I talk a lot about knowing your limits and talking about your limits with your Dominant but I believe this is the first time I’m going to talk about your partner’s limits and what they mean for you.
As a refresher, limits are the personal boundaries that we place on ourselves pertaining to our life and activities we engage in. For BDSM this is often kink and fetish activities that do not interest us.
A Dominant has limits just like submissives do. There are things that don’t interest them, or that they have a moral or ethical standing that will prevent them from exploring something. Over the years I have heard many times that Dominants should have a checklist also and I agree. A checklist is a very effective tool to finding BDSM compatibility in partners.
Dominant Has More Limits
If you compare checklists and find out that the Dominant has more limits than you do that doesn’t mean you can play - it just means you have to play within their limits and not yours. It could also mean that the Dominant is less experienced than you are and they will broaden their knowledge in time. Many of the current limits could fade away.
Talk with them and find out why the limits are there. In my experience, they are there for 2 reasons.
- They are not familiar or not comfortable with a certain activity. Perhaps they need more practice or education before they would be willing to try that item.
- They have no kink interest in the activity. This is often related, just like your limits, to personal, moral or ethical boundaries that they don’t want to cross.
You should never be afraid of someone that doesn’t match up perfectly. Relationships are give and take. You will likely have some things on your list that you will be sacrificing for a short or long term to be with them, but so will they.
Dominant Has Fewer Limits
In all honesty, this is the one that scares most submissives. We think that because we have more limits than the Dominant that there will be more extreme play and that they will push us beyond what we can handle.
This is far from the case if the Dominant is worth his salt. Any Dominant has agreed to play within mutual limits - in this case, he has to play within yours. If this isn’t comfortable with him then he can elect not to play with you. But you should never feel afraid of someone who has more things that interest them. You never know, your interests might open up over time.
In conclusion, a Dominant’s limits are just like yours. We learn that we should play within our limits and that a Dominant should respect them. But that also works in reverse. The limits in your relationship are the combined mutual limits of all parties.
What If The Conflict Is Too Great
In some cases, you may find that the limits a Dominant have don’t match yours at all. In this case, you have the option to not play with them or carry a relationship with them. It also could mean that you need to open your relationship so that they can get some of their needs met by someone else whose limits fit the ones you won’t do. If you are monogamous then this could be something that doesn’t happen and a relationship may end. It’s really up to you.
Communicate with them about the difference in limits. Many Dominants don’t have to explore every single thing on their BDSM checklist to be happy. Are you able to compromise? Limits are just one facet to compatibility. Compromising might help you find the level at which you both can play.