So you decided you interested to try and dip your toe into the Kinky world. You have seen a BDSM checklist and eagerly going through it to see which activities you might like to try.
Then you get that moment of WOOOOOW. What are all these terms and WHAT exactly do they mean? Then you see the word soft limit and hard limit? But what if you are really new and don’t really know what you would like or what you will not?
The first lesson to learn for today is: DO NOT under any circumstances reply to a potential Dominant that you as a submissive don’t have ANY limits. You will not scare someone away by saying (not the good ones anyway) that you are relatively new and don’t know exactly what your limits are.
So let's get into the nitty-gritty of what exactly we mean by a Hard and Soft Limit.
The hard limit is those activities that are a definite no. You do not want to do it or negotiate it. You might have specific reasons for not wanting it or just outright not like it.
Soft limits can be placed in two categories. First one is activities you have tried in the past but really did not enjoy but with the right partner will give it another go. But it is not an outright automatic yes.
The second one is an activity you haven't tried before but are very unsure about, but you might be willing to negotiate or at least talk about in the future with the right Dominant or in the right circumstances. So it's not an outright no but it is not something you are going to do on a first play scene with someone. It might be an activity that requires you to trust the Dominant a bit more. And that level of trust can only come with time.
Now another thing to remember, limits can change. Things you had on a hard limit list might change to soft or even a play activity. As you get involved with the kink community you might observe a few scenes with the said activity that peaks your interest. Or as you explore your own boundaries you might see that over time they stretch and expand.
You can have different limits with different play partners. Some people might have a higher skill level in certain areas and you might say do a shibari scene with them but with everyone else, Shibari ropework is a hard limit.
This is where the personal responsibility for setting limits come in. You are in charge of setting the limits for yourself and it is something that should be respected. The breach of a hard limit is a serious thing and can end relationships. Please walk away from any Dominant that says a “true submissive has no limits except those of the Dominant.”
Now so far I have spoken about hard and soft limits from a submissives point of view (as I am a submissive), however, Dominants have hard and soft limits as well. Certain activities they would not do at all as well as those ones that they might be willing to negotiate on, in the right circumstances.
Moc will be doing an article on how a Dominant (after some time has passed) might start pushing or negotiating on soft limits with a submissive, and no it's not just to steamroll right over your submissive either.