A Badge of Pride

A few days ago, I talked about how disturbing it is when the scene becomes judgmental of those who do not play the way others think they should play. Specifically, I was talking about Doms or subs who will ostracize, criticize, and belittle Switches merely because they choose to switch roles, depending on partner or need.

Like a good Dom or a good sub, a good Switch understands the dynamic roles in BDSM and when it is appropriate to switch.

Things like taking on a Switch role rather than strict D/s or M/s is about the finer nuances of play. Choosing to switch may come from being new and wanting to experience all sides of play, but not having access to or being comfortable with a more Old Guard mentor relationship. It may come from having experienced one, liking it, but finding someone that you desire the other with (and still wanting to be Dom/Domme to someone else). Those who do not engage in play with you may find it confusing or not understand, but it is their responsibility to discuss that with you – assuming of course that it is their business to do so, for example their own sub/slave expresses concern about their dynamic because they see you switch and the Dom/Master needs to understand, or someone simply wants to learn what a Switch is.

I did mention, however, that there are caveats to the inclusiveness of BDSM. Hard lines exist and stating and responding to those hard lines is not a bad thing at all. I mentioned a couple of obvious ones before. I recently found another, and I think it is worthy of a little more discussion.

The Safe Word Continue reading


Ask Holle – If trust is so important between partners why would you need a safe word?

Covenant asked

If trust is so important between partners why would you need a safe word?

One of the first things I learned about BDSM, when I really started exploring it, was the use of the safe word.

I used to play with a Dom who I will call “John”, for the sake of privacy and all that good stuff. John was one of the first Doms that I played with, and a very considerate partner. I trusted him, knowing him outside of BDSM circles, but because I was still new to kink play, he wanted to be sure that I was comfortable with anything that we did, that he did not hurt me, and that I did not feel bad about anything that we did. We discussed what each of us wanted to explore and he had me choose a safe word, something that I would not use in our play normally, so that if I said it, he would instantly know to stop. My use of the safe word, and I did use it a few times with John, was not a signifier that I did not trust him. It was a signal to be used any time I felt, for whatever reason, that I needed to use it.

I had a very good introduction to the safe word, but I found it took a very long time to truly understand what it is. The safe word is not just a replacement for “no” or “stop” or “too much”. It does not replace trust in a BDSM dynamic; that you use it at all shows that you do very much trust your partner.

To really answer another question, I need to answer another and dispel a couple of myths.

Why do you need a safe word? Continue reading