That Whole “Limits” Thing

A few days ago, in my traipsing around on Fetlife (ok I’ll call it like it is: stalking @kaya’s posts) I ran across a post that she was commenting on in someone’s Fetlife Writings about people that say they have no limits in their BDSM relationship. I didn’t think the piece itself was that bad, although I could be totally wrong about that, as I admit I skimmed it, and now I can’t go back and find it to re-read it.  It seemed to me that she was taking to task those wannabes that have no real life experience in WIITWD and yet claim to have “no limits.”  And frankly, there’s a lot of people that really do need to be reined in when they start making that claim.  She uses some pretty graphic photographs to illustrate her point, and uses some examples that made me go, well, yeah, that would be a limit.
But then again, I never claimed to have no limits. I’m not a slave and am not even in a D/s relationship (as most would define it – even myself), and so maybe I shouldn’t comment on it.
Ha…fuck that. (You knew that wouldn’t stop me from responding.)
The point is, in most of the examples she cited, someone, somewhere agreed to allow them to be done to them. So, for someone(s) – it wasn’t a limit. Yes, I agree with what her initial point seemed to be: think carefully before you say you have no limits, because this (example) might be the result.  Unfortunately, where she lost me (and inspired a lot of other readers’ ire) was in her fairly strident assertions that no one (sane) would (should) allow those things to happen to them. And furthermore, anyone claiming to have “no limits” is either lying, stupid or insane.  She became hellbent on refuting someone else’s claim that they truly have no limits in their relationship.
Unfortunately, One True (Twue) Wayism is still alive and well in the BDSM community, no matter how much we try to combat it.
Who the fuck cares how someone else characterizes their relationship?
As I said, I, personally, have limits to what I will do or allow to be done to me. For instance, no, I would not allow W to cut off a limb, or any appendage, for that matter. Or make me kill one of my children. (Or even my dog.) No, he can’t throw up in my mouth, or make me eat live cockroaches or any number of other things that I can’t think of just now.  I have relatively few limits, I think, but still–they are there.
But that’s me, and my relationship. And frankly, while what W does ask of/make me do may not be as dramatic as her example of jumping off a building, there are things we do all the time that are asking for just as much of a leap of faith in him as jumping off that building. That particular example of hers is almost, for me, a no brainer.
Wait! Did I just say I’d jump off a building if W told me to?!?
Here’s why I can say that:
I trust that W’s interest in me is in keeping me viable for his use (aside from any love he may have for me.) A dead or very broken Jade would probably not be of much use to him, sexually or otherwise. Ergo, trusting that to be the case, if he told me to jump off a building, I’d probably at least strongly consider it, and, if I could overcome my abject terror of heights, might even manage to do it, because I’d have to assume that he was not telling me to do anything that would damage me irrevocably.
I say I’d “probably” do it, because I don’t think anyone can realistically predict what they’d do in a potentially life-threatening situation. But that one thing…that particular situation…if W really, truly wanted me to do it, I have enough faith in him, enough trust in him not wanting a dead/broken Jade, to at least attempt it.
That’s why I am with him – because I do trust him.
I put myself in potentially life threatening situations with him all the time. We all do. They aren’t as flashy or showy as “jumping off a building,” but many many many of the things we do are dangerous, and yes, life threatening.  I could fall on my head in a suspension. I could choke on a gag. I could choke in a neck rope.  Hell, I could trip and fall in my 5 inch heels and break my neck.  Not to mention the risk I take every time I get in a car with him (that’s sort of a joke, but not really – I’m far more likely to die in a car accident than in doing any of the things we do.)  But still, what we do involves risk, and if I didn’t trust him with my safety – and my life – then dammit, I better not be doing these things with him. I place my trust and my life in his hands, willingly, every time.
I don’t really see a big difference in what it is we do and that hypothetical building.
All that said, I don’t for an moment believe that if I actually thought he was asking me to do something that would kill or maim me, that I’d agree to it. And…even some things that I know wouldn’t main or kill me I might think twice about. Some things that I am afraid of (like fireplay) or that disgust me (eating shit) or hurt too goddamn much (having mt tits nailed to a board.) Because…I do have limits.
But that’s me. And no matter if I personally think that someone else’s sense of self-preservation would prevent them from allowing someone to, say, cut them in half with a chainsaw, if they believe they would not–more power to them. Who the fuck am I to say otherwise, or to try to disprove their assertions? For all I know, I could be wrong, and they would kill their own child or themselves or allow their legs to be cut off or their eyeballs gouged out with red-hot pokers.
I’m not trying to get into a debate about the rightness or wrongness of either position (with or without limits.) The point is, I don’t really give a shit if you, or the person down the street, or my sister or the creepster on the internet claims to have limits or not.
The only relationship that I am concerned with is my own. The only agreements I am worried about are those between me and my partner/Owner/Top/lover/whatever.  Yes, having those discussions is a good thing, especially since there are a lot of people that can’t seem to think through those concepts on their own. But for those who have thought it through, and have made the conscious choice to live their lives having “no limits” (regardless of what the reality may be)…  ~shrug~  That’s their relationship.  And just because you perceive a thing to be stupid or insane, doesn’t make it so.  Get over it.
And that’s all I got to say on the subject.
Well, til next time. 😉

4 thoughts on “That Whole “Limits” Thing

  1. Hi Jade,
    Isn’t it funny how a post that makes one think garners almost no response from the readers.
    I enjoyed your observations here and stopped to consider what my limits actually are. I think they change with only a few hard ones that are always in place.
    Mrs. Kelly’s Playhouse

  2. ~smile~ It’s the nature of the blogging beast. Thank you for taking the time to do so, though. My limits are always a moving target-so many of the things that I thought “never!” are things I now regularly engage in. And I trust W so much to look out for what’s good for me, to not do me *harm* that…sometimes I can’t imagine what a “hard limit” would look like.

  3. What a great post! You write specifically about the BDSM community, but what you’re saying is equally valid for all relationships. I don’t think of myself as being part of the BDSM community, but my relationship is far from “normal” and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve told people, “Look, this is my relationship and it works for me. I’m not saying that the way we do things is right for everyone; it’s right for us and that’s all.”

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