Safe word

Domestic relationships of all sorts might work a lot better by having a safeword in case an argument starts to hurt someone too much. To disrespect a safeword would be grounds to dissolve the relationship. It’s got to be that serious.

A safeword is sort of like a “block” at Occupy general assemblies.

It means you have gone too far and this situation is in danger of losing my continuing participation. Let’s call it a radically mindful slap.

The original idea for safewords comes from the kink sub-culture. Emphasis mine.

A safeword is a code word or series of code words … to unambiguously communicate their physical or emotional state … typically when approaching, or crossing, a physical, emotional, or moral boundary.

~abbreviated from Safeword from Wikipedia [to make this post safe for work]

In any case boundaries of every sort need to be negotiated.

Might be a good idea for friendships and other situations too.

5 comments on “Safe word

  1. Like this?

    Seriously, that’s a really good idea. The culture will need some changing before it’s entirely workable though.

    Have you come across the Core Protocols? We experimented with them a bit a few years back. I found some of them pretty helpful, but we never ended up adopting them. Felt too stilted in practice.

    • 1) Exactly like that (you would not be surprised by what I left out but some people would)
      2) I like the idea of Core Protocols but it felt a little pedantic by the time I was only half way through. Humans are not robots. Though 3 simple rules might just be sufficient.

      • Core Protocols is pedantic. The beauty of it is that it assumes zero social interaction capabilities. This is often a close approximation of reality in an ICT development team.

        I was also surprised at how powerful the check-in protocol is, and how rough it can be to explicitly assert your emotional state. Also that some people were completely incapable of doing it. There was this one guy who was constantly “happy” although it was entirely obvious that he was not.

  2. It’s actually good idea, though the allusions to S&M … well…I’m not sure where that came from…

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