Within the confines of new age kink there are two acronyms that separate us from the animals. RACK, or Risk Aware Consensual Kink, and SSC, or Safe Sane Consensual, are two philosophies that people cling to desperately and they are complete and utter bullshit.
In the world of kink and in particular kink on the internet, people love to pretend they’re better than each other by waxing poetically about one philosophy or another. The big difference between the two is whether you think engaging in kink is something that is safe and sane or if you think that you are aware of the risks and choose to do things anyways. RACK kids are edgy and think SSC folks are squares man. SSC folks are intelligent and thing those foolish RACK people are just plain reckless! It’s nonsense.
You do not need an acronym to tell you not to be an idiot. A person is smart. Don’t bang people who want to dismember you. You can decide what you should and should not do without an acronym. SSC implies that those who suffer from mental illness should not seek pleasure.
Whereas RACK implies that those who are anxious should not let their freak flag fly.
Acronyms give us the illusion of safety. We can hide behind the fact that those terrible things could never happen to us! That person was practicing RACK and that’s why that bad terrible thing happened to them. One word does not make you any safer than another word. If saying you are one particular thing or another helps you explain yourself better then that’s fine. Just don’t for one minute believe you are better than someone else or safer for it.
Your actions keep you safe. If you play with people you trust and negotiate properly, barring assholes (let’s be honest assholes happen), hopefully everyone gets off that’s supposed to get off. The choices you make in partners and where you play are the choices that matter, not what made up acronym you take as gospel.
Even when kink is new and shiny to a person, RACK/ SSC can be detrimental. Magical thinking doesn’t work. Chanting a mantra won’t keep you safe and it certainly won’t keep you from hurting your partner. The only thing that can do that is communication and education. If a scene starts off with your brain whispering “fuck ittt” maybe that scene isn’t the best choice. Same logic goes for partners.
Good communication can do more to keep you safe than any acronym ever will. Take care of your partners and yourself. Think scenes through like a rational human being instead of just reciting some weird chant to yourself. Be an adult and own up to the choices you make instead of hiding behind an acronym, and when the little voice in the back of your head whispers “fuck it” stop and reassess what or who you’re about to do.
-A Reformed RACK Die Hard