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In BDSM, a safeword is a code word, series of code words or other signal used by a submissive or bottom to unambiguously communicate their physical or emotional state to a dominant or top, typically when approaching, or crossing, a physical, emotional, or moral boundary. Some safewords are used to stop the scene outright, while others can communicate a willingness to continue, but at a reduced level of intensity. Safewords are usually agreed upon before playing a scene by all participants, and many organized BDSM groups have standard safewords that all members agree to use to avoid confusion at organized play events.
Those who practise the more permissive philosophy of risk-aware consensual kink may abandon the use of safewords, especially those that practice forms of edgeplay or extreme forms of dominance and submission. In such cases, the choice to give up the use of safewords is a consensual act on the part of the bottom or submissive.
- "Beyond Safe Words: When Saying 'No' in BDSM Isn't Enough". Broadly. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
- Clark, Tracy (2012-01-29). "When safe words are ignored". Salon.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29.
- Bauer, R. (28 October 2014). "Queer BDSM Intimacies: Critical Consent and Pushing Boundaries". Springer. Retrieved 22 November 2016 – via Google Books.