Safe, Sane, Consensual (SSC)

Last Updated: October 24, 2016

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Definition - What does Safe, Sane, Consensual (SSC) mean?

Safe, sane, and consensual (SSC) is one of the philosophies surrounding ethically acceptable behavior in BDSM, kink, and alternative sexuality communities. Safe means that the risk of activities should be understood by all participants and either eliminated or reduced as much as possible. Sane refers to the need to approach activities in a sensible and realistic frame of mind, and with an understanding of the difference between fantasy and reality. Consensual means that all participants have freely consented to the activity and were in a state of mind to do so.

Kinkly explains Safe, Sane, Consensual (SSC)

SSC is the best known tenet of BDSM outside of the BDSM community. It has become a mainstream element of pop culture. It is the most easily understandable philosophy for people who are not involved in kink.

In the wake of the appearance of the RACK philosophy (risk-aware consensual kink), the usefulness of SSC has been questioned by practitioners and theorists of BDSM. SSC implies that kink is without risk ("safe"), but many BDSM practitioners understand that there are risks involved even in the tamest BDSM activities. As such, the definition of what "safe" means becomes difficult to pin down. However, both SSC and RACK agree and insist on consensual participation in BDSM activities.

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