Apparently, I have to set limits. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. Because if I don’t, I’ll obviously end up in prison or dismembered by lions.
Give me a break.
People think “no limits” means: I have brainwashed myself into utter subservience to a psychopath and will delight in unquestioningly sacrificing myself and those around me for his entertainment. I have no regard for anyone else and I’m eager to prove it.
It actually means: I have handed over my freedom completely to a person I know well, who cares about me and in whom I have tremendous trust, who makes choices about how to treat me based on his desires, while not completely ignoring my own. I see no need, and have no desire, to restrict his choice.
The biggest difference here, is who the Master is. The Limit Police seem to be convinced that he is automatically a dangerous criminal bent on causing maximum pain and suffering to everyone. It’s frankly insulting, not just to my Master, but to all Dominants. The conventional wisdom (and my most hated D/s cliché) is that the sub is the one who is “really” in control. Which people find so comforting because, apparently, if the Dom was left to do as they liked, unbridled chaos and destruction would ensue.
Do we really think so little of Dominants as human beings, that we can’t give them more respect than that? Do you Doms out there really not mind the implicit suggestion that, without your sub’s rules, you would be completely inhumane creatures, without compassion, empathy, or common sense?
Or perhaps the insult is only at the sub. Perhaps the critics really mean, a sub who seeks “no limits” can’t attract any other Dominant apart from the complete psycho you read about who made their slave commit murder. We are pitiful, flawed subhumans with little intelligence who accept literally any partner who asserts themselves enough. I couldn’t possibly have made any active decision about who to submit to, right? Tell that to the long list of Doms I tried and rejected before meeting my Master.
Before meeting him, I was frustrated and doubted D/s in general. I’d tried a lot of different people and various arrangements, and found them all wanting. One of my major problems was basically, too much control. They nearly all would stop at some point if I wanted them to. And that’s…. nice. But incredibly unsatisfying. Of course, I didn’t want just anyone who would ignore my experience completely, either. I knew I could really abandon that control if I had the right Dom, but I wasn’t sure the right Dom existed. And then he found me.
To the Limit Cynics out there, I can hear you already telling yourselves “she just wanted a Dom who had the same limits as her, so she didn’t have to say them.” But read a little longer, because that’s not it, either.
My biggest turn on, is non-consent. I don’t mean rape play. I mean being literally forced to do something. Something I really, honestly, wouldn’t do. I’m not talking about limit “stretching” here. I’m talking about being put through something I genuinely find awful, and being incredibly excited by my own helplessness as I am made to surrender to the experience. I’m talking about things that make me cry so hard and beg not to do it, and feel my heart cracking against my chest in utter despair as I’m simply made to go there, and then afterwards, the euphoric high as I can’t help grinning and thanking my Master for the terrible experience he just put me through. When he asks me afterwards if I’d like to do it again, and my answer is “uh….” because the answer is NO, but it’s because it’s no, that it’s YES.
And no, this doesn’t mean I came at this with a list of things I “didn’t want”, but secretly wanted to be forced to do. I had things I really, really did not want to do. Things I honestly thought no rational Dom would make me do. Things that would definitely have been limits, had I wanted to set them. But instead, I opened myself up to possibility. I put my Master’s judgement ahead of my own and chose to trust. And I did some of those things I never, ever would have thought would happen. And some I had never even considered a possibility before. Some, I discovered I loved. Others, I really didn’t. But I’m glad for all of it.
It’s a paradox. Put in terms of limits, the word itself becomes useless. Because how is a limit a limit, if the things you most want to do, are the genuine limits? Setting “hard” and “soft” limits is not enough. Because by dividing it up like that, I’ve already taken control and given consent. And then the non-consent of it, becomes impossible. Everything I enjoy about the experience just got sucked out of it.
And then there’s the simple joy of being limitless. Where on earth would I start and finish, if I were to try and rule things out? All those times that I thought I knew how much I could take, and proved myself very wrong, I would have missed out had I set limits. This is discovering real freedom – from myself and my own hangups. I wrote once before, that thinking I’ve reached a limit is not a limit! Really, nothing is – because anything is possible. This is the real liberation in total surrender. And I refuse to give that up to comfort you.
“Oh, nonsense!” spits the Limit Police, “Everyone has limits, you wouldn’t do such-and-such, would you?”
So tell me this. When you meet a new Dom and they ask about your limits, do you seriously hand them a encyclopedic volume listing absolutely everything you don’t want to do, from raping dolphins to undergoing surgery to create gills, and engaging in political debates with your boss at a budget meeting? No? Tsk, tsk – you better go and add them, otherwise you can only blame yourself when your Dom inserts a rocket launcher up your butt because you never said not to. Too much? Then don’t ask me ridiculous questions, either.
Let me ask you a real, serious question. Not to the person who sets limits, but to the person who takes offence at me not doing so.
What are you afraid of?
Is your control so important to you, and losing it so threatening, that you can’t even stand someone else letting go?
Do you fear chaos so much that you feel it will somehow take over your life, if I let some into mine?
Do you secretly feel, deep down inside, that all us kinksters (including you) are really monstrous and depraved, and only having a set of “rules” helps you feel morally ok?
Or is it just that your kink is different to mine, and despite your non-mainstream proclivities, you are simply judgemental, insisting that what you don’t understand is inferior and disgraceful – no different to a vanilla person who would judge you?
Here’s the thing I really want you to pay close attention to. It’s something that amazingly few people understand. “Limits”, in the fet world, are not actual, literal, complete inventories of our definition of what is and isn’t reasonable. And thank fuck for that, because we, as a community, aren’t actually so stupid that we need that. “Limits” are a tool we use to communicate boundaries to one another. They don’t need to be comprehensive to be usable, and if they were too much so, they’d be a hindrance. No one specifies a complete list of “do-nots”, and the truth is, it’s not because of convenience or because the right list of ten things gives us some kind of magical armour. It’s because they are a guide to give an impression of our personal kink landscape, so that an intelligent and rational human partner can get the gist of where to go in our world. Limits are really no more than that: a set of markers for the sane and trustworthy person we are with. And if our partner is instead a dangerous psychopath intent on brainwashing and destroying us, telling them a bunch of rules isn’t going to make them turn into a sane person.
“No limits” means that the guide to my landscape is: make your own way. If I’ve invited you in to explore it, it’s because I trust you will shape a network of paths that is pleasing to both of us; one so much more intricate and surprising and creative and delightful than anything I could have anticipated or designed on my own. I want to enter my Master’s hands, and see what I become.