Disclaimer: This post talks about topics involving consensual sexual activity, not suitable for individuals under eighteen years of age. Reader discretion is advised.
In months gone by, I’ve talked about the safety abbreviations, SSC and RACK. While both are widely known and used in the BDSM community, the kink abbreviation family has a little known younger brother, PRICK.
If you’ve been in the BDSM community for any number of years, you could be forgiven for not knowing what PRICK is. PRICK is the abbreviated form of Personal Responsibilty, Informed Consensual Kink.
Whew, it’s a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it? Whoever remembers that when it comes to gettin’ freaky? Not me.
Not so long ago, and certainly in my kinky lifetime, PRICK’s oldest brother, SSC, was up for some scrutiny. SSC, or Safe Sane, Consensual, was argued as being a bit vague. After all, how do we decide whether something is safe, or unsafe? How do we decide whether something is sane, or insane? What about the individuals among who practice consensual non-consent? Do those who are concerned have a right to intervene? (NB. No!)
After SSC, a middle child was born – meet RACK. To help clear up the confusion and ambiguity about SSC, RACK stood for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. It made sense and it was judgement-free. It was no longer down to the outsider to decide what was or was not within the thresholds of SSC. Instead, it was for the individuals involved to decide what they did within the confines of RACK, and both mutually consenting to the activities, having both understood the risks. For those who like their kink a little bit rougher than some, this was a moment to rejoice.
But all of a sudden, along comes PRICK to steal the show.
The first time I heard of PRICK, Matt showed me a kinky rope tutorial on TikTok. I have to be honest, I was in disbelief that the channel hadn’t been taken down. There are so many minors on TikTok, it would be far too easy for them to see something that they shouldn’t do. Concerns aside, I was rather flummoxed by this new kid on the block – what the hell is PRICK?
To me, and being a bit of an oldie in my early thirties, a prick is an obnoxious man. A prick is a slang term for a penis, or, perhaps to use the more correct definition, it means to make a small hole in something using a sharp tool. Not until now has a “prick” had anything to do with kinky sex.
But that’s not to mean that it shouldn’t, but nor does it mean that it should. Hear me out.
As kinksters ourselves, PRICK feels a little bit like a “well, duh” moment. Of course it’s your responsibility to guarantee your safety! If you’re using candles, keep them away from the curtains. If something hurts too much, don’t forget to use your safeword. This is not a new concept, this is just how you make sure that the emergency services aren’t busting down your door while you’re balls deep in your missus. Why do we need another abbreviation for something that essentially already exists, really?
Let’s talk about the “Informed” part of PRICK. There are many ways to be “informed” in BDSM, and that typically varies from person to person. For casual play sessions, it could be consenting to a particular activity. For kinksters in ongoing dynamics and relationships, it could be responding to “are you ready to begin?” with a “yes Sir/Madam”, right up to having a signed and dated (but not legally binding) BDSM contract. Being informed is somewhat ambiguous, given that one could argue that they have too little or too much information to make an “informed” decision. What is more important, at least we feel, is clear, concise communication.
Do they consent to this scene, or this activity, yes or no? Why does it need to be so complicated? Here’s another abbreviation for y’all – KISS!
Personally, and this is us personally, PRICK kind of feels too wordy and perhaps, a little bit selfish, too. “Personal Responsibilty”, this is Personal. F*ck your kinky partner for a moment, this is all about you!
But let’s say, for a moment, that you and your partner aren’t merely kinky sex partners. Let’s say you’re lovers, or even husband and wife. Doesn’t that “personal responsibility” sound a little bit… umm… selfish?
“What’s that, babe? Your hand is going blue? Ok, so why didn’t you use your personal responsibility to get yourself out? You silly goose!”
Okay, so it’s a pretty exaggerated example, but you can see where we’re going with this.
In kinky, romantic relationships, “you” and “I” sort of cease to exist, and “you” and “I” become “we”. Even if we do have some personal responsibility to ourselves, most of our investment goes into “us”, as a team. Of course you maintain that little bit of indepence to rectify a problem if it’s glaringly obvious, but for the most part, you look out for one another.
For us personally, “Personal Responsibility” kind of breaks what being in a Dominant/submissive relationship is all about. We did not enter it lightly, and it is not something we do here and there, just for fun. We are a 24/7 BDSM couple, and that means that even when we’re not doing anything remotely kinky, we can still talk about kink on a whim. Even if we don’t have a session planned, we can still have some kinky fun, just because. At the very foundations of a 24/7 BDSM relationship is trust, and Matt has proven to me that I can trust him when my world is falling apart. He has shown me that I can trust him to take the lead and to guide me back to a place of calm and safety. I did not pick him from a personals advert just because he looked good, Matt has well and truly proven himself to me, as my Dominant. I say this with every ounce of my being – I trust Matt inexplicably.
And for his part, Matt also trusts me.
Matt trusts that when he is working, I will get on and run errands.
Matt trusts that when I shower, I will take care of myself to be presentable the way he wants me to be.
When I talk to other people online, Matt trusts that I’m not forming budding relationships with anyone else.
That’s trust. That’s love, and love is not selfish.
I cannot tell you which abbreviation is right for you, or which one you should choose to use, or why. As Loving BDSM somewhat unhelpfully put it, you’re not a prick if you use PRICK. Personally (ahem) We beg to differ. We think you’re a PRICK if you don’t use RACK or SSC, and using PRICK is entirely up to you.
What do you think? Would you use PRICK, or wouldn’t you? Do you think PRICK is helpful, or does it make things more complicated than they really needed to be?
Until next time.
Stay safe & have fun,
Helen & Matt xx