A life without limits sounds like something we should want. Boundaries are surely things that stop us from achieving the very best? We asked Victoria Blisse to explain 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 kinky 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. 


Victoria Blisse was an erotic author and sex-positive Reverend. She helped shape fetish.com and FET from the very beginning and we're eternally grateful for her passion and creativity. Sadly, she passed away in January 2024. We hope that whenever her articles are read, she'll be honored.
 

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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: Shutterstock. In-article:  Milos Milosevic Flickr. (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons.

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Arti

Posted

Great read thank you

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Si****

Posted

I'm new to the bdsm but do have some knowledge of the style. I also have currently found my mistress who wants to help me fulfill my wishes of becoming a sissy tgirl slave. And must say as far as pain goes I can take it to a certain point and always willingly push pass it due to playing sports.

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Hu****

Posted

I too want to meet someone and build a trust

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Ki****

Posted

I wanna meet someone i would trust.

  • Like 1

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Su****

Posted

Informative, however the real question is this. Should we put boundaries on on profiles? And if yes, which ones specifically? Would not putting them on at all help more than if we do have them?

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Posted

Once again a wonderful read. Having been out of the fold for the length of time I have, it is good to re-establishment all these things. 💋

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Posted

All boundaries should be respected. Pushing and desiring a sub without any limits, is a big red flag.

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Posted (edited)

Limits are simple if understood. There are two types of limits, One which a sub knows they do not want to pass, and ones where the sub will be entering a new area of curiosity and exploration. These should be known before playing. Hard limits, ones which are no go areas, should not be pushed at all, those roads are closed, end of. Exploration of new things the sub is curious about though, should be pushed progressively. I think it is here that I would expect more use of safe words, yellow, red, whatever you have set up. (although safewords can come at anytime for any reason and should be respected)

Yes a Dom/me is there to overpower and a sub wishes to be overpowered, I understand the desire for a power exchange, however, all power exchange relationships work within an understood set of rules, which if breached, can quickly become non-consensual!!

This is all built on trust, respect and understanding. Know the rules, take time to understand each other and you could well end up with a near limitless D/s experience, but you cant force it.

 

Edited by 41f82410450985bd62bc1b82e67e7566

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Cade

Posted

Respectfully, I have to disagree. One thing that separates the BDSM community from the vanilla world is the expansive difference in vocabulary, BDSM speak being almost a different language. Sure, from a newbie or someone you're not entirely familiar with, EXPECTING or DEMANDING "no limits" should be seen as a red flag. Of course, by saying all "no limit" dynamics (which are built on the internal perspectives of those participating in that dynamic and typically unclear to outside vantages) are dangerous, you're basically kink shaming owner/property dynamics like master/mistress and slave, for example. You're making people who are striving for that real life exchange of authority and command into "villians", a definite form of kink shame. "No limit" relationships can be built on trust and communication, which is how they reach the BDSM defined "no limits" (that honestly should just mean "I trust you and honor you enough to do anything for you within our established dynamic"). Certainly, in the vanilla sense, "no limits" would be a frightening prospect! But, you got to remember, in that vanilla world, many terms we regularly use are considered negative (for instance, sadist is synonymous with serial killer).
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northern_dom

Posted

Pushing soft limits.... Acceptable. Even thinking about pushing hard limits..... Big no. Respect your subs limits at all times and she will repay you ten fold.
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Posted

I agree. If a woman says no it doesnt mean yes. Same principle.

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RedRaven-8989

Posted

Because it dangerous and could lead to miscommunication and unesecarry injuries
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VeryJuicy82

Posted

Hhhmmm
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