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.
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.