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BDSM for Beginners: How to Set Your Limits with Tawney

What are limits in BDSM and why do you need them? Join sexpert Tawney while she explains all about hard and soft limits so you can embark on a safe, sane, and consensual BDSM journey.  

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Video Transcript

Hey everybody, it’s Tawney Seren with Betty’s, and today we're going to talk about limits in BDSM.

Now this is a topic that we lightly discussed in kind of our consent in BDSM, as well as our terminology in BDSM, but I think that it deserves its own video. I think this is so incredibly important, because as you're entering into BDSM, especially as a beginner, you are, you know, you're embarking on some things that might not be normal for you.

You're going to embark on some different mindsets that might be kind of brand new, and it's important to understand what soft limits are, what hard limits are, and things that must never be done in BDSM.

Because social media, I mean, movies, TV shows, books, like they can all give you an impression of BDSM that isn't always accurate, so it's important to do your own research to communicate with your partner and to come to these agreements together.

But like first let's talk about what a soft limit is. So a soft limit is something that the dom or more primarily the submissive is interested in trying at some point, but it isn't quite sure how they're gonna feel about it. It's a soft limit if it's something that they are okay with dipping their toes into. I mean, could be spanking, could be electro play, could be rope play, could be role-playing. It's something that they don't normally do, something they haven't done often or sometimes at all, that they'd be interested in seeing if it could become something that they regularly do with you.

All right now, it's important to never push these soft limits; to understand that there's something that someone's okay with, but oftentimes if we push or if we pressure too much, you can turn somebody off something very very easily, and then that's off the table for good. So if it's something that you're also anticipating, and they're thinking they might be into it, make sure to have a lot of conversations. Make sure to take baby steps; make sure to have a verbal and nonverbal safe word in place so that things can stop at any time, no questions asked.

And if you're the party that is wanting something but waiting for that other person to try their soft limit, keep in mind that, you know, pushing that sadness and that disappointment if things don't work out is never helpful for the other person. They already know that it is something that you like if you've communicated that. There is no need to make anyone feel bad about their soft limits, their hard limits, and especially not the things we should never embark on.

Now let's go into hard limits. What are hard limits? They are the things that you absolutely know you will not do. They can be things that you've already tried before and, you know, you don't like, or they could be things that just aren't your fancy. Like I already know that electro play’s a soft limit for me. It's something that I enjoy in the right mindset, the right mood; but, you know, I don't really know how much. I haven't really done a whole lot in it, so it's something that I am willing to embark on with my partner.

But, you know, I don't know, doing things like major pain play is not. It's on my hard list. I don't like like cutting, or blood play, or things of that nature: that is a hard no for me. So although that may be a soft, you know, limit or something someone else is very enthusiastic about, it's something my partner knows I'm not okay with getting that. You know, at any point in time, if something's the hard limit that means that it is not something you need to keep discussing with your partner. It's not something that needs more conversation to break down 

That means no means no; they do not like it, and if it's something that's a hard yes for you but a hard no for them, it is something that maybe there's different ways that you can kind of feed that hunger or that, you know, curiosity or that interest, or that arousal that does not involve them taking part in it, that is something you can have as a discussion with your partner. Whether it is watching things that do, or, you know, bringing someone else in, that's a completely different discussion, but you should never under any circumstances give someone guilt. That has a hard no, whereas it is not a limit for you.

Now we go into the things you should never do in BDSM. Now this is a little bit, you know, there are different varying levels of each thing that I'm about to tell you, but ultimately you should first of all do nothing that is non-consensual. BDSM is all about that trust; it's about being, you know, safe, sane, and consensual: making sure that that is something that your partner wants to happen. Even if it has been agreed upon before, that they're maybe not acting like they do, or however that case, that you've got this conversation. You've got these steps. You've got these safe words in place before you do it.

But something that's non-consensual, or done as a surprise, or done when someone is extremely inebriated: these are not consensual. These are not okay. If somebody is too intoxicated to be able to tell, you know, even if you've done it a million times before, that means no. Now doing harm play where you are actually putting someone's life at risk should never happen. There's a difference between choking safely and choking non-safely, and, you know, bringing someone to the brink of death or where if you held on just a little bit longer they would die.

Because any sort of mistake can happen, and in the case of soft limits, if a mistake happens you know you can always give a warning or have a discussion or stop it altogether, but when you are playing with somebody's life there's no taking that back. So nothing that could kill your partner, nothing that is not agreed upon, nothing that you are approaching in a state of extreme intoxication with your partner: these are all things that you need to make sure that you keep count of, that you make sure that you have control over.

So that is a little introduction about the limits in BDSM. So whether you have a list of soft limits, hard limits, just always have those prepared mentally, or perhaps even on paper, to discuss with your partner or partners so that you can have the safest, best experience possible.

Thank you all so much for coming and listening to me. I can't wait to come back here at Naughty Betty's and talk more about BDSM with you. In the meantime, check out some of the awesome toys and things that you can utilize in the bedroom to help enhance your experience even more.

Thank you all so much, and I'll talk to you again soon.