Safeword Survey – Are safewords essential in BDSM play.


BelasariusThis article looks at how strongly 500 safeword survey participants felt about using safewords in BDSM play.

The results of this question contrast strongly with an earlier, similar one where I asked people  whether safewords were essential in all BDSM transactions.

In that article, only switches were more likely to agree with the statement “Safewords are essential in all BDSM transactions” than not. However, when it comes to BDSM play there is, generally, agreement that safewords are essential – with some groups being more emphatic in their agreement than others. Only masters (mistresses) and slaves are more likely to think that safewords are NOT essential in play (see third chart below).

The first chart, below, shows how inclined, or not, all respondents (split by gender) were to consider safewords essential in play (the method I have used for calculating the charts is below).

1. Are safewords essential in BDSM play?

Men and women are both much more likely to say safewords are essential in play, Women agreed slightly more with the statement – but not by much.

The next chart looks at whether people in different BDSM orientations (tops/dominants, switches and bottom’s/submissives) agree that safewords are essential in BDSM play

2. Are seafewords essential in BDSM play

All groups are much more likely to agree with the statement than not – it’s just a question of how emphatically they agree. Switches scored more than four times as highly in agreement with the statement that safewords were essential in play than  disagreed. Tops/dominants were also in very strong agreement (the score for agree was more than three times as high as the score for disagree). Bottoms/submissives were also more likely to agree than disagree – but by a much closer margin.

When it comes to BDSM components, Masters/slaves were the only group to disagree that safewords were essential in play – and by a noticeable margin. There were 88 M/s responses to the question.

3. Are safewords essential in BDSM play

D/s and S/m people showed a close degree of agreement with the statement that safewords are essential in play. However, S/m people were far less likely to disagree with the statement.

Data used in this article

The article uses data from a question where people were asked whether they considered safewords to be essential in BDSM play. 500 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 expressed that in percentages for convenience.

The data used is in the tables below

What is your gender? (All)
Count of RespondentID Safewords are essential in BDSM play
What is your BDSM orientation? How would you describe the most important component of your BDSM Dynamic? Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree Grand Total
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 42 38 38 40 32 190
Master/Slave 5 4 9 27 10 55
Sadist/Masochist 16 3 7 1 4 31
Bottom/Submissive Total 63 45 54 68 46 276
Switch Dominant/Submissive 11 14 7 15 47
Master/Slave 1 2 1 2 6
Sadist/Masochist 15 7 5 1 9 37
Switch Total 27 23 13 1 26 90
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 12 24 16 18 13 83
Master/Slave 1 1 4 16 5 27
Sadist/Masochist 9 7 1 2 5 24
Top/Dominant Total 22 32 21 36 23 134
Grand Total 112 100 88 105 95 500
What is your gender? Male
Count of RespondentID Safewords are essential in BDSM play
What is your BDSM orientation? How would you describe the most important component of your BDSM Dynamic? Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree Grand Total
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 11 5 8 11 6 41
Master/Slave 2 2 1 5
Sadist/Masochist 5 1 2 8
Bottom/Submissive Total 18 5 9 13 9 54
Switch Dominant/Submissive 7 7 3 12 29
Master/Slave 1 1 2
Sadist/Masochist 11 4 1 3 19
Switch Total 18 8 7 1 16 50
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 10 15 11 16 7 59
Master/Slave 1 4 13 2 20
Sadist/Masochist 6 5 1 1 3 16
Top/Dominant Total 16 21 16 30 12 95
Grand Total 52 34 32 44 37 199
What is your gender? Female
Count of RespondentID Safewords are essential in BDSM play
What is your BDSM orientation? How would you describe the most important component of your BDSM Dynamic? Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree Grand Total
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 30 33 30 28 25 146
Master/Slave 3 4 9 25 9 50
Sadist/Masochist 11 3 6 1 2 23
Bottom/Submissive Total 44 40 45 54 36 219
Switch Dominant/Submissive 4 7 3 3 17
Master/Slave 1 1 1 3
Sadist/Masochist 4 7 1 6 18
Switch Total 9 15 5 9 38
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 2 7 5 2 6 22
Master/Slave 1 2 3 6
Sadist/Masochist 3 2 1 2 8
Top/Dominant Total 6 9 5 5 11 36
Grand Total 59 64 55 59 56 293
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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.

3 thoughts on “Safeword Survey – Are safewords essential in BDSM play.”

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