"What are your limits?" is a question regularly asked in a BDSM scene. Although it sounds pretty simple, if you are new to BDSM, do you know what limits do you have? Do you realize what you want to do and what you don't?
That everyone has limits is a certainty. For example, death and mutilation are clear limits. So start by thinking about the obvious. Saying that you have no BDSM limits will not make you look super fetishist and eager, it will tell the experienced BDSM followers that you do not know your limits and maybe, they will avoid having play sessions with you!
Before you even think about enjoying a BDSM meeting with someone, make a list of plays or interactions you don't want to try. If you are not sure, take a look through the fetish lists and add to your list anything you wouldn't like to experience.
Some things can be depicted from everyday life. If you think feet are ugly or source of pathogenic germs, then the cult of feet is probably not for you. If you are freaking out in confined spaces, you have to put on your no-no list the BDSM cages and sensory deprivation.
Ways to discover your BDSM limits
Roleplay - Through online or phone roleplay situations, for example, you can think about what sounds attractive to you. If you enjoy a certain activity in words, then maybe you will enjoy it in a real-life scenario! And if you find typing or talking about something scary or uncomfortable, then there is a clear limit to add to your list.
Self Play – There are some things you cannot do for yourself, of course, but there are many things you can try on your own: actions like flogging yourself to see if you like it, swallow your own sperm or experience orgasm denial. That way, you are in control.
BDSM play with preset limits - When you try something for the first time with a play partner, set and communicate to him or her some soft limits: flexible limits that may change with the evolution of the BDSM scene. You might find that you can take more than you expected or that you don't like something, so soft limits can be pushed and changed, but all with continuous communication and consent. It is essential that you do this with a trusted partner who will listen to you and stop the scene if you request it and will be ready to give you aftercare if necessary.
Do I have to push my BDSM boundaries?
Some BDSM plays may involve pushing the limits, often known as "edge play” but you don't have to do anything if you don't want to. If you are satisfied, you know very well how much you can take or you don't like a certain thing, then you don't have to push yourself to test harder or further. Don't try anything to make someone else happy!
However, if you are comfortable with your Dominator and want your limits tested, then do it!
You can learn a lot just by pushing your comfort zone a little further. But make sure you only do this with a trusted partner who will be able to give you aftercare, - even if you don't usually need it: pushing your boundaries can make you really vulnerable!
If someone pushes beyond the limits you have set, stop the BDSM play you are participating in using your safeword, if necessary - and start a conversation. It is a red flag if someone keeps trying to get you to push a limit you have and that you stated before the play.
Don't let someone push your limits without your consent! An experienced kinkster will make sure never exceed the limits.
Don't participate in anything if you feel you have been coerced!
"No" is powerful - use it!
If your wishes are not respected, step out of the BDSM scene!
You don't have to do everything someone tells you to do without regard to your limits discussed before the BDSM play, just because he or she is a Dominator!
BDSM limits exist to keep you both safe and satisfied; do not limit your fun at all.
Discuss your BDSM boundaries and fantasies with others on the forum: you could find out new things. After all, the sky is the limit!
Pushing your BDSM boundaries
Pushing the BDSM boundaries is the practice of pushing a submissive beyond their limits communicated before the BDSM play. Specifically, this term refers to pushing the flexible limits, soft limits. These are the limits that can be negotiated with the right partner under the right circumstances and may include activities that a submissive has either not yet tried or disliked in the past, but also BDSM activities that he or she has tried, but to a small extent.
Dominators usually push the limits of their submissives to extend the limits of pain accepted in the BDSM play. This can increase a couple's playing possibilities and deepen the connection between them. The submissive can enjoy pushing his or her limits to increase their tolerance to pain and experience things they have never imagined as possible before.
However, the limits that a submissive sets can also be emotionally charged. In such cases, pushing limits can be difficult or even undesirable. It is important for the submissive that the Dominator examines why the submissive has a certain limit, why they may want to push it, and any feelings associated with the limit.
It is important for a Dominator to know which limits to push and how to push those limits. A Dominator must go slowly when pushing limits to avoid overwhelming their submissive. Passion, understanding, trust, and communication are vital for ensuring this process to go well. These virtues should be practiced after pushing limits too, to ensure that negative feelings, subdrop, will not arise after the play.
As with all BDSM and sexual interaction between a submissive and their Dominator, the limits should not be pushed without the consent of both parties. The submissive should use the agreed safeword if the play moves beyond their hard limits.
A Dominator should never pressure their submissive to push limits!
A flexible, soft limit is a negotiable limit that is set before you engage in the BDSM play. The flexible limit is something that either the Dominator or the submissive person does not feel comfortable with at the time of negotiation, but they can renegotiate it after a period of BDSM sessions and experiments in the couple or only in a certain play situation. It differs from a hard limit precisely because it is negotiable.
In BDSM, the couples set limits to ensure that partners remain safe and within the boundaries of what they are willing to do. Soft limits can be pushed and changed over time as a couple's confidence levels increase in a long-term relationship.
A hard limit is a limit set before the BDSM play that cannot be changed. A hard limit is something that either partner cannot or will not participate in, for physical, emotional or other reasons.
In BDSM, the partners set their limits so that the play remains safe and does not exceed any personal limit without permission. For example, the BDSM impact play may include whipping or caning, but a submissive can set these types of plays as hard limits because they have a blood thinning treatment or simply because they don't enjoy those impact types of play. Limits are set before engaging in any BDSM session to avoid any confusion, injury or resistance, even unnecessary arguments. If a hard limit is breached, it is reason to end the BDSM scene right away.
A time limit is a predefined number of hours or minutes in which a BDSM scene is to take place. In the BDSM community, it is common to determine for how long a BDSM scene will last. The deadline is agreed by the participants before the start of the scene, along with the hard and soft limits of the participants.
Time limits are most common in casual play between participants who do not know each other very well. Like other types of BDSM limits, it ensures that the participants are safe and remain in control of their own situations. Between long-term couples practicing BDSM, time limits can be used for certain phases of the relationship, such as formation.
A requirement limit is a BSDM term used to describe things Dominants or submissives absolutely need when taking part in a BSDM scene. These are things that participants will refuse to do the scene without, and may include certain acts or even aftercare.
A requirement limit may also be known as a must limit.
Negotiating limits is a big part of BDSM and many of its practitioners' goals are to engage in BDSM play that is always safe, sane and consensual. A requirement limit is the opposite of other types of limits that are set to prevent certain acts and sorts of plays, and instead aims to lay out play that couples enjoy and consider essential for having a good time.
This sort of communication needs not to be applied to BDSM only, though. Letting partners know what you want and what is essential to your pleasure should open the lines of communication between partners and even improve your BDSM and sexual life.
The boundaries in BDSM plays explain a person's limitations on BDSM and sexual activities that he or she feels comfortable taking part in. Boundaries involve a set of personal guidelines implemented to protect the involved person from events or situations that may cause to experience mental, physical or emotional harm and suffering. Each person will have a different set of boundaries depending on their unique preferences, tastes and experiences.
Sometimes boundaries in BDSM plays are clearly defined and negotiated before a couple engages in BDSM activities within a BDSM relationship, but often the boundaries within BDSM plays are gradually discovered as members of the couple get to know each other better.
Some people see sex as a game of boundaries. It is about understanding your own limits and knowing your partner's: learning when you can push those boundaries and when you should play inside them. In the BDSM community, all these activities are much ritualized, with clear discussions and sometimes contracts that define the limits of each participant. Safewords are also often set to help individuals express that a limit has been exceeded.
This practice is less common in the vanilla community, thus increasing the chances of miscommunication, but nevertheless, limits are important in all types of relationships.
So, usually people have two different sets of limits, as described in this article. The first set, often called hard limits are BDSM and very clear sexual limits that the individual refuses to cross. Another set of boundaries, often called soft limits, can be somewhat more fluid. In fact, many people find their BDSM and sexual life even more enjoyable when they push these soft limits and discover what happens when they explore beyond their comfort zones.
Safety aspects in BDSM plays
During a BDSM play, a safeword is used when a participant is uncomfortable and wants the scene to be less intense or to stop altogether. Safewords must be set before starting a playing scene. All participants should be aware and respectful of these words.
The word "stop" may seem like an obvious safeword, but during BDSM play it is not unusual for this word to be used to enhance sexual pleasure or mood. Instead, the best safewords are words or phrases that are easy to pronounce and would not normally be spoken during the BDSM play. Universal safewords red, green, and yellow meaning stop, go, and slow down, will be further detailed in here.
Safe signals are nonverbal cues that submissives can use to show that they have reached the limit during a BDSM scene. When Dominators see their submissives using safe signals, they should immediately stop or slow down the scene, depending on what has been agreed. Safe signals can replace the safewords in certain BDSM scenes.
Safe signals are commonly used during BDSM scenes where submissives cannot speak or produce sounds easily. For example, safe signals may be used while wearing gags or full face masks, when submissive persons engage in the play by taking over the personality of some animals, in which case they are non-verbal, or if they lose consciousness.
Some safe signals may be based on using certain external tools, such as dropping or rattling a set of keys, bells or activating a dog training clicker. Others can rely on the submissive movements, such as clenching, blinking or snapping fingers in a distinctive way. The submissives could also tap repeatedly as the fighters do, urging the immediate stop of the play, or use signals as for the ponies, especially if they are involved in the pony play. Some types of noise, such as grunting at a pace, can also be classified as safe signals.
As with safewords, safe signals should be negotiated and agreed before the BDSM play. This process ensures that there is no confusion during a BDSM scene.
Dominators should constantly monitor their submissives to see in due time any safe signals made, especially in scenes where verbal communication may be difficult. This is essential for responsible care and a successful and enjoyable BDSM scene.
Stoplight safewords are a set of safewords that are popular due largely to their clarity and brevity. They aren't just used to end a scene. Rather, they are used to communicate throughout the scene. Stoplight safe words give submissives a universally understood set of signals for staying on the same page as their Dominant.
The stoplight safeword system works as follows:
Red indicates that the scene needs to be stopped and the submissive released from any previously applied restraints.
Yellow indicates that what is happening is testing the sub's tolerance and they may be near their edge.
Green indicates that the scene is being enjoyed by the submissive and should be continued.
A safe call is a phone call someone gives to a trusted friend or family member to let them know that they are okay. The safe call is generally used when a person firstly meets a potential BDSM play partner they don't know enough.
The security call takes place at a predetermined time to let the recipient know that the caller is okay. This type of safety system can be applied in a BDSM relationship, but is commonly used in everyday situations as well. Usually, when a person intend to meet someone not enough known, arranges a time after the meeting hour to make the safe call, to check with a loved one or a friend that everything is fine. If the call is not made, then the plan could be for your friend or loved one to report to the police, as this signals that something is wrong.