Some Sadean purists may sniff that safewords are nothing more than a stiff formality that harshes spontaneity and true risk-taking, but that's a touch ungenerous and, frankly, inaccurate. Safewords symbolize something bigger and more beautiful—that when you dare to put yourself and your cherished fantasies into the hands of another, these precious things will be handled with care. Rather inspiring, isn't it, that a few little words can communicate so much?

Lily Burana is, in addition to far creepier things, the editor of the Home Box Office web site. Her haunted home page is

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