Some practitioners of BDSM enjoy switching — playing both dominant and
submissive roles, either during a single scene or taking on different roles at
different occasions with different partners. A switch will be the top on some
occasions and the bottom on other occasions. A switch may be in a relationship
with someone of the same primary orientation (two dominants, say), so switching
provides each partner with an opportunity to realize his or her unsatisfied BDSM
needs with others. Some individuals may switch, but may not identify as a switch
because they do so infrequently or only under certain circumstances. Sometimes
individuals switch in just physical roles (top and bottom), and sometimes
individuals may switch completely in emotional roles (dominant and submissive)
as well. Some switches only switch from relationship to relationship and will
stay in that role for the duration of the relationship.
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A riding cropSome BDSM activities may be potentially dangerous if appropriate
precautions are not taken. In particular, it is sometimes the practice that the
submissive will complain of suffering or beg the dominant to stop, and that this
will be ignored by the dominant. Therefore, one aspect to ensure safety is to
agree upon a safeword. If the dominant and submissive are in a scene that causes
unacceptable discomfort (physical or mental) for the submissve, a safeword can
be uttered to warn the dominant of trouble and immediately call for a stop to