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Are Safewords Absolute? Even For a Sadist?

Listening to Safewords is NOT optional. It’s mandatory.

Some background— a submissive was looking for advice. I felt this issue is important enough to warrant signal boosting for anyone who might be in a similar situation, so I’m sharing my response here.  They are having an issue with a Dom who has recently started ignoring safewords. Their Dom is sadistic, and when the sub brought up the fact that they are getting hurt, suffering panic attacks, and having massive depression as a result of being pushed to the point of using the safeword—AND THE DOM KEPT GOING— the Dom said, “I’m a sadist, it’s just what we do.”


Speaking as a Domme who IS a sadist:

Hell yes, I love inflicting pain and agony–but a safeword is a fucking safeword. I never ignore it, and NEVER push a sub beyond it. I don’t give a shit that there might be a part of me that wants to keep going– the person who trusts me, and put their life and safety in my hands is telling me they’ve had enough.

As someone who has helped put subs back together again after abusive relationships, the ‘Dom’s’ behavior is sending up multiple indicators of a toxic & abusive relationship.

From what the sub said, here are the red flags that stuck out the most:

1. He was possibly always upfront about being a sadistic Dom, but ignoring safewords is new.

2. He waited until the sub was emotionally & physically invested in the relationship BEFORE piling on the abuse.

3. He ignores the sub’s SAFEWORD. This has ZERO place in kink. Ever. I don’t give a shit if he’s the most sadistic sadist who ever tried the Lifestyle, sadists are not exempt from safewords. It is not what we do.

4. He has continued abusing the sub after they safeword to the point they have panic attacks & extreme depression for days—meaning he literally does not care if they live or die. Aftercare is not a remedy for pushing someone until they break–and that ‘Dom’ has done it again, and again, and again.

5. He had a ready excuse & gaslighting available when they called him on his behavior— essentially: “This is who I’ve always been, you’re the one with the problem.” Subtext: he isn’t doing anything wrong; they’re the one that’s behaving badly by not being sub enough to take what their Dom dishes out. Fuck that deflecting douche-baggery with a tequila-drenched cactus dildo wrapped in rusted barbwire.

This tells me his behavior isn’t an accident. It’s intentional, and it’s deliberate.

He is an abuser who gave them the honeymoon phase and set them up for the fall–and they were smart enough to realize something isn’t right. He’s now trying to blame them for his behavior, make it seem like it’s somehow their fault, or their inadequacies, when the truth is: He’s an ABUSIVE asshole who isn’t fit to Dom a fencepost, let alone a human being. If you are in a situation like that one, I’ll give you the same advice I gave that sub:

Do not fall for it, do not believe it, and get the hell out. Please.

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3 comments to Are Safewords Absolute? Even For a Sadist?

  • Hello Ms Lilly, thanks for a very educational blog post! I do have a question for you when you get a chance to answer. You used a term that I had just heard for the first time earlier today somewhere else. The term is “gaslighting”, and I’m curious as to it’s meaning? Thank you!

    • Lilly

      “Gas-lighting” refers to the deliberate and intentional distortion of events to put the abuser in the best light possible, and deflect the blame for what happened onto the victim’s shoulders. It is a form of emotional manipulation and abuse, and it’s particularly damaging because it is an attempt to tear away at a victim’s perception of reality; what they know to be right and true, and manipulate it in such a way that the abuser dictates what occurred, rather than what actually happened.

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