Some Advice for Your Son on Selecting a Safety Word for His Dominatrix

July 28, 2010

Chrysthanthemum means stop.

Now, Jason, I know you’ve probably got your own safety word in mind, something literary like Pickwick or Portia. I understand that you would mine the pages of fiction and drama for the word you’ll use someday-someday soon, perhaps-to get the dominatrix to cease from pulling on your testicles.

But I’d like you to consider a few things before you settle on a safety word.

Take, for instance, the use of a small word like grapes. Grapes is a fine safety word, and trust me the dominatrix will not judge you on your word choice. These are trained professionals who will humiliate you in whatever way you choose, but they will not police your morals or mock your fragile psychology-not unless you want them to. Now I get a lot of mileage out of having my rear-end burned with cigarettes, but that has more to do with your grandfather’s expectations of me to succeed in an Ivy League school. That’s a conversation for another day. Sometime after you’re a Princeton man we can unravel this strange ball of string that is our friendship.

Grapes. A small word. It will bring you quick relief, which is fine if that’s what you want from your dominatrix. Let’s set the scene: she’s slapping your hands with her love paddle and you say grape and she stops immediately. But once she’s stops, it’s over. Madame Corsica becomes Sally Pederson, divorced mother of two who obsesses over which Hamburger Helper to make for her kids. And there you are wearing nothing but your black socks. A horse bridle in your mouth.

Here’s my suggestion. And I realize that this probably has more to do with my fantasies, my desire for a transference of power with a leather-clad woman wearing my mother’s shade of lipstick, than it does with yours. Unless we share fantasies, which is not so uncommon among modern heterosexual males. That aside, you should pick a safety word for its elegance, for its musicality. Chrysanthemum, for example. Say it with me. Chrys-an-the-mum. Archipelago. Ar-chi-pel-a-go. The more syllables, the more time you have to come out of the fantasy.

Prolong the ending. That’s all I’m saying here, Jason.

I wasn’t going to do this, but I’m going to tell you my safety word. It’s Adirondack. That’s Adirondack singular. I’ve used it with several women over the past 14 years, and if you want to adopt it too, well, I’d be honored. No pressure, of course, you can strike out on your own with a word like harpsichord or consanguinity or, knowing my son the lit major, Raskolnikov.

Choose something that it clearly unambiguous. And choose something that will always rescue you when your nipples are being twisted past your comfort.

That’s all a father can say.

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