Getting to Know Limits: The Importance of Hard and Soft Limits in #BDSM Dynamics

“NO! Definitely NOT! I’m not going to get shat on! That’s fucking gross.”

“You want to draw blood with a knife, carve me open? Hell no.”

Though I’ve reacted in vehement opposition to scat/shit/poop as a hard limit, I’ve never experienced strong responses like this from any submissive, but I know of Dominants who have. Listening to these protestations is of paramount importance.

For the novice, the newbie, BDSM practitioner, let me start by clarifying HARD and SOFT limits.

“Hard Limits” are simple: A hard limits is anything you will NEVER do in a session or ever period for any reason, for anyone.

“Soft Limits” are a bit less simple. These are limits you have that you MIGHT possibly do.

It is imperative We understand one another. I think that’s kind of preaching to the choir. We all know instinctively that Our community is about common decency and consent. Yet somehow many people appear to forget that.

To help the novice, and perhaps others of you, I’ve included here the form I use—also available in the Collared Girls store—to determine hard and soft limits during a play session…

HARD AND SOFT LIMITS

Dominant’s HARD LIMITS: Bestiality, branding, scatophilia

submissive’s HARD LIMITS: Bestiality, cutting, scatophilia

 

Other Possible Limits:

Circle those most interested in. Cross out those which are soft

 

 

Age Play                                             

 

Anal Sex                              

 

Anal plugs (small)

 

Anal plugs (large)                           

 

 

Anal Plug (public under clothes)         

 

Arm & leg sleeves (arm binders)

 

Aromas

 

Asphyxiation

 

 

 

Auctioned for charity                                 

 

Ball Stretching

 

Bathroom use control

 

Beating (soft or hard)

 

 

Blindfolding

 

Being bitten                               

 

Breast/chest bondage                        

 

Breath control    

                              

 

Boot Worship                                  

 

Bondage (light)

 

Bondage (heavy)

 

Bondage (public under clothing)

 

 

Breast whipping                                           

 

Cages (locked inside)

                      

 

Caning

 

Chains

 

 

Chastity belts                                        

 

Chauffeuring

 

Choking

 

Chores (domestic service)

 

 

Clothespins/Clamps (breasts and/or genitalia)                                     

 

 

Cock rings/straps                              

 

 

Cock worship                                                   

 

 

Collars (worn in private)           

 

Collars (worn in public)

 

Competitions (with other subs) 

 

Cuffs (leather)

 

Cuffs (metal)  

 

 

 

Dilation

 

Dildos

 

Double Penetration                                  

 

Electricity

 

 

Erotic Dance (for audience)  

                    

 

Examinations (physical)                    

 

Exercise (forced/required)                     

 

Exhibitionism (friends)                      

 

Exhibitionism (strangers)    

  

 

Eye contact restrictions                     

 

Face Slapping                                        

 

Fantasy Abandonment                       

 

Fantasy rape                                  

 

Fantasy gang rape                            

 

Fear (being scared)                  

 

Fisting (anal)

 

 

Fisting (vaginal)                                    

 

Flame plays                                       

 

Following orders                                    

 

Foot worship 

                                   

 

Forced homosexuality

 

 

Forced heterosexuality

 

Forced masturbation

 

Forced nudity (private)

 

Forced nudity (around others)

 

 

Forced Servitude

 

Gags (ball and mouth/medical gags)

 

Hair brush spankings

 

Hair pulling

 

Hand Jobs (giving/receiving)

 

Harems (serving w/other subs)

 

Harnessing (leather)

 

 

 

Harnessing (rope)

 

Having food chosen for you

 

Having clothing chosen for you

 

Head (give fellatio/cunnilingus)

 

 

Head (receiving fellatio/cunnilingus

 

Hard/Forced Oral Gagging/Breath Restriction

 

High Heel Wearing

 

High Heel Worship

 

 

 

 

Homage with tongue (non-sexual)

 

Hoods

 

Hot oils (on genitals)

 

Hot waxing/Epilation

 

 

 

Housework (doing)

 

Humiliation (private/public)

 

Hypnotism

 

Ice cubes

 

 

 

Immobilization

 

Intricate (Japanese) rope bondage

 

Kidnapping

 

Kneeling

 

 

 

Knife play

 

Leather Clothing

 

Leather restraints

 

Lectures for misbehavior

 

 

Licking (non-sexual)

 

Lingerie (wearing)

 

Manacles and Irons

 

Manicures (giving)

 

 

Massage (giving)

 

Massage (receiving)

 

Medical scenes

 

Modeling for erotic photos

 

 

Mouth bits

 

Mummification

 

Name change (for scene)

 

Nipple clamping (clamps and boards)

 

 

Nipple rings (piercing)

 

Nipple weights

 

Oral/anal play (rimming)

 

Over the knee spanking

 

 

 

Orgasm denial

 

Orgasm control

 

Outdoor scenes

 

Pain (severe)

 

 

Pain (mild)

 

Persona training (in scene)

 

Phone sex (serving Dom)

 

Phone sex (serving Dom’s friends)

 

 

Phone sex (commercial)

 

Piercing (temporary, play-pierce)

 

Piercing (permanent)

 

Prison scenes

 

 

 

Public exposure

 

Punishment scene

 

Pussy/cock whipping

 

Pussy worship

 

 

Riding crops

 

Riding the “horse” (crotch tort)

 

Rituals

 

Religious scenes

 

 

 

Restrictive rules on behavior

 

Rubber/latex clothing

 

 

 

Rope body harness

 

Scratching (getting)

 

 

 

Scratching (giving)

 

Sensory deprivation

 

Serving

 

Serving as art

 

 

Serving as furniture

 

Serving as a maid

 

Serving as waitress/waiter

 

Serving orally (sexual)

 

 

 

Serving other Doms (supervised)

 

Sexual deprivation (short term)

 

Sexual deprivation (long term)

 

Shaving

 

Skinny dipping

 

Sleep deprivation

 

Sleep sacks

 

Slutty clothing (private)

 

 

Slutty clothing (public)

 

Spandex clothing

 

Spanking

 

Speech restrictions (when/what)

 

 

Spreader bars

 

Standing in corner

 

Stocks

 

Strait jackets

 

 

Strap-on-dildos (sucking on)

 

Strap-on-dildos (penetrated by)

 

Strap-on-dildos (wearing)

 

Strapping (full body beating)

 

 

Streaking

 

Suspension (upright)

 

Suspension (inverted)

 

Supplying new partners for Dom

 

 

Swallowing semen

 

Swapping (with one other couple)

 

Swinging (multiple couples)

 

Teasing

 

 

 

TENS unit (electrical toy)

 

Thumb cuffs (metal)

 

Tickling

 

Triple Penetration

 

 

Uniforms

 

Including others

 

Vaginal dildo

 

Verbal humiliation

 

 

Vibrator on genitals

 

Violet wand (electrical toy)

 

Voyeurism (watching others)

 

Voyeurism (your Dom w/others)

 

Video (watching others)

 

Video (recordings of you)

 

Water torture

 

Waxing (hair removal)

 

 

 

Wearing symbolic jewelry

 

We-Vibe (public)

 

Whipping

 

Wooden paddles

 

 

 

Wrestling

 

Escort

 

 

Feathers

 

Pinwheels/Spurs

 

Ben Wa Balls (vaginal)

 

Ben Wa Balls (anal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also include a section titled “OTHER SCENES/IDEAS NOT LISTED” in case this table doesn’t cover everything.

There will come a time when you and your Dominant will naturally know and you’ll just talk about possible scenes. But for the novice, especially the newest submissives to Our wonderful community, learn about the limits of your Dominant and about your own limits.

The number one complaint I see—and have personally experienced—about submissives is when a sub says something like, “Oh, I want to experience everything. I don’t have any limits.”

This is a crock of shit. We all have limits. It’s in our DNA, in our “Fight or Flight” response. It’s an inherent part of when we are.

While an elite skier might be okay skiing off one of the Alps, that doesn’t mean they’re going to ski off the top of Devil’s Tower (if it had snow) or the summit of Kilimanjaro or Everest.

A list like this, of hard and soft limits in table or list form, allows the Dominant to better understand their submissives limits and how far they might push them and it allows the submissive to ease into the session and community.

My advice to all: Until you’re at ease with one another and are able to talk about needs—unless you’re already friends and have spoken at length about limits—use a table or list.

 

Remember: safety and consent are the two most important aspects of our BDSM, kink lifestyle.

 

 

 

Miss Ruby

Miss Ruby

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