Safewords aren’t the only way to play safely. Checking in during scenes–especially particularly intense scenes–is important and useful.
Important and useful isn’t always sexy, though.
Fear not! Corvus is here to show us how to make checks-ins during edgeplay hot as hell.
This is a difficult writing to write. My intention is to write tips so that people can do nasty dark things, have blanket consent relationships, scenes including the ignoring of “no” and “stop,” and safe-word-free things.
My intention is not to discount the very obvious predatory behavior of many Domly “edgeplayers” (including the popular canine-named guy being outed as an abuser currently on fet) nor is it to say that their behavior could simply be avoided with these tips. These tips are for good people who want to go dark who also want to do right. They also require knowing the person you play with and negotiating scenes thoroughly as some or all of these may not be ok things to do with them. Don’t use my writing as an excuse to abuse people.
Now that that has been said, here are some ways I read people or things that I say so that I can have healthy dark-as-fuck edgeplay scenes while keeping my Domly Dom pants on and keep it hot and safer.
- Verbal techniques: Ask hot questions and demand hot answers.
- Physical techniques: Touch them, check body temp, clamminess, sweating, breathing, limpness
- Intuitive techniques: How do YOU feel? Does it feel like something is wrong even if everything looks ok? Are you picking up on emotions that aren’t right? (This one is a gift/burden some folks don’t have. Those of us that do often feel some of what the bottom/sub is.)
You’ve dropped below 100% sure that the scene is ok to continue as is, you can say…
“Tell me if you like it or I’m going to stop.”
“Are you still with me? Because this is about me getting what I want and I don’t want to do that by myself.”
“Can you take a little more for me, boy/girl?”
“You better tell me if you’re ok because you will do what I say.”
“I’ll give you a choice. You can either keep taking this or you can (insert other nasty thing here OR give them the ability to stop it).”
Bottom/sub seems more checked out than usual and is less or unresponsive and this was not intended.
“Good boy/girl. I’m going to leave you here for 5 minutes to gather yourself. I will then return and you will tell me where you are at and I will decide where we go next.”
“Look at me. Now. No, don’t look away.” Holding eye contact for more than a moment can be extremely Dominant but it also can give you some more time to read the person.
Give them a drink of water. “I need you to take care of this body so I can keep using it to my advantage. Are you still here with me?”
Any other kind of pause that works will do. Something that gives them and you a second to gauge if they are exactly where you want them to be psychologically or if they’re dissociating out to some realm that is unhealthy.
Bottom/sub seems like they really need to stop but doesn’t want to disappoint you or end the scene abruptly
“You’ve given me so much today. And I want to be able to keep using you up tomorrow.” End with an activity that you know is safe and that you agree upon prior to end scenes- sex, 5 hard hits, them saying something, etc.
“Look what a good boy/girl you’ve been for me. I think that’s all for today so there’s just enough left for me to have a little more later.”
Bottom/sub is saying No, Stop, I can’t take anymore, etc and these were not discussed before the scene.
Just stop. Honestly, better safe than sorry and if you have never discussed if it’s ok to ignore these words than they likely mean something you need to pay attention to. You can always do another scene. And it will be even better than this one because you won’t fucking rape or abuse someone.
Bottom/sub has agreed to be pushed past wanting to stop but you don’t feel comfortable continuing.
STOP THE SCENE. This is the hardest thing I have ever learned. Sometimes things will start to go too far for me not them. I may be the one who needs to end the scene even if they are perfectly fine. And that is ok. Sometimes the Bottom/sub may think they did something wrong so I find I am best suited to praise at this point. You may choose something different dependent on what your partner is looking for.
“You’ve given me so much that I’m spent and satisfied. Good job.”
“You did so well that we’re going to end now and continue later.”
Bottom/sub comes to you after a scene and said something was not ok. Even if you did everything right, they feel bad or wrong about the scene and need to process with you.
Grow up and be accountable. Yes it can be uncomfortable as fuck knowing that your actions may have hurt someone. But, if you want to play in the deep end of the pool with the big kids then be a big kid and realize that you have formed a deep relationship based on trust with someone else. Deeper than many nonkink or even other kink relationships can go. And sometimes it doesn’t matter if you did everything right. You can still be accountable even if you aren’t a consent violator or a rapist. Be there.
You violate Bottom/sub for whatever reason and rape/assault/abuse/consent violate/etc.
Stop playing, get some help, be accountable, and get right with yourself. And let them do what they need to do to get right with it, too.
UPDATE: I realize that some of these may not come off clearly as things that I have negotiated prior to scenes. I want to add that, if someone wants to go CNC or trauma play or phobia or whatever, I always ask questions like “Do you want me to keep going if you tell me to stop? Do you want me to keep going if you start crying? Is there anything you do that is nonverbal when you are not ok that I can look out for? Do you have trouble saying ‘no’ or answering questions during scenes?” etc. And some people will say “I don’t know.” As an answer to all of those. And that is ok, I am just going to be more careful.
I also tell the person ahead of time that I believe most dark scenes take time to get to and that each scene can be a step towards something darker. I have a limit to what I will do with people I just met. And I always let people know that it matters to me very much to know if something goes wrong. I make it an order if it is a D/s scene. “It is your responsibility to tell me if you are not ok. I won’t have it any other way. You will not disappoint me by taking care of yourself.” Etc. Negotiation is an entirely other long-ass writing so that’s why it didn’t end up in this one.
The original post of this writing is on FetLife here.