Whether you’re just nudging around the edges of kinky play or delving deeply into a BDSM-centered relationship, limits are something you have to think about, and discuss. What your personal limits are. What their personal limits are. And so on.

But there’s another limit that I hadn’t really touched on until recently in my own play. And that’s the limit of misbehaving.

It’s kind of like kids (not that I have any experience in parenting to draw on here). Kids push limits all the time. If for no other reason than to know where the limits are, and what the consequences are should they step over those limits.

BDSM can really be quite similar to that; however, I hadn’t ever really pushed limits with any of my former lovers. Though there is a great big brat inside of me who just loves to say “no”, I had never really given that brat room to move until recently.

Part of the reason for holding back was fear: fear that my lovers wouldn’t like my bratty side, fear that it would turn them off. But the biggest fear of all was worrying that they didn’t have a limit. That they might say “Do this, or else” but when push came to shove, they wouldn’t follow through, they would soften up, they wouldn’t be hard on me because they didn’t want to be mean, didn’t want to hurt me, didn’t want to punish me, whatever.

I kept myself from pushing those boundaries not because I was afraid of the consequences but because I was afraid there wouldn’t be any. The last thing a subbie wants to do is lose respect for the man who is domming her; at least, that’s how it has always worked for me. And the easiest and quickest way to lose my respect is to not actually mean what you say. (Actually, that works both inside and outside of the bedroom.)

Respect is a HUGE part of my willingness to submit; without it, it’s difficult for me to give up all the natural assertiveness I walk around with every day. No matter how much I might want to, I cannot put myself in someone else’s care unless I know and trust that they can handle me, themselves, and whatever else comes up along the way.

But recently, I’ve started allowing my inner brat some movement in play. I let her say no, I let her whine, I let her squirm and wriggle and try to get away. In my mind, though, there was always this unanswered question: what happens if I push too far?

Honestly, I was terrified to find out. Not terrified that I’d be beaten to a bloody pulp or anything like that. Terrified that I would be able to keep pushing. Pushing and pushing with no resistance. I can’t think of anything I’d hate more.

You see, I like the boundaries. I like being reminded who is in charge. I like being allowed some room for movement, of course (well, except when bound *wink*) but in the end I want (and more importantly NEED) a firm hand on my shoulders, steadying me, guiding me, teasing me, helping me to be the deliciously naughty sexual woman I delight in being.

Recently during play, I was in one heck of a bad mood that had nothing to do with the situation and everything to do with the other crap that crowds in from time to time. And my inner brat was screaming to be let out. I was just mad enough to let her go where she wished, which meant pushing one hell of a lot of limits and buttons. I regret that I didn’t just stop the play right then but I am fervently glad for what resulted.

I found there were limits. I got warned with a “1”, and then a “2”, but unlike every other time, I just kept pushing. And when “3” was reached, I hit the brick wall of my partner’s resistance and found there were consequences for my actions.

I didn’t enjoy the punishment. But it was temporary, and the long-term lesson I learned was not.

There are limits. There are boundaries for my behavior. And if I step over them, there are consequences.

And I just couldn’t be happier about that.

About the author

Vikki McKay


  • Why do souls long to be contained within a body? Because boundaries, limitations, are an inherent part of our nature. We are free to explore, not free to destruct.

  • Is it really about limits, or is it about trust that someone will hold to their word? It seems to be those kinds of limits are one way to find out…

  • Thanks dgou. No, for me, it really is limits. The last thing my inner subbie wants is a Dom she can push around – I need to know that if I decide to get bratty, defiant or start pushing buttons that I’ll only get away with it for so long… and then I’ll get pulled up short by the man who has promised, as part of our agreement in the world of power exchange, to keep control of me. Not in a 24/7 way, but within the agreed-upon boundaries of the play we do together.

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