What’s Your Safe Word?

Yaaaaawn. For many couples, the same-old-same-old position can get a little stale after awhile. So to spice things up, experimenting with new twists can be great. There are tons of playful, sexy things to try, like new positions (lots of wild ones out there…); skimpy lingerie and costumes; role-playing; sex aids, toys and vibrators; and even more hardcore stuff like kink and S&M.

While all of these can be awesomely exciting and stimulating for both you and your partner, it’s super important that you both feel safe while you’re in the act. These are times when “No! No! No!” can mean “Yes! Yes! Yes!”, so you want to be sure the two (or more) of you are on the same page. This is especially true when certain types of props—think whips and handcuffs—role playing, or physical or emotional domination are involved. We are the first one’s to stress that “no means no” but when it comes to experimenting with new things in the bedroom communication is key and there are times when “no” might be part of the game, just make sure everyone is on the same page and consents to what’s going on. This is where a safe word might be helpful.

When it comes to pushing the whole pain/pleasure boundary, physical safety is about your own personal comfort level. Good rules of thumb: make sure neither of you are in danger of serious injury, keep toys and props clean, be careful with each other’s bodies and stop if things hurt in a not-good kind of way. Reasonable enough, right?

Then perhaps even more importantly, emotional safety is key. Being dominated, tied up and teased can be every level of fun when you’ve both agreed on what’s happening and are mindful of each other’s emotions. But in case things get a little out of hand, a single word can make all the difference: a safe word. Whether it’s “banana,” or “cornucopia” or “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” safe words help protect your body and feelings by signaling your partner to stop or slow down. It’s like having an emergency shut-off button should things start to spiral out of control. So once you have your word established and you both/all want to explore, we say: go ahead and get a little wild. Just be sure you’re safe and happy all along the way.