Friday, 24 October 2008


Someone who reads this blog very bravely plucked up the courage to write and ask me for some advice. Now, I would never encourage anybody to look on me as some sort of guru, because I'm really just muddling through trying to figure this out like everyone else, so take anything that follows with a pinch of salt. That disclaimer out of the way, this person asked a very interesting question. I said that if she was embarking on a real life spanking journey, she should make sure she set her limits when she was thinking about "playing" with people. She rightly turned round and asked "How can I set my limits if I don't really know what they are?"

I realised that this was a great question, and it got me thinking. So below, and I hope she doesn't mind me reproducing the body of my email to her, are some of my thoughts on how to figure out what your limits are:

I've been thinking a lot today about how I figured out what mine were, and I came to the conclusion that a lot of it comes just by reading fiction, being on websites like Informed Consent, reading blogs etc. As you are reading them, maybe try and think of the following things:
Do I like the idea of this particular thing that is being talked about (be it being caned, bondage, etc.)?
Can I see myself doing this thing in real life?
Is it something that scares me (and not in a good way)?
Is it something that goes against my values?
What appeals to me/turns me on as I am reading?

As you do this you will probably find yourself coming up with some things that you really don't like the idea of. For instance, I hate the idea of gags. I have asthma and the idea of having something in my mouth impeding my breathing scares me. So for me, gags are a limit. I would never want to be gagged. These things that don't appeal are probably a good starting place for your limits. It's also useful to have an idea of what type of spankings appeal. Do you like the idea of discipline spankings? Or maybe just for fun spankings? Or maybe what really appeals is erotic spankings as a prelude to more sexual activity.
It also helps to have a set of "first spanking meet" limits. It may be that you think that once you get to know someone you wouldn't mind them using implements on you, but the first time you meet you only want them to hand spank you.
Don't be surprised if your limits change over time. Accept that as you grow in doing "this thing we do", you will discover more about yourself, and what your likes and dislikes are. Don't think that just because you said when you started out that you would *never* do something, you can't change your mind three months down the line when the idea starts appealing more. We're women: it's our prerogative to change our minds ;-)

I think the key thing is research. Just try and figure out what feels right in your head (and heart) and what doesn't, and that's probably a pretty darn good basis for your limits.


PK said...

I think you have given an excellent answer. When we started I/we had no clue what we were doing. As time passed since I was playing with my husband I realized like you said your limits change as you get more and more comfortable. Going slow and communicating all the time is the key.


Indy said...

For those who don't have a readily available partner-- you know, like a spouse or SO-- I would also add that it's a good idea to play for the first time with someone who is used to playing with newcomers. The organizers of most spanking groups, or experienced bottoms, can recommend someone suitable. It makes a big difference, as it's an overwhelming enough situation without having to think about enforcing your limits during that first spanking.

Anonymous said...

Like the idea of 'first spanking meet limits'. Pretty common for an experienced spanko to have those. But for those that don't have much (or even any) experience with spanking, the idea of setting hard limits is far more challenging.

Having given a few 'first ever' spankings... I like to start by spelling out almost exactly what I'd like to happen in a step-by-step way. Then get feedback about the plan and adjust. Then give the spanking, and get more feedback. Basically make it more like a "yes/no" thing at the start as opposed to an open ended essay.

A good spanker, IMO, will focus on what ~will happen~ and not on what ~wont happen~ when dealing with a newbie. Don't want surprises and a "gee, you never said not to do that" pitfalls.

Todd and Suzy

Paul said...

Elaine, a well thought out answer.
Taking the first step into our world can be frightening, a helping hand is always welcome.
Warm hugs,