Friday, January 17, 1997

Let’s Be Careful Out There

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #43, January 17, 1997)

According to the 1/7/97 issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a 35-year-old man was found dead in his apartment in south Minneapolis. He was tied up but hadn’t been shot or stabbed. No more details were available.

There have been other reports in recent months of similar happenings. So it’s time once again to talk about safe play.

• Get to know something about a prospective play partner. “Check their references” by asking friends about them.

• Let other people know who you’re going home with and where you’re going.

• If you’re not driving, be sure you have cab fare and change for phone calls.

• Keep a clear head. It’s difficult to watch out for your safety when you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

• Negotiate the scene beforehand. Use agreed-upon safewords to slow or stop the action if necessary.

• Remember: “Safe, sane, consensual.” If you aren’t familiar with all the things those three words entail, find out.

• “Endure nothing.” If you don’t feel comfortable with the way things are going, do what you need to do to keep yourself safe. That may include either leaving or kicking someone out. (Sometimes these things happen.)

The leather/SM community’s ideal is respect for every community member and for the rules of safety. Unfortunately there are people who don’t play by these rules; these are not people you want to play with. Following the suggestions above will lessen your likelihood of becoming their prey, or will help ensure your safety if you suddenly find yourself confronted with a dangerous situation.

Please, play safe and play smart.

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