This will be my last, last post in my beginner’s section of my workshop. I know I’ve sort of said as much before, but then it occurred to me a few days ago that I’d mentioned RACK in a post, but haven’t actually written anything about the oh so important SSC, RACK and YKINMK(YKIOK) – do you forgive my humble self, my darlings?
These three, like trust and communication, are so vitally important to BDSM. One of the things that are vital in all BDSM scenes is consent. If your partner doesn’t consent, it’s abuse. Period. No ifs or buts about it.
The foremost and most popular abbreviation is SSC, which stands for Safe, Safe & Consensual. To understand why this abbreviation is sometimes met with some skepticism, let us break down those components:
Safe- One person might not think piercing the flesh with a needle is safe, but if the performing partner understands hygiene and first aid, then what is the problem? Safety requires that needs (such as hygiene or a quick way out of restraints) be met, play is discussed beforehand and safewords are respected. If these requirements are met, then the scene can reasonably be regarded as safe.
Sane- Sane often gets confused in BDSM play. “Sane” does not refer to the fact that some Dominants might seem a touch too crazy (sadists with a great sense of humour – my favourite kind!), but the fact that all parties are alert and able to form a clear, conscious and informed decision on an activity. Sadly, through years of misuse, “sane” has begun to mean that we can regard an idea or suggestion as “insane” based simply on it’s extremity, putting us into kink-shaming territory. Even if they usually considered to be extreme edgeplay, mock hanging scenes do exist.
Consensual- This perhaps is the most easy part to agree. If both parties have agreed to participate, then both parties have given their consent. This perhaps is the only part of SSC that isn’t disputed.
Following the struggles with SSC, many kinksters, ourselves included, preferred to adopt RACK – Risk Aware Consensual Kink. That doesn’t mean that we forego safety, but it does mean that there is less dispute over whether an activity is safe or sane. We can think about the risks, find ways to overcome them and then decide if we want to proceed or not. However, I would not advise anyone to consider a RACK scene with a partner that you have only just met, as RACK requires an extensive amount of trust and communication from both parties.
YKINMK(YKIOK) is probably the longest abbreviation in BDSM, and is really about kink-shaming. YKINMK(YKIOK) stands for Your Kink Is Not My Kink (Your Kink Is OK). What this means to say is that, although we don’t share the same kink as someone else, we won’t judge them for it. Just because someone is into something you might find really strange or weird doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with them. Just remember this little American Dad tune:
Kink-shaming is cruel, hurtful and unnecessary. Having been kink-shamed before, I know first-hand how alienating it can be. Remember YKINMK(YKIOK), and just as importantly, remember that your kink really is okay – whatever your kink may be!
Stay safe and have fun out there, people!
Hugs & kinky cuddles,