A few words on limits. And I expect I’m going to upset a few people.
I rarely directly discuss limits. I certainly never present someone with a document to consider and negotiate over it like a business meeting. But ordinary* relationships manage without this discussion being explicit, they negotiate and discover as they progress. Among the various sex positive ‘communities’ we believe we are more aware, more cognoscent of the issues others might have. Those of us who are fulfilled by the submission of another believe we understand our sub, that we know them. Those who like to be dominated must trust their Dom.
It is, of course, best practice to have an understanding of your consort’s limits. But that can be gained through conversation, sexting, experience – paying attention. Why do we feel it should be different for us, that we must have this dry, dusty meeting? This filling in of a questionnaire? Don’t you feel you know you partner(s) well enough? Don’t you know you’ll be able to tell when your sub’s wish to please you is conflicting with their own fear, physical boundaries or preferences? Or are you planning to rush right up to those boundaries straight away – your first time together – without building an experiential trust first? Isn’t that the same as fucking without foreplay, even if the building of experiential trust is a progression of months, rather than a little less than an hour?
Shouldn’t we, as people who claim to be more aware, more considered of our choices also be more aware of our consort’s responses and reactions? Of course we should. While recognising that some may feel safer having discussed limits, wouldn’t you, as a sub, feel safer knowing your consort has taken the time to know you well enough, get inside your head sufficiently, to be aware of your limits, be aware of your behavioural responses, and aware of your body language that he will always ensure your safety, protection, fulfilment? Psychological as well as physical? If he is aware of those things, if he’s taken the time to explore your mind, you’ll never need that safeword.
“Ah,” you might say, “What if we’re new together? What if he doesn’t understand me so well? what if he wouldn’t recognise those subtle signals that I’m not happy?” Well, I’d ask you, What are you doing submitting to a man you don’t trust? A man who hasn’t learned so much about you that he knows your desires and needs? What’s the rush?
Take the time to build the experiential trust, for him to learn your cues and triggers. To learn your limits, which can be pushed, which can’t, rather than be told them.
And what will kill the passion and spontaneity faster than a business meeting, a contract that says “You can do these to me.” And once you’ve rushed to those boundaries first time out, then what? Where’s the progression in your life, the excitement of the ‘new thing’ together?
Knowing limits is important, but it’s part of the trust and rapport you naturally build up over time. Learning what excites and what doesn’t is part of the fun of a pairing. Kill it with an excel spreadsheet if you like, but I won’t.
*I’m using the word “ordinary” as a descriptor we can all understand to differentiate instead of “vanilla” because I don’t really like the word vanilla. I think it’s often used to condescend or place a value judgement. Many people are perfectly satisfied with their ‘ordinary’ sex lives, and that’s fine.
© Charles Rochester 2015