Vancouver
2 min

The gifts of the kinky

How Canadian society could benefit from the BDSM community

There are two things about the BDSM community – apart from the snappy leather outfits – that I’m positive everyone in the larger Canadian society could benefit from. I’m so darn sure of this that I’d like you to clip this article and give it to some non-kinky person.

First, the safeword. Safewords, or safety words, are all about clearly signaling consent. The kinky things we do may look scary but every player has a word-mercy, or red light, or just plain safeword-which if spoken stops the scene, and everyone gets all earnest with I’m-okay-you’re-okay.

Now, what would this look like in the outside world? For one thing, all those fights with your mother-in-law could be stopped dead. “Safeword! I’m safewording!” you’ll cry. “I can’t hear one more time that your son should have married a rich man instead of me, a struggling interior designer!” And that’ll be that.

There’s a social safeword I set up with extra-shy friends at leather events. If they acquire a creepy would-be-suitor, they can mention butterscotch to me, and I will arrange for the friend to be urgently needed elsewhere.

Think how useful this type of safeword would be for non-leatherfolk on that holiday visit home, when Uncle Bob has too much eggnog and insists on talking to you about politics and religion. Right-wing politics and born-again religion. Hey Mom! Butterscotch! Butterscotch!

The safecall is the second thing that all Canadians should consider adopting. Safecalls are a common custom of leatherfolk on a first date. We set up a mid-date time to call a friend, telling them that the date is going fine and the new lover is perhaps not a sociopath.

The key is to leave information about your trick and your dating plans with your responsible person, plus the action plan in case you don’t call. Also-this part’s important-you must remember to call at the proper time, lest the police arrive and find you tied up, covered in mashed bananas, and just starting to hit the high notes.

Now while safecalls are obviously sensible precautions for all kinky and non-kinky folks who are actively dating, we mustn’t miss the greater practical applications. Going to a friend’s toddler’s birthday party? All that ice cream could be dangerous, so set up a safecall. Visiting a friend who co-incidentally has a new litter of cute malamute puppies, and you live in a bachelor apartment in the West End? Set up a safecall. Relatives in town? Safecall.

I firmly believe that these two simple gifts to the outside world can lessen angst, make communication clearer, and strengthen the bonds of community. Pass it on. From the leatherfolk to you. You’re welcome.