During Cyber Monday sales, I decided to treat myself to a couple of new books. I bought The Trainer and The Academy, both by Laura Antoniou, books three and four in The Marketplace series. I have been a huge fan of this series for several years now and just recently reintroduced myself to it. I own the first two books but hadn’t bought any others yet. Of course, as soon as I got the confirmation that I had purchased the books, I instantly started in on The Trainer. Like with the first two books in the series, I was instantly sucked into the story and did not want to leave. While I was reading, I came across a passage that struck a chord and reminded me of a personal experience that I wanted to share with you.

I promise no spoilers, but the passage is about Michael, the main character of the story. He’s at a weekend long kink convention and comes across a pretty blonde that catches his attention, Karen. They decided to do a scene together during the weekend conference.

“Remember, be a good girl!” he warned. He hoped that wanting to impress him might keep her from using the ‘safe word’ which would make him stop the scene.

The reason this passage caught my attention is because it reminded me of something that I went through. For a few months, I was under consideration of a master and his slave. I had moved to Wisconsin to live with them. This was my very first experience with being in a 24/7 relationship. They normally spent New Year’s with a very close and personal friend of theirs, and this year was no exception. Before we made the drive to visit this friend, I was told that the friend would be scening with me and that he’s a sadist in every meaning of the word. I was also told that he didn’t allow safe words. This should have triggered something, but it didn’t. I just nodded my head and said ‘Yes Master’. Not going to lie, I was extremely nervous, but I chalked it up to everything being so new to me. This would be my first play party and I didn’t know what to expect. So, I totally shrugged it off.

The time finally came. The friend showed me around his dungeon, the equipment, the toys, told me what he would and wouldn’t be doing and asked if I was okay with everything. I said I was. He also reminded me about no safe word and I nodded my head that I understood. Then the torture began. A sadist he was. Not gonna lie. Clothes pins all over my breasts, twisted and slowly removed them. I remember gritting my teeth and bearing it. Then, the St. Andrew’s cross. I don’t know what he was using exactly to beat me, but my gawd it was very painful. It was a lot more pain than what I was used to. This was my first extreme heavy scene and I started screaming. I started crying. I started wiggling around. My mind was...I don’t know where it was. Or what it was doing. The next thing I know, I’m being taken down and wrapped in a blanket and asked why I didn’t use my safeword. I replied I was told that having a safeword wasn’t an option. I was then told that was a joke. I can tell you, I sure as hell was not laughing.

Being told that you don’t have a safeword is not a joke. It’s a red flag. I know there are s-types out there, probably more that identify as slaves than as submissives, who aren’t big on having safewords used in their relationship and that’s totally okay. What makes it okay is that it’s a decision that you reached together with your partner-not a decision that was made for you without your input. There are a lot of idiots out there who do call themselves doms and will tell those who are new and a bit a naive that they don’t need a safeword, that ‘real s-stypes’ don’t use safewords. It’s a load of crock and a huge warning that you need to stop talking to this individual because they do not know what they are talking about. You have nothing to prove to these individuals. They care more about getting a piece of kinky ass than your personal safety and well-being.

And about impressing a play partner by not using your safeword...no. It’s not a good idea. I’ve been there myself. Being involved in a scene longer than what you can handle-either mentally or physically is never a good thing. I felt that I had something to prove as a slave. That if I safeworded to end the scene then I was weak. I had to show just how great of a slave I am by taking whatever the person scening with me could dish out. There was actually one point where I went way, way past my limit and passed out on a piece of equipment. At the time, I saw it as a bragging right. “Oh look at me! I let so and so beat me until I literally, not figuratively passed out! Isn’t that so awesome?”. No, it is not awesome. It was stupid. It was unsafe. It wasn’t something to brag about. It wasn’t something to be proud of. It took me a few years and some maturing for me to realize this. There were also some underlying issues I wasn’t 100% aware of, but that’s for another time. If at anytime a dominant or a top tries to tell you(and I’m sure at some point, you will hear this), that if you want to be impressive, then don’t use your safeword, they’re idiots. Just because you can’t take a beating over there like Betty Jo can, doesn’t make you any less of a s-type or her better than you. Everyone has a different pain tolerance and forcing yourself to be the ‘ultimate pain slut’ doesn’t earn you a gold medal as a s-type. And despite sometimes what you may hear from some s-types, there really isn’t a reason to compete with others or to impress a top by not safewording when you need to.

I know I got a bit long-winded, but this is something I felt like I needed to share with others. I know that safe words is a topic that is talked about a lot in the community, and there’s a reason why. It is so, so, so super important to take care of yourself. If you don’t, then nobody else will. You can’t expect others to know how much you handle, and even with pre-scening negotiation, there’s still only so much you can expect the top to know.