RACK vs SSC

In BDSM 101 by Damien Storm

Risk-aware consensual kink (RACK) is an acronym used by some of the BDSM community to describe a philosophical view that is generally permissive of certain risky sexual behaviors, as long as the participants are fully aware of the risks. This is often viewed in contrast to Safe, Sane, and Consensual which generally holds that only activities that are considered safe, sane, and consensual are permitted. MVK subscribes to the RACK philosophy.

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

  • Risk-aware: Both or all partners are well-informed of the risks involved in the proposed activity.
  • Consensual: In light of those 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.

While “Safe, Sane and Consensual” (SSC) attempts to describe and differentiate BDSM from abuse in ways that are easy for the non-BDSM public to comprehend, RACK differs from it in that it acknowledges that nothing is ever 100% inherently safe. By acknowledging that what may be safe or sane to one person may not be considered the same to another, the RACK philosophy tends to be more inclusive of activities that others may consider as edgeplay. There is no “safe” or “not safe” within RACK, only “safer” and “less safe.”