Safe, sane and consensual. That phrase gets thrown around a lot amongst kinksters. There is no doubt of its importance to me, as evident in the subpage I dedicate to the topic on my site. I have heard others say that the entire concept is flawed, based upon the false assumption that BDSM play should or even can be these things. "It's about losing control, not keeping things sane," said a long-time player.
Indeed, the energies unleashed in a scene can be frenzied and extremely powerful. I like to think of it as controlled chaos. Bottling up the essence of the dark furies and dancing with it for a few brief moments. The most common word used by submissives immediately after they have been topped by me is "intense." That's how I like it most of the time. Driving, urgent and unpredictable. It's a wild ride!
As for safety, this is of the utmost importance to me. When one embarks on certain activities there are always issues with which to be concerned. That is why the link on my homepage adds the word aware to the phrase: "Safe, Sane, Consensual and Aware." Awareness of what one is getting into at all times is key. And isn't it so much more comfortable when one can rest easy knowing that the highest degree of safety measures were employed? Then it's pleasure without the guilt. No matter how mean or nasty the scene turns, there must always be control on this level.
Consensuality is the most charged issue. We roleplay resistance. The slave pretends to not want to be subjugated and invaded, made to bow down like a dog or take it like a slut. The very idea of violating one's boundaries -- and thereby one's sense of egoic self -- arouses with the strength of the transgression. Yet the difference between fantasy and reality are worlds apart.
On occasion, I receive emails from someone who describes a seemingly unhealthy real-life situation of humiliation, degradation, cuckoldry and the like. Naturally, they are aroused by such victimization as well as ashamed and confused. I counsel these seekers to ensure that they surround themselves with caring individuals and protect themselves against nonconsensual exploitation.
Just because something turns you on doesn't mean it is right or good. There are so many ethical ways to have fun and get your jollies, why resort to preying or being preyed upon? It's been said more than a few times that if more people engaged in safe, sane, consensual power play there would probably be a lot less domestic violence and messy relationships. Now I'm sure that sounds like complete absurdity to lifestyle conservatives, but I tend to think it would be true.