BDSM is dangerous, squeals the media.
BDSM is safe, squeals the kinksters.
The truth is that both are correct.
Last night, after performing suspension totally safely and without any hiccups for years, I had my first emergency.
It was nothing I did wrong. Everything went fine, until the bottom became overstimulated, perhaps a little motion-sick, and had an endorphin dump, and became nauseous, light-headed and dizzy.
When this happened, everything continued to go fine, in the sense that it was under control. A couple of wonderful bystanders helped hold the bottom while I cut the ropes and we lowered her to the floor. We cut the ropes off her, checked her responses, let her slowly recover before giving her some water and a cookie.
Fortunately, she was fine. All that was damaged was the rope I had to cut. But it reminds you, doesn't it?
There are risks to what we do. Sometimes, even if everyone involved does everything right, things go wrong. When they do, it's best to know what the hell you're doing... and also to know when you're over your head and need to call an ambulance.
In a sense, I'm grateful for last night, because it reminded me that I am paranoid about safety for a reason. My paranoia has almost certainly helped me avoid being the type of dominant that has frequent emergencies. And it also reminded me that there are risks to what we do... and that sometimes even if you do everything right, things might go wrong, so you had better be prepared.