates most of the problems that might come up. Keep you attention on his buttocks, and lower buttocks if using wood.A disciplinarian does need judgement and should pay close attention to what is going on ( one reason to never punish in the heat of anger)Punishments take place under all sorts of conditions, physical and mental and I take that into consideration. If I have any doubt I will stop a spanking and talk to him and calm him down. 99 percent of the time he just needs to accept what's happening and take his punishment. Maybe one percent of the time the spanking needs to end or he needs to spend some time in the corner thinking about things before I continue. But that's my decision, not his and that's the way it has to be
      Marisa

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    2. Hi Jr, you and I agree that having a safe word would leave us in control, which is not good in my case.

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  8. I like having a safe word as a "kill switch." It tells my wife that something needs to be sorted out immediately. That doesn't mean I can use it to stop the pain being inflicted. I have some degraded joints (It is amazing how those small accidents in our youth come back to haunt us later.). Of consequence, a nerve will get pinched from time to time. Having a safe word really helps, because I don't have to identify the problem, or try to move away from my wife- I just say one word and we both go into immediate damage control.

    Joe2

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    1. That makes sense. I also can commiserate with how a misspent youth -- or very well spent depending on one's perspective -- comes back to haunt our bodies in later years.

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  9. No safe words because a caning is only ever as punishment but I can ask and get a short respite when I get into difficulty that is, if she has not already noticed I am having difficulty.

    Dave.

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    1. Hi Dave. Does that difficulty include the pain of the punishment itself, or some other kind of difficulty?

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    2. Hi Dan, the difficulty is with the pain. The ethos is not only to cane to hurt but to the level that, in her words, she sees me break. The difficulty comes when this happens early in the caning because before the caning starts, I'm always told how many strokes I'm to get and regardless of my difficulty, that does not change.

      Dave

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  10. We don't use a safe word, either. If it gets too much, pleading "please" four times seems to do it here. Wife is into disciplinary ones, but not heavy punishment, so I hmguess that helps. So pleading that way -- plus my leg kicking goes wild.. And She'll give me a break!
    Had an interesting experience last weekend: She spanked (ahem, spellchecker, not spammed!) me right by large picture window by front door to reinforce a point. Made me nervous, but no safe word would help for that.
    (Reading back, I see you have another Rob writing...sheesh. Funny we have a code word name for me in those times -Sara- but no safe word. Anyway, seems I should be polite and switch to Bob now)
    Everyone have a great week, bob

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    1. That would have certainly made me nervous!

      That's the great thing about blog commenting -- you can be whoever you want to be!

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    2. Yah, being put down by the door and picture window was eye opening!
      Ha, thanks, hoping that will settle down now, sheesh :)
      Bob

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  11. Since I have asthma I can ask to postpone or stop a spanking, though no particular word is involved. Short of an asthma attack I am spanked until Ann "decides my bottom looks bad enough and I'm crying hard enough. " I'm totally under her control.

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    1. Sadly, after several weeks without a spanking, I've had 2 this week. And, I have 2 coming on Thursday.

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    2. Damn Fred -- what did you do to deserve so many??

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    3. Nothing dramatic, but important. Super busy and stressed at work results in getting selfish and leaving socks, mugs, etc, laying around. I don't want to be that selfish, so my bottom is sore and bruised. My wife is more important than work.

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  12. We don't have a "safe word" - nor have we ever thought we might need one. That, I believe, is due to my wife's 'no-nonsense' approach to household discipline: i.e. "to have the punishment fit the crime"... From a brisk hand-spanking (for minor offences) to her using the flogger, the strap, the rattan cane or the riding crop depends on what she (and I) know I deserve.

    She expects me to yelp, to cry, or to beg while she proceeds with the "appropriate" punishment, but she alone decides when it comes to an end. (It would, after all, be foolish for me to grit my teeth, and to give her the impression that she is not being harsh enough!)

    At the end of the day, I guess it all comes down to a matter of trust...

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    1. Hi Anonymous. Agreed that gritting your teeth and "taking it like a man" does have that possible downside . . .

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    2. Have to confess, the word Yelp certainly applies here..!!
      Bob

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  13. No safe word here either although we did discuss it very early. It's just not consistent with punishment. She has told me she looks to several things during a spanking including my attitude and cooperation. Tears or sobbing tell her the point has been made. She also pays attention to my struggles, waiting for me to give up and take the spanking . Ideally she wants me to raise my ass to the brush or strap after every stroke.This never happens at the beginning of a spanking but only after I have stopped struggling. A spanking doesn't always end at this point but I guess you could say it is the beginning of the end.Her controlling when it ends ( as well as when and where it happens) is the key to DD. It would not work for me without that.
    Alan

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    1. Like you Alan, I am expected to raise my add to the brush, crop or strap. Innately in me is the attempt not to follow directions. Aft swats usually gets me in the correct position. With Anna it
      is over when she says its over. More than once I have been spanked sent to the corner for a bit and then found that I had to return to "position".
      Peter

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    2. Hi Alan. Other than the tears and sobbing, this sounds very much like our approach.

      Peter, that is one thing I do not think we have ever done -- stopped, taken a break and then started again

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    3. What Peter describes is honestly probably the most effective way to spank if behavior change is the objective. Post ejaculation spankings hurt more but repetitive spankings separated by corner time just break down my resistance and get into my head like nothing else. You don't know when it will stop and every trip to the corner takes you deeper and deeper into submission to her. These take time and my wife is all for getting the job done and moving on, But when they happen, she ends up with a polite well behaved husband for a long time. They only seem to happen when I am being spanked for a repetitive problem ( temper is probably the main one) but they make a point like nothing else
      Alan

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    4. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing, guys.

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    5. Alan- my Wife hasn't had me do corner time, but reading what you said about it certainly seems like I could picture the impact.
      Bob

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    6. Bob,
      Just between us guys I would keep that picture to myself. Sometimes when I read comments on Dan's blog I feel like we are giving a seminar to our wives and girlfriends
      Alan

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  14. The spanking ends when she decides it ends - Period!

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  15. We have no "safe word". We don't use restraints so if a serious injury or health issue developed I'm strong enough to protect myself. That has never happened. Nevertheless when I violate rules I agreed to abide by I grit my teeth and take whatever my wife decides to dish out. My wife paddles hard and fast, it hurts like hell right from the start and then I start to burn at about the 40 swat mark and although I often don't think I can take anymore I've often got another 100 or more to take, and I do. The paddling doesn't stop until my wife decides I've been punished enough for what I have done or not done. If it were not this way it would not be a deterrent. I have given my wife the power to discipline me for violating rules we both agreed I must follow, and if I could use a "safe word" to stop my punishment we would both be losers of the benefits DD brings to both of us. I rarely violate the rules anymore because I know what will happen if I do. I honestly fear being paddled by my wife because she has a strong enough will to make punishment almost unbearable and I know that. It balances the power in our relationship and if I could use "safe words" when the going got tough DD would not work. Before DD we were both unhappy. It has added structure to our lives and issues are avoided or resolved and on those occasions where I need a good paddling, it is far better than long drawn out fights and hard feelings -- and we have a more loving and respectful relationship.

    Fred

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    1. Hi Fred. This pretty much sums up our philosophy of DD. Thanks!

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  16. We have always had a safe word since we started in DD more than 10 years ago. However, we agreed that it is only to be used in case of genuine distress/emergency and its use would only postpone the spanking and double it if I had misused the safe word. My wife spanks me long and hard and I always end up yelping and begging her to stop but I have never had to use the safeword. Just knowing that it's there gives us the peace of mind that things won't unwittingly go too far and thereby cause lasting damage.

    I think that rather than take away from her power and authority it gives her more, as she can punish as severely as she likes without fear- and believe me she does! the phrase 'you won't sit properly for a week mister' has real significance in my case. She takes her disciplinary role very seriously and so do I.

    CRM

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    1. Hi CRM. While we don't use a safeword, I guess I can see how it might give a wife some perceived freedom to go even harder.

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  17. The only 'safe' words in our house have a heartfelt 'I'm Really Sorry ...' in them ... LoL. Only when she hears that tone, which is impossible to fake, does she even think about stopping and usually that stop point is still some way away.

    In my opinion safe words imply games (very enjoyable games I'm sure). What I have signed up for is discipline (and a huge thanks to whoever mentioned the book ' The Hesitant Mistress' which I bought as a Valentines present for my Lady and which I am having read to me since accompanied with lots of knowing looks...). The discipline that I signed up for, consented to and often receive for either maintenance or punishment, is bounded only by her view of justice and correction, all in a loving environment.

    I am physically stronger and bigger so I could escape but that would destroy - forever - the magic. And let's face it - these relationships that we love, whilst they may seem to revolve around physical punishment are really all about emotional control, real respect and a unique intimacy that should be the envy of non-DD couples.
    TB

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  18. We have had a DWC relationship for a very long time and the issue of a safeword has never once come up. But I can think back to some sessions during which I would have signed over the pink slip to my car for one.

    She says "As far as I know, no one has ever died from a spanking." And with that philosophy in mind she does what she feels is warranted at the time. And that's the name of that tune.

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    1. "As far as I know, no one has ever died from a spanking." I love it!

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  19. Domestic Discipline can't help but attract some people who would probably find greater affinity in the S&M world. That's definitely not meant as a judgmental remark either. It's just what I think. If someone "relishes dishing out very severe punishment" as described by the last post, maybe exploring S&M is something to look into.

    I just say that because I like to see people find the niche that offers the most satisfaction and support from their community.

    I don't know if children have died from spanking. What a depressing thought. But we have all seen news reports about demented adults brutalizing children.

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  20. The murder or manslaughter case I referred to was from the early 1990s in Indiana. However,Google indicates many more.

    Regarding the original point of the post, I've seen DD women describe their favorite implements (like on "strictwives.com") and how much they like them because of the pain, bruising, or welting they inflict. Their demeanor suggested that they relished the opportunity to use the implements.

    I'm curious about your previous post because you said "But I can think back to some sessions during which I would have signed over the pink slip to my car for [a safeword]." What was your wife's mindset in punishing you so harshly? Do you think she enjoyed it or that she just felt compelled to do something she really didn't want to do?

    I met a woman today who required her husband to submit to a DD relationship as a condition of remaining married. I told her that it seems strange that if she succeeded in changing his behavior, she no longer would have a reason to spank him. Yet, she clearly likes spanking.

    Sorry, if this seems probing. I realize that I like being spanked by women, but you guys are willing to go to limits that I doubt I could endure. If my wife punished me like yours did you, I would seriously doubt that she was well-intentioned or cared about my well-being (I'm not saying that's true for any of you, but that's how I would personally internalize the experience), and I think I would resent her and no longer trust her.

    My safe word would be "divorce."

    I'm really curious to know what each party to a DD relationship really gains or hopes to gain from it. I'm trying to figure out what I may or may not want to do in my own relationship.

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    1. My wife is not a sadist by nature, but I do think that over the 10 years we have been doing this, she has come to enjoy it. Not so much inflicting pain, but exercising her control and authority over me

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  21. I meant "fascinated" more like "excited." Obviously, you are deeply interested in the topic, and I did not mean to suggest otherwise. For me at least, I can't see how the erotic part of the spanking interest can be retained once you go to an actual DD lifestyle as it has been described by you and others. In fact, it seemed that you had to convince your wife that it would not be not erotic, but instead harsh and punitive, to get her to do this. It seems like men typically get interested in it erotically and then lose that once it becomes a DD relationship. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I got.

    At any rate, thanks for your time. Keep up the good work with the blog. It's very compelling.

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