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SAFETY PHILOSOPHIES IN BDSM: SSC, RACK, PRICK

Irrespective of the level you are in BDSM practices, there’s one thing many people can’t deny. BDSM is fun as hell and equally exciting; whether you are playing with just your partner or having more than one person in a session. They say the more, the merrier right? I agree. However, the sex in dom/sub relationships can get risky quickly. That’s why there are lots of materials like this one to keep you playing safe, especially if you’re new to the kinky scene. BDSM practices involve a lot of stretching limits and comfort (mental and physical) and you can’t be too careful in ensuring that you and your partner simply have a good time with no one needing to be rushed into ICU or something.

In BDSM, there are three solid codes for keeping any session safe but pleasurable. If you’ve been around the kink scene for long, you’ll know that doing anything at all is up to an individual and their partner. That is why there are three guiding philosophies for players to choose from. They are:

  1. SSC
  2. RACK
  3. PRICK

While the most common of the three is SSC, the other two are still pretty valid choices. The most important is that you subscribe to what suits your personal opinion about safety.

Let’s explain all three concepts now

  1. Safe, Sane, and Consensual

Safety

People have different tastes when it comes to the way they practice their kinks. You have folks who want the whole works: genital clamps, gags, deprivation masks for the senses, urethral sounds, suspension equipment, and folks who just want to get right to it with just the simple stuff like floggers, blindfolds, paddles, belts, and ropes. Despite even the basic BDSM tools can mess up your partner f they are not used appropriately. BDSM is not like conventional sex where you could just go with the flow. We are talking about an intense pleasure with just the right blend of pain as well as mental play. You’ve got to know what you are doing. There are parts of the body that you should not be hit at all in sessions; parts like the area where the kidney is. Other possible fatalities are loss of circulation to a vital part of the body when bondage is involved.

To be safe, always have a plan B for releasing your partner in case something goes awry out of the blue. When playing with masks or ball gags, be certain your partner can breathe. Try not to be too careless when having fun with hot wax to reduce the chances of burning your partner and scarring them permanently. Also, instead of going at it on your partner, try practicing strikes on a pillow first to ensure that you have mastered the right amount of force to use when whipping your partner. There should be a sufficient amount of practice with ropes and knots before you go about stringing someone up. They might have other things to do for the day and it wouldn’t be fair to have them tied up. Literally!

You’re probably thinking. Phew! What a lot of rules. But there’s no such thing as too many rules in practicing safe BDSM. If you’re reading this as a sub, know that whoever you are trusting yourself with has to take all these measures. You want to wrap up a session sated and pleased not pained or in need of medical attention.

Sanity

This aspect of safety in BDSM deals with emotional safety. Most people who are ignorant of the true nature of BDSM assume people who practice BDSM are crazy, damaged people when in truth, it is the absolute opposite. Safety and sanity in BDSM are two core principles of the practice itself. Meaning that the average person you meet who practices the BDSM lifestyle responsibly is not likely to go all loco on you.

To establish this type of emotional security, you and your partner have to do a lot of self-analysis. There is a need to ask the following questions:

  • Are the both of you doing this because it is enjoyable or just out of a sense of duty or guilt?
  • Are sessions likely to trigger either of you?
  • Are any of the activities likely to open past emotional scars?
  • Can the dominant one in the relationship control their sadism?
  • Can the dominant one in the relationship balance their sadistic side with sensitivity and love?
  • Is there 100% certainty that the dominant partner can take care of the submissive in a vulnerable state?

Do not hesitate to do some introspection with your partner and also yourself. This applies to setting limits. You may have come across articles or videos which tell you that plain meanness is not the same thing as kinkiness. This means you should only play with partners who you are confident will respect your boundaries.

Speaking of boundaries, not a lot of people know their limits when having this soul-searching talk with their partner, and so it can be pretty hard to establish at first. That’s why it is wise to agree on a safe word for when things are beginning to border on what you don’t consider emotionally safe.

Consent

As you know, BDSM involves a sensual, stimulating takeover or yield of control, usually between two or more than two consenting players. For anyone new to the subject, the first thing that’s going to be on your mind is the irony of consent in fantasy scenes that involve taking control. Safewords are a way to keep everything in check and be sure that everyone involved is having a good time and limits are being respected. Yes, you read that right. I said respected. Perhaps not in the actual sense of the word being that some people’s fantasy involves humiliation. When I’m talking about respect, I mean a general obligation to both pleasure and safety. This is why thorough self-examination between you and your partner is necessary so the submissive one can establish their boundaries.

On the other hand, the dominant one should be invested in the type of experience they are giving the submissive. This includes doing so much as observing body language, any hints of tension, facial experience, and so on.

  1. Risk-Aware Consensual Kink

Also known as RACK, this philosophy was eventually formed when people could not outline the fundamentals or intricacies of the Safety, Sanity, Consent philosophy. In other words, people found too many blurred lines in SSC and so they went on to create something that made more sense to them. What was the big deal? Well, for starters, SSC could not simply fly due to the different versions of sanity and safety in the BDSM lifestyle. Every kink goes and every kink is peculiar to the couple, meaning that something normal for couple A may be over the top for couple B.

The RACK philosophy is more specific. Risk-aware in this particular philosophy means that you and your partner are aware of the risk a certain type of play involves and you know how to avoid them. Consensual means everyone involved in a session of play is participating of their own freewill while Kink outlines the particular thing, power swap, or scene you and your partner or partners are having fun with. This could be in the form of a list and could even contain the risks involved.

  • Personal Responsibility, Informed, Consensual Kink

Think of this as the next development after the RACK philosophy. PRICK simply implies that all players in any BDSM practice ought to take full personal responsibility for their kink. Here you are going into a particular scene or activity knowing what you are about to do and the risks involved.

I’m not going to try to tell you what to do or foist my preferred philosophy on you; not in this article or any other one, I’d be writing. I’m quite aware of the fact that opinions differ when it comes to safety in BDSM. The best anyone can do is expound on the merits and downsides to each philosophy but that is pretty much it. People should be free to choose what they agree with best and I’m all for that. The rest of the BDSM community can have all the heated arguments they want but this remains the bottom line.

I must add that the release of the movie and book “Fifty Shades of Grey” did a lot in bringing BDSM into the light of popular culture more than ever. People began to talk about this on a much larger scale despite the initial secrecy and dark, sexy taboo associated with it. An acronym for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism, the practice of BDSM is often seen as power exchange and this concept is not from the truth. However, we cannot overlook the fact that power corrupts quite easily. Thus, it can be abused by the wielder—the dominant partner in this case.

Thankfully, so much emphasis is placed on ethics such that new players quickly join the flow of things within the circles of safety, sanity, and consent. For the movie and the book, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a lot of folks like me relished the fact that we saw the submissive being empowered and assertive about what she could and could not accept. If you ever wondered if the acts carried out by the dom and sub in this movie were safe, sane, or consensual, then you can easily apply these questions to your relationship. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the scene or you are a seasoned BDSM player.

The key to the responsible use of exchanged power is adequate introspection. If perceived risks are an integral part of a scene or fantasy, be careful not to cross the thin line between what’s real and what’s not.

 

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