Safeword Survey – does a safeword make play feel more artificial?

This article looks at how strongly 499  acedc11cbeb3a2a0b4e3bca15378bec4safeword survey participants agreed or disagreed with the statement “I feel a safeword makes my play more artificial”.

The first chart, shows the extent to which all respondents (split by gender) agreed or disagreed with the statement “I feel a safeword makes my play more artificial” (the method I have used for calculating the charts is under the subheading “Data used in this article” below).

SWArtificial1

Respondents of both genders were more likely to agree than disagree with this statement. Men were slightly less likely to agree than women, but both sexes agreed,  by a substantial margin, that safewords made play more artificial.

SWArtificial2

When the data was split by BDSM orientation (above) a clear difference did emerge. Switches were roughly three times more likely to disagree that safewords make play more artificial whilst both tops/dominants and bottoms/submissives supported the statement strongly. Tops/dominants were more than four times more likely to agree that safewords make play artificial. Bottoms/submissives also agreed – but not as strongly. They were only twice as likely to agree that safewords make play artificial than to disagree.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, people from the Master (mistress) & slave BDSM component overwhelmingly agreed (roughly 12 times more likely to agree with the statement than to disagree with the statement – below). People from the largest group in the survey (Dominants/submissives were split and Sadists/masochists were a little more likely to disagree that safewords make play feel artificial than not.

SWArtificial3

Data used in this article

The article uses data from a question where people were asked whether they felt that a safeword made their play more artificial. 499 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) I feel a safeword makes our play more artificial
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 36 44 48 38 23 189
Master/Slave 9 33 2 4 7 55
Sadist/Masochist 9 3 9 6 4 31
Bottom/Submissive Total 54 80 59 48 34 275
Switch Dominant/Submissive 2 2 13 17 13 47
Master/Slave 2 1 1 0 2 6
Sadist/Masochist 11 1 10 4 11 37
Switch Total 15 4 24 21 26 90
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 12 23 18 20 10 83
Master/Slave 4 19 2 1 1 27
Sadist/Masochist 3 2 3 10 6 24
Top/Dominant Total 19 44 23 31 17 134
Grand Total 88 128 106 100 77 499
What is your gender? Male I feel a safeword makes our play more artificial
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 14 7 7 3 10 41
Master/Slave 1 1 0 1 2 5
Sadist/Masochist 4 0 2 0 2 8
Bottom/Submissive Total 19 8 9 4 14 54
Switch Dominant/Submissive 1 2 9 9 8 29
Master/Slave 0 0 0 0 2 2
Sadist/Masochist 3 1 6 0 9 19
Switch Total 4 3 15 9 19 50
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 10 17 11 15 6 59
Master/Slave 3 13 2 1 1 20
Sadist/Masochist 3 1 2 5 5 16
Top/Dominant Total 16 31 15 21 12 95
Grand Total 39 42 39 34 45 199
What is your gender? Female I feel a safeword makes our play more artificial
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 22 37 39 34 13 145
Master/Slave
Sadist/Masochist 3 3 3 3 3 3
Bottom/Submissive Total 34 34 34 34 34 34
Switch Dominant/Submissive 2 2 2 2 2 2
Master/Slave 1 1 1 1 1 1
Sadist/Masochist 4 4 4 4 4 4
Switch Total 7 7 7 7 7 7
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 4 4 4 4 4 4
Master/Slave
Sadist/Masochist 2 2 2 2 2 2
Top/Dominant Total 6 6 6 6 6 6
Grand Total 47 47 47 47 47 47

BDSM safeword survey: Are safewords unhelpful for partners who know each other well?

This article looks at how strongly 499  acedc11cbeb3a2a0b4e3bca15378bec4safeword survey participants agreed or disagreed with the statement “safewords are unhelpful to partners who know each other well”

The first chart, shows the extent to which all respondents (split by gender) thought safewords unhelpful to partners who know each other well (the method I have used for calculating the charts is under the subheading “Data used in this article” below).


safewords unhelpful 1

Both men and women are much more likely to agree with this statement than to disagree and there really is no great difference of opinion between the sexes.

safewords unhel[ful 2

When the data was split by BDSM orientation (above) a clear difference did emerge. Whilst tops/dominants and bottoms/submissives strongly agree with the statement (T/ds were around twice as likely to disagree than to agree – b/s people nearly three times so) switches disagree.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, people from the Master (mistress) & slave BDSM component overwhelmingly agreed with the statement (below). People from the largest group in the survey (Dominants/submissives were split and Sadists/masochists were more likely to agree that safewords are unhelpful than not.

Safewords unhelpful 3

Data used in this article

The article uses data from a question where people were asked whether they consideredsafewords to be unhelpful to partners who knew each other well. 499 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:

All
Safewords are unhelpful to partners who know each other well
Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree All
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 24 53 40 31 42 190
Master/Slave 6 36 4 2 6 54
Sadist/Masochist 6 8 11 3 3 31
Bottom/Submissive Total 36 97 55 36 51 275
Switch Dominant/Submissive 7 15 11 14 47
Master/Slave 1 3 2 6
Sadist/Masochist 8 11 9 3 6 37
Switch Total 15 12 27 14 22 90
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 9 24 26 12 12 83
Master/Slave 2 21 1 2 1 27
Sadist/Masochist 3 4 5 7 5 24
Top/Dominant Total 14 49 32 21 18 134
Total 65 158 114 71 91 499
Males
Safewords are unhelpful to partners who know each other well
Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree All
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 6 13 5 3 14 41
Master/Slave 1 1 1 2 5
Sadist/Masochist 2 4 1 1 8
Bottom/Submissive Total 9 18 7 3 17 54
Switch Dominant/Submissive 5 6 7 11 29
Master/Slave 1 1 2
Sadist/Masochist 4 8 5 2 19
Switch Total 9 8 12 7 14 50
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 6 17 19 9 8 59
Master/Slave 2 14 1 2 1 20
Sadist/Masochist 2 3 3 4 4 16
Top/Dominant Total 10 34 23 15 13 95
Total 28 60 42 25 44 199
Females
Safewords are unhelpful to partners who know each other well Safewords are unhelpful to partners who know each other well
Agree Agree strongly Disagree Disagree strongly Neither agree nor disagree All
Bottom/Submissive Dominant/Submissive 18 40 35 27 26 146
Master/Slave 5 35 3 2 4 49
Sadist/Masochist 4 4 10 3 2 23
Bottom/Submissive Total 27 79 48 32 32 218
Switch Dominant/Submissive 2 8 4 3 17
Master/Slave 1 2 3
Sadist/Masochist 4 3 4 3 4 18
Switch Total 6 4 14 7 7 38
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 2 7 7 2 4 22
Master/Slave 6 6
Sadist/Masochist 1 1 2 3 1 8
Top/Dominant Total 3 14 9 5 5 36
Total 36 97 71 44 44 292

 

Safewords Survey – Are safewords essential in BDSM punishment

BelasariusThis article looks at how strongly 499  safeword survey participants felt about using safewords in BDSM punishment.

Readers may find it interesting to contrast these results with earlier, articles where I asked people  whether safewords were essential in all BDSM transactions and whether safewords were essential in BDSM play.

In the article on safewords in all BDSM transactions, only switches were more likely than not to agree with the statement “Safewords are essential in all BDSM transactions”. However, the  BDSM play article shows general, agreement that safewords are essential – with some groups being more emphatic in their agreement than others. Only masters (mistresses) and slaves were more likely to think that safewords are NOT essential in play. This article shows a more mixed picture than either of the above. I wonder if that may be because BDSM people have not yet come to a common understanding of what they consider punishment to be (for reference, my thoughts on this are here and my proposed definition (for voting and debate) is here).

The first chart, below, shows how inclined, or not, all respondents (split by gender) were to consider safewords essential in BDSM punishment (the method I have used for calculating the charts is under the subheading “Data used in this article” below).

Punishment1

The people who took part seem pretty split on this one. Women were slightly more likely to disagree with the proposition than men, but not by very much at all.

However, when it comes to BDSM orientations there are some significant differences in perception (below).

Punishment2

There is a very clear difference of opinion between bottoms/submissives and everyone else. Submissives were three times more likely to disagree that safewords are essential in BDSM punishment than   either tops/dominants or switches. And they were the only group who were less likely to think that safewords were essential in punishment than to agree that they were essential. Switches were the most likely to think that safewords in punishment were essential. But, there is a clear difference of opinion between dominants and submissives here.

Punishmnt3

The chart above shows that there are also clear differences in the views of respondents from different BDSM components. Sadists/masochists are split on whether safewords are essential in punishment. Dominant’s submissives are more likely than not  to say that they are essential (though the extent to which they disagree is almost identical to S/m respondents) and masters (mistresses) and slaves are nearly five times more likely to disagree with the proposition than to agree.

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) Safewords are essential in BDSM punishment
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 37 34 26 66 27 190
Master/Slave 2 7 38 7 54
Sadist/Masochist 4 5 6 12 4 31
Bottom/Submissive Total 41 41 39 116 38 275
Switch Dominant/Submissive 10 19 6 2 10 47
Master/Slave 1 1 1 3 6
Sadist/Masochist 7 3 4 16 7 37
Switch Total 18 23 10 19 20 90
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 14 22 10 27 10 83
Master/Slave 1 2 24 27
Sadist/Masochist 3 8 4 7 2 24
Top/Dominant Total 17 31 16 58 12 134
Grand Total 76 95 65 193 70 499
What is your gender? Male Safewords are essential in BDSM punishment
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 5 7 5 18 6 41
Master/Slave 1 1 1 2 5
Sadist/Masochist 1 1 5 1 8
Bottom/Submissive Total 6 8 7 24 9 54
Switch Dominant/Submissive 8 9 4 8 29
Master/Slave 1 1 2
Sadist/Masochist 3 1 3 10 2 19
Switch Total 11 11 7 10 11 50
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 9 16 7 20 7 59
Master/Slave 1 2 17 20
Sadist/Masochist 1 6 3 4 2 16
Top/Dominant Total 10 23 12 41 9 95
Grand Total 27 42 26 75 29 199
What is your gender? Female Safewords are essential in BDSM punishment
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 31 27 21 47 20 146
Master/Slave 1 6 37 5 49
Sadist/Masochist 3 5 5 7 3 23
Bottom/Submissive Total 34 33 32 91 28 218
Switch Dominant/Submissive 2 9 2 2 2 17
Master/Slave 1 1 1 3
Sadist/Masochist 4 2 1 6 5 18
Switch Total 7 11 3 9 8 38
Top/Dominant Dominant/Submissive 4 5 3 7 3 22
Master/Slave 6 6
Sadist/Masochist 2 2 1 3 8
Top/Dominant Total 6 7 4 16 3 36
Grand Total 47 51 39 116 39 292

Consensual Slavery.

 

BelasariusI don’t characterise my BDSM dynamic with curvy_bottom as an M/s one. She’s a submissive, not a BDSM slave. Having said that, I’ve often in the past, thought of consensual BDSM slavery as a state to which I, as the person on top, aspire.

 

These day’s I’m really not sure whether a BDSM slave (Master/slave or M/s) dynamic is heaven or hell for either party.

 

Consensual non-consent

 

I like the concept of consensual non-consentand wonder whether this is all that is required for someone to characterise themselves as a BDSM slave? But, as most of the people I’ve spoken to

 

Ball gag

 

who characterise themselves as in M/s relationships talk of ownership, possession and control, I’m unsure that, by itself, CN-C is sufficient.

 

There is another thing. I think I’ve seen slave type dynamics in non-BDSM relationships. I mean non-abusive ones (though I think differentiating BDSM ownership/slavery from abuse is absolutely key to gaining acceptance of this as a positive form of human relationship that can be fulfilling for both parties.

 

Slave-style relationships in the non-BDSM world

 

The non-BDSM relationships I’ve seen which seem to resemble BDSM slavery are ones where one party is very much “taken care of” by the other, who assumes responsibility for much of their life together and both parties seem very content for that to happen. It seems to me that some BDSM slave relationships are like this, but with the addition of BDSM sexual and fetish elements and without any form of disguise masking the authority aspects of the dynamic.

 

BDSM ?
(Photo credit: nikiold)

 

Sometimes I got the feeling that a non-BDSM “slave” relationship had a less positive connotation too: The partner who was content to be dependent seemed to be more in love with the one on top, and both seemed aware of it. It was almost as if the “bottom” partner knew that, though it was unlikely, the top partner could, in extremis, walk away. That could easily be a bad, maybe abusive, thing, But I didn’t detect that – more that the senior partner was aware and had made themselves responsible for ensuring their partner had faith in them.

 

I haven’t seen this, I don’t think, in BDSM relationships (other than my own, even though I’m top, I do, from time to time, sense the responsibility thing from curvy_bottom, because we are in a shared relationship: she could have walked away – Iam not as good at having faith as i should be): Maybe that’s because, in a BDSM thing, a huge part of the attraction for the bottom often is that things can be done to him/her, for the satisfaction of another, that he/she doesn’t want?

 

This is a bit of a ramble. What do YOU think?