behind-bedroom-doors-ii-1566484

BDSM: The difference between soft and hard limits

behind-bedroom-doors-ii-1566484

Hi everybody! When I realized it was going to be my turn to post *coughyesterdayatfivepmcough*, I started to think about some of the issues I see in BDSM books that I don’t think are well understood or explained. Two related items that came to mind quickly were soft and hard limits. Here’s a definition of each from FetLife, a place I would trust would know the proper definition:

Soft limit: A limit which is not necessarily set in stone. It may be flexible, may be pushed or may change over time and/or with experience or knowledge of that type of play.

Hard limit: What someone absolutely will not do, usually non-negotiable (may or may not be subject to change over time).

When I see someone just talk about “limits” in a BDSM book, I cringe, because as you can see, soft and hard limits are definitely two different things. So if I say that, for instance, being given away is a “limit” – is a “soft limit” or a “hard limit”? The reason this bothers me is because if people read BDSM books and then base their play on what they read, a Dom/me may push or force his/her sub into doing the sub isn’t ready for or isn’t interested in.

You may be saying, “But a sub can always speak up”, and that’s true, but when you combine the “mind fuck” aspect of BDSM with the need to speak up the sub may be too intimidated or afraid to upset or disappoint their Dom/me. Maybe I’m overreacting or overstating this, but I think it’s important if you’re going to be a practitioner of BDSM that you clearly understand the difference.

Now, on to the fun stuff: if you were a Dom would you push your sub regarding their “soft limits”? Why or why not?