The two basic negotiation concepts used in the BDSM community are SSC (Safe, Sane and Concensual) and RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink). An extension of these concepts is consensual non-consent.
A mutual agreement that within defined limits, or subject to a safe word or other restrictions, and to common sense, consent to activities is given without foreknowledge of the exact actions planned. Very common (and pretty much necessary!) for activities such as kidnap or rape play, where prior discussion would destroy much of the “atmosphere”—like spoiling a surprise party. Examples: an agreement that anything rated “2” or higher in a submissive survey is “fair game” for play, without additional discussion or negotiation; or negotiation of kidnap play in advance, but without disclosing when, where, or the details of the scene.
Fetlife: Glossary of Kink
The basis of consensual non-consent is: “I consent for You to do whatever You like to me without future negotiation”. There is just the first consent. Yes, I consent to whatever is going to happen, without needing to further negotiate what is going to happen. Obviously, strong trust is involved.
There are many reasons why consensual non-consent is a common way for BDSM partners to play. It is a strong reinforcement of the power exchange, and it supports mystery, spontaneity and excitement from the unknown. Many people argue that SSC (safe, sane and consensual) takes away the ultimate BDSM experiences in exchange for relatively safe exploration.
Of course, every kinkster needs to approach consensual non-consent with caution, particularly if you are new to BDSM or new to the partner you are playing with. You wouldn’t be the first person to get yourself involved in knife-play before realising that you are having your first panic attack, or discover that your Dom forgot to mention that He was into needles (and you forgot to mention that you are freaked out by piercing). Be careful. Psychologically damage can ruin your fun, possibly forever.
There are others who don’t just “play” BDSM but live and breathe BDSM in everyday life. Often, consensual non-consent is established the moment the collar is locked. There is no need for further negotiation between Master and slave, simply because by that point both the Master and the slave have already established a strong understanding about each other’s body, mind and spirit. They know what works and what doesn’t, where the hard limits is, when things go wrong.
It’s not necessary that consensual non-consent is a goal in your BDSM journey. It’s not a progression or a rite of passage. How you play is up to you to choose and no style is “better”. It depends on what you want, who you are with and what you are comfortable with. SSC, RACK and CNC are all valid mottos to live and play by. The key over-riding principle is to stay safe and not let anyone push you into agreeing to something you don’t feel confident agreeing to.
IS CONSENSUAL NON-CONSENT SAFE?
Nothing is safe in BDSM, in fact, nothing is safe in life. Accidents happen every day with or without kink activities. But, we try to predict and minimise the risks.
Consensual Non-Consent may not be safe for people who are just starting to test out their kinks, because my experience is that a lot of BDSM activities are different than you imagine them to be. The whip in your imagination doesn’t taste the same as a real whip. Without real experiences, one can never be sure of what works and what doesn’t.
But, when there is trust and you and your partner have a good understanding of each other, consensual non-consent can allow you explore further than you might be able to otherwise. It can be a tool for going deeper and examining your limits.
How much is too much for my slave? Will putting him/her in a cage for 2 hours drive him mad? How about a day, a weekend or a week? What are the real limits? How far can this go?