Risk-aware consensual kink (RACK) is a philosophy governing BDSM activities and behaviors. The term can be broken down and defined as follows:
- Risk-aware means that all the participants know the risks involved in the activity (BDSM activities are not always risk-free).
- Consensual means that all the participants have freely consented to the activity, and that no one has been coerced.
- Kink refers to alternative sexual activities.
As a concept, risk-aware consensual kink arose in response to another ethos in BDSM called safe, sane, consensual (SSC). Unlike SSC, RACK aims to acknowledge that many BDSM activities are not risk-free. Rack, therefore, emphasizes personal responsibility in understanding the risks involved. Those who go by RACK as opposed to SSC also tend to be open to a larger variety of kink activities, including higher-risk types of play like blood play or breath play.
RACK, as a term and concept, is believed to have been proposed by Gary Switch in 1999, when he posted it to The Eulenspiegel Society's USENET list. The group was a BDSM organization founded in New York City in 1971. Switch was a contributing editor to the organization's magazine, Prometheus.