I typically reserve discussions of my personal limits for intimate partners; however, in the interest of providing a discussion of the importance of negotiation and limits, I will talk about one of my hardest limits.
Blood: I have a rock hard limit of blood. Blood freaks me out. I can handle the sight of it in an emergency situation, but I cannot separate the sight of blood from the thought that there is automatically an emergency. Because of this, blood in the bedroom is a hard limit.
What does that mean? It means that I have a responsibility to tell my partner how hard of a limit that is, and to stress to them that not only will I not be drawing any blood or breaking skin, they need to not do so either. Yes, accidents happen. I do bleed. But if they draw blood, they need to do everything they can to make sure I do not see it. Meaning: clean me up before I realize there’s been blood.
Limits are good. Hard limits, soft limits, it doesn’t matter…limits are good. Communicating those limits is even better. But even if something is not a hard limit or a soft limit, there are still limits.
How much pain can you take (and enjoy)? How long can you be denied an orgasm? How long can you kneel? These are just some examples of limits within things that may not be limits. And like hard and soft limits, these limits will be unique to each person.
So what do you do as a dominant, when your submissive enjoys testing and pushing limits? How do you find the limit without going over?
The simple answer: Feedback.
The long answer: Communicate with them. Check in during the scene to see how they are doing. Ask if they want more. There is nothing sexier to me than someone saying “more please” when I check in with them. Encourage them to say something when they reach the limit. And when they speak up: STOP.