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Kinktionary: Safe Call

September 18th, 2015

Just as in every other walk of life, there are unsavory characters who prowl the (literal and figurative) halls of the BDSM community. A safe call is a mechanism in BDSM used to ensure that both dominant and submissive are safe during initial meetings. This is most often used when a couple who met on the internet decides to meet in real life, but is also used in blind dates and when a new couple meets outside of a group for the first time.

Generally speaking, this works thusly:

  1. Parties exchange personal information that can be used by the police if one or both parties should miss their safe call. This should include real name, physical description (and maybe a picture), age, type of car they drive, phone number, and home address.
  2. Parties each schedule a time (or multiple times, depending on the length of the meeting) to call a person they trust. Each party should have their own person to call (sometimes referred to as their ‘safe call’). Each party should give the personal information they received to their ‘safe call’. Some people choose to also use code words that their date doesn’t know during the call so their safe call knows they’re not being coerced to pretend things are going swimmingly; one for “I’m okay” and one for “I need help.” Some also choose to set up a grace period of a few minutes just in case things get intense (in the good way) and they lose track of time.
  3. At the scheduled time(s), each party calls their safe call and follows the procedure they set up with that person. If the phone call doesn’t come in, the trusted friend immediately (or after the grace period) contacts the police and gives them the information they have on both their friend, and their friend’s date.

Safe calls can (and probably should) be used by both parties in a couple meeting in private for the first time, regardless of gender identity, sexuality, or kinky persuasion, as no one group corners the market on abusive behavior.

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