Y is for yellow, and it also for one of the colors used almost globally during BDSM play. Yellow, though not often heard about or used in fiction BDSM books is important, and so is knowing how your partner feels when they answer “yellow” when asked what color they are feeling.
There are many people who don’t feel a ‘true’ submissive or slave needs a safe word, many dominants who believe that having a safe word shows a lack of trust in their bottom. I’m not going to go into all of the reasons why I do believe in safe words, but I will say that I use the color code system EVERY TIME I play with a new partner.
This is not because I don’t have faith in my ability to read someone.
This is not because I want to be able to push my bottom or submissive to their limit and just beyond.
This has nothing to do with pride or faith in those I play with.
It’s about being safe. Red means stop right this very minute. In my years of playing I have only had two people ever call red. Neither time was predictable, and during both times I would never have guessed that red was going to come out of their mouths. Both were better described as flukes. That is neither here nor there though, and this post isn’t about red, it’s about yellow, and yellow is the outcome I want to achieve most often with a partner.
Let’s clarify here. With a new partner I will frequently ask, “Color?” To which the bottom is to reply green, yellow, or red. This is a tremendous help when a partner is new and I don’t know their body language real well. It is a quick 2 second check in that gives me instant feedback. If someone has never experienced a certain kind of play, they themselves will not really know how they will respond. The quick question of color makes them focus for just a moment on how they are enjoying, or maybe not enjoying what is being done to them.
Green = This is great and wonderful, and I love this, please give me more.
Yellow = I like this and can keep on with this, but I don’t do it any harder, faster, zappier, etc. I often have people tell me later that they were beginning to feel they might be peaking in tolerance just when I ask what color they are feeling. They are safe, they are liking what is being done, they want more, only not more as in harder, more as in let’s keep on playing but know that was getting close to my limit.
Red = Stop. Stop right now. Something is wrong either in my head or on my body. I want to take back my consent if only for a little while. Please note: Red should always be respected. To ignore red is to be doing something that has become non-consensual. You have no right to do that to someone, and they should never be made to feel anything but accepted and cared for when they say red.
So yellow is important. It means yield, it means slow down, it means this is still okay but not as okay when green, green, green was spilling from my lips. Always discuss your safe word in pre play negotiation. If the person you are playing with doesn’t respect ‘yellow’ it is probably time to call red and stop the scene. Your body, your right, and yes, I believe even a slave should have the right to a safe word.
Things happen, weird things we may not be expecting at all, but that makes us just plain flip out or hit our tolerance limit. As a good dominant or top, it is my job to keep an eye on my play partner. I need to check in and I need to keep very careful track of their body by touch, sound, and sight. As a bottom or submissive, it is your job to negotiate beforehand and to bring things back into focus long enough when asked, to tell the person who is doing things that can be dangerous to your body if things are still greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.
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That is exactly why a color system is important. It covers the unknown and the unexpected. I was doing electrical play with a woman friend last summer. She was enjoying it very much. I was mixing things up with using the body pad so implements and my hands would be electric. All of a sudden when I went over a place in her back she called red. it was a place I had touched many times during that play session and had been green all the way. The area was suddenly super sensitive. I think it must have absorbed too much energy.
We finished with my avoiding that particular area and all was well.
I would never play without a color system.
With my spouse, I have never had to call a color other than double-green, which means harder.
However, one time we went over the top, and I ended up in the ER after my heart went into fibrillation. (I have a congenital heart condition, not due to old age, one that killed my aunt at age thirty-three.) During our play, I felt perfectly fine, for I have thick skin and high pain tolerance. Unfortunately, I had absorbed too much energy, and my heart didn’t like it.
Thanks for commenting Etta, I’m happy you found the information interesting. The most important thing is good communication before any play whether you’re a top or a bottom.
That was a really interesting post. It was to great to hear the viewpoint ftom the top’s perspective.