Safe, sane and consensual
The fundamental principles for the exercise of BDSM require that it be performed with the informed consent of all parties. Since the 1980s, many practitioners and organizations have adopted the motto safe, sane and consensual, commonly abbreviated SSC, which means that everything is based on safe activities, that all participants are of sufficiently sound mind to consent, and that all participants do consent. It is mutual consent that makes a clear legal and ethical distinction between BDSM and such crimes as sexual assault and domestic violence.
Some BDSM practitioners prefer a code of behavior that differs from SSC. Described as "risk-aware consensual kink" (RACK), this code shows a preference for a style in which the individual responsibility of the involved parties is emphasized more strongly, with each participant being responsible for his or her own well-being. Advocates of RACK argue that SSC can hamper discussion of risk because no activity is truly "safe", and that discussion of even low-risk possibilities is necessary for truly informed consent.
- Henkin, Bill; Holiday, Sybil (2006). Consensual Sadomasochism: How to Talk About It and How to Do It Safely, page 64. Daedalus Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-881943-12-9
- "VICSS / Difference between Abuse and Power Exchange by the NLA, Dutch SM Media Information Center and Powerrotics". Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
- "Rack vs. SSC". Within Reality. 2003. Archived from the original on 8 January 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2006.