Q: What is a hard limit? Someone asked about what mine were on FetLife, and I’m not sure what they mean. –Anonymously asked though our contact form
A: A hard limit is something that you are unwilling to do under any circumstances. For instance, some common hard limits include restriction of breath, blood, urine, scat, anything with animals or children, anal, needles, and humiliation.
Hard limits are all about setting parameters for your play scenes and relationships, so that you can be sure that scenes remain consensual and enjoyable. Have a discussion with your partner to discuss your limits and concerns, and don’t forget to bring up any potential triggers that might cause you to not enjoy a scene while you’re at it! Make sure your partner understands that you expect them to respect your boundaries, and that you will respect theirs as well.
In addition to hard limits, some people have what we refer to as soft limits, which are things that you might be willing to do under the right circumstances. It’s important that you discuss what those circumstances may be with your partner, and tell them whether or not they have your permission to experiment with your soft limits.
One thing I should mention is that some people find that their soft and hard limits might change over time, as you explore various aspects of kink. Sometimes this is a result of trust between partners, knowing that your partner is interested in that activity, or even just suddenly feeling the appeal for yourself. It’s okay to adjust your limits, but I would caution you to consider any ethical and legal implications. There are some things that just aren’t okay, such as involving other people in your kink without their explicit consent.
Do you have a question about sex, gender, or kink? Go ahead and ask!