While many keep their kink play within the realm of SSC or Safe Sane and Consensual activities, there comes a time within an intermediate or advanced player's practice where the realm of RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) can become alluring. Maybe you want to delve deeper into your sub space, or assert ownership over a human pet in a new way, but RACK puts more emphasis on informed consent around more advanced kink activities. With the right information and intent, one can bridge between these two stages of practice - straddling the familiar and the unknown. Here's our guide to different types of play involving SSC vs RACK.


A great way to begin exploring is through experimentation with tools or gear that invoke the more extreme of physical sensation, paired with implementation of basic safety protocol. It might feel boring or mundane to self-impose hard boundaries over the parameters of an entire scene, but the more controlled your environment, the more freedom allotted for exploring new sensations.

 

SSC vs RACK Explained

Tools that can leave marks can serve as excellent gateways into rougher (yet controlled) types of play, such as paddles, belts, knives, even teeth, and on the more creative end–abrasive rope. Learning how to leave semi-permanent marks is a great middle ground between standard impact play and drawing blood.

 

Knives

Knife play is almost always thought of as synonymous with blood play, but also regarding SSC vs RACK, knives can function very much on their own without drawing blood. On a fundamental level, knives can be used for their fear factor alone, and in many cases don't require contact with skin to achieve the desired reaction.

But when they do touch skin, they can do so without making a mess. Human skin has many layers (five in the epidermis alone), and it is possible to break several of them before breaching the dermis, which contains blood vessels and nerve endings. For perspective, skin is roughly 3mm at its thickest points on the body (such as the palms and back).

To prevent from splicing through too many layers, one can use the tip of a knife with its sharp side facing up. Choose a fatty surface of the body that has some pull (like the thigh) and start with a line or a scratch, to get the feel for how much pressure your bottom is comfortable with. Different people also have different levels of skin sensitivity, so gentle experimentation is encouraged to determine how much pressure is necessary to cause the upper level of the epidermis to tear, and for blood to blister beneath this layer. This causes the affected area to redden, and leaves a semi-permanent scar.

Even if the knife blade only scratches at the skin, a strike or spank to the affected area will rush the blood up to that portion of skin, coloring the mark red. Once comfort levels are established, the top can have some fun deciding what kinds of marks to make–from art to scratches. Initials are an easy way for your sub to remember who's boss whenever they get dressed or take a shower. (Marks like these glow red under hot water.)

 

Biting

It's difficult to leave bite scars without drawing blood. But with the help of a little technique, most of us learned in high school, you can garnish your partner(s) with bite marks.

This approach starts the same way anyone would leave a hickey (sucking on a thin portion of skin aggressively), but ends with grabbing the aggravated section of skin with your front teeth and tugging. The end result is an isolated hickey manifesting in a pearled line of teeth marks.

It is easiest to execute this on a thin layer of skin such as the neck, but if aggression is your aim then all other bodily surfaces are your canvas. With the added help of your teeth, you should be able to leave a mark anywhere.
 

Speckled Bruises

These small, scattered bruises take the form of reddish-purple dots - sometimes manifesting in a shaded cluster, other times displaying as individual polka dots with no colour between them. In the context of BDSM, they are often the result of impact play from a wide surface area, such as a paddle or hand. Speckled bruises can last up to a month or more, particularly if they are layered on top of each other (from multiple play sessions).

Force and efficiency are the keys to leaving this specific type of bruise. Impact aimed towards speckled bruising should be hard and fast. It's a subtle difference, but if you belt someone and don't pull away quickly enough, the impact will spread to a larger surface area, creating a regular sized bruise. The goal for this sort of impact play should not be to permeate the flesh but to whack it. The harder and deeper the blow, the more prone you are to developing a fully fleshed out bruise (pun intended). The faster and more momentum the strike has, the more likely it is to cause an immediate stinging sensation leading to speckled bruising.
 

Rope

While you can get rope burn from technically any rope, the best kind for the sake of masochism is a fiber that is more abrasive and threadbare, such as is used for nautical purposes. The threadiness and density make it ideal for causing minor to severe skin irritation through friction. Simply replacing natural or synthetic rope with something more fibrous in your regular bondage practice is a good place to start. If your partner is fussy in bondage, rash-like red marks will surely show on them after a session in nautical rope. Even if a bound person remains still, this rope will surely still leave scratch marks from minor abrasion.

Safe, Sane and Consensual: SSC vs RACK

 

How long do marks last?

Different kinds of marks have different lifespans. Anything left by a knife (even if it doesn't draw blood) leaves the potential for scarring. The best way to combat this is by diligently applying a medicated topical ointment such as Neosporin over the affected area. In the best case scenario, this will nearly fully erase the mark with possible residual discolouration.

Hickeys fade within a few days or a week, depending on how wide and deep the bruise. However, there are several home remedies for quickening the recovery process. An ice or a cold compress can be applied several times a day to reduce bleeding, and peppermint oil improves circulation which helps break up clotted blood. If a few hours have passed, rubbing alcohol has shown healing benefits for many.

If a person is bound tightly for any prolonged period of time, rope will typically leave a temporary impression in some places. Depending on their intensity, these marks tend to last no more than a day or two.
 

Legality

While most sex acts are protected under UK laws regarding consent (more so in Northern Ireland than elsewhere), it is within the authority of law enforcers to incriminate those who inflict harm unto another as Assault O.A.B.H., or Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm. While BDSM-centric acts are not included in the Sexual Offences Act of 2003, this amended law dating back to 1861 is still in effect as it relates to sex and non-sex related crimes.

According to US penal code, physical harm not deemed serious is legal when consented to. However, BDSM-centric activities can and do get prosecuted as assault. Regardless of geographical location, practitioners of BDSM should always be conscientious of local laws and partake responsibly.

Zoë Tersche is a New York-based writer focusing on fetish sexuality and the freedom of sexual expression. Follow her on Twitter @ZoeTersche.

 

BDSM Forum | Fetish.com


Images: © MAXFX / Dollar Photo Club and with a CC BY-ND 2.0 license

 


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hungryfox

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On 21/03/2016 at 5:34 PM, Guest said:

[…] One individual, known as a “DaSade” was the facilitator of the space her and AH were used to attending, and although much older than her, at 46, they often shared a friendly flirt. Until one day she witnessed him taking part in a predicament bondage scenario and knew immediately that she wanted to play with him also. And so she did. She quickly became absorbed in submitting to him in a variety of settings with rope, impact, endurance and consensual non-consent. […]

 

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[…] One individual, known as a “DaSade” was the facilitator of the space her and AH were used to attending, and although much older than her, at 46, they often shared a friendly flirt. Until one day she witnessed him taking part in a predicament bondage scenario and knew immediately that she wanted to play with him also. And so she did. She quickly became absorbed in submitting to him in a variety of settings with rope, impact, endurance and consensual non-consent. […]

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Guest

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[…] to strike, but never assume that a person is ready to slip into a sadomasochistic role right then. Consent is key, they will have just as much agency in this process as you, and nothing is more off putting […]

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[…] a kinky moment, it’s impossible to fully consent or stay safe and sane if you’re playing in the dark and don’t have a clue what you’re doing or what’s happening. […]

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[…] Sane and Consensual’, and most of us probably try to live our sex lives by it. I’m more of the Risk-Aware Consensual Kink crowd myself, but even so there are some unspoken rules—things that are generally accepted as […]

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[…] doesn’t matter if you follow Safe, Sane, and Consensual (SSC), Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK), or even Personal Responsibility, Informed Consensual Kink […]

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[…] that’s why we call it Risk Aware Consensual Kink – as long as the people engaging in more advanced forms of rope play know what they’re […]

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Guest

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[…] to strike, but never assume that a person is ready to slip into a sadomasochistic role right then. Consent is key, they will have just as much agency in this process as you, and nothing is more off putting […]

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[…] Safe Sane and Consensual vs. RACK […]

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[…] Safe Sane and Consensual vs. RACK […]

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