Jul 122012
 

While it wasn’t all that clear, I did my best to explain why “soft limits” isn’t a very useful concept to me (in the context of a longer-term, mongamish, D/s relationship). I think Tomio said it best in his comments:

“…adding a modifier to the idea of “limits” is a bad idea. Either it’s a limit, or it isn’t. Just its usage implies that limits are not meant to be limiting – it erodes the meaning of limit.” [emphasis added]

In my line of thinking, my partner has limits, and then there’s everything else. “Everything else” includes anything and everything that isn’t a limit–things he likes and dislikes, activities he enjoys and ones he doesn’t.

But just because I don’t consider his dislikes “soft limits” doesn’t mean I ignore his preferences. With a few exceptions, generally, I don’t like asking/making him do things he doesn’t want to do. Besides, that’s not often an issue because our preferences match up pretty well.

We knew our preferences matched well because we discussed preferences and limits in the early stages of the relationship. I won’t get into our hard limits and preferences here–they aren’t all that interesting.

Among his hard limits was this: J won’t go down on a woman when she’s on her period.

This was curious to me because I was well-aware of how much he enjoys oral service. He’s into pussy worship, face-sitting, queening, “forced” oral service, smothering… he’s way into anything that puts his face in contact with pussy, no matter, where, how, or for how long. It’s damn-near a requirement, and I don’t think he’d be with a woman who didn’t allow it. It seemed odd to me that someone so into oral service would be squicked by menstrual blood.

While I found it curious, it didn’t bother me at all. As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m self-conscious about my lady parts, and I couldn’t imagine wanting my partner’s face down there when I was bleeding. It’s not something I’m into, so it was absolutely fine with me that cunnilingus during my period was a hard limit.

Fast forward to a few months later. At the end of a very long play date, I granted him the privilege of allowing him to bury his face in my pussy (which wasn’t easy for me at the time–things are way different now!). Afterwards, when we were winding down, he brought up the subject again. His bringing it up was unexpected–I wasn’t on my period that night and neither one of us had said anything about limits. (But, from experience, I know J tends to babble and ramble and say things he might not say otherwise when I’ve managed to get him sufficiently under.

Without prompting and without much context, J said he had been thinking about his limits and had decided he was willing go down on me, even if I was on my period. While I don’t hold him to what he says when he’s subspacey, in the moment, I was actually quite touched that he’d even suggest breaking his limits for me. While the idea of a man deciding to break his boundaries for me is both completely sweet and infinitely hot, the practice–being serviced while I’m on my period–isn’t all that appealing to me. I’m not against it, but it doesn’t turn me on.

That night, I let him ramble–I enjoy him so much when he’s subspacey–but I didn’t respond to his comment.

In the days that followed, the thought bounced around in my brain. While I’m not into the act, the thought of him breaking his limits really turned me on. His deciding to violate boundaries (ones he set for himself) would mean he was farther into his submission. That? That’s fucking hot.

Fast forward again to last week when J and I got to spend a couple of days together. (That’s a lot of fast forwarding… are you still with me?)

It was just my luck that I started my period on the day he arrived.

Of course, I advised him of the situation responsibly–when his clothes were still on and when his cock wasn’t tightly secured in my hand. When I told him, he looked disappointed, but otherwise unfazed, and we began our evening of bondage, conversation, abuse, dinner, pegging, plugging, drinks, and various forms of edging (it was a very busy night!).

Late in the evening, he said it again: he was willing to go down on me even though I was bleeding. Of course, I was still torn between finding the idea of breaking limits very hot, but still thinking the means by which that might happen was kinda icky. Besides that, his language made me hesitate.

He was willing–I don’t like that word. I don’t want my boy to be willing to break his limits. I want him to want to break his limits. More than that, I want him to break his limits for me, not because he’s an addict in the midst of pussy-withdrawal. I tried to communicate that, but admittedly, I didn’t do it very well.

I said something to the effect of: “You’re willing to break your limits to get what you want…. not because of what I want. Unfortunately for you, you don’t get to break your limits just because you’re horny.”

I fucked up there. I put words in his mouth–I have no right to presume to know why he wants whatever it is he wants. Besides that, what I said wasn’t entirely true… I did want him to break his limits, and in that moment, I didn’t really care why. The epic hotness of him wanting to break a limit with me far outweighed whether or not he wanted to break it for me.

I wanted the limit broken… but then I also wanted it on my terms and I wanted him to beg for it.

And he did. He begged and pleaded and it was almost enough for me.

Almost enough.

I didn’t give him what he wanted, nor did I get what I wanted. I could give or take having a man go down on me while I’m bleeding, but I wanted to break the limit. I want(ed) to be the special circumstance… but I shot myself in the foot and didn’t let it happen. My fault. I know.

After another day or two, I let him to go down on me. My period was almost over, and I’d be shocked to learn if he tasted blood. Besides that, neither one of us mentioned limits that night, so I didn’t get the “broken limit” rush I wanted. (My fault… I know!)

While I’m not quite over regretting that I didn’t take the opportunity when I had the chance, I’m still very happy about what I see as an indication of progress. The suggestion that his limits are shifting is not only fucking hot, it’s also evidence that I’m earning his trust, and that means I’m being the sort of dominant I want to be. I hope it’s also evidence that he’s becoming more submissive and evidence that we’re both finding our places in the dynamic.

  20 Responses to “breaking your limits (on my terms)”

  1. So for me hard limits, are things that I would find to be relationship ending, or generally unsafe.

    I’ve got a handful of things That I think could be referred to as “soft limits” as in, I don’t want to do these, they do not turn me on, but with enough trust, build up, and desire on her part I could do. conceivably.

    In that way, I can see my default state is “this type of play is a (soft) limit” I am willing to break it.” I want to break it only if she really really wants it and/or employs “force.”

    That’s sort of a confusing and muddled headspace/logic to work though in the heat of the moment, and if J was feeling similarly I don’t know how he could have better expressed the combination of desire and reticence to engage in an activity so as to hit the buttons you wanted hit.

    • @Peroxide: “That’s sort of a confusing and muddled headspace/logic to work though in the heat of the moment”

      Unfortunately, I have my own confused, muddled logic. Besides that, I don’t always know what I want. I can’t tell him what I want or how I want it when I haven’t decided yet. It’s one of my personal flaws, made all the more obvious in my role as the dominant in the relationship.

      “I don’t know how he could have better expressed the combination of desire and reticence to engage in an activity so as to hit the buttons you wanted hit.”

      You’re 100% right in this. I set up a nearly un-winnable situation for both of us wherein 1) I don’t know what I want, 2) poorly articulate what I think I want, but 3) expect him to figure it out anyway. I’m not sure I can point to anything he could have done, done more, or done better that would have changed the result.

      I understand this is my flaw and my responsibility to work on… and I also understand that my indecision, coupled with my seemingly dissonant want to have everything on my terms, means I missed out on an opportunity.

      Such are the problems of one inexperienced, indecisive dominant (and by default, the problems of her sub).

      • I set up a nearly un-winnable situation for both of us wherein 1) I don’t know what I want, 2) poorly articulate what I think I want, but 3) expect him to figure it out anyway. I’m not sure I can point to anything he could have done, done more, or done better that would have changed the result.

        Sounds kind of human of you…the good news is that you will get another opportunity to do so.

  2. @dumbdomme… there you go over thinking yet once again. STOP THAT!

  3. Hard limits, soft limits, likes, dislikes… as long as you both understand when you speak, the rest is just semantics. Though do agree with the last post in that being a new Domme makes things tough trying to break through the terminology at times.

    “His deciding to violate boundaries (ones he set for himself) would mean he was farther into his submission. That? That’s fucking hot.”

    This is probably still one of my favorite moments when it happens. Sorry the over thinking almost ruined the moment, but at least for me, it’s still that crossing of the boundaries that is so yummy!

    • @Wicked Maggie: “the rest is just semantics.” If only semantics was easy! I realize I might be more interested in (and more sensitive to) semiotic difference than others, but being understood is important to me. I guess for me, the terminology isn’t as important anymore–particularly since I’m outspoken about rejecting it if it isn’t useful in whatever situation I find myself in. Being understood is important, but unfortunately, with my hard-wiring and corruption via education, it’s easier said than done (ha!).

      And yes, I most certainly ruined the moment. That’s one of my talents… ruining my own moments because I can’t leave well-enough alone!

      Cheers to more shared understanding and boundary crossing in the future! :) (assuming I can STFU…)

      • “Being understood is important, but unfortunately, with my hard-wiring and corruption via education, it’s easier said than done (ha!).”

        Hahaha.. So agree with you here! I remember early in my relationship getting frustrated at times when my boy would try and explain things to me and I just had no context to be able to relate. I understood the words, but without the context it was just a lot of babble. As my context has grown over the course of our relationship, my understanding becomes so much more easily… as well as my ability to communicate with him better.

        I think that’s what is so tough with a blog. BDSM and D/s can vary so widely, the readers context can be so different from ours and thus we don’t always come across the way we think we do.

        “Cheers to more shared understanding and boundary crossing in the future! :) (assuming I can STFU…)”

        LOL.. If it makes you feel better, I have several stories of sticking my own foot in my mouth and ruining moments… and many more of it all going so damn RIGHT!

        • my understanding becomes so much more easily

          Comes more easily… damn typos!

        • @Maggie: “I think that’s what is so tough with a blog. BDSM and D/s can vary so widely, the readers context can be so different from ours and thus we don’t always come across the way we think we do.”

          This made me laugh! Here I’ve been thinking I’m a much more clear communicator here on the blog than I am in my relationship!

          I know what you mean though. I try to provide context for new readers or for those who don’t know the backstory (if you can even call it a backstory?). If nothing else, the title “Dumb Domme” is some indication that I have no fucking clue what I’m doing half the time… :)

  4. I liked this post because it is about growth and positive change in your relationship. It also brings me back to the second point of your previous post

    Second, I don’t want to have to persuade my partner to do anything… Besides that, persuading or convincing someone just seems like too much work.

    The interesting thing about this is that you did persuade him. To me, persuasion can be a subtle, almost insidious thing that happens as the Dominant mind infiltrates the mind of the submissive.

    I like to think of relationships as growing, organic things and as trust grows, the submissive will take on more of the characteristics of the Dominant. The barriers will fall as the bond between you deepens and it is a lovely thing to witness.

    • @Slapshot: “To me, persuasion can be a subtle, almost insidious thing that happens as the Dominant mind infiltrates the mind of the submissive.”

      I like the way you’ve phrased this. The sort of persuasion I hope for is the kind you described. I want to be believed, listened to, and obeyed, not because I make some argument in a moment or work on a submissive to get him comfortable with a particular act. Rather, I’d like to think that I’ve been persuasive during the whole relationship–making subtle arguments about why I should be believed, listened to, and obeyed because I’m honest, important, and worthy of his submission.

      “I like to think of relationships as growing, organic things and as trust grows, the submissive will take on more of the characteristics of the Dominant. “

      Yes, this! It’s what I was/am hoping is happening with this sort of thing–where his fantasies seem to be taking of characteristics of mine.

      “The barriers will fall as the bond between you deepens and it is a lovely thing to witness.”

      Well, thank you. Let’s just hope I can avoid tripping over the barriers or walking right into them. :)

  5. Dear DD,

    I don’t want to go putting words into J’s mouth (you’re doing a pretty good job of that anyway ;-)), but speaking as a submissive man, while I do love to “give”, I absolutely LIVE to be “taken”.

    So the “I’m willing” remark, might well have been code for “Hey, don’t forget that’s it’s OK for you to grab me by the hair and force me between your legs, ya know… me being your personal fuck toy n’all”

    Best,

    Michael

    • @Michael:

      “I don’t want to go putting words into J’s mouth (you’re doing a pretty good job of that anyway ;-) ),”

      *laugh* Yes! Unfortunately, I do an excellent job of putting words in his mouth, although it doesn’t always work out for me (or him!).

      “So the “I’m willing” remark, might well have been code…”

      In hindsight, I think you’re right and I should have just went for it. But, in this particular situation–where he was considering breaking a limit–I’d rather err on the side of caution and not be the one to “force” him to break it. Even though he brought it up on a previous occasion, I still think his willingness to break a limit came from feeling the heat-of-the-moment. I wouldn’t want him to look back and feel I coerced him, or worse, to look back and regret that we’d broken a boundary. I realize this isn’t nearly as sexy (especially if he was 100% willing and wanting), but in boundary-crossing territory, I’d rather be more cautious than sexy. And I hope that’s sexy too, but in an I-care-about-you sort of way. :)

      “speaking as a submissive man, while I do love to ‘give’, I absolutely LIVE to be ‘taken.”

      I get that. And certainly, I enjoy taking! And speaking as a Domme, while I love to “take,” I absolutely love it when he begs sweet. The begging, the pleading… oh, it’s too sexy for words. ;)

    • Oh, and Michael, you said you were going to give it some more thought and respond to my question about “tease me”.

      I hope golfing went well, but I’m still looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that.

      Inquiring Dommes want to know! :)

      • Dear DD,

        Alas, I’m afraid that that was another Michael, but even though I’m not you official commenter crush, I’d be delighted to answer your question all the same, (until my namesake has the chance to find that errant ball he hit in the woods on the 18th hole and chime in himself ;))…

        Would it be a mind fuck??? YOU BET! but erm… not for me, for HER! Think about it for a minute. This would be a rare opportunity to essentially top my owner, and to do so with her express permission.

        Eventually I’d of course give in, but not until she’s furious with me for not listening to her. Naturally, a sound whipping would ensue (adding to the win-win nature of things), and if I had the temerity to say that I was merely following orders, she’d simply cite the “domme rules”.

        Best,

        Michael

        P.S. for the uninitiated, the “domme rules” are really quite simple.

        rule #1: The domme is always right.
        rule #2: If the domme is ever wrong, see rule #1.

        • @Michael: I should have known it wasn’t submichael65 by the fact you used a capital letter “M.”

          Well hello there, other Michael. And thanks for responding. The more subs, the better! I mean, the more subs’ responses…. ahem, of course that’s what I meant. :)

          I can’t quite see it being a mind-fuck for me as it was laid out in the original post. I can see it being frustrating and anger-inducing, but if I had set up the parameters ahead of time, I can’t see it being a mind-fuck from the Domme’s position (but then again, I have no real experience, so I could be mistaken).

          I saw it as a potential mind-fuck for the sub–as you said, getting the rare opportunity to “top” your owner (kinda top, a limited sort of topping). Plus, I’d have to think getting wildly different instructions at different times might pull you in two different directions at once… which might be fun to watch… :)

          “rule #1: The domme is always right.”

          As usual, I break every rule! :)

        • P.S. for the uninitiated, the “domme rules” are really quite simple.

          rule #1: The domme is always right.
          rule #2: If the domme is ever wrong, see rule #1.

          While I recognize a joke, it should also be pointed out that this can be very dangerous in practice.

          • @Tomio: I guess it’s lucky that I always question everything and rarely believe I’m right. :)

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