Last week I wrote about the use of safewords versus the use of plain language. Today, I want to get a little more personal with it.

COVID means it has been a long time since I have seen my Dom in person. We always knew that we would see each other infrequently as we live on different continents, but it has been over a year and it looks like it will be another year before we see each other again. Neither of us is into online play so as it stands we don’t have much of a dynamic right now, but that let’s us explore our nuances on a much deeper level.

Admittedly, I have an almost impossible time safewording if I need to. Like many, I feel immense guilt and shame if I have to safeword. Which is ridiculous, because the advice I give to anyone else is that there is no shame in safewording, in fact, it makes you a more trustworthy submissive. So, I am a hypocrite, I get it. Part of the reason that I struggle is that it just feels unnatural to yell out RED, I want to be able to say something that sounds natural in the moment. Yes, I realize that the problem with this is that it makes it so much more difficult for the Dom to pick up on.

I have a safeword. We use the standard traffic light system. But, we have had many a conversation about this and the next time we are together we will also use some plain language. “Stop” will also become a safeword.
The reason that I am not comfortable with relying only on plain language is that I know I often say, “please no more,” and, “I can’t…” which does not mean stop. So there does need to be a backup in case he doesn’t pick up on the natural phrase, and that is on me. We will work together to come up with a system that works for us.

On top of all of that, because the relationship dynamic that we both desire is one of domestic discipline, I get real punishments. In theory, I don’t want to be able to safeword to get out of a punishment, but in reality, I know that a safeword is still necessary in case of true injury, a medical emergency, etc.
While some people will be vehemently against this, we have decided that there can be consequences for disingenuously safewording. I will never be in trouble for safewording if something is actually wrong, however, if I use my safeword (including “Stop”), just to get out of a punishment, then yes, there will be consequences. It is a huge gray area and we will continue to re-evaluate this after each occurrence, but for now it is what works for us.

Oh, safewords! One of the first things that many people believe is a “must” in any type of BDSM play. I am not disparaging of safewords, they cam be integral, but I truly believe that too many people in the BDSM community disregard the idea of plain language.

Plain language is just that – words mean words. If either partner says “stop” or “no more”, it means stop. Clearly, this wouldn’t work if you are engaging in any type of consensual non-consent (CNC), but it is particularly good for people who are new to these types of activities.

Many subs feel that they are somehow disappointing their Dom if they safeword (I am not an exception to this, even though logically I know it is not true. I still struggle to safeword). Some also feel that it is awkward to say a predefined safeword as it doesn’t feel natural in the moment – which some may argue is the point, that the safeword stands out. And that point is not wrong. I just want to suggest an alternative to the standard “you must ALWAYS have a safeword!” advice that is so often seen online.

I do believe there are some benefits to using plain language (perhaps in with a safeword as an added backup!) when starting out on the journey into BDSM. I have often found myself in relationships with vanilla men where I tried to introduce BDSM into our relationship, my partner was always afraid of hurting me. Which is an understandable concern, most people have been raised not to hurt others, and when they are not getting any inherent sexual enjoyment out of causing me pain it is difficult. Despite repeating over and over that I would use my safeword if things got to be too much, they all continued to struggle.

With my current husband, I moved to the idea of plain language and he felt much more comfortable. “Stop” and “Please no more” became my safewords. It was clear to him, there was no confusion.

While I am not active in the online BDSM community, I do lurk in a few forums and, too often, I have seen personals stating ‘No limits’. Sometimes from subs to say they have no limits, and sometimes from Doms looking for a sub with no limits. It is concerning, but I believe that much of it comes from poor communication and a misunderstanding of the term.

I will say that a Dom looking for a sub with no limits is someone to run from. It is a huge red flag that this is a person who will be abusive and not respect the limits/boundaries of the submissive partner. This isn’t to say that all Doms that mention no limits are like that, it just seems like a unnecessary risk to take.

As for submissives who say they have no limits. I get it. I really do… the fantasy of being 100% under someone else’s control is hot as fuck! But it just isn’t realistic.

This may seem crazy to some but, no limits means that the submissive would accept being permanently hurt, disfigured, etc. Or that they would engage in unethical/illegal behaviours just to satisfy the D/s aspect of the relationship.

I am someone that wants a 24/7 D/s relationship and I strive to have as few limits as possible with my Dom. That being said, I am comfortable saying that because his hard limits and mine are very aligned. Not withstanding the obvious…. animals, kids, non-consenting parties, etc. Neither of us are into coprophilia, blood play, water sports, and the list goes on. So for the sake of simplicity when we talk I refer to working towards ‘no limits’ with him, but that is because I know that the limits we have are aligned and I don’t need to worry about him breaking them.

I do have a few limits that differ from him. The most glaring example is that he has a fantasy which involves another woman, and this woman and I would switch with each other. While I do have some switch tendencies, especially with women, I cannot wrap my head around Domming a woman, then later submitting to the same woman. But, this is something that I am potentially willing to explore at some point – but that point is still far off in the future.

Jumping into a BDSM relationship with ‘no limits’ is a terrifying concept! The fantasy is hot. Hell, even working towards pushing some limits into non-existence is hot, but that is a process that will span years of a relationship. Take your time, enjoy the process, build the required trust!

Doms: saying that you are looking for a sub with no limits is terrifying. It screams abuse. Not to mention, I am sure you, as a Dom, also have limits. That is okay…. encouraged even.
Subs: pretending that you have ‘no limits’ is not sexy and attractive. It will not make you more attractive to potential Doms. Respect yourself and your existence.