30 Days of D/s,  Experience,  Opinion

What Are Your Limits?

This post is #9 in my 30 Days of D/s series. If you’d like to read more, please visit my 30 Days of D/s page for the complete inventory of posts. 

I can be quite a bit more reserved in the sexual department than my husband…He’s a pretty adventurous guy. But even though I tend to go wide-eyed like a deer in headlights at some of the things He suggests the first time, it’s possible to ease me into most things over time.

For example, I’ve come to quite enjoy anal sex…even though we call it “fight club” and therefore must not speak of it (mainly because it makes me uncomfortable). Over the years, we’ve tried so many things I never would have considered before I met Him. Not all of it worked out well, and not all of it was handled the right way or tried for the right reasons on my end.

I’ve stated before that I have tended to go along with things simply to make Him happy, and over time, that created some trust issues (for Him) and some resentment (from me). For those of you who have read my blog for awhile, you already know those stories, but for others, here’s a quick synopsis:

After the birth of our son, our sex life went adrift. I wasn’t finding sex very pleasurable (because of some medical reasons…a difficult birth that led to a hysterectomy), and Mr. D suggested swinging. Maybe not the best “solution,” and not completely a solution really…just something He was interested in trying. We enjoyed it for awhile, and I learned that I actually enjoyed watching my husband give and receive pleasure from another woman. Eventually, a few years later, Mr. D suggested adding a submissive “third” to our mix (on a regular basis). It didn’t go well…mainly because of my own jealousy issues…and because I really didn’t want to do it. But we’d found that he enjoyed Dominance and wanted to spend some time with someone more submissive than I was and someone who liked pain more than I did. He also needed something more from our “swinging” relationships…something more stable and lasting with another person that made Him comfortable. Basically, we found one of my limits the hard way. While he is likely poly, I am not. And it caused us all kinds of problems because we didn’t handle any of it the right way.

My only real HARD limits are those that put me in danger of having my identity uncovered, unsafe sex, severe pain, anything having to do with urine/feces, nothing illegal (children/animals)…that sort of stuff.

Also, for now, because we are trying to get ourselves back on track, sexually, emotionally, and in regards to trust and getting over our past shit, a hard limit is adding anyone else to the mix. It’s just too complicated. I’m not willing to say it’s a hard limit forever, but for now…

I don’t handle pain in general well, humiliation or embarrassment, or anything new that is a surprise, but that doesn’t make those hard limits, it just makes them uncomfortable, and as a submissive, I should expect to come up against discomfort from time to time. It’s what will challenge me sexually. Mr. D is good at providing challenging situations, I just have not traditionally been good at accepting or following those challenges, which has made Him reticent to even try, and he hasn’t always been great at reading my signals or keeping things slow enough for me. But that’s really an issue of communication more than limits.

My biggest problem with His challenges has usually been that I fear once we try something it will automatically become part of our sexual repertoire…even if I don’t like it. It’s faulty thinking, though, and based only on the past behavior of not speaking up. This goes back to communication, conflict, and dealing with negative emotions in D/s. It’s His responsibility to challenge me for my own growth, but it’s my job to bring up my concerns and fears and other negative reactions so that we can talk through them to find the root cause. I may never “like” certain things, but that doesn’t mean He can’t, or that we can’t engage in those activities. It just means He’ll have to know I don’t like it.

Limits change, though. What seems scary or strange today might seem like old hat in ten years. It’s about comfort level and easing into things over time. A good submissive communicates how s/he feels about that, and a good Dom has a pretty good idea of when to push and when to quit.

What’s probably most important when it comes to boundaries and limits is discussing them beforehand, and being aware that they may shift or change, which means coming back to the table and keeping the lines of communication open. A sub can’t assume a Dom will read her mind, and a Dom can’t assume his sub is up for anything at all times. We all have limits. We shouldn’t be ashamed of them or feel less-than because we have them. Choosing not to do certain things doesn’t make us a less of a “submissive,” nor should it make us less so in the eyes of a Dom or other subs (besides…it’s really none of their business). Respecting our own limits and boundaries is important, and we do this through communicating them clearly to others. It’s cool to be willing to challenge our limits and push our boundaries. After all, that’s how we grow. But only we know just how far we are willing to go, and we should never feel forced to go beyond that.

(Disclaimer: The opinions in these articles are simply that…opinions. These are my personal feelings on issues of D/s. It is important to note that I am and always have been in a consensual relationship, and any activities I partake of, I have done so with full consciousness and willingness. Also, on the issue of pronoun usage, I use HE/she pronouns, with the Dominant being the He and the submissive being the she. This is for ease of writing and because it is what I identify with. Pronouns are interchangeable, so feel free to fill in with those that work best for your situation. Be nice in the comments. I’m not here to be berated or argue the issues, I’m just here to explore my own feelings and opinions and share them with those that may find benefit in doing so.)

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  • kitten

    Brigit this is such a good post because it emphasises the fact that not every D/s relationship is like another. Everyone should be listened to and treated with love and care. Just because one woman loves a damned good spanking it doesn’t mean you have to as well. You really need to be self aware and have the confidence to speak up for yourself. I have a soft limit but I know my darling S. adores doing it. He will always check with me before doing it and it is left to me to say yes or no. That’s the way it should be. If anyone tries to tell me, that makes me less of a submissive, can go jump. I think we get caught up in all the things submissives are supposed to do to be submissive. Make your own way with your partner not fall into the stereotypical traps that are touted by other people. That is a trip to disaster. You value yourself Brigit and keep going. That keeps you safe physically and emotionally

    • Brigit Delaney

      Thanks, kitten. I think the message I’m trying to send with all of these posts is that D/s is what you make it. You mention that none of us have to be what we think submissives (or Doms) “should” be. That’s super important. There is no ONE way…there is only OUR way for US…and YOUR way for YOU.

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