I was talking to my friend Moogie a while back and I mentioned a situation where I said "safeword".
"You mean you said 'red'?" she asked.
"No, I mean, I literally said 'safeword'."
"That's wrong. That's not what you say. You say 'green', 'yellow', or 'red'."
"You can, yeah, but a safeword can be whatever you agree on, really."
"No it can't! A safeword has to be 'green', 'yellow', or 'red'! Didn't you read The Guide To Getting It On?"
Obviously this is silly. But I hear--or even more insidiously, think--similar things far too often.
Home Depot rope. Benny and I use Home Depot rope. Isn't that horrible? It's absolutely true that Twisted Monk rope is better; from what I hear it's woven from the treasure trails of the gods themselves. But what bothers me is the idea that Monk rope is right and Home Depot is wrong. Not lower quality, not more limited in uses, not requiring more caution, but... incorrect.
Bullshit. I'm not going to write a whole paragraph elaborating on this because my opinion fits in five words: Nothing that works is wrong. You can put Heinz on filet mignon if that's what tastes best to you.
And hey, while I'm speaking of safewords: Benny and I don't have one. If we wanted to stop, we'd just say "stop." And yes, I do sometimes say "stop" and not mean it. But I guess we just trust each other to know the difference between "ooh, stop stop stop," and "NO. STOP."
(By the way, one of the worst manifestations of the "gotta do it right!" attitude I'm thinking about here is the idea that what Benny and I do isn't even BDSM. Because, honestly? It's mostly just spanking, rough sex, and overhand knots. There's no medical-grade electrical boxes or 10-gauge needles or ultra-realistic walrus dildos. And I always feel oddly inferior, almost like a poser, for calling something BDSM that doesn't even draw blood half the time.)
I'm pretty sure this has to do with geekiness. Geekery and BDSM have a big overlap and overly serious thinking about a very silly activity is a symptom. I believe that the reason you can't wrap a girl's tits in deliciously harsh and earthy truck rope is intimately connected to the reason that an elven warlock can't wield a battleaxe.
And in both cases, really, it's a damn shame. It's fantasy, it's pleasure, it's private, fuck stupid little rules.