Have you ever been in one of those awkward sex situations where you’re not sure if you’re doing the right thing? You know, that time you were going down on someone and they made a noise but you couldn’t work out if it was a ‘I’m about to cum’ noise or a ‘that really hurts’ noise? Have you ever suddenly had that anxious mid-sex thought ‘but what if they’re not really enjoying this? What if I’m not doing it properly?’
Sex takes practice and because everyone is different it’s sometimes pretty tricky to work out how to please a new partner. Consent is a big deal too – how do you make sure you’re not doing anything your partner dislikes? Not everyone can speak up and say exactly what they do and don’t want. If you miss something in the moment, you risk hurting your partner. And even if you’re doing everything right, feeling anxious about you performance really gets in the way of enjoying yourself.
Luckily, there’s a great way to handle all these problems: traffic light safewords.
What are Safewords?
Safewords are code words that can be used at any time during an encounter (sexual or otherwise). They are most often used in kinky sex situations (for BDSM, D/S and S&M) but are gradually being used more and more in everyday sexy situations. And that’s a good thing, because safewords are a quick and easy way to find out whether your partner is having a good time.
The traffic light system uses three safewords:
- GREEN – means ‘I’m enjoying this’, ‘I’m ok with this’, ‘keep going’, etc. Hearing ‘green’ is a sign that you’re doing the right thing.
ORANGE – means ‘the specific thing we are doing right now needs to stop,’ ‘I’m approaching a limit,’ or ‘we need to adjust something.’ Orange doesn’t mean stopping everything, it just requires stopping or changing that specific activity.
RED – means ‘stop everything!’ When a red is called, all activity must cease.
How to Do It
Make sure everyone is on the same page. That means explaining the safewordsand making sure you both agree on their meaning. If you’re shy about explaining, why not show them this blog post?
Before you begin, say ‘Are we green?’ Your partner needs to reply ‘Green’ or ‘Yes, I’m green.’
Keep asking ‘Are we green?’ every few minutes throughout the session. If you hear ‘green’ in reply, you know you’re doing well. If your partner replies with an ‘orange’, ask for clarification so that you can make adjustments to what you’re doing. And of course if you hear a ‘red’ then it’s time to stop play completely and talk more to find out what they need. If your partner doesn’t reply, stop play. When you’re using traffic light safewords, not replying always means ‘stop.’
Make sure your partner asks too. Everyone involved in the encounter should ask ‘are we green?’ from time to time. It’s not one person’s job, it’s everyone’s job.
Want Better Sex? Safewords are Key
Unless you’re lucky enough to be psychic, it’s pretty much impossible to work out exactly how to please your partner. Humans are all different, and what they want will be different from moment to moment. The only way to know is to ask … and who wants to have a huge, detailed discussion right in the middle of sex?
Traffic light safewords are a way of finding out what pleases your partner. As you’re trying something, keep asking ‘are we green?’ Hearing ‘green’ will let you know that you’re doing the right thing. If there’s some aspect of your technique that needs to be adjusted, hearing ‘orange’ will alert you to that so that you can get more specific instruction from your partner. And if for any reason your partner needs to stop or take a break, ‘red’ will let you know immediately.
Knowing instead of guessing means that you’ll be able to give your partner exactly what they need.
But…Isn’t it Awkward?
A lot of folks worry that using safewords during sex will be awkward. It’s true that doing things a new way might feel a bit weird at first. But it’s amazing how quickly it starts to feel normal, if you give it a chance.
The best thing about ‘green’, ‘orange’ and ‘red’ is that they are short and to-the-point. Needing to stop sex and have a long conversation to explain that something has gone wrong can be really disruptive. Using a short safeword is faster … once you understand each other, you can spend more time concentrating on what you’re doing instead of stopping to have long discussions.
Taking the guesswork out of sex makes for a much better experience. Give it a go … and let me know what you think …