If you have been in the lifestyle for any amount of time, even for those of you who are really new, I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard of SSC. If you’ve been around the lifestyle a little longer, then you’ve probably also heard of RACK. Two practices that you probably haven’t heard of(I hadn’t heard of them until a month or so ago! It could be that I’m just behind the times!)is PRICK and the other one, is CCC. If you ask me, that’s A LOT of letters to remember! There tends to be confusion with the more acronyms there becomes, especially if they’re ones that people haven’t heard of before. So, I’m going to help straighten it out for everyone.
SSC, which stands for safe, sane, and consensual has been around in the lifestyle for quite some time. The actual phrase was coined back in 1983 by David Stein for the New York Gay Male S/M Activist group. He came up with the phrase safe, sane, consensual because that was the kind of S/M that he wanted to practice, “to distinguish the kind of S/M I wanted to do from the criminally abusive or neurotically self-destructive behavior popularly associated with the term ‘sadomasochism’.” The principles of SSC are as follows: safe-attempts should be made to identify and prevent risks to health; sane-activities should be undertaken in a sane and sensible frame of mind; consensual-all activities should involve the full consent of all parties involved. Safe, Sane, and Consensual is one of the most widely used philosophies of BDSM play out there.
The second most popular one would be RACK, risk awareness consensual kink. In 1999, Gary Switch came up with this point of view because of several people in the BDSM community not being happy with SSC. These people felt that SSC didn’t cover the possible risks that are involved during play. The principles of RACK are as follows: risk aware-both or all partners are well-informed of the risks involved in the proposed activity; consensual-in light of the risks, both or all partners have, of sound mind, offered preliminary consent to engage in said activity; kink-said activity can be classified as alternative sex. But, there were some people who weren’t happy with RACK. They felt that it didn’t cover the personal responsibility, and that’s where PRICK comes in.
PRICK stands for personal responsibility informed consensual kink. I’m not exactly sure when PRICK started making the rounds, but I did see a blog entry that was written in 2009 that mentioned it, so it’s still relatively new. This acronym was created because people felt that RACK and SSC didn’t talk about the responsibility each person has in play. With putting “personal responsibility” in the acronym, it puts personal responsibility in the forefront and covers everyone, unlike SSC and RACK.
The last one is CCC, which stands for Committed Compassionate Consent. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot on this one. But what I could find online stated that people out there felt that RACK or PRICK, and even SSC didn’t apply to the emotional well being of those involved. People felt that if compassion was in the acronym, then people would be more attune to the mental state of mind.
No matter which acronym you choose to practice and play by, one thing to remember is that consent is present in every one of the above acronym. Consent is what the lifestyle is about.