BDSM and Consent, or You Think You Have No Hard Limits? Think Again

slave Paul

When I think of limits, I think of slave Paul. Lockdown saw to it that we never got the chance to meet in person, and sadly, he passed before we graduated from training to full ownership. He will always be mine though.

Paul was ready to give up everything. No limits barring common ones: scat, blood, extreme pain; even they were under consideration as possible soft limits. Having recently retired from a highly successful career, slave Paul wished to fulfil a lifelong need to serve at the feet of a Master. He was looking for complete degradation, a dehumanising experience, to be used, a complete surrendering of his choices and rights. I was up for the challenge.

slave Paul told me, albeit reluctantly, that he had issues with medical play for reasons that are entirely his own. He worried that were this a part of his experience, he wasn’t sure that he could commit. 

The BDSM community has fought for decades to be understood. Being a gay man, I am no stranger to being mislabelled a pervert, a paedophile, thus it came as no surprise to find this attitude toward people living fetish lifestyles. Living in a post-50 Shades world, understanding of BDSM approaches to consent has been further sullied. 

During that early conversation I taught Paul that I knew a hard limit when I saw one. Like any other legitimate Dom, I was not about to take him to places without his consent. Anyway, I wouldn’t even know how to hold a speculum.

Pick a C, Any C

Establishing limits and consent should always be the first order of business in all contexts, be it gearing up for a night of fun between an otherwise vanilla couple, or a TPE (Total Power Exchange) for life.

Acronyms are thrown about everywhere: no complaints here, acronyms are a popular teaching method for a reason.

SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual) is still widely, but was soon replaced by RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink).

RACK was considered to be a better negotiation framework as it put an emphasis on activities that wider society might view as risky. The ‘safe’ in SSC is somewhat vague and quite limiting. Although ‘risk’ is a highly subjective word itself, with differing connotations for different people.

We then have PRICK (Personal Responsibility, Informed, Consensual Kink), the use of which puts the onus of responsibility squarely on every participants shoulders and uses informed in place of risk-aware.

So, along came the 4Cs: Caring, Communication, Consent, Caution

I like the 4C’s. It makes sense to me and sets up a perfect framework for negotiation.

Some Masters say they don’t care for their slaves, I struggle with that. My bois are my most valuable possessions, naturally I care for them deeply. I might treat my bois like scum (human urinals, walking sex toys, dress-up gimps, servants, bootlickers, objet d’art); they are mine to do with as I wish. I can degrade them, shame them, share them. Alongside that, they will always be under my care, I would never do anything that could permanently harm them, mentally and/or physically. 

I look for a thread of compatibility before even considering a man as potential slave meat. I am quick to judge in looking for the spark, either platonic or romantic. Building a relationship based on mutual trust is the only way I know how to own. Is it worth it without that connection? Not for me. Not interested. If I don’t feel the love, how can I expect them to love, honour and obey.

Connection found: we move on to the next steps. Open communication is mandatory, any hints of holding back quickly disposed of. I play my first card: explaining my need to control, making clear that, after assuming full ownership, I don’t compromise. Any issues? That’s fine, you may leave. Trust in this dynamic is essential on both sides. Once trust is established, we can talk about the surrendering of control; my desire to strip away their choices, to seize control of every facet of their lives, to crush their rights. Only then do I have the beginnings of a slave. 

A slave surrendering fully is the ultimate gift a Master can receive. They have to want it. They have to let me take them down the rabbit hole. 

As slave Mattie likes to say: consent is sexy. It’s also muddy, somewhat confusing; never easy and neither should it be. On the surface, yes means yes, and no means no. That is never enough.

Informed consent is part of any training I provide. The term is usually reserved for medical procedures, a way of ensuring that the person(s) giving consent are aware of all the risks inherent in the surgery they are to receive. The framework of the concept applies to any potential BDSM relationships. In a 24/7 TPE (Total Power Exchange), there are elements of the relationship that both sub and Dom must apply informed consent to. ‘Yes’ is meaningless unless you fully understand what you are agreeing to. It also sets up a hidden, yet vital equality within the Master/slave dynamic. Yes, I still call all the shots, I still hold my bois rights and choices out of their reach, but I do this with their consent. 

Limits

The idea of training a slave with zero experience in submission is not something I entertain often. Sifting through those that think they want it as opposed to those that know, feels like a somewhat futile exercise. The one’s that know have a way of revealing themselves. 

Normalising BDSM and other fetish lifestyles is crucial. We have a responsibility to educate society on the ethics involved in establishing alternative lifestyles. Lifestyles that are ignorantly perceived as too dangerous, too risky. 

Want to piss me off? Here’s how: When I ask, ‘what are your limits?’, answer with, ‘I have no limits.’ Yes you do! Everyone does. You just don’t know it yet. Why does this piss me off? Because, honestly, every Masters dream is a slave without limits. So when you tell me you are such, only to discover you have a plethora of limits later on, I get frustrated. Through lack of experience it is possible, marginally, to say you are open to trying everything, but there is always that one thing, buried in the back of your mind, that one line that you would never cross. 

After establishing a potential TPE with a friend and/or lover, after opening those clear lines of communication, after discussing informed consent, the next step is applying caution to that consent. Here come the limits. 

Limits. Hard limits. Soft limits. A sliding scale of limits based on life experience, changing preferences, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on immediate circumstance; like consent, limits aren’t simple. 

I need to know all slave’s limits (hard, soft, in between), before we even start to go down the training rabbit hole. One of my favourite aspects of being a Master is pushing a slave to it’s very limits. I’ve even had the honour of pushing beyond those limits (only with consent).  

A form is filled out. This includes limits hard and soft, things we – yes, I too have a form – may not yet have tried (do we want to explore them?). A conversation that pulls absolutely no punches is the only way to achieve this. Negotiations, lines drawn in the sand, together; slave interviews me as I interview it.  

Limits can be mutual. My current crop of slaves, both owned and training, all share a hard limit on scat. As do I. Always a great start when your hard limits match. 

Limits can on occasion be very singular. The reasoning we apply to limits can stretch beyond ‘that doesn’t turn me on’. Slave Paul had personal reasons for not wanting medical play. I met a slave once who had a hard limit on a seemingly benign aspect of contact: he didn’t like the back of his neck being stroked. His reasons for this were his own.

Limits can be fluid, sliding up and down the scale freely; ever changing based on personal experience. Slave Mattie imposed a hard limit on anal for a few years after surviving a sexual assault. Eventually, he rediscovered the joy in being a bottom, and now, would probably spread his legs constantly, were he allowed.

Slave Neil’s hard limit was once CBT. A shame, because slapping and stretching a slave’s balls gives me a raging hardon. But this wasn’t to be pushed, he just didn’t enjoy it. CBT is now a soft limit, with adequate controls in place and a trusted Dom.

I am certainly not risk-averse in life, but risk aware; a cautious explorer. My hard limits are all based on safety. Rope play is a good example: the pleasure I get from binding an owned slave is incomparable. But you can rest assured that I won’t be suspending a slave from the ceiling until I have put proper practice and thought into negating every possible game-over scenario. No one wants to be wiping dead slave off their shoes. 

There lies an element of danger in most areas of BDSM, for some like myself, it’s a necessary element, a sexual thrill. But that risk doesn’t need to be life-threatening. I draw the line at permanently injuring a slave. The bois are my property, my family. I accept a slave into my house only after we have formed a relationship based on love, trust and respect. They pledge to love, honour and obey, so too do I make a pledge of loving them.

Educate Yourself

Caution is everything. Explore your sexuality with an open mind, open heart, but be aware of risk. If you are trying something out for the first time, do your research: speak openly with your partner(s), google what you desire to explore, ask as many questions as possible. Root out obscure fetishes, find out what makes you tick through knowing what does not. You may not know it yet, but I guarantee there is a hard limit or two standing ready to pierce your amygdala, in a negative way. Deal with it with caution, communication, care and know that informed consent works in every legitimate BDSM relationship.

We live in a time where fetish lifestyles are being discussed more openly throughout social media. Seize the day!

Google Alexander Cheves and listen to everything he has to say about sex and dating, regardless of whether you’re feeling kinky or not. 

Listen to Watts the Safeword, a great podcast with a beautiful mission, openly discussing kink within the gay community. 

Recon – the popular fetish dating site has a great new podcast, which talks openly about all things kink in a friendly, approachable manner. 

And one last thing, if you’re a sub and you see a Master looking for TPE on whatever hookup app you’re using, be honest in what you want. If you want a random hookup, a one-off shag, don’t start the conversation with ‘I want to be your full time slave’ and then run and hide when he starts asking you probing questions. He has as much riding on any potential risk-aware relationship as you do. Be nice. Be honest. Tell him you’re looking for a quickie with added kinks. You never know, he might surprise you. 

Be good, 

The Boss 

2 thoughts on “BDSM and Consent, or You Think You Have No Hard Limits? Think Again

  1. Perv slave (Neil) says:

    I am proud to be part of The Boss’ family, and i agree with what Boss is saying. It is vital that as a potential slave you explore your inner being by research, by asking questions, by exploring what you desire.

    I am a strong believer in no one has NO LIMITS. I for one have limits – some hard some soft and, yes even after 30 years there are things I have not explored or tried. So, to ascertain if its a hard limit or not you need to ask questions, research the kink in question, then be willing to give it a try. Then and only then can you make a qualified decision of what type of limit it falls into.

    As a potential slave either in a 24/7 or casual relationship its important you ask probing questions to a potential Master or Dom. Be true to yourself in your answers, be specific in what you ask and in your replies. As you’re going through your journey of exploring your inner being you will make mistakes along the way, but you learn by them and, if your willing to take the time to learn and willing to be taught, then that is when you become a good potential slave.

    Reply

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