What is a safe word?
Safewords originated in the Bondage Discipline Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) community where play involves extreme forms of dominance. A safeword is a pre-agreed word or signal that stops play instantly and is part of the permissive philosophy of risk-aware consensual kink shared by BDSM groups. Safewords are in place to ensure that the submissive partner is safe and protected and able to stop the dominant partner from causing harm or discomfort to the submissive without realising what's actually happening. While it may appear that safewords place pressure and restrictions on what is otherwise a fun and kinky sexual encounter, it is quite the opposite.
Safewords enhance BDSM because they help people have fun and push boundaries, with the security of knowing that they can stop anytime if they need to. A dominant in a BDSM setting won't stop as their partner curses at them, yells or screams and will continue with whatever they are doing until the safe word is uttered. This makes it very important to choose wisely when selecting and agreeing on a safeword. You need to make sure that the word selected is not one that is used in common play speech.
Another option is the traffic light system to verbalise how you are feeling during kinky play, or even during rough sex or vanilla sex. This is a great way to regulate the level of intensity in the context of the sexual situation and it’s all done by uttering single words. Not sure how this traffic light system works? It's simple, there are only three words involved:
- Green = this is fantastic, carry on.
- Yellow = this is almost too much, please proceed with caution.
- Red = stop right now!
Remember, given the types of bondage that is available nowadays as well as the various positions a submissive may find themselves in, they might be unable to talk – even if it's only to say one word. As a result, it’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan, this could include hand gestures in lieu of a safeword i.e. clicking of fingers, dropping something they are holding in their hands, or tapping the dominant.
If you're still not sure of what words you can use as a sex safeword, don't overthink it because it could be absolutely anything. People can opt for funny safewords, or safewords that form part of an inside joke or it could be a word with special meaning to the couple. LoveHoney asked 1280 people around the world about their favourite safe words and the most common safe words were colours, fruits and food groups, while other popular safewords included references to celebrities and pop culture.
Here's a list of 50 safewords to help you choose your own:
40. Donald Trump
39. Justin Bieber
38. Michael Jackson
36. Betty Boop
32. Fairy bread
29. Mouldy bread
28. Dildo Baggins
27. Cool Runnings
19. Kelly Clarkson (the safe word used in the film the 40-Year-Old Virgin)
15. Foliage (anyone that watched The Office knows that this was Michael and Jan's safeword)
11. Road cone
3. Obi Wan Kenobi