It’s the 4th of July, which equates to Independence Day here in the USA. The 1st of July was Canada Day. That’s a similar celebration without an armed revolution to motivate the festivities.
Of course, my thinking today is less about the holiday itself, and more about the tradition of telling folks to have a “safe and sane” 4th of July. Yes, the BDSM community motto has been taken over by the holiday safety police. Or perhaps, it’s vice versa. I’m honestly not sure which community used the phrase first.
My own memory seems to indicate that wishing folks a safe and sane 4th of July predated our community’s adaptation of the safe and sane motto. But, I’m also aware of the frailties of human memory. It’s easy to convince ourselves something happened a certain way, especially when it’s convenient for our own psyche and worldview.
Personally, I believe that “Safe, Sane and Consensual” is just as good a motto as “Risk Aware Consensual Kink”. Sanity and safety are both relative things. Personally, I find fire play and other edge play activities to be quite sane, but you wouldn’t find me becoming a snake handler.
Snakes bite, some of them include poison as a part of the bargain. To me, handling snakes is neither safe, nor is it really a sane activity in my book. Obviously though, your mileage may vary. Frankly, awareness is a relative thing too. What I consider to be informed and aware may or may not meet your personal standards.
The one word in both definitions that should be without room for interpretation is consent. Sadly, because the human condition is full of frailties and greed, so even a concept like consent is full of attempted interpretations designed to justify what is really nothing more than thinly disguised rape. It’s rare to met a submissive woman in our community who’s consent has not be violated. Stories of consent violations are rife within our community.
So please, have a safe and sane 4th of July. But always remember – Consent Matters!