A life without limits sounds like something we should want. Boundaries are surely things that stop us from achieving the very best? Fetish.com’s Victoria Blisse explains why everyone should have BDSM limits to keep them safe while they are having a kinky fun time. 

 

What Limits?

Within kink you will hear talk of soft limits and hard limits, these BDSM boundaries are really important. Soft limits are things you don’t really like but, with communication and consent, you’re open to being pushed a little on them. For example, maybe you don’t like canes. But, under certain circumstances, you’re willing to give them a go.  
 

  • Soft limits guide the top in what they can do to push play into more extremes if that is what all people involved agree upon. The only person who can dictate if a soft limit can be pushed is the person whose limit it is. No one else can decide to push any kind of BDSM limit. 
     
  • Hard Limits are absolute no-nos. These are the things you just have no interest in whatsoever. Hard Limits are completely non-negotiable.  These BDSM limits can be more extreme fetishes like breath play or watersports, but anything can be a hard limit. A top might not want to be called ‘Miss’ because they are called that in their profession, and it makes them uncomfortable. A bottom might not want to be hit with leather paddles because they’re vegan. All these different hard limits are legitimate and must be respected. 
     

BDSM Risks

BDSM comes with a lot of risks. To indulge in BDSM, there needs to be trust between the Dom and the sub. Boundaries are part of this trust. Every time you play, there should be discussion around boundaries. If you’re in an established couple, your other half will know your limits but they don’t know how you’re feeling right at that moment. So if, for example, one of your soft limits is wearing a ball gag and for whatever reason you’re not wanting that at all in your session then it’s important to communicate that to your other half as soon as possible.
 

Both Ways

Doms, Masters and Tops can have limits too. BDSM boundaries aren’t limited to those in the submissive role.  It’s crucial for all bottoms to know the limits of their tops. It might be that they don’t ever hit with a fist or that they won’t use whips. It could be that they don’t mix sexual elements with impact play. When you’re having initial conversations before play, you need to establish limits for every person involved, no matter their role. 

Man wearing handcuffs in a room
Boundaries keep you safe while you're having a kinky time.
 

Pushing past limits

Some personal ads include something about pushing the responding sub past their limits or expressing a desire for a sub without any limits at all. These phrases should be seen as red flags. This is essentially telling you that your wants and needs will not be respected.  That is never a good thing. 

Yes, some slaves give over all their decisions to their Dom/me, but this is rare and comes from a long time relationship. No one should expect you to do everything they want you to do without you having any say in the matter from your first interactions. 

I believe these phrases are often used by inexperienced beginners who think that is what subs want to hear. It’s easy to imagine that when your only frame of reference is porn or popular erotic fiction such as Fifty Shades. 

 

Know your Limits

You might not know all your limits when you first start out, but it is worth taking some time to think about types of play you don’t want to indulge in and equipment you don’t want to use/have used on you. You could look through Fetish.com’s list of fetishes and sexual preferences to see if any of them completely turn you off (or completely turn you on) and build your BDSM boundaries from there. 

 

Finding your Limits

It’s okay if you find a limit during play, this is what safe words are for. If you do hit a limit within a scene be sure to let the others know as soon as possible. Play might stop completely or just for a short while, depending on what you want. A discussion about what has happened and what the limit is will be essential. It might be that you’re unable to vocalise this straight away. Move into your aftercare routine and when you feel able to explain, do so. 

There’s no right or wrong way to find your limits; there isn’t a list of BDSM boundaries you have to stick to, your limits are very personal to yourself. It is good to have limits, and these should always be respected. 


To find out more about yourself and your limits, sign up with Fetish.com and chat to other kinksters on our forum about what turns you on and what doesn’t! 


Join the discussion in the BDSM forum on Fetish.com

Cover photo: Paul Townsend Flickr. In-article:  Milos Milosevic Flickr.  Both images: (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons.


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