Risk-Aware Consensual Kink (RACK, also Risk-Accepted Consensual Kink) is an acronym used by some of the BDSM/Femdom community to describe themselves and their philosophies. It specifies that any activity between fully-informed consenting adults is acceptable.


RACK’s tenets are best described by a deconstruction of the acronym.

Risk: We have thought about this and assessed any risk
Aware: We are aware of what we are doing and the risks it carries
Consensual: We have sought this out and have agreed to take part
Kink: Alternative sex.

The RACK philosophy encompasses several elements that are consensually agreed upon among the larger BDSM/Femdom community, (generally referred to as “Safe, sane and consensual” or SSC), but expands upon those elements to include elements of edgeplay and play that is engaged in without safewords.

RACK focuses primarily upon awareness and informed consent, rather than accepted safe practices. For example, RACK participants are aware that legal consent often does not create a defence to criminal liability for any injuries caused during edgeplay, and that under English law, non-physical injuries are included in the definition of grievous bodily harm. An SSC person would shy away from such activities as too unsafe. A RACK person on the other hand would analyze the risk, and decide for themselves whether they would accept that risk.


RACK was coined in reaction to dissatisfaction within the BDSM community regarding the internal and external political issues surrounding the SSC ethos Gary Switch in an essay that has circulated among USENET lists, first proposed the term over the mailing list out of a desire to form a more accurate portrayal of the type of play that many engage in

Safe, sane and consensual

Safe, sane and consensual (SSC) is one of several phrases used by a large section of the Femdom/BDSM and sexual bondage communities to describe themselves and their philosophies who regard SSC to be a watchword for safety. The principles are that BDSM activities should be:

Safe: attempts should be made to identify and prevent risks to health
Sane: activities should be undertaken in a sane and sensible cast of mind
Consensual: all activities should involve the full informed consent of all parties involved, but note that legal consent may not create a defense to criminal liability for any injuries caused and that, for these purposes, non-physical injuries are included in the definition of grievous bodily harm in English law.

Other people in the BDSM community do not consider SSC to be an accurate term for these relationships/activities. The term Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) is sometimes used as a substitute description.

For those who dissent, issues generally arise from the subjective nature of each term in SSC when using the term as a yardstick to evaluate activities. It can be argued that the terms in RACK are equally subjective. “How safe is safe enough” is a legitimate question, and “how aware is aware enough” is an equally legitimate question.

Article by MissBonnie ©

Further reading:
D/s Contracts – What are D/s contracts? and how do D/s contracts work?
Contract Sample 1 – An example of a simple D/s contract.
Contract Sample 2 – A more complicated example of a M/s contract
Contract Sample 3 – An example of a temporary BDSM poly contract.
BDSM Rights – Know your rights with a Femdom relationship
Safewords – Do you know your safe word with your Mistress/submissive?
Limits & negotiations – Both Dominants and submissives can express limits. What are your partners?
Partner check list – A list a great place to start to get to know your partner or open up communication channel.
Abuse and P.E – Abuse and erotic power exchange, know the dangers.
Explicit Implicit – Explicit Consent / Implicit consent Play considerately and consensually.

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