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Boundaries to Discuss in BDSM Relationships

Couple Engaged in Role Play

Learning to negotiate boundaries is part of all sexual relationships, whether those boundaries are spoken, unspoken, implied, or assumed.

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Here are four different kinds of boundaries for kinky couples that you should know about.

Safe Words

The idea of a safe word came about in S&M and BDSM because kinky games or power play often includes begging to stop or being forced through consent. If you’re being pegged by a dominatrix with a huge strap-on, for example, you might scream, “Stop, it hurts!” over and over. It’s understood that this is part of the catharsis or pleasure for the bottom. A woman might yell, “No! No! No!” during a fantasy of her stepdad coming into her room at night. In scenarios like these, using protest words is part of the thrill.

That’s why people choose safe words they usually wouldn’t say during sex. “Pineapple” and “Lucky Charms” are two that I’ve used in the past!

Hard Limits

Hard limits are a person’s absolutes. It is not up for negotiation.

For example, a hard limit for many people is using a condom during penetrative sex. It’s not something that gets negotiated again later unless there are extreme changes, such as the couple getting married or trying for a baby.

A hard limit doesn’t have to make sense to both parties to be upheld. It doesn’t even have to make sense to the person with the limit!

Soft Limits

Soft limits are just that—boundaries, but without a hard DO NOT ENTER EVER sign.

Soft limits are often boundaries that we like to keep but break down as a sexual relationship becomes more intimate.

For example, I don’t want your fluids or cum shots on my face or body—most of the time, not all though. That limit changes for me as I become more intimate and familiar with a lover.

Activities might not bring a person pleasure if hauled out too quickly, but as intimacy and chemistry and trust occur between lovers, something off limits comes onto the menu of possibilities.

Many people feel this way about anal sex. When they reach a certain level of intensity in a relationship, they feel ready to move into that activity.

A good way to understand the differences between hard and soft limits is that hard limits mean NO NEVER and soft limits mean NOT NOW or NOT YET.

Boundaries with Different Partners

Are there some sexual activities that you enjoy with some partners and not others?

We all have stuff we tried with a certain someone, or occasions we did things we don’t normally find exciting because a specific partner made it exciting.

I don’t usually use a condom for blowjobs, even if it is advisable, but for a long-term partner who I love and know has HPV warts I’ll use a rubber because I don’t want him to miss out on oral.

You might have different boundaries with a mistress because it thrills you to do whatever she commands, but with a woman who is more vanilla with you, the same activities just wouldn’t make sense.

Most people have very different boundaries with a married partner or long-term relationship than they have with someone they hook up with once or twice.

What hard limits, or soft, are you willing to share? Leave us a comment!

Tell us what you think!

Tell us what you think!

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