When we first started out, HisLordship and I looked over a limits list together. It is really important in a D/s relationship that you are aware of what each other’s limits are. The open communication you have together mean that it is usually not a difficult thing to discuss and it can actually be a great way of working through any embarrassment that you may have. We actually had a lot of fun doing it and it was also quite hot to be talking and thinking about all of the things that we might one day do together.
The first thing to note is that you can have ‘hard’ limits and ‘soft’ limits. Hard limits are things that should not ever be done whereas soft limits are things that you are hesitant about or may put conditions on. It is really important to be clear to your partner about what your limits are as it is really serious if these aren’t respected. I would see a serious red flag for any Dominant who did not respect their submissive’s limits. There may be situations and relationships where there is an agreement to relax limits (for example some Master/slave dynamics), but in most D/s relationships they would be upheld. Please note that Dominants may have limits too. It is always advisable to use safewords and these will be used if one party feels that their limits are being pushed beyond a place where it is comfortable for them.
When we set about discussing our limits, we downloaded a limits list from online. There are loads to choose from and it was interesting to see some of the things that were on there. There were certainly more than one or two that Sir and I had to google! From memory, the one that we used didn’t term things as hard and soft but more it asked us to rate it on a scale of how we felt about it. They are pretty comprehensive as they are designed to cover play partners who may not know each other well, so for a married couple like us it was a bit different. For example, it asked you to rate whether you had experience in something and how experienced you were, but most of this we had talked about before, or done together.
I would say that in the beginning, we found the experience of doing it as useful as the actual list that we came up with in the end. We knew each other pretty well but it still led to some very interesting discussion about things that we had not considered before. It was a learning process for sure. The soft limits were the things that generated the real thought for us. For example, the practicalities of trying things which had always been just fantasy and the circumstances whereby they may come about. There was a lot of discussions of the ‘ifs’ and the ‘maybes’ and that was a great thing for us. Our ‘definitely nots’ tended to match each other too so that really made things easier.
In the end we were left with quite a short list of hard limits and a longer one of soft. As time wore on we actually pushed most of the soft ones, under agreed circumstances, and we were left with just a few ‘no go’ areas – blood play, scat play and some types of edge play. Some things were essentially ‘yes’, for example most anal play, but anal fisting was a ‘no’. So it was a really useful exercise for us. We have been back to our initial list quite a few times, especially early on when we were changing a lot and the new found trust and intimacy we had meant that we wanted to push ourselves more, and it is still something which we revisit now.
D/s gives you the safety and security to allow you to be pushed past things that you might not usually want to do. It is so exciting to be able to make some of your deepest darkest fantasies a reality and to do so with someone who you love and trust implicitly. I would exercise caution when starting out as you will probably encounter triggers and boundaries that you may not have been aware of before as it may never really have come up. These are things that, in the right environment you may be able to address but it is important to take it slowly at the beginning. As with anything D/s it is essential to be completely honest, both with yourself and with your partner, and to try not to be embarrassed or ashamed of your kinks or your limits.