• Alexandra Gold

Safewords in BDSM

Safewords in BDSM: Ongoing Enthusiastic Consent


Safety is central to BDSM communities & is maintained in several ways. One such way is through safewords. A safeword is a codeword or signal that the top and bottom agree will immediately stop a BDSM scene. This codeword indicates an unexpected serious emotional or physical withdrawal of consent. Using a safeword does not assume that someone is at fault, it is a "no harm no foul" end to the play.


A safeword can be “no” if both partners agree, but since some people enjoy the illusion of non-consent, it’s common to use unrelated code words like “red,” or “pineapple.” Colors and fruits are popular choices. These words are unassociated with the kink activities and will thus make it clear to all partners that the scene must stop. If a bottom is gagged or unable to speak, for example, they can shake a rattle or stomp 3 times as a substitute for voicing their safeword.

The basis of BDSM is good communication. Setting up mutual agreements—including safewords—creates a comfortable environment necessary for successful safe, sane, and consensual BDSM.

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