I always thought that limits were black and white, but I have learnt recently that they can be grey (aka soft limits). That doesn’t mean that you have to change your limits, it just about thinking of them in a slightly different way. I thought that certain types of play either happened or didn’t happen but didn’t consider that there are many different elements within each play type which is where conversation and discussion come into
A hard limit is something that must not be done. Violating a hard limit is often considered just cause for ending a scene or even a relationship.
A soft limit is something that a person hesitates about or places strict conditions on, but for which they will still give informed consent. An action could be prohibited except under specific circumstances or an area of discomfort that someone wishes to avoid. Soft limits can also be something that requires a cautious approach or while appealing, still generates an uncomfortable amount of fear.
(definitions courtesy of Wikipedia)
So if you are wondering what that means, here are a couple of examples to help you out.
- Hard Limit: Anal play
- Soft Limit: No penis in the anus but fingers and tongue can are allowable.
I had been told that my limits were too strict but then when it came down to actually talking about them and what I was and was not willing to accept, many of them became soft limits. I was willing to engage in some elements of those items that were on the hard limits list but there were some elements that were still off limits. In some ways, my list is likely longer now but those items on it are much more specific than they were. It allows for easier satisfaction of both partners as well as being able to cross some fantasies off the list