I guess, on reflection, that I have always seen Limits being the end of something, or the maximum of an action. ‘End of city limits’ as seen in American movies as the bandit drives over the border, or the test pilot who looks at the speed dials before the glass cracks under pressure. Like most things that govern us, they are made up. They are not real, just rules that someone said had to be in place to keep control of the population. Religion is a good example as is law, which I suppose are closely tied. Our friend, the test pilot, cracked the glass of his jet’s dial because he pushed past the prescribed limits. He ‘pushed the envelope’ I believe is the term, and hopefully he survived to land in time for tea and medals despite the risks he took. Our bandit used limits to his advantage in an obvious way, however, you could argue that being chased by 20 police cars in a mile long overhead camera shot of dust and gun fire, he probably broke someone’s limit much earlier in the day.
My conclusion therefore is that a limit is something that is put in place to stop activities or show that beyond that limit things are very different. A Big Red Sign that hopefully explains that a lot of discussion went into the decision and any change requires a complete review of the county line, law, agreement or even the engineer’s technical calculations on how fast a jet can fly. So, how does this reflect on a D/s relationship? Well, I know that if you are reading this you have a level of intelligence and you have worked it out for yourself.
For the purposes of this post, I will give you my interpretation of limits in our relationship. Let us assume that I have a pretty good idea by now what Missy’s limits are today. You will note I’m sure, that I used the word ‘today’ and that was deliberate. The limits we set as a couple have changed over the past 10 years or so. That has either come about through evolution of being comfortable with the type of activities, maturing a desire to try something new or that we saw a need in each other and wanted to support it.
My own personal limits have changed a lot as I have got older. I would never have wanted to have skin to skin contact with another man if sharing space with partners. I most certainly would not want to have another cock touch me. I have no explanation for this by the way, it was just there, in my head. Now, however, such things I find welcoming, a turn on in fact. The hedonistic animal in my head has been on the rampage and kicked a few doors in that had name plates marked LIMITS. The type of play missy engaged in never involved other people and was in someways a real limit. We both came from dysfunctional marriages and probably had a few hangups about that which is natural. We have reviewed our limits in that area over a long period of time and have played in close proximity to others both momentarily in a club and more recently in a private space. We then have the other safety net to consider, Boundaries.
To me boundaries are invisible to the naked eye. They are in place to stop us running away, literally, and also to pause and consider before stepping over, or moving the boundary to help press your buttons! We have played around with boundaries on a regular basis; sometimes they have been negotiated dynamically and other times after discussion over time. I have used boundaries raising children and managing employees. If people know what is to the left of them and to the right, it allows growth to move forward. That may sound a little pysco-babble, but I believe it to be true and have witnessed in myself and others.
Enough of the theory though, what about some examples you might ask? Well, we never really had any limits I suppose. Swinging was something we didn’t have any interest in the conventional sense and anything that caused extreme pain lasting long after play. We had boundaries in many areas, however, it was things we didn’t know much about, or had not explored them very much. We also had personal boundaries, not just joint ones. They too have changed. Take missy for example; she really did not like forming casual friendships with men. She is very open about sex and looks great, which presents an issue as some men see that as an invitation, I certainly did and therefore understand the allure. In the past few years missy has developed relationships on line with a few men that she trusts and has become good friends, and that is a significant boundary pushed and areas of growth for her. Photography is another area, which due to body image issues, caused some anxiety. Again, over time we have experimented and that has produced some beautiful images and raised missy’s self esteem ten fold in relationships with food, exercise and how she sees herself.
One major Limit/Boundary was playing with other people in a D/s environment. We have been to a few clubs and events where this activity took place but they were just terrible. Mostly dark, cold, lots of pretty disinterested people hanging about; not a positive experience you will agree. Then, after a chance conversation with kink friends a decision was made to travel to the highlands of Scotland and hire an apartment for a few days. Out limits had been discussed, our boundaries revisited and also some rules about moving them dynamically when away.
Now please don’t think we went from being a closed couple to Roman orgy over the weekend. We had fun, few clothes were worn, photos taken, some kinky play and some demo/discussion of types of play. On return journey through the hills and glens we discussed the activities we were involved in and discovered that aside from Limits and Boundaries, I pushed missy Soft-Limits. This was not a term we have used very much, however, it is an important one, and I’ll explain why.
A few of the activities of play we engaged in whilst away involved physical interaction of a sexual nature. This did not extend to fucking, however, Soft-Limits were pushed with regard to touching. The main reason missy consented to crossing the Soft-Limits was due to her meeting my needs as her Dominant. She operated under my instruction and as such was allowed to detach from her everyday position on the subject and let go. Would she have voluntarily entered into these activities without a D/s dynamic being in place? I very much doubt it. One of the things that came out of our discussion was her enjoyment of the time away and a desire to pursue more areas of humiliation within D/s, and the presence of other people. I should point out that for the purposes of balance I have driven much of this, and therefore added another alibi of submissive deniability!
We have come a long way in 10 years and it has all been gradual and well discussed. There have been times where we have put our foot on the breaks and checked in to ensure the other person isn’t running away with an idea, which is usually me to be honest; however, when in a close relationship like ours, being cautious is not a sign of being boring, it’s a sign love and trust.