I want to start by sharing a conversation between a beta reader and myself when I asked her for a suggestion of a BDSM practice/activity/philosophy that she'd like to know more about- she's not personally into BDSM, so much of our conversation about it, especially in terms of my writing, is a practice in education for me.
So Wikipedia.org gives us a nice encyclopedic article to start considering safewords. I'm happy to see that the author(s) mentioned both "safe, sane, and consensual" and "risk aware consensual kink" philosophies. It also answers my BR's "how that works" part quite succinctly. It was interesting in the conversation that continued past the part I'm sharing, I found myself explaining about how they work by saying why they don't work well for me.
Yes, this made me laugh out loud, but there are good points within the tongue-in-cheek 13 suggestions in this article. Never having used safewords regularly, it's mostly just a laugh.
And we get to some of why I don't use safewords and importantly why The Queen doesn't generally. I don't "play" in public play spaces generally. Usually by law or by custom- with law being a bigger deterrent- sexual intercourse cannot happen during BDSM activities in public play spaces. As I don't want my BDSM separated from a loving relationship, I don't care to have it separated from genital-based sexuality. I've said in other posts about how I was always looking for a Master and Mistress- I didn't just want casual play. I'm sure there's been times I've put myself at risk not wanting to use safewords. I can comment on how things progressed with my Master best- after all, He's been the only person I've engaged in BDSM activities with in about 13 years now. For us, things started out as vanilla (although polyamorous) sex at first; in fact, I was so shy on meeting Him that my then-husband told Him "My wife wants to have sex with you." After a few weeks of sex (I think, remember my memory of that time is unfortunately fuzzy because of several negative factors), I said "the M word." LOL, my ridiculous ex... in a heated moment during sex, I called my Master "Master" and ex felt the need to say "You know what that means." As if my Master didn't realize I was begging His collar in the only way I knew how at that moment. At this point, I should have said something; see, my Master had never really had a serious BDSM relationship before while I had years experience. But I trusted Him. Yes, I can hear The Queen saying "Justifications!" :D And the thing is, the whole "No no no! Ouch!" game that articles like the second one joke about, that's never been a thing for me. If I actually say "ow," like in the case of our struggles getting me to relax for the anal sex we both love, I'm really saying ow and my Master takes it as "I need to stop and find out what's wrong." However, I know I'm guilty of that very "pushing myself hard not to say anything is wrong even when it's wrong." In part because I have this tendency, my Master has learned to read body language that I can't really fake.
Now with The Queen, there's holes in what you see in Vala's Story. Even the twins, Adan and Ailin, he's already had for months before Vala gets to meet the stable- with the exceptions of Tommy and Simon, of course. Of course, if you've been following my Tuesday series, you've caught the special "in the loft" series. These however are "extra novel" stories- I don't plan to make another edition of "Out of the Night: Book One" to include these stories; Vala wanted to summarize her recovery and time in the loft. But if you aren't paying attention to her, you might miss the fact that she's stolen 6 months of time! That's 6 months of time when The Queen, Simon, and Tommy are the main people Mearr/Vala sees. While she isn't a captive, that type of closeness is going to breed a level of trust that negates the need (as The Queen sees it) for a safeword. And yes, as I've been writing this post, I've repeatedly taken my copy of the print edition of "Out of the Night: Book One" down from the shelf to consider different things. One thing I specifically noticed is before the scene where The Queen and Vala first engage in an active BDSM scene, it's obvious from their conversation beforehand that they've talked about BDSM, quite a bit if you consider some of his comments.