No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 18 – SSC and RACK
Gandhi said that if you want to change the world, you have to be the change you want to see. To that end, Insatiable Desire brings you No Stupid (Kink) Questions, a series of questions asked by novice kinksters around the web. If you have a question for us, leave it in comments, or send it to rayne (at) insatiabledesire (dot) com with “NS(K)Q” in the subject.
I was researching this thing you do (and that I want to do) and I keep coming up with these two acronyms. What do they mean?
SSC – Safe, Sane, Consensual
Just like everything else in the kink community, this acronym is translated a number of different ways.
Obviously, “safe” means you approach kinky activities with a “safety first” attitude. This means when you tie someone up, you’ve got safety scissors nearby in case you need to cut them out in a hurry. If you’re playing with fire, you keep water, sand, and a fire extinguisher next to you at all times. If you’re into blood letting, there are always bandages, rubbing alcohol, antibacterial soap, and gloves in use.
Some also define this as a person only engaging in activities that are considered to be safe BDSM practices. Which, for some, means no blood letting, no fire play, no breath play, etc.
“Sane” means the people involved are in their right mind before, during, and after the play session. Some also take this to mean the activities they participate in are considered “sane”. So, again, often this means no blood letting, no fire play, no breath play, etc.
“Consensual” is easy. This means you get permission before you do anything with or to the person you’re playing with. It’s the cornerstone of the whole BDSM gig.
RACK – Risk-Aware Consensual Kink
Some folks looked at SSC and went, “Whoa, wait a second. Very little of the shit we do is safe, and most ‘normal’ folks would tell us we’re absolutely insane. SSC doesn’t really fit.” And so RACK was born.
And I mean, they’re right. Take all the precautions you want. The fact remains that most kinky activities are not safe, by any stretch of the imagination. Accidents happen. People get hurt. Hell, Midori, who is (was? I guess it depends on who you talk to) considered an expert in BDSM and rigging, dropped someone during a suspension session some time around the time I took over SexIs. The person she dropped was pretty badly injured, mentally and physically.
But let’s say you’re Captain Safety. You always quadruple check any load bearing knots, keep all the suggested safety items at hand, make sure there’s at least one third party to help you if there’s an emergency that requires quick release…it doesn’t matter. Shit happens. I’ve seen people involved in cupping get the flame too close to the alcohol. I’ve seen people miscalculate how deeply they’re cutting someone. I’ve seen shoulders dislocated, bones (especially ribs and fingers) broken, people die.
Yes. Die. You don’t really think all those accidental kink-related deaths are just murders in disguise, do you? Some of them are cases of novice kinksters or bedroom dabblers not understanding how the body works, misreading cues, not practicing safe methods of communication, not knowing their own limits…the list of potential mistakes goes on and on.
Unlike SSC, RACK covers pretty much all the kinks, provided you’ve actually done the research to back up your claim. It doesn’t limit you to only things that are relatively safe, or considered sane by all. It allows you to explore your darkest, edgiest desires without feeling like you’ve just broken some BDSM moral code. It does this because “risk-aware” means you know what the fuck you’re doing.
No, I don’t mean you’re an expert. You don’t get to be an expert until you’ve practiced something over and over. But you have researched it from top to bottom, learning about all the risks involved and how to avoid them, and, most importantly, you use what you’ve learned in your play sessions.
Consensual means the same thing it does in SSC, and we all know what kink is.