Safe Words and Marital Spanking

I believe in basic safety when practicing discipline. However I am not a big supporter of the use of the “safe word.” The safe word, which is ubiquitous in the bdsm world, and which can be found less commonly in marital spanking, is a word a wife can say if a spanking is getting too difficult for her. A safe word is something very different from “no” or “please stop,” since she may say these words, or cry them many times, and her husband will continue anyway. The safe word is an emergency word that lets him know, for real, that things are too heavy for her, and he will stop when he hears her say it. It might be a word like “pickles” or a similar short phrase, that has little to do with spanking.

The reason safe words are so common in bdsm comes down to several factors. Number one, this practice usually aims for a more extreme form of punishment than spanking, which may at times become injurious. It also tends to emphasize giving or receiving peaks of pain, and taking your pain limits to a new level. So obviously, when pain is intentionally maximized, and real injuries can occur, the safe word sounds attractive. Add to this that most in bdsm have the recipient of a whipping strapped down, and unable to move, and the safe word becomes the only way our from what may be or become a horrific situation. I fully understand its use in these circumstances.

I do not find a safe word necessary in marital spanking, although if you find it useful go ahead and try it. Marital spanking aims to give a thorough punishment, one that fits the crime, but usually does not aim to the extreme forms of whippings. Nor does it emphasize maximizing pain that you can possibly give or possibly receive. Few in marital discipline practice bondage, so if a wife felt completely beyond her limits, or got very scared, there would be no chains holding her down, though sometimes her husband would. For all of these factors, I see minimal use for the safe word in spanking your wife.

In many years of receiving discipline from me, my wife has only gotten up from her position two times because the heat got too hot. In both of these occasions she understood her error, and later returned to her punishment position to receive the strapping she deserved. Otherwise, she has been very well disciplined, and has taken a few very difficult punishments without more than a little squirming. Nearly any woman can do this, although it takes full acceptance of her man’s authority and of her punishment. If her heart is with her man, only the rarest occasion would cause her to leap out of position.

This is one of many reasons I believe simple wife spanking is superior to bdsm practices. The wife knows she needs to accept punishment. She knows there is no out. If there were a special word to say to stop the spanking, many wives would use it to interrupt or end her own discipline session. This would negatively affect both her discipline and her training in general. I’d categorize it as simple rebellion. As it is, nearly all wives understand that when their husband disciplines them, they will have to bear it, and the difficulty of bearing it is why it’s called a punishment. If it were easy, it would not be much of a punishment for her bad behavior. Her spanking is going to hurt. She will learn to receive it, even if she prays it is over, and even if it gets fiery hot back there. If my wife, who has received corporal punishments well over a hundred times, can bear it but for two times, then other wives can do the same.

Another thing to consider, is that since this is not a mechanistic practice, and because there are two thinking people involved, when a wife truly finds it hard to bear, she can ask him to please stop, or tell him it is too much for her. I don’t think most husbands will stop, but they may put a pause in it, and let her have a rest. Take her hand for a while. Sometimes it is more her fear than the pain itself. She just needs reassurance. A considerate husband will give his wife a breather during the harder moments. If my wife is starting to wail, I will touch her softly, and stroke her, and talk to her for a moment. I tell her I love her, and I care about the best for her, and am taking care of a problem. Then I will continue.

Entering discipline in general requires a great deal of trust. Yet that is trust you should have to begin with for your spouse. It is trust they will lead you rightly in marriage, and be careful with you in discipline. It is trust they know not to injure you. We have the same kind of trust when we trust our spouse to be sincere in their faith, and faithful to us in marriage. We turn something over to them that we don’t have control over. That is at the core of a wife being able to put herself under her man’s authority and accept his discipline in the first place, and it functions in other arenas as well. The idea of a safe word, in a sense, shows you don’t’ have all that much trust in your head. It is best for him to finish his discipline and be thorough with you, even when it hurts.


14 responses to “Safe Words and Marital Spanking”

  1. This certainly reiterates the need to truly know the spouse. He makes final decisions but her needs must be considered. And no one can say exactly this needs to be done for another’s spouse. Although her father would have a valuable opinion. I don’t know if you’ve discussed consulting with the parents at the time of the wedding preparations.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, I agree. The man is in control, and also takes seriously the needs of his wife. There is definitely room for variety in how wife spanking is practiced. In past times it would be normal for parents to understand that a daughter could be spanked by her husband when she got married, but today, I believe there are few in the West who would discuss it openly with the father. I would have had no problem doing so before my marriage if I knew that he respected the practice. I would think he’d have useful insight.

      As a father myself, all I would want to know is that the man is loving, responsible, and uses self-control. In that case I would trust his hand in the discipline of my daughter. If she was refusing to submit to him, I would be the first person he could call for help. A lack of firm authority by husbands in this culture is sadly partnered with a lack of firm authority by fathers. The two need to go together.

      1. I’m just curious to how you would handle a situation like this with an adult daughter who was refusing to submit to her husband. Of course, I feel like I would do nearly anything for my father now that he is gone and I miss him terribly, but I’m not sure I would have felt the same at the height of my resentment towards submission.

        1. Hello Lauren, If I had a married daughter who was not submitting to her husband, I would speak to her personally and tell her that she needs to submit to him, which of course she would already know. I would also let both her and her husband know that discipline is an option to correct a wife who behaves that way.

  2. Domestic Discipline in marriage is not BSDM. The use of safe word would mean a wife had a veto over how severely she can be punished by her husband. A wife’s duty is to submit, not dispute. This isn’t to say that a responsible and caring HOH should not be alert to the danger of being too severe. In fact, during a punishment this concern must at the very top of his list of concerns. One of our daughters is in a marriage where she is subject to spankings. I spent a lot of time with our son in law before they were married to satisfy myself that he would be responsible, fair and effective in his discipline of her. She is our middle daughter and proved to be a little more high maintenance than her sisters, so I knew that at first it was likely that our son in law would have his hands full. This proved to be the case and a few times I had to become involved in some of their issues. But I knew her upbringing would kick in sooner or later and I was not wrong. I think it very important that a new Husband has a mentor who can guide him in the proper discipline of his young wife. When a young girl leaves a home with strict rules and very certain consequences for disobedience , she sometimes thinks that now, as a married women , she has much more freedom. It is the duty of her husband to teach her otherwise and to enforce her submission to his authority,.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree completely. A wife needs to accept and learn from her punishment, and should not try to stop it. That’s counterproductive. A husband does his role by making sure the punishment is appropriate, and firm, but not to the extreme. I don’t fault couples who choose to use the safe word, as there is much variety in how wife spanking is practiced, But I view it as a crutch, and a likely hindrance.

  3. […] but specifically aiming for extremely high pain, often increasing the level. This is why “safe words” are common in the BDSM world, as it gives a special word the submissive can use to end an […]

  4. […] Part 1 of this topic covers: Counting Strokes, Journaling, Pleasure Denial and Control, Back Door Training, and Safe Words […]

  5. Auntie Beth Avatar
    Auntie Beth

    I would have to disagree and say that a “safe word” is essential for the safety of the couple but it’s purpose should be understood. It is not to stop a punishment if the spankee considers it too painful but to allow a mandatory break in order to evaluate and/or/ reposition or discuss or “cool down” .The fact that the wife has one and does not use it shows indirectly her consent which is important legally. It also can be used if their is being pressure placed on the diaphragm, trouble breathing, nausea or vomiting, problems from positioning such as back pain, shoulder pain, etc. It can bring about a temporary break for physical evaluation as well as to evaluate the emotional state of the husband for being out of control angry or of the wife if a panic attack is a problem, breathing is compromised from asthma or pressure on the diaphragm, If a spanking has rapidly commenced their may be missing information or misunderstandings and this creates a mandatory break to discuss that. Ideally, these things should be addressed prior to the punishment but let’s face it….husbands (and parents) are fallible and can error in understanding as well as their losing emotional control. This does not mean that the discipline cannot be resumed after clarification, or adequate time to cool down. If the discipline is truly out of love and for the improvement of spankee, this should not be cause for resentment on the part of the husband but seen as a safeguard. It should also not be used frivolously or merely to delay a spanking but should be a rarity. If is used frivolously that should be calmly addressed as it loses it’s effectiveness and interferes with trust. I had a wonderful, loving and usually gentle father but never the less suffered a belt spanking for something he thought I said but he didn’t hear adequately which was verified by my sibling afterward. I was also punished to the point of significant bruising for something else I didn’t do by my a parent and received a number of spankings which I felt were not for legitimate reasons but done out of anger. This can (and did) lead to long lasting anger and resentment against that parent and in the case of a spouse could also occur with very negative results for the relationship. Both children and wives are abused in our society because a parent or spouse loses control in delivering correction and the fact one is a Christian does not exempt one from the possibility of their being fallible in this way. Even when not out of control injuries can occur without great care. I know of one child who had a fractured arm from trying to block a paddle and one teen who suffered a fractured tailbone with weeks of suffering from a yardstick spanking delivered too severely and the parents were both good. well meaning people. As a nurse I have also seen acute kidney failure result from the initiation paddling of an athletic and muscular adult man, Chemicals are released in response to muscle damage which would result from any paddling and even from a hand spanking but when too many are released for the kidney to clear at a time as in a hard paddling they can block the tubules in a kidney causing damage. A more common injury can occur when the sciatic nerve in the buttock is permanently injured either from a direct blow which creates bruising and scarring around it. Even a moderate spanking which causes some swelling in muscles of the buttock can indirectly cause compression of this nerve with severe pain which can become permanent in persons with a narrow space between muscles for the nerve to pass through can have this happen from compressing and sometimes permanently damaging the nerve or from the formation of scar tissue around it causing compression. Remember that nerves cannot be visualized externally and their are very delicate ones in the buttock area. These injuries as well as severe contusions which can take months to heal or become infected are more likely to occur when a wooden paddle or heavy strap is used in a child or small or thin adult with little “padding” or when an area such as the sit spots or back of the thigh is struck where their is little padding and both force and repetition in these areas if used may need to be greatly reduced. If the wife seems in more pain than is usual these are things which should be evaluated before continuing. Any significant external bruising could be a red flag of more serious injury underneath or result in contusions in the muscle causing weeks to heal and a spanking of that severity should be avoided and is unlikely to really be necessary in my opinion. The same is true for one which causes swelling of the buttock. It should also be remembered that many women report less pain tolerance around the time of menses and all individuals who suffer chronic pain will feel pain more intensely. We also know from a special type of MRI that females feel more intense pain from the same pain stimulus then their male counterparts so evaluating the pain an instrument causes on your own thigh is inadequate to establish the pain your wife or daughter will feel and attempting to deliver the same number and intensity of strokes to a male and female child for a punishment to be fair is actually not fair. In addition, women literally have thinner skin then their male counterparts and can more easily suffer injury. The only thing I will say regarding a belt, or other instrument used hard enough for significant welts or blisters is that it is an interruption in skin integrity and can always lead to infection though generally safer then a heavy paddle.

    1. Thank you for the detailed medical advice. There are certainly dangers when spanking is practiced without caution or care, especially if an instrument is used. However, if the concern is simply that a woman may need a breather, or that she begins to suffer a medical problem, this does not actually require a safe word to accomplish. Simply explaining to her husband what is going on will do the job. True, there are husbands who might ignore that, but there are husbands who might ignore a safe word as well. So I find that a simple explanation is all that is necessary to raise alarm about possible injury. A safe word I believe will be abused if it is permitted. I’ve spanked my wife for many year, and practiced spanking before marriage, and cannot think of a time it was truly necessary.

  6. Auntiebeth Avatar

    Obviously you and your spouse know one another well and feel you are in tune enough with one another to know if something is seriously wrong and likewise, your wife has a lot of trust in your judgement and you are likely fine without one safe words or better yet both a word or gesture for safety when talking isn’t possible. . I understand that psychologically, some DD or CDD participants say it doesn’t feel “real” enough with a safe word but please consider that you are giving advice to a number of people who may not be so attuned with one another and may be inexperienced in general or at least with that partner. During a fast hard spanking it can be difficult to impossible to get words out let alone an entire sentence and with severe pain one can literally lose the ability to scream or talk (it has happened to me from severe trauma) . You express a belief that marital spanking is much less severe then BDSM for which these words were created but with some of the descriptions (unless they are dramatized) on this site and other similar ones of spankings given they are sometimes as severe or more so then those described by BDSM practitioners. In fact I would be very surprised if some of those described did not cause significant or even ongoing problems physically or psychologically and I suspect some of these women would be extremely reluctant to complain or explain or even tell their spouse of the extent of their suffering for worry of being considered not submissive enough or having a “bad attitude” if they did. I would be very curious in seeing an anonymous survey in which the participants are asked if they have ever suffered an injury from a spanking beyond a red sore bottom for a few days (possibly with a few small insignificant bruises) with an adult spanking, been punished unjustly because of not being allowed to present their side of things or suffered panic attacks or a period of depression from these spankings along with as much detail as they wish to add. I don’t say this to discourage the careful practice of CP in marriage which seems to offer many advantages but to urge an educated caution.

    1. AuntieBeth, No, I do not have any kind of special and unique trust with my wife that lifts us up above ordinary married couples. We just have the kind of trust that comes with being married, sharing a life together, being intimate emotionally and physically, and practicing discipline. It’s the norm that comes with most couples’ marriages. Trust is always required, including with discipline. The fact that spanking is unpleasant, that the mind wants it to end, that the person receiving it may not know when it will end, is all covered under trust, both in the husband and in God.

      I have not read anything that would make me think that the norm in marital spanking is anything like bdsm. Perhaps the exception is, but not the norm. That observation is not only from personal experience, but from years of being on forums and groups online. Extreme practices are a rarity in domestic discipline, as are serious injuries.

      Moreover, I have addressed the concerns you bring up in my article. No spanking is easy to bear. If a couple brings in “safe words” to stop a spanking, they can just be abused at any time. Discipline gets undermined. With discipline, authority gets undermined. A spanking that a wife wishes to end may inspire her to use it, even though there is no real harm being done. She just doesn’t like the experience.

      Besides, the basic point of the safe word — to prevent going to extremes — is simply covered by the fact a wife can speak to her husband and ask for a rest if she needs one. Many husbands are willing to give a wife a moment of pause, and to tenderly encourage her to bear it. If she really could not take it, she may also physically get out of the way. One of the reasons safe words are so common in bdsm, is both the extreme nature of some punishments, and the use of restraints. The average household in which wives are spanked does not include those things.

      A wife should know she is able to bear the punishment her husband gives her, as do millions of wives, with little more injury than a few bruises, and a raw behind the next day. It’s not that hard, even if it feels terrible temporarily. The desire for it to end is natural, and it surely will end. If a wife ever gets injured, you can be sure it is the rare exception, and not related to normal practice.

      Besides, if we are hypothesizing some heartless man, who could care less about causing injury or going overboard, that’s the same kind of person who would ignore the safe word to begin with. It’s not going to do any good with a psychopath anyway.

      I understand the near universal use of safe words (or safe symbols for the gagged) in bdsm. I see no use of the in wife spanking, and I have been doing it many years. A woman should take the spanking she is given, without resisting, or trying to end it. That acceptance of the spanking is part and parcel of the acceptance of the lesson she is receiving, and of submission to her husband. She is not in control of her punishment.

  7. A caring husband is attuned to well being of his wife during her punishment. A wife is a gift God gives to a man to serve him and create a family. His concern for her well being is unconditional. Let us not forget that a wife’s punishment itself is in the interest in her well being. God’s gift does not come without obligations. In my opinion, in a true Christian marriage , God expects a husband to properly train his wife in a way that helps her grow in her submission , a husband who fails in this duty is an affront to God. I think God holds the Husband more accountable for a misbehaving wife than the wife herself. Therefore, the Husband must be in control of a wife’s correction, a safe word would undermine this. When I am forced to apply the strap to my wife’s behind I am very focused on her state of mind and physical reaction. Over time a husband becomes proficient in administering appropriate punishment at appropriate times, for appropriate reasons. This may not be true for young husbands at the beginning of a marriage. Because of this I think it would be helpful if the new husband is mentored by a responsible and experienced person. In an ideal world, this would be their pastor who could counsel the married couple on this and other issues. .

  8. We tried using safe words in the beginning. It was helpful while my husband learned how to use implements, my pain tolerance, and reading my acceptance of my wrongdoings. The safe word did not end the punishment. He let me have a few seconds to catch my breath and then resumed. But he also called me out for using them when I didn’t really need to. I finally told him I didn’t want to have that option anymore because my punishments were taking twice as long, and I wasn’t always feeling like I submitted to him afterwards. He agreed, but told me I still should be communicating with him during and after my punishments. Things truly did get better after we vetoed the safe words!

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