Basically everyone agrees that we need safewords when we play. To keep us all safe. To prove we are responsible players. Except I think we don’t.
If you want to use them, by all means do so! But I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone. I don’t always use them. And by “I don’t always use them,” what I mean is that when we’re not using safewords, the husband doesn’t always have the right to end an activity or scene. He can certainly let me know his wrist is starting to hurt or that he is getting a charile horse. That way I can make an adjustment or take a pause. He can let me know that a particular activity isn’t doing it for him or he is hating it. But he can’t expect that I am going to change the activity or end the scene. In spite of the fact that we don’t always use safewords, he still seems to be in one piece and not dead. He hasn’t even turned in his collar or divorced me. Imagine that. We didn’t use a safeword and it was perfectly fine. It doesn’t make me (or him) an unsafe player. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about his safety. It doesn’t mean he is cavalier with his body or his health. It means that sometimes we don’t use safewords. That’s it.
In addition to that, I don’t think safewords keep either person particularly safe. Some people just aren’t going to use one even if they are in dire straits. The will just tough it out until permanent damage has been done. That means the tops, sadists, owners, and dominants aren’t protected from accidentally harming their play partner. And not all tops, sadists, owners, and dominants are going to honor when their play partner uses a safeword. So that doesn’t protect the person on the receiving end of the sensation. In my opinion, I think a much better choice to actually protect all parties involved is to know your partner. Take the time to get to know them. Discuss things until you are blue in the face. Ask about past experiences and when things went wrong. When things go wrong, we learn. By taking the time to get to know your partner and what their experiences are, you are much more likely to have a positive play experience.
And, finally, when I do use safewords, I’m completely fine hearing them. The popular opinion on this is that when you hear “yellow” or worse, “red!” that you have somehow failed as a top/sadist/dominant. I don’t feel that way. I don’t take hearing “yellow” as a sign that I must immediately change things. I might change things. If I feel like changing things. But sometimes I feel like pushing him, so I don’t change things up. Sometimes I specifically want to challenge him to get used to a particular toy. And sometimes I’m just feeling mean (in a sadistic good way), and want to do things to him I know he isn’t going to enjoy. He accepted that this is how I work. He knows exactly what he was getting into by accepting my collar. I am also fine hearing “red.” It means he has reached his limit for today. I am fine with that. It doesn’t mean I haven’t been paying attention. It doesn’t mean I can’t read him. Most of the time I can see it coming. But even when I don’t, I don’t think I have failed. I’m a heavy sadist playing with a moderate masochist. Our compromise is that sometimes I play him until he literally can’t take any more. And sometimes I push him past what he thought he could take. That means sometimes we get to “red.” And yet… he still wears my collar and hasn’t divorced me. Yes, I’m definitely doing it wrong. (Except that I’m doing it right for us.)