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BDSM 101 – Negotiating Limits

BDSM 101 – Negotiating Limits http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BDSM_logo.svg
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Today we discuss what are limits, why should I talk to my partner about limits, what is the difference between a soft and hard limit, and what are some ways you can discuss your limits.

  Why use limits?

So why do people set limits?
Limits are set for a number of reasons. The first is that oftentimes people just identify as being interested in BDSM, but BDSM covers a wide variety of types of play so more specification is needed. Oftentimes during play there is a top/dominant and a bottom/submissive. In this scenario the top/dominant gets the sexual gratification of being in charge. If he/she had to constantly ask what their bottom wanted that would ruin the mood. But if before the scene starts they take the time to discuss what is allowed and not allowed then the top/dominant can use that information and his/her discretion and plan a scene how they want. This is important because being able to plan and have that control is where a lot of sexual gratification comes from. The same is true for a bottom/submissive. They often do not want to have any input once a scene has started. Their gratification comes from being submissive to the dominant, so if they constantly have to make suggestions then it can ruin the mood for them as well. People outside of BDSM relationships set limits inherently through communication. They talk and constantly adjust. The reason setting limits in BDSM is more formal is because most people do not want to do that during a scene when they are roleplaying, so the activity is made more formal and exists outside the sexual play.

What is a good way to go about setting limits?
To start setting limits I think it is best to focus on what you both want to start off with. So if you want to be tied up, or if you want to play with butt plugs, or if you want to be called names start there. Once each person has shared everything they want see where there is common ground. If you both agree on something then that’s is great. It is easy to use that as a starting point for your play. After that you will need to see where you do not match up, explain why to each other and understand each other. Talk and see if either of you is willing to accommodate. If not then you have established a hard limit or a soft limit. Eventually you will end up knowing all of your partner’s likes and dislikes.

The act of sharing, though, can be intimidating. It can be hard to share your fetishes and kinks and likes and dislikes, but there are websites to help with that. One is mojoupgrade. It allows you and your partner to take a questionnaire separately. You check off boxes that indicate your interests. Then what you get at the very end is a list where you both agreed. So your partner doesn’t get to know anything you like that they do not like. This can be a good starting point to discuss some of your likes because it starts out only where you have common ground. Once you are comfortable sharing some things and have tried them then it is more likely you will continue to do so in the future. Sunbox.me is also a list you can use. It does show your partner all your likes though. I will say that both of these sites do go down from time to time, so if you try and access one and it does not work just try again in a week.

As always if you have any questions or want to share anything feel free to do so in the comment section.

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BDSM—kink—fetish: what are they? How does one do it? And, most importantly, who’s doing it? The answer might just be staring back at you in the mirror.

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