Saturday, July 31, 2010

Emotional Safewords

Love isn't easy. We all know that.

In a committed relationship with a long-term partner, we know there are ups and downs. There are days when we're madly in love, there are days of ambivalence, and there are even those days of anger and frustration.

Of course, everybody's love life is different, but there are a number of commonalities. That's how we can relate one to another.

So, here's what's on my mind today, relationship-wise: Sometimes my girlfriend Sweet and I have arguments. You got me! We do! And if you follow me on twitter, you already get to hear all about them. LOL

But there are some arguments, even some conversations, that are just too hard to handle. There are places you and I and she and everybody knows, "I just can't go there." There are some things you can't talk about, even with the person closest to you. Maybe it's just in the moment. Maybe the moment will last for years. Either way, as a partner, one must be respectful of the other's wish for psychic and emotional space.

Sweet pushes me. Oh, does she ever! She has this constant need and desire to be right inside my head. I remember, after our very first date, thinking to myself, "Why does she need to know what I'm thinking at every moment?"

And now, finally, after all that build-up, I get to the topic of today's musings:

I'm not a BDSM practitioner (sorry to disappoint) but I do know a lot of people who live the BDSM lifestyle or work as professionals in the community. You know one thing I admire most about BDSM practitioners? They have safewords.

Says Wikipedia,
A safeword is a codeword or series of codewords that are sometimes used in BDSM for a submissive (or "bottom") to unambiguously communicate their physical or emotional state to a dominant (or "top"), typically when approaching, or crossing, a physical, emotional, or moral boundary. Some safewords are used to stop the scene outright, while others can communicate a willingness to continue, but at a reduced level of intensity.
So here's my idea to save my sanity (and yours too, if you're interested in retaining it): Emotional Safewords! A word partners can introduce when they arrive at a boundary in argument or conversation to bring the discussion to an immediate close.

Is it just me, or is this a kick-ass relationship idea? Is it juvenile? I need some feedback on this one. I shared the idea with Sweet, of course, and she looked at me funny before saying, "Sure, we can try it, but..." (The "but" part went on and on. I won't bore you)

Sweet's main concern is that I'll overuse our safeword. And, hell, that's a fair assessment on her part. I did mention she lives inside my head, right? She knows me pretty damn well. Even so, I think my emotional safeword idea deserves a chance.

"There's a difference between discomfort and pain," Sweet said at one point.

What comment could more perfectly draw us back to BDSM? Yes, there is a difference between discomfort and pain. That's where trust comes into the conversation. BDSM play requires an incredible amount of trust. Romantic relationships involve an incredible amount of trust. In order for my emotional safeword idea to work, Sweet and I need to trust that neither will use the word unless we're at a breaking point. It can't be used frivolously.

So, it's decided: I want to try out this emotional safeword idea and Sweet's willing to give it a go. Now all we need is a WORD! Sweet pitched Rumpelstiltskin, but--sorry, babe--I don't think so.

Many of this blog's readers are writers too. You know lots of words, right? I'm in need. What should Sweet and I use as our emotional safeword?

Giselle Renarde
Canada just got hotter!

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