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Safety in the Community

January 5th, 2006

Safety in the community refers to not just safe sex these days. People (both Dominant and submissive) have to be on their guard for con-artists, people who don't abide by limits set, people who are dabbling and aren't really what they say they are. So how do we protect ourselves these days?

Always, always use protection. Especially in a new relationship
or if you or your partner are playing outside the relationship. If you
choose not to use protection with each other, at least be sure that you
are both using protection when playing with someone else. Subs don't
feel out of place asking your Dom/me to use protection. As a matter of
fact, perhaps you should even make it a hard limit when going into a
new relationship or scene situation. There's no point in getting
yourself sick.

Condoms with spermicide on them already
are the preferred choice. If you're against condoms, spermicide is your
next best bet. And let's not forget dental dams for those men that love
going down on the ladies. While birth control will prevent any unwanted
surprises, it will not protect a woman from diseases. Please, ladies,
at least pick up a can of spermicide. rayne hears they even have it in
yummy flavors.

2) A safeword. For those who don't know
what this is, a safeword is a word that isn't usually used in a scene
that the submissive can say – most commonly used are the words "red" or
"red light" – to make things stop if they become uncomfortable, or
something is seriously wrong, or a limit they don't want to cross is
getting dangerously close to being crossed. It shouldn't be "no" or
"don't" or anything like that, since quite often submissives enjoy
saying things like "You can't do that to me." or "No, Master, please!"
when in actuality they're thinking "Oh, God, yes!" Don't take that to
mean that "no means yes" in submissive language. That's not the case.
And yes, rayne realizes this is confusing. That's why a safeword,
especially in the beginning of a D/s relationship, is important.

long term relationships, once the boundaries are set and the couple
feels they have a good grasp of each other's limits, a safeword isn't
always necessary. But when going into a BDSM relationship, it is
important that the Dom/me allows one and if your Dom/me hasn't
mentioned it, by all means you should. If they get offended, then it's
a good chance that you need one all the more. But they have a sub/slave already and he/she doesn't have a safeword.
And do you know for a fact that this sub/slave is safe? Better yet, how
do you know that you're not in danger from both the Dom/me and the
sub/slave? It's never a bad thing to be overly cautious.

3) A safecall. A safecall is someone that you can trust. Both the
Dom/me and the sub/slave should have one when going to meet their
counter partner in real life for the first time. And if they're not
completely comfortable, then the second time too. And however many
times they think they need it. What is this person's roll? They are
given all of the person's (whoever you"re going to meet) information –
where they live, where they work, their name, phone number, a
description and preferably a picture – as well as a picture of you.
Then there are specific times set for you to call your safecall. If you
miss a call, the safecall is instructed to give every bit of
information they have on the person you went to meet to the police.

I don't need a safecall! I trust my Dom/me/sub/slave!
Hate to be the barer of bad news, but when rayne was 17 a friend of
hers felt the same way. she thought that it would be better if she just
didn't tell anyone she was going to meet her online boyfriend because
"No one would understand." and she turned up missing. When they found
her, she was dead. They caught the guy, but that doesn't mean there
aren't a million others out there just like him. Again, you can never
be too careful.

4) Never play when one of you have
been drinking or doing any drugs. Drugs and alcohol dull the senses,
and while the idea of your painslut being able to handle more might be
appealing to some sadists, keep in mind that while they're able to
handle more pain, they may not know if they are seriously being
injured. This can be an issue in that sometimes injuries occur that
aren't visible from a Dom/me's standpoint. If the sub"s/slave's senses
are dulled so much that they can't feel it, there could be serious
problems and no one would know.

The same goes for
bondage. When under the influence of alcohol or drugs a person's
reflexes are slower. This means if something were to happen that
required immediate release of the sub/slave, it would take longer for
the Dom/me to notice it, realize what needs to be done, and release the
slave. This is extremely dangerous. Drinking and drugs should be left
out of the scene. This is not to say that a D/s couple should never
drink, just that they should never play while doing it.

5) Keep your equipment safe. Regular inspections of any bondage
furniture, toys, etc. are important. Reason being, what if the last
time the sub/slave was on the cross they managed to shake a screw
loose? Wouldn't want the whole thing to come down on them, would you?
Keep insertables cleaned with antibacterial soap (some adult stores
and/or websites sell special soap for them), leather should be well
used and/or well oiled to keep it from getting stiff and sharp and you
can use saddle soap to disinfect it, clamps should be checked to make
sure the pads aren't worn through (the metal underneath could tear the
skin which could lead to infection) and should be cleaned with
antibacterial soap before and after being used on someone new. Crops
should be inspected to see that the leather is still covering the tip
and canes should be checked to make sure they're not cracking or
splintered. Wooden paddles, should they begin to get rough, should be
sanded to lower the possiblity of splinters. And of course, always be
sure to have a fresh set of batteries for any vibes. Would suck to have
the batteries die in the middle of an intense scene, no?

6) Quick-release locks and/or pulleys, scissors, keys, safety latches,
bolt cutters. When engaging in bondage play, depending on how you're
doing the binding, you want to have a quick way to get the sub/slave
out of it in case of an emergency. If the house catches on fire or the
sub has a heart attack or if they call out their safeword and start to
panic, there needs to be a fast way to get them down from where they
are. All of the above can be found at your local hardware store.


rayne thinks that's about it. If anyone thinks of anything else, please
feel free to mention it in the comments section. Safe, sane and
consensual is our motto, people. Let's help each other keep to it, eh?

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