All of us have limits and boundaries; there’s no such thing as a limitless slave. In a BDSM context, it’s especially important to be aware of these and to communicate about them. I think it’s hard to list your limits just like that. Personally I feel like I don’t have many but it’s dangerous to just say you have none, especially as this isn’t true. Sometimes to find them you need to ask the right questions of filling out a checklist such as this one can be helpful.
Soft and Hard Limits
Thanks to the BDSM checklist I can identify some of my hard limits, which are unsurprisingly things like swallowing semen and hand jobs; I don’t want to have sexual interaction with men, which include penetration and oral. Another hard limit for me is fantasy abandonment since this would trigger me as I have a deep fear of being abandoned and lastly, sleep deprivation. Without sleep I lose my mind and very quickly go down the I don’t want to live thought-spiral. Sleep deprivation is the one hard limit I identified way before Lois and I started talking and the first one which comes to mind when I think of hard limits.
Hard limits are kind of simple as they have one clear meaning: this is not something I want to do period. Soft limits are a little bit more tricky and interesting in my opinion, though I don’t have a lot of clear ones. I’m someone who very much likes to try almost everything at least once and I’m also someone who likes to do things I dislike if it’s for my Mistress. Additionally, I like to explore my limits and stretch them out.
Your Mind is Limiting You
I think it’s often our mind that truly limits us. During fitness drills in football, I see my fellow teammates hit their limits except they’re not super out of breath and don’t appear to need longer than 30-seconds or so to recover. When I do these drills I tend to push hard enough to taste blood (it’s not actual blood, just the flavour. Overexertion of lungs I guess!), feel pretty dizzy and have wobbly legs and a two-minute recovery doesn’t cut it. Aside from whether this is healthy or not I feel like I have the ability to push further than the initial point where your body tells you it can’t go on anymore. I have this massive drive to do the best I can (and to be honest can’t really stop myself) but my coach always appreciates it.
Within kink, I have a similar drive to push myself and my limits for a comparable reason. I want to do my best and doing less can sometimes leave me disappointed (not always, depends on context). Pushing boundaries is satisfying to me; it’s a little like when you go for a run and come back covered in swear feeling like you did a great job, except it’s more than that. I am fascinated by the human ability to go above and beyond and challenges make things exciting.
I have a clear example of where my mind limits me sometimes. I’m fine running 10km with someone else or 5km at a fast pace with my football team but when I go for a run on my own I tend to stop after 3km, feeling like I can go no further. It seems like I need some motivation to push further, which I’m sure rings true to everyone; if there’s enough at stake you will stretch your limits. For me, within kink, my Mistress alone can be enough motivation to push myself.
Moving Past your Perceived to be Limits
When I start struggling during scenes I take a deep breath and reset my mind. I can’t explain to you in words how I do it but I see this visual image in my mind. So when severe caning strokes feel like they’re getting rather intense I do this little trick in my mind and then it’s as if my bottom has gone back to having received only x amount of strokes.
Outside of scenes, Lois helped me past quite a few of my initially perceived to be limiting. The best example of this lies within my anxiety in public spaces. They were limits that aren’t for most people, but going out in heels and skirts, sexy clothing and wearing no panties were things I was incredibly afraid of. Compared to pushing pain limits, overcoming these were more difficult because the anxiety was so strong in my mind. Taking certain pictures, then videos and eventually going on webcam were things I had also pinned down as at least soft limits at one point. Another thing I was really afraid of was penetration, which took over a year before Lois successfully helped me get past that.
If you want to start playing with any (soft) limit you need to move very slowly. The only way you can get close to exploring a limit is by convincing your/someone’s mind that it’s not as scary as it seems and in fact something you could do. Personally, I moved past limits most successfully when I was barely aware that I was doing it or that it was even a limit because the scene had worked towards it so slowly that the next step simply seemed natural.
The Necessity of Trust
Another thing you need is a lot of trust. Since reaching a limit is scary, you need to know that the person you’re playing with can guide you safely and will be there to help you come down. Again this takes time and I think it’s important to point out that I can’t by definition have few to no limits with anyone. A developed and strong dynamic with someone I trust is absolutely necessary to go further and different settings may have different limits. For example, I would never be able to go as far while shooting a video compared to private play.
Nonetheless, in my ideal dynamic there will be the possibility and desire from both parties to look for those limits and play with them. This includes all things on the spectrum; it’s certainly not just pain. In fact, I don’t think pain alone is very successful. As I said, limits happen in the mind and perhaps that’s what truly makes them interesting.
You’re very right about the trust aspect and limits. I also agree with the motivation factor (your running example is spot on). Sometimes having someone encourage you to complete a difficult task really does help, like an emotional or mental pep talk.
With enough practice you’ll be able to do this for yourself (like in the canning scene).
I think this- “just the flavour. Overexertion of lungs I guess” – is probably lactic acid build up.
And I agree limits are in the mind. Often pushing past a mind barrier is far harder than getting past a physical one.
I think your limits are high – u know – as you like to please others and challenge yourself
I agree with you Marie Louise. I think checklists of limits/bounaries (especially hard limits) are essential when playing with somebody you trust but don’t know very well. I have no experience with this. My wife and I have never used any checklists or safewords and have no need for them. We communicate and learn as we go, pushing the limits gently in the process. I trust her completely. If we sometimes do something stupid, it is always at my initiative, and well, you cannot learn to walk without falling down sometimes.
Just to clarify the last statement, I am the sub in our relationship, so doing something stupid at my innitiative means stricter discipline or submissiveness for me or something in that direction.
Yes, I get completely what you mean!
I get why you don’t necessarily need a list. In fact I never had one with Lois and we took it as we went. I Only specifically stated about my sleep limit and spider limit!
Hm, I have some sleeping problems myself, but I wouldn’t put it on the list. I find it highly erotic that my wife sometimes wakes me up (in the middle of the night or very early in the morning), when she gets home late at night all horny or if she cannot sleep, and demands to be eaten or to ride me to her orgasm. She sleeps like a baby afterwards, but I don’t if I am denied an orgasm myself, especially when she demands that I sleep with her love juices drying on my face. Her scent keeps me painfully aroused and awake, but I am also deeply satisfied to be used like that. Not that it happens regularly, perhaps a few times in a year, but we have had an agreement for years that I can never interrupt her sleep for sex, but she can whenever she wants.
When I was younger I would have felt the same as you, in relation to the scenario you’re sketching. Missing sleep for that person’s pleasure is just another way to serve sort of thing, which would be pleasureable but for me not sleeping makes me very suicidal so it’s just really not good haha!
I’m glad your arrangement is working well for you. It’s good to read that
Just for the record, when my wife wakes me up like that in the middle of the night my first reaction is not “yipee, sex again”, it is “groan, why can’t you let me sleep…”, but I honor our deal, she is my mistress, and I just go with the flow… and I start to enjoy pleasuring her soon enough. In retrospect it is always a positive experience for me, even if I am denied the orgasm and cannot sleep after sex.
It’s always interesting to challenge the soft limits, but hard limits should be very much respected. I have never thought of sleep deprivation as a hard limit, but I think that one will definitely be on my hard limits list too. No one should ever steal my sleep!
You mentioned being tied at night and waking up to pee but having to wait for the lock to open; that would be a hard limit for me too because it would kill my sleep! But it’s so sad because I want it too
This was interesting in its well balanced provision of information & opinion. You share your personal experience with great generosity.
I think folk beginning their BDSM journey will find this a helpful reference piece.
It’s interesting to read your range of limits and how you manage them. I see pushing limits and boundaries as growth, and girl, you’ve grown!
Thank you HL, that made me smile!
I think you seem so good at pushing your own limits. I think this comes from a really good awareness of who you are as a person. There are some great points in this post and I love that you have shown how important growth is in a person 🙂
Thank you Missy, that means a lot 🙂 xx
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I think this is your best blog ever Mila.
Your mind is limiting you.
I’m sure that is so true. Of me. Me of all of us all sorts of situations.
You are so strong Mila. Maybe it’s your dissociation. Maybe it’s your calm core.
I dont know whether straight guys usually admit to finding a lesbian girl attractive. You said not in one post?
But i think you’re spellbinding Mila!
Or maybe I just wish i was more like you!
Like a previous poster above said you are extremely generous in sharing your personal experiences. Thank you. vin
Thank you Vin 🙂
i appreciate you enormously Mila. Your writting is engaging and passionate. You challenge me to think , to be true to your real self.
You say Lois understood people well. You yourself have great understanding.
i regarded Ds as pretty damn interesting. But didnt really get it until i read you.
My mind has limited me. In all sorts of contexts.
If only i were brave , and open and unflinching honest like you!