Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Limits of Good Taste and Moxie

Daddy is a jokester. But this time, he opened a can of worms that just can’t seem to be closed.

There was a tweet thread about Moxie. You know, the disgusting drink that tastes like wet dog fur smells? He likes it. I do not. When I found out he liked it, I hastily added it to my ever growing list of hard limits on things I’ve tasted and hated. Gefilte fish being one of the others.

Being a jokester, he started a thread on Fetlife asking if my adding a new hard limit was kosher. The responses were fascinating.

Of course limits are meant to be fluid. They’re meant to change and move as we change a grow, discover things about ourselves, and as we find things that we’d never thought about before. That part is right on target. Most of the people answering that thread understand that concept. (big sigh of relief)

But what I found interesting was a few statements, clarifying the meaning of the “limits change” answers which got my back up. If limits change, are meant to be fluid, adaptable, and because you’re dealing with HUMANS, these statements, make no sense to me. If a heretofore unknown limit of either party is found, it still becomes a limit of the person. No amount of D/s, M/s or coercion should ever come into play when coming upon one of those limits. Limits are limits for a reason. And just like safewords (you already know my thoughts on those), shouldn’t be fucked around with solely for amusement of the other party.

Some of the statements which I found most interesting, and which admittedly are taken out of context a bit, are below. Reading them alone doesn’t dilute the message in the rest of the statements:

1) It would depend on whether or not you had an agreement that there would be no new limits.

2) Do you have rules against growth and communication? If so, then whether it is acceptable or not would be dictated by those rules

3) If it's not kosher for you, walk. If you can deal with it, stay. The third option "Explain that you won't allow new hard limits, and she can leave if she doesn't like it"

4) I know that to a Dom, being in control is important (believe me, I know) - and if it were me, I'd have her come to me on her knees, and beg me to add this to her list of hard limits.

5) I guess she didn't ask you, did she? She informed you, eh?

6) Your question being Is this kosher? Without knowing more about any contract or even what limit has now become hard can not be answered.

7) It is common for newer submissives to say that they have no hard limits.

Without going into great detail about myself, I am a well-experienced submissive and am very sure of myself, my needs and my relationship with Septimus. We talk, discuss, argue, negotiate, and renegotiate probably more than I’ve done with any other person in my entire life. I don’t add things to my limits list just because I don’t like something. Especially if he does. And I certainly don’t add things that we’ve been doing just because I suddenly decide one day that I no longer want that. At least without discussing it. But I will add things that I know wouldn’t be “good” for me. I’ve tried all of the things on my limits list and I’ve even removed a few of them since meeting him. Our relationship has changed over time, and things that I wouldn’t do with just anyone, I am perfectly comfortable doing with him.

But I’d like to explain my annoyance with the above seven statements.

1) No, it wouldn’t matter if there was an agreement concerning no new limits. For the reason that it’s impossible to predict, plan, and cover every conceivable permutation of every imaginable thing on earth. It’s impossible to know that your partner likes Moxie, if you’ve never seen them drink it, and wouldn’t imagine in a hundred years that anyone would. Should I spend all my time going through every dictionary and thesaurus trying to find the things that I disliked, just on the off chance he might?

2) Acceptable rules are those that you both agree to. If one person suddenly springs a new one on you, despite any agreement, it’s still something you need to discuss outside of your D/s relationship. Do people really have rules against growth and communication? If so, they’re not in a D/s relationship. They’re perilously close to being in an abusive one.

3) So the answer to coming up on a new hard limit is suck it up or walk? Easier said than done my friend. It works in the books, but rarely is it so easy in real life. I’ve too much invested in my relationship to just walk away. If the answer to not having the opportunity to add a new limit is that I have to give up the rest of my life, then it’s no wonder that those checklists are so popular. Add everything in first, and take away afterwards would be the only alternative. I also wouldn’t be able to TRUST someone who gave me the only choice of “my way or the highway”. Especially after we’ve spent so much time and effort on building a relationship together. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve got some things that I just won’t do. And I’m not aware of what they all are at the moment.

4) Begging to add a limit? This might work. But what if he says “no”? Does it then become “not a limit”? If simply begging to add a limit is the answer, then why do it at all? Begging not to be harmed is not the same thing as begging to be fucked.

5) Informed meaning that I told him that something that he previously hadn’t told me he liked, was something that I hadn’t previously told him that I hated? Of course I informed him. You betcher ass I informed him. Self-preservation is pretty high on my list of must do’s. But look at it from a D/s perspective and I’d still have to inform him. He doesn’t like to play with broken toys.

6) It really makes no difference WHAT the limit is. If it’s something that we hadn’t known, whether he really liked it, or whether I really hated it, it’s a limit. It makes no difference if it’s Moxie, or if it’s chainsaws. If it’s something we WERE doing, that I no longer wished to do, that might need some more explanation and discovery. But if it’s new for both of you, then I think it’s perfectly acceptable for me to say no, while he says yes. He can get his Moxie elsewhere. I'll even watch :)

7) Apparently it’s fairly common for many submissives to say they don’t have very many hard limits. Mostly because they’re thinking of what could be done TO me or used on me”. They’re thinking needles, knives, and chainsaws. I’m betting that there would be a whole lot more things on some people’s lists if they had to think of absolutely everything in their lives that they disliked. Don’t like the color red? Don’t like sherbert? Don’t like certain sounds? Better add those to your limits list pronto! Otherwise, you’re liable to end up with a sadist who will dress you in red clothing, make you eat sherbert while listening to Barry Manilow.

However, I found one answer to be right on the mark

“Once, during negotiation, I mentioned my standard stuff which are general~ so general that it covers much ex: no bodily fluids takes out cutting, needles, snowballing etc. The dominant in question responded with you are new. I asked how he knew and he told me only a new person who hasn't tried much has so few limits. From this I gather that one can expect their submissive to gain limits as time goes on. -non-“

And this is exactly how limits should be viewed. You have a relationship, you try things together, you learn about each other and yourselves during the process and make a decision on whether or not you’re ever going to do them again. The maxim I use for limits is that they’re like silly putty, rather than a rod of steel.

If limits are anything else, and if adding new ones is a breach of those rules for BDSM (of which I still haven’t seen a copy), then instead of talking and exploring with each other, we’d have to start any relationship with that dictionary and thesaurus instead of enjoying the journey together.

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