RACK, SSC, Safewords,

and Other Interesting Topics

Author: Knyghtflyher © 2001

Used With Permission. Knyghtflyher is associated with S.C. LOCKS


Words, acronyms really, that many of us live by and swear by…but what do they mean, really. Well, as acronyms, RACK means Risk Aware Consensual Kink, and SSC stands for Safe, Sane, Consensual. Safe Words are those words given to submissives by their Top/Dominant that can be used during play to signal to the Dominant that their limits are approaching or have been exceeded and they, the submissive, need for the scene to end, or, at the very least, slow down.

Sounds ducky…submissive in control, everything safe, Dominant and submissive are "sane", both know everything that can possibly happen during a scene (the risk-aware part), and all is well in BDSM-land. Right… and the check is in the mail!!

All of this is, in my opinion, basically worthless…mere pap for the masses…at worst, a means of lulling people into thinking that "this thing that we do" is somehow "harmless" and just "good clean fun". Those of us that participate should know better. We are dealing, in this lifestyle, especially during "play", with portions of the human "psyche" that can, at times, be uncontrollable. Inside me, the Dominant, are urges that I know are there, they are hidden from view most of the time, but they are urges that, mentioned in "polite" society, would have me ostracized and labeled as "insane", at best, and "criminal", at worst. These urges, in my case, are to bind, and render helpless before me, a female, and to then use various implements and "toys" to inflict pain upon that female. These urges are to totally control that female, to "own" that female, and to be her total source of pleasure and sustenance. That side of me, some would call it the "dark" side of me, while under control, is still present, and it is what I am, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That side of me is what brands me as a "Dominant" in the BDSM society to which I belong. Stating it plainly, in open view, even to me, and I wrote this, is somehow startling. It is what I am and it is what I have always been, ever since I can remember, but in the daylight, my higher brain functions regard bringing that out as somehow "dirty" or "forbidden". (See how well I have been conditioned by this society in which we live, to deny those things that are not "proper").

It doesn't alter the facts one bit, however. I do "own" a slave, I did tie her up last night, I did "play" with her, I did cause her some pain, and I did cause her to experience the pleasure of sexual orgasm. Everybody won. And to us, it was a delightful experience, full of love and sharing with each other. To others, however, the now fast-fading cane marks, the rope marks, the little red dots that signify a particularly "good" strike with the quirt, etc, are all evidence that could be used in a court of law against me and have her committed to some form of "counseling" to rid her of her "abused" status.

Now, let us apply that little "scene" to the above "acronyms", and see exactly how it plays in vanilla-land. SAFE…well, barring an unforeseen heart attack, it was pretty safe. No blood was present, no one was in danger of losing their life, no deadly weapons were used, so I guess it would play as "SAFE". CONSENSUAL…no problem here. I did consent to do what I did to my slave, and she did consent to having it done to her. She did bring to me the ropes and shackles that were to be used to bind her. She did, totally without coercion, allow me to use them to render her helpless before me, and she knew, beforehand, since we have been playing together for some good length of time, what I liked to do to her, and how hard I was likely to play. Pretty consensual I would say.

Now, for SANE…In vanilla-land, no woman would bring ropes and chains to someone and request they be used to strictly tie her in particularly vulnerable positions and completely render herself helpless, even for a little "kinky" sex. And even worse, she would never allow herself to be struck with hands, crops, canes, floggers, quirts, and paddles, all of which I used. As for the clothespins and needles, well, you go then from merely "insane" to "raving lunatic". And the individual that did this, me in this case, is not only a "raving lunatic", but a criminal, as well. But, in our world, this is the "norm", the "par for the course", and no one really thinks that much about what we do. In the "vanilla" world all bottoms/subs/slaves are raving lunatics, incapable of making decisions for their own good, and all Tops/Dominants/Masters are guilty of criminal acts for which retribution should be demanded.

To make what we do more palatable, the BDSM community has devised a set of "advertising slogans" to make everything appear to be "normal"…more appealing. They make main stream movies now that involve the lifestyle, sometimes, as usual, portraying it as the "evil" side of sexuality, the abusive side of sexuality, with bondage and rape and SM portrayed as tools of the criminal. And sometimes, they display it as an erotic art, which is more truly is, at least to us. We created SSC as a means of trying to explain ourselves to a sometimes-hostile public and RACK as a way of showing those same hostile masses that we are aware of our "kink", and know what it entails. But then, once in a while, the very darkest side of our community, that which all of us in the community are against, comes into public view. A "slavemaster" gains attention in the worst possible manner…by using BDSM as a way of luring individuals into his web of abuse and murder, and the "lifestyle" gets a "black eye". What remains unsaid, and it probably will never be explored, is that "vanilla" society has more than it's share of "bad apples", all of them just as depraved and evil, as the few that inhabit our community.

Anyway, I digress. To put it out in plain simple terms, you are as safe with me as I want you to be. Your "safe word" is as useful as I wish it to be. Once I have you securely bound, and yes, gagged, because I love a gag, all of our negotiations are meaningless, unless I give them meaning. Your "safe word" or, in the case of a gagged submissive, the "safe signal", is only useful if I choose to honor it. You are totally helpless before me, and are totally powerless to stop anything from happening. Your "safe call" will only give the police the location where they can find the body.

Wait…wait…before all the subbie masses attack me for undermining all their teachings about safety. Do I want you to quit having safe "words", "signals", and "calls"? NO…but I do want you to realize what, in truth, you are doing, should you rely on them, and them alone, to "save" your pretty little ass from harm and danger. In my view, society in America, today, in general, can be a pretty nasty "scene". Children take guns to class and massacre their classmates, other kids will murder you for the shoes on your feet, and I was almost shot one night, in my store, for a paltry $20.

That showdown, in my store that night, and my resulting survival, was due to one factor…I took responsibility for my own safety. I did not depend on the police, I did not depend on the Sheriff's Department, nor did I depend on someone walking in and halting the crime. I took responsibility by arming myself and preparing for something that might never happen, but, in my case, did. I let him, the robber, know that I was armed also, and more than fully prepared, and willing, to engage in an "old west" shootout…not to protect the $20, but to prevent what might have become my execution. He blinked.

So my admonition to you, Doms and subs alike, is this…BE PREPARED. Do your homework, know with whom you are playing, develop a bond of trust with the prospective play partner, find out everything you can about this person, and, ABOVE ALL ELSE, trust your gut. By all means, use safe words, signals, and calls, but, DO NOT RELY ON THEM, ALONE. For the submissive…THINK. Do you really, really want to be with this person…naked, alone, bound and gagged, and totally at their mercy? Do you really, really want to be in that position, while they walk around you with implements of torture in their hands…when they bring out the knives and clamps and needles and wax and electro-shock devices? Is your TRUST in this person sufficient to allow that? If the answer to any of those questions is "NO", then perhaps you shouldn't be doing that. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your own safety…do rely on your safe words, calls, and signals, but NOT EXCLUSIVELY. Rely on your circle of friends that are in the scene, especially those that have been there for a while. Take their advice and listen to their admonitions. Perhaps "play" with this new partner when they are present, at a "public" venue, or "private" play party, and not alone in some motel room. If there is something lacking in this new "Dom", some expertise they claim, but do not really have, it will be spotted by those "old heads", and you can ask them for a critique. This is not being "untrusting", it is being smart and safe, and the Dominant that insists anything else, is not worthy of your time.

And you, Dominants, this is for you, too. Perhaps you won't be bound and gagged, but do you really know that this sub, with whom you are about to play, is NOT really a person who has in their purse, or pocket, a gun, and a will to use it to rid the world of you, and others like you? "Me Tarzan, you jane" works in the movies, but Tarzan ain't bulletproof, and neither are you. The sword has two edges and cuts both ways, for the sub, and the Dom as well.



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