Safe BDSM Play. SCC, RACK & PRICK
  • Feb 03, 2016|
  • Caddy Compson

When it comes to safe BDSM play, there are various schools of thought on how best to do that, but as times change, so do new ideas regarding it. What’s acceptable and what’s not? How do we tell? Here are some different terms and ideas that have been used to talk about kink safety:

The classic BDSM safety mantra is SSC or “Safe, Sane and Consensual,”

Which means to have fun within the lines of being safe, sane and consensual. This has fallen somewhat out of favor for many because a lot of things that we do are simply not safe. Even more so, what constitutes “sane?” What seems safe and sane to one person may not apply to what someone else considers safe and sane. There is no universal BDSM handbook that delineates these things. However, regardless of arguments about safety and sanity, consent between all parties is mandatory. Often, the line between abuse and kink is consent. A Mistress is not just abusing her sub when she flogs him because he has consented to such activity. A baby girl is not being abused when her Daddy Dom punishes her with a spanking because that is consensually agreed upon between them. However, “safety and sanity” are in the eye of the beholder.

RACK is a more modern and widely accepted acronym. “Risk Aware Consensual Kink”

RACK means that you realize that there are inherent dangers in a lot of BDSM activities, but that you’re willing to engage consensually. This no longer judges things based on subjective terms like “safe” and “sane.” We universally acknowledge that there are inherent risks. This is more inclusive of people interested in edge play. What constitutes “edge play” is still fairly subjective, but it’s often considered more high-risk play, even amongst kinksters. Examples of edge play include fire play, knife play or needle play. Whereas with SSC, these activities may have been altogether excluded because they might not seem safe or sane. However, like SSC, consent is still a key element to RACK. Over and over again, consent is going to be the cornerstone of what is acceptable.

Just recently, an even newer term has surfaced: PRICK. “Personal Responsibility Informed Consensual Kink" has some important layers to it. Instead of being passive about what you do or what you let other people do to you, you must take personal responsibility for your actions and for your decisions. Yes, bad things can and still do happen to good people, but by taking personal responsibility, you accept your active role in not only what you do to other people, but you also accept an active role in what you agree to let happen to you. “Personal responsibility informed consensual kink” means a lot of things, including, but not limited to: in some way vetting the person with whom you want to play, educating yourself on inherent risks of said play, properly negotiating the scene beforehand and utilizing safe words. You communicate and don’t expect someone to just know what you do and do not want. Being “informed” means that you’ve done your homework, and if you decide to go forth without doing so, you take personal responsibility for not knowing. As with SSC and RACK, it’s all about consensual kink. At no point is consent debatable. Some people enjoy “consensual nonconsent,” which is play that seems non- consensual, but has actually been in some way negotiated ahead of time. (According to CSS such play would probably still not qualify as safe and sane.)

No matter which line of thought you feel works best for you, consent is always a part of it. From old school to new school, the line between what’s a “go” and what’s a “no” is that stamp of approval. Take the time to learn what’s acceptable between you and your partner. The more knowledge you acquire, the more fun you know you can safely have. Safety means that you can continue to come back for more and who doesn’t want more kinky fun?!