bdsm

Do We Really Need a Safe Word?

safeword sue | what is a safeword | safewords in relationships

What is a safeword anyway?

A safeword is a word or phrase that can be used to communicate when a person is nearing or crossing a physical, emotional, or ethical boundary.

They can be a shortcut to creating consent and can make communicating easier in moments of intense emotion or pleasure.

Some safe words are used to stop a situation outright, while others can request reduced level of intensity. Often people use red (stop), yellow (slow down or pause), and green (keep going) as an example of these.

I've recommended asexual safewords to clients when engaging in vulnerable potentially emotionally triggering situations as well as intimate situations. They can be a shorthand or code for nearing emotional overwhelm or tender topics and can help couples slow down conflicts when they arise.

Safewords originate in BDSM community where safety and consent are critical to ethical respectful play. Many organized BDSM and play groups and spaces have standardized safewords that members agree to use to avoid confusion at large group events. 

If they're going to work for you, safewords have to be discussed before you enter an intimate situation with a new partner. You can ask if they have a safeword they like, or you can offer words that work well for you. They can be playful, or direct depending on the mood or scene you're creating with your partner. For some people safewords can be an important part of sexual role play.

Here are some of the words my clients have chosen:

Pause

Foul ball

Don't stop

Banana bread

Strike one

Stop

FUCK

Mr. Big

Grandma

Yes please


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

open relationship counselor | open relationship coach | polyamory coach
  • open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
  • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • shift stuck communication & codependent relationship patterns

I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online and in Portland, Oregon. Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

You Asked, I Answered: About Being a Sex-Positive Provider

sex-positive therapist | sex therapist portland counselor for sexuality

I get asked a lot of great questions about my work.  Here's a short list of the most commonly asked questions about being a sex-positive provider supporting couples and individual clients in changing their relationships for the better.  

Read more of the most frequently asked questions by my clients here

sex positive portland therapist for sexuality

What is a sex-positive provider?

One of the best questions I get from new clients is about my listing as a sex-positive professional, or a kink-aware provider.  

Not all my clients engage in sex-positive community, but for some of my clients it is especially important to know I have eight years of expertise in working with clients from BDSM, fetish, and other kink scenes.  

This is important because there are a lot of well-intended professionals who will tell you they are sex-positive, but just having a sex-positive philosophy isn't enough- if you work with me you have someone with the philosophy, the skills, and the knowledge.

What if we're new to BDSM, kink, and/or don't know where to begin?

I work with a lot of clients who are just beginning to get creative and explore their sexuality.  Some of them just finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey, and others have held secret fantasies for years and are just now opening up to their partner.  

I'll meet with you to help you determine an integrity-based path that supports your physical and emotional health as well as your desires.  I can also refer you to a wide range of specific organizations, clubs, groups, teachers, and events in the Portland area to help grow your learning and your community in a way that feels as safe as possible for you.

What if only one of us is kinky?

Many couples choose to work with me when one partner is interested in kink and the other is not.  Let me help you figure out a path that is right for both of you.  

It can be helpful to work with a knowledgeable and non-judgmental professional to discuss and negotiate new sexual territory.

Are you kinky?

I think most people have some creative desires but I won't share my own sexual desires or activities with you because the focus of our work is on you- not me.

Will you demonstrate X act with/on/for us?

I don't do any hands-on work with clients.  But I know plenty of knowledgable professionals who do and I'm happy to refer you.

Do you work with vanilla couples too?

Absolutely!  Even clients who follow more mainstream or traditional sexual and sensual practices often find comfort knowing this is a specialty of mine.  

These clients love working with me because I apply the same open non-judgmental approach to my work with all couples- no matter how kinky.  

Do you coach sex-workers?

Yup.  If you want to know more about how I can support you in maintaining your work/life balance schedule a consultation so we can chat.


sex therapist portland couples therapy

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

She can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move past jealousy, insecurity or codependent patterns
  • open your relationship or practice polyamory with care
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns in your relationship

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).

Five Sex Education Podcasts Worth a Listen

Five Sex Education Podcasts | Uncommon Love Polyamory Counseling in Portland

As a lifelong student- but not an avid reader, I love listening to podcasts to learn new information while I drive or exercise.  

If you learn like me and want to get some new information on sexuality check out the podcasts below to increase your knowledge (and ease your commute).  

Everything About Your Vagina

If you are being sexual with a vagina it is critical you know what you are working with.  This podcast works it's way through every possible question or concern you could ever have about the big V but takes a very clinical approach that can feel a little like listening to your doctor talk about sex (although the host is definitely cooler than your doctor).  

Savage Love

Although Dan Savage often is criticised for transphobia and misogyny, this remains one of the nations best-known sex education podcasts.  His podcasts often get political and are always full of snark.  Check it out to hear actual callers ask questions that may be similar to your own.

The People of Kink

Real stories of real kink by a couple in Canada.  If you have wondered about the lives of sex-positive folks ,this is the podcast for you.  Check it out!

Sex Out Loud with Tristan Taormino

Sex positive radio embracing sexuality "from every angle" including BDSM and non-monogamy, Tristan Taormino is one of the most respected leaders in sexual education.  She will walk you through technicalities of specific sexual acts, identities, and relationship conflicts.  

The Heart

Stories about intimacy, vulnerability, sexuality and relationships.  This podcast has a feel like This American Life- weaving together beautiful thought-provoking stories with grace and beauty.  If storytelling is for you, this is the podcast to choose.

 

Looking for a poly, sex-positive or LGBTQ affirming provider in Portland?  Click here for a free consultation.


Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).