BDSM safeword survey – Are safewords essential in all BDSM transactions?


BelasariusThis article looks at how strongly 491 survey participants felt about using safewords in all their BDSM interactions. The method I have used for calculating the charts is detailed below.

In the analysis I have done here I found significant differences in attitude between different groups as to which were more likely to think a safeword essential in all their interactions than not (switches and S/m people were more likely to think safewords essential).

I asked further questions about the  use of safewords in play and, specifically, with relationship partners and these will be analysed in future articles.

The first chart, below, shows how inclined, or not, all respondents were to consider safewords essential.

Safewords essential all

As can be seen, only the group of respondents who identified as switches were more likely to agree with the statement “Safewords are essential in all BDSM transactions” than not. Tops/dominants and bottoms/submissives showed an almost equal inclination to disagree. Bottoms/submissives, however, were slightly less likely to agree with the statement too.

Women

This and the the next chart show the attitude of female respondents to whether safewords are essential. The first chart looks at attitudes according to the respondent’s position in the relationship.

Female switches are much more likely to agree that safewords are essential than to disagree, whilst both tops and bottoms are both more than twice as likely to disagree than to agree (there is little real difference between the groups).

Safewords essential women

The next chart shows women’s attitudes based on the respondent’s choice of BDSM component – ie whether they are in a Sadist/Masochist (S/m), Master (mistress) and slave,(M/s) or dominant/submissive dynamic.

Safewords essential woment component

S/m women were more likely to agree that safewords were essential than not. D/s women are more likely to disagree, but not by much. But M/s women are around four and a half times more likely to disagree that safewords are essential than to agree.

Men

This next chart shows the responses of males concerning whether safewords are essential in all BDSM transactions. Within each orientation it differs little from the responses given by women. But, overall, male respondents were more likely to  disagree that safewords were essential than women. Males switches in particular were more balanced than females – where roughly twice as many thought safewords were essential than didn’t.

safewords essential men

Male S/m people differ quite markedly from their female equivalents (chart below). Female sadists/masochists were slightly more likely to say they agreed safewords were essential than not. Males were more than twice as likely to disagree.

safewords essential men component

People in master/slave dynamics showed a pronounced gender difference too. Males are only twice as likely to disagree that safewords are essential, whereas women were more than four times as likely to disagree. In contrast, whilst D/s women were only slightly more likely to disagree, Dominant/submissive men were much more likely to disagree.

Data used in this article

The article uses data from a question where people were asked whether they considered safewords to be essential in all BDSM transactions. 491 people answered the question. People were able to pick from the following responses:

  • Agree
  • Agree strongly
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
  • Disagree strongly

To produce the charts used above I manipulated the data as follows:

  • Agree (scored 1)
  • Agree strongly (scored 2)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (eliminated from responses)
  • Disagree (scored -1)
  • Disagree strongly (scored -2)

I totalled the  scores and then divided that by the total of all responses (including “Neither agree nor disagree”, in order that a high neutral response would influence the outcome by reducing both negative and positive scores). I multiplied the result by 10 for convenience.

The data used is in the tables below

Safewords are essential in all BDSM interactions – sample structure
Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree All
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 28 29 54 53 23 187
Master/Slave 2 4 9 34 6 55
Sadist/Masochist 3 2 12 5 9 31
Bottom/Submissive Total 33 35 75 92 38 273
Switch Dominant/Submissive 12 12 11 3 8 46
Master/Slave 1 1 1 1 1 5
Sadist/Masochist 8 2 9 7 10 36
Switch Total 21 15 21 11 19 87
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 11 13 17 25 15 81
Master/Slave 1 1 23 1 26
Sadist/Masochist 5 8 5 5 1 24
Top/Dominant Total 16 22 23 53 17 131
Grand Total 70 72 119 156 74 491
Safewords are essential in all BDSM interactions – women
Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree All
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 20 26 43 39 18 146
Master/Slave 1 4 8 32 5 50
Sadist/Masochist 3 2 8 4 6 23
Bottom/Submissive Total 24 32 59 75 29 219
Switch Dominant/Submissive 3 7 3 2 2 17
Master/Slave 1 1 1 3
Sadist/Masochist 4 2 2 2 7 17
Switch Total 8 9 6 5 9 37
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 2 2 6 6 6 22
Master/Slave 6 6
Sadist/Masochist 2 3 2 1 8
Top/Dominant Total 4 5 8 13 6 36
Grand Total 36 46 73 93 44 292
Safewords are essential in all BDSM interactions – men
Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree All
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 8 3 11 14 5 41
Master/Slave 1 1 2 1 5
Sadist/Masochist 4 1 3 8
Bottom/Submissive Total 9 3 16 17 9 54
Switch Dominant/Submissive 9 5 8 1 6 29
Master/Slave 1 1 2
Sadist/Masochist 4 7 5 3 19
Switch Total 13 6 15 6 10 50
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 9 11 11 19 9 59
Master/Slave 1 1 17 1 20
Sadist/Masochist 3 5 3 4 1 16
Top/Dominant Total 12 17 15 40 11 95
Grand Total 34 26 46 63 30 199

Background

This is the fifth article about the safeword survey I recently conducted. More information about the terms and ideas I use in these surveys can be found here. Information about the demographics of this survey is here.

 

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Author: Belasarius

I possess the submission of curvy_bottom, we have a medium protocol, D/s relationship - based on the feeling that we are equa and opposite and that we love each other.

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