The Importance of Discussing Hard Limits in BDSM

January 12, 2021 5:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When you’re getting ready to explore BDSM, you and your partner will need to discuss BDSM rules and limits. Limits are frequently referred to as “hard” or “soft,” which indicates where each partner can push and where they cannot. Since trust is key to a safe and enjoyable BDSM experience, you’ll need to determine your hard and soft limits right away.

Deciding and discussing your limits

BDSM is an umbrella term for a lot of kinky practices, so there’s no getting around it: you’ll have to discuss limits before the clothing comes off. Otherwise, one of you could be picturing a scene with hot wax and whips, while the other thinks they’re in for fuzzy handcuffs and a blindfold. If you’re not comfortable discussing sex with your partner, it’s advisable to wait to try BDSM until you are.

One way to determine your limits is to have each person take a sex quiz, like MojoUpgrade—you’ll both answer questions and see where your interests match. This is a good way to find out what you’re both open to trying, versus what you absolutely will not. Anytime you come up against a hard no from either party, that’s considered a hard limit in BDSM. You should never push someone past their hard limits—that destroys the trust you’ve worked hard to build.

However, soft limits are another story. These are more in the “maybe” territory: activities you’re not necessarily interested in trying, but to which you’re not totally opposed. It might be a scene where your partner can “convince” you and push your limits a little, but you’ll still have a safe word to stop the activity if it becomes too much.

Why hard limits are so important

BDSM is all about trust and communication. That means that you not only need to know where your limits are, but where your partner’s lie, too. Having a safe word is an example of a hard limit: when either person says the safe word, everything has to stop immediately. This allows each person to trust each other and try new things, knowing that they won’t be pushed into a traumatic, painful or otherwise negative experience.

Similarly, discussing your hard limits ahead of time gives you an opportunity to draw the line before the scene begins. You’ll be able to go into it knowing that, for example, your partner won’t be inviting a third party to participate, or inflicting pain on you. This trust allows each person to relax and focus on what is happening, instead of worrying about what might happen.

Ultimately, your hard limits in BDSM will differ depending on who you are, what you like and what you’re interested in exploring. It’s not unusual for hard limits to change over time, which is why it’s so important to discuss them before you start the scene. With healthy communication and understanding, you’ll have a much better time, every time.

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