Safe, sane, and consensual

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Safe, sane and consensual (SSC) is one of several phrases used by a large section of the BDSM and bondage communities to describe themselves and their philosophies who regard SSC to be a watchword for safety.

The principles are that BDSM activities should be:

  • safe: attempts should be made to identify and prevent risks to health
  • sane: activities should be undertaken in a sane and sensible cast of mind
  • consensual: all activities should involve the full informed consent of all parties involved

Other people in the BDSM community do not consider SSC to be an accurate term for these relationships/activities. The term Risk Aware Consensual Kink has been gaining popularity as a substitute description.

For those who dissent, issues generally arise from the subjective nature of each term in SSC and the problems this creates both within and outside the community when using the term as a yardstick to evaluate activities.

Most attribute the term to David Stein, who coined it in 1984 for GMSMA. More information can be found in the essay titled Safe Sane Consensual: The Evolution of a Shibboleth.

See also

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