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N.B: This blog post was inspired by an email from the Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s. If you haven’t listened to their podcast yet please do so, you can also check out the website for great resources and links on how to listen or follow on social media.
Yes! Let’s talk about limits! Not once. Not twice. But all the time.
Let’s talk about them with a new partner and casual play partners. Let’s talk about them with partners we’ve known for years. Let’s never stop talking about our limits because they can so easily change. Not just from partner to partner, but also from day-to-day.
Limits can change for a multitude of reasons. Mental health, physical health, a breach of trust, a bad experience, change in dynamic, change in kink identity, exploration of new kinks and so much more.
My own limits have changed drastically since I joined the scene. Some things have become limits that weren’t previously and some things I never thought would leave the limits list have actually been included in play. When playing with Bakji there’s really only hard limits to take into account, I’ll either do things with him or I won’t. Anything that was a soft limit has either turned into a no or a yes.
If I was to start playing with someone new thought there’d be lots of soft limits, lots of hard limits and until I’d become accustomed to them and build my trust in them that is how it would remain. I won’t be rushed or coerced into changing my limits, I have been previously and it has not worked out well. I think standing firm on your limits, and only exploring them when you are ready and with someone you trust is imperative.
I’m also not a fan of the no limits approach to BDSM, I’m respectful that this might be something other people do but it would not work for me, and I wouldn’t be inclined to pay with someone who had no limits themselves, or was reluctant to discuss them or wanted me to push past all my limits until there were none to speak of as such.
For me personally, limits are hugely important. They should, in theory, give you a safety net, and the knowledge that you won’t be pushed further than you want to be by someone who you has an understanding of what your limits are. Obviously, if someone doesn’t respect your limits then they are potentially not a safe person to play with and you would need to evaluate your interactions with them.
My limits also vary as a Top and as a bottom. That’s another one of those shocking facts, Tops and Dominants have limits too and they are just as relevant and important as a bottoms/submissives. I’ve heard so many Tops/Doms say that they have been approached for play by a bottom/sub and when they’ve said no because it’s one of their limits they’ve been met with a look of shock. As if a Top should just be willing to do anything to anyone just because they’re asked. Most of the Tops I know do not play that way at all.
Another unfortunate limit myth I’ve heard is ‘I’ve met a new Dom he/she says if I was really submissive I’d have no limits with him/her’ Wrong! Wrong and more wrong! Chances are a Dominant like that would know an actual Dominant if one spanked them on the bum. People who say things like this are just chancers trying to get away with doing whatever ever they want. No Dominant worth your time would try to force you to give up your limits.
I know lots of people in committed D/s dynamics, including Master/slave dynamics, many of them 24/7 and all of them have some variety of limits attached to their dynamic. Yes, once a dynamic is established it might be mutually agreed that the limits will be pushed and boundaries will be tested, but the key phrase is ‘mutually agreed’. As I said in another post, a good Dominant cherishes their sub, so the idea of making them do things that will harm them, is not that appealing, which pushing past limits before someone is ready would likely do.
I think the conversation about limits is one we should always be having. Even with our friends in the community. I’m always aware that someone might have a limit that many of us do not, for example, hugs, neck touching, hair pulling etc. Lots of people love those things, but I’d hate to force a hug on someone who can’t cope with them, or give a sexy touch to someone’s neck only for it to repulse them, or even worse trigger them.
As you may have guessed by now I am a big fan of limits, have them, talk about them, change them, respect them.
If you liked this post then you might also enjoy Hard Limits, Forgetfulness and Forgiveness and How Do I Find a Partner to Push My Limits. You can also listen to Episode 16 of ProudToBeKinky – Talking About Limits.