The Traffic Light System
could you please explain how the safeword traffic system works??
Red means stop. Stop NOW, no more discussion, consent is withdrawn, to continue would be an assault, a line has been crossed (too painful, something bad that wasn’t negotiated, etc.)
Yellow means that you need a break or that something is too much, or that if the top continues then you’re going to “red” soon.
Green means that things are going well, you like what is happening, more of this please, or even go a bit harder.It also allows the sub to enter into the spirit of a scene vocalising things like "No Sir", "Please stop" etc. without "meaning it. If the top is unsure whether the sub means it he or she can ask "what's your colour?" and if the answer is green or yellow, it can continue without breaking the scene.
While a bottom might blurt out red or yellow, I’ve never seen a bottom volunteer “green”. It’s usually said in answer to when a top is checking in to make sure everything is okay. Asking “How are you?” and getting an answer of “fine” or “okay” might mean the bottom is just on autopilot and reflexively answering. Asking “What’s your colour?” and getting “green” or “I was very close to yellow when you stopped” is much better.
One of my favourite doms to watch at parties was doing a pre-scene negotiation with someone he hadn’t played with before and said something like “Now, just between you and me here ;-) , my favourite colour is yellow. It’s not about taking anything I can dish out. I promise you, I can always go harder. I want to know how you’re doing. I’ll likely yellow you, on purpose, a few times, just to find out where your limits are and then aim for a little below that. I don’t want to hear ‘green green green, green green red’ because then the scene’s over. I want some indication of how you’re doing and when you’re getting close to what you can handle, okay?”
And then, whenever she yellowed, he praised her. And why wouldn’t he?? She gave him vital information that allowed the both of them to have more fun!