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My Safeword Rules for Online Play

Posted 03-18-2023 at 12:10 AM by Azyliux
Updated 06-05-2023 at 05:20 PM by Azyliux (Added BLUE safeword)

These rules have been updated since first published based on both experience and some feedback received by commenters. A big thank you to KinkyKoala for her thoughts and discussions with me on this topic.

Below are my personal safeword rules for online casual play and online D/s relationships as a Dom. They are basically an enhanced traffic light system that many people will be familiar and comfortable with. I am willing to play with other safewords and safeword rules too, but I thought it would be useful to share these here as my default set.

Anyone who I engage with on getDare may assume I will operate under these rules with them unless otherwise discussed. Obviously I can't make a similar assumption that everyone on getDare has read this, so for casual play without any discussion or ongoing D/s relationship, I will also always recognize the word NO as a natural safeword signalling withdrawal of consent. Also for casual play, the word SIR is optional.

Safeword Rules
These rules supersede all other rules
  1. Our safewords are RED, YELLOW, GREEN SIR, and BLUE.
    • The word SIR must always follow GREEN.
    • The word SIR is not needed for RED, YELLOW or BLUE.
    • Either of us can call RED or BLUE at any time for any reason.
    • If the context of the situation is confusing as to if a safeword is intended or just normal discussion of colours, repeat the safeword twice. E.g. RED RED.
    • For clarification, the words do not need to be capitalized as they are here in these rules.
  2. Use GREEN SIR to indicate that all is well for you and that you desire to continue.
    • Only use this when play is comfortably within your limits.
    • You can also use this as a form of encouragement to let me know you would like more of the same.
    • I love hearing GREEN SIR from people I am playing with as it confirms we are on the right track with how a session or relationship is proceeding and constitutes a form of continued consent.
  3. Use YELLOW to indicate that you are finding things difficult or you are close to your limit in someway.
    • When using YELLOW, explain what the issue is. This can be a single word if needed, e.g. "pain".
    • I will always regard this as a sign to slow down and check in with you.
    • Using YELLOW will also immediately halt verbal humiliation and degradation to allow clear communication. Humiliation and/or degradation will only continue after a GREEN SIR from you.
  4. Use RED to call an immediate stop to play and a relationship timeout for any reason.
    • Using RED will immediately halt all other rules, tasks and punishments.
    • Using RED will also immediately halt all humiliation and degradation.
    • If you need time away from online interaction to make yourself or the situation safe, you can use RED and BLUE together to indicate this (emergency lights).
    • Normal play or relationship activities will only recommence after the issue has been discussed and a GREEN SIR from you (and a GREEN from me if I used RED).
  5. Use BLUE to indicate something unexpected and urgent in real life will immediately take you away from online interaction for some time.
    • When using BLUE, try to give a brief explanation and estimate of time. This can be a single word if needed, e.g. "family".
    • Using BLUE will immediately allow you to use your own discretion in disregarding other rules, tasks and punishments in order to remain within your limits and stay safe. Anything disregarded must be reported to me after resumption of normal play or relationship.
    • Normal play or relationship activities will only recommence after a GREEN SIR from you (and a GREEN from me if I used BLUE).
  6. You must always use a safeword if you feel the need to.
    • I am not there, I don't have eyes on you, I must trust your assessment.
    • There will never be any punishment for using a safeword.
    • Using a safeword will never be regarded by me as any kind of failure. I will instead regard it as a success that I can trust you to use your safeword when you need to.
  7. Establish the habit of communicating safewords even if you don't need to.
    • I am not there, I don't have eyes on you, I cannot read your body language, I cannot hear your tone of voice.
    • If things are going well for you, it's never a mistake to tell me GREEN SIR.
    • It is also never a mistake to use RED even if there is no reason other than to build your comfort in using safewords and confidence that they will always be respected.
  8. If I ask you to tell me a colour at any time, respond with one of your safewords.
    • I will ask this when I am concerned or if I feel I lack other feedback.
  9. If there is a relationship issue between us then you must use the RED safeword and discuss it with me.
    • You must not drop out of a conversation mid-way, become unresponsive or otherwise ghost if you are unhappy with the way things are proceeding.
    • If you need time or space to make yourself safe, use the RED safeword and let me know you will be taking some time out and will get back to me later. It is never wrong to do this if you feel you need to.

I welcome feedback or questions on these rules and I am open to modification for specific sessions or longer D/s relationships.
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  1. Old Comment
    DeepInnerFreak's Avatar
    I have used the traffic light system you explain here for the majority of my time in BDSM. I find it simple to understand from both sides of the rope. Not much thought has to go into remembering a complicated word or set of words and what they mean. It's easy to understand for both parties which is needed in certain circumstances especially when you both need to respond quickly. Last thing you need to be doing is trying to remember what the word "blueberry muffin" refers to in the heat of the moment.

    I think your explanation of the different reasons for using the words is well thought out and are generally the go to definitions. I personally haven't ever stipulated having my sub to use my honorific after green but I can see why you would include this. I like that you are explicit that clear communication lines are open once the yellow safeword has been used even if the scene isn't over, the verbal "scene dialogue" is paused until the green safeword has been used to continue.

    I also appreciate that you have highlighted two important factors. One that both parties can use the safeword system. I don't think I have ever needed to use it from a Dom/Top aspect, but it's good to have if you are out of your comfort zone and feel you are nearing a point where you may feel out of control of a scene. My last sub and I put it in place in our last dynamic, mainly as a way of addressing bratiness which I hadn't had much experience with at the time. However I can see how this also would be useful for a Dom if you are topping someone with vastly more experience than you. It is not just the submissive who has emotional/physical limits in a scene.

    The second is that the safeword is not punishable. Sadly I have had a few interactions where s-types have told me they have been mocked or scolded for safewording. It saddens me that someone would take an opportunity to build a deeper connection with a person and simply turn it into an opportunity to abuse them.

    Overall great read and a very thorough demonstration of your care and knowledge as a Dominant. Thank you for sharing and I hope these thoughts are felt by anyone else reading especially your future submissive.
    Posted 03-18-2023 at 07:45 AM by DeepInnerFreak DeepInnerFreak is offline
    Updated 03-18-2023 at 07:48 AM by DeepInnerFreak (Spelling error)
  2. Old Comment
    pluky's Avatar
    They sound very organized and thoughtful and practical, especially if one is playing with a person they don't really have a bond with.
    Posted 03-18-2023 at 09:51 AM by pluky pluky is offline
  3. Old Comment
    KinkyKoala's Avatar
    I love #6. I have often struggled with feeling comfortable using a safeword. So encouraging your play partner to get comfortable and use them even when not necessarily needed is awesome!

    I have found that "extra" words or phrases fit some dynamics. I've had colors for needing to step away for a length of time, unexpected family interruptions and many other reasons that sometimes require a very short one word reply. I've even had occasions where an extra word was planned for when it was too hard to properly express the emotions/triggers in that moment.

    Personally, BLACK was the most comforting safeword I ever established. It meant that any and all pictures and videos were to be deleted. This was during a time of playing deeper with humiliation. Knowing that I had the power to demand they all be erased helped ease some of the fear and allow for just the humiliation within the dynamic to exist.

    Obviously, the extra words/phrases are particular to each relationship and should always be discussed prior to any in depth play!
    Posted 03-18-2023 at 03:31 PM by KinkyKoala KinkyKoala is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Azyliux's Avatar
    Thank you all for your comments and feedback.

    Yes C4E, I think it is quite important to acknowledge that a Dom/Top may need to use a RED safeword to stop a scene for a variety of reasons including those you mentioned. I have personally used RED as a Dom, most importantly when I realized that my sub at the time should have called RED themselves but didn't. I have also used it when my limits around communication (that formed part of our D/s agreement) were being violated in a way that could not be addressed within the dynamic.

    Thanks KK, it was partially incidents like described above that helped educate me as to the importance of actively encouraging my subs to use their safeword. I also agree that other safewords can be very handy. Most of my experience has however been in offline play so I love the concept of some of the specialized safewords you describe that are more aligned with online play—so much so that I will almost certainly steal your BLACK safeword at some point in the future! Thank you for introducing me to this one.
    Posted 03-21-2023 at 12:42 AM by Azyliux Azyliux is offline
  5. Old Comment
    spankeegirl's Avatar
    Love this!!!

    I use the traffic lights system in rl play. Its smart to introduce it in online play too
    Posted 10-07-2023 at 08:11 PM by spankeegirl spankeegirl is offline

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