WTF is with that hard limit?!

People who include ‘children’ as a hard limit make me shouty.

The only reason I can see for doing it is if they actually believe that playing with minors is such a common and acceptable practice with most of the BDSM community that they have to differentiate themselves from the norm by stating it.

The only thought process that makes sense to me, that justifies including it, is this:

“Playing with kidlets is the norm, so I had better separate myself from *everyone else* by listing it as a hard limit. If I don’t have it listed, obviously everyone will assume it’s ok and will come to me expecting it. Oh nooooo, no playing with the kiddies for me, I want to be clear about that!”

It *makes no sense*. AT ALL!!

It’s like someone somewhere once decided that it NEEDED to be spelled out, you know, so that all the pedophiles in the BDSM community don’t pick ME when they want to play with the kiddies! Because obviously, if I don’t list it as an actual hard limit, people will automatically assume that I think it’s ok…

If you really must list it, please also include ‘necrophilia’, ‘amputation by chainsaw’ and ‘gouging out eyes with teaspoons’ on your hard limits list, just so everyone is clear about those also, mmkay?

What. The. Fuck????!!!!!

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24 Comments

  1. I think the other possible reason for including it is to remind “no limit” subbies that we all have limits. Those limits better include minors, dead things, animals, death and severe bodily mutilation (and incest).

    However, my favourite way to demonstrate limits (and the importance safewords) to a subbie is telling the story of the Domme and the architect. he said “no limits”. She gave him 3 coins to drop anyhow as a safety word (sign). She bound and gagged him then fetched his work bag from his car. She took out his technical drawings and tore the first one up.

    Ping Ping Ping

    he dropped the coin

    Moral of the story:- We Dommes *will* think outside the box and everyone has limits.

    (The Domme in this story had set up fakes of his drawings so she was not destroying his actual work)

  2. Fernflower (such a lovely nick! *smile*): “I think the other possible reason for including it is to remind “no limit” subbies that we all have limits.”

    Yeaahhhh…nup, I don't buy it. If that were the case, then we would see a much wider variety of them… castration, financial domination, amputation, death. Why on earth *that* one?! It reflects badly on ALL OF US!!!

    “However, my favourite way to demonstrate limits (and the importance safewords) to a subbie is telling the story of the Domme and the architect.”

    *laugh* Great story!

    Ferns

  3. I've actually been put in situations where I had to say it in online situations. Where people wanted to either impersonate a child or talk about children. The virtual world and it's anonymity allow for more fucked up characters than not. Perhaps it's the places I've haunted.

    In general I agree with you though! I would never say something like that in the real world. Now that you put it that way, I'm quite embarrassed to have used it at all!

    RE: Domme and the architect… fabulous! *gigglesnorts

  4. Sweets: “I've actually been put in situations where I had to say it in online situations. Where people wanted to either impersonate a child or talk about children.”

    I think you have a really valid point here about the online thing. Certainly online you can have all sorts of roleplay where the limits of 'children, death, castration' might actually be roleplays that people do and in the context of *roleplay* it makes sense to state it as a limit.

    I was talking primarily about Fetlife and assuming that most people are operating in the real world and talking there about real world limits (unless, obviously, they are in a bunch of online-focussed groups and having discussions therein).

    I have to add that I don't believe for one second that most people mean 'age play' when they say 'children' either. The language of BDSM includes 'age play' or 'adult baby' or 'infantilism', and no-one with a lick of sense ever equates them to 'playing with minors'.

    “I would never say something like that in the real world. Now that you put it that way, I'm quite embarrassed to have used it at all!”

    No need to be embarrassed! It is *such* a prevalent thing and an oddness and maybe somewhere here in the comments someone will come up with a revelation that makes it all become clear and perfectly sensible!

    Do we need to have a little chat about the Sydney University study disclaimer found all over Fetlife??

    Ferns

  5. I actually followed you here from Fetlife a couple of years ago? year ago? sometime ago? I feel like a groupie! Can I get a Ferns T-shirt?

    I'm only truly embarrassed when my skirt is tucked in my panties and I didn't know it. Or events equivalent in nature.

    I think it's a trend in places like Fetlife though. Someone reads it somewhere else and decides “hmmm yeah I don't want to do anything like that with children either!” While on topic, have you seen the group dedicated to the warnings on profiles? It's fun to read through with coffee. I don't know the rules around here, so I won't link… but the name of the group is Best of Sydney University warnings. I had read through it before, but now see some new additions.

  6. I feel like a lot of it is that irrational worry that they're going to be the only one who didn't list it and everyone's going to go “who let the pervert in here? Let's get the hell away from that guy.”

    There's been a couple threads popping up along the lines of “let's all list our limits” and I'm kinda weirded out by it, (just seems like that sort of thing should between you and yours) There's no equivalent I can think of in the vanilla world.

  7. Lol, I list children as a hard limit. Though I also list extreme harm, animals, death and all the other extremely bad stuff. That's gotta be a little extra redeeming right? =P

    I don't know about your reasoning for not listing it though. I don't see too many people bringing up flesh hooks in the BDSM community (in fact, I think I've seen more people express a liking for children than flesh hooks) but I bet you wouldn't get after someone for listing that as a hard limit.

    I just don't see the harm is mentioning it.

  8. I think that it might have to do with self-justification. Many people feel uncomfortable (if only subconsciously) about their interests and likes. By stating that children are a hard limit to them, they somehow show the world (or themselves): “Hey, I'm not _THAT_ perverted.

  9. Love the domme and architect story.

    I'm out of touch I know, but I don't think I've ever considered enumerating my extensive list of hard limits but if I did I would be more likely to list bad breath. I know it's not as serious but it is something I might actually encounter and I'm really not ok with it. Mutilation, child abuse, etc. are so far off sides I would never have thought I'd need to list them.
    I'm with you…
    WTF??

  10. No no no no no no no, I think you guys are taking this the wrong way. While I do not have “children” listed as a hard limit, I do have things like “Mormons” and, oh, I don't know, just things I really don't like or am not interested in–things that have nothing to do with sex or D/s. Personally, I think it's kind of funny to throw a few things like that into the list. I can see people (including a few people I know personally) listing “children” as a hard limit for no reason other than they don't like kids. Yeah, it's confusing in that context. Yeah, out of context limits probably have no place on sites like CollarMe (which I'm on), and etc. But they are there. I really really doubt that people list it because they think kinksters are pedophiles.

  11. Sweets: “Can I get a Ferns T-shirt?”

    *laugh* You mean like this? I'm kind of partial to this

    “I think it's a trend in places like Fetlife though. Someone reads it somewhere else and decides “hmmm yeah I don't want to do anything like that with children either!””

    I think you are right there… like a snowball effect. I just hate hate hate the implication implicit in it *sigh*.

    “While on topic, have you seen the group dedicated to the warnings on profiles?”

    I have not!! I would love the link, I love that stuff!

    I HAVE seen some really funny anti-warnings in profiles including this one:

    ATTENTION; I am employed by the University of Sydney. It is my job to collect your profile information for our study. At break time we laugh at your impotent threats of legal action.

    Ferns

  12. Peroxide: “I feel like a lot of it is that irrational worry that they're going to be the only one who didn't list it and everyone's going to go “who let the pervert in here? Let's get the hell away from that guy.””

    *nod nod* I can see that, it's like the sheep mentality of 'everyone else is doing it', but to me it speaks more about a *lack of thought* than actively giving it considerate thought.

    “There's been a couple threads popping up along the lines of “let's all list our limits” and I'm kinda weirded out by it, (just seems like that sort of thing should between you and yours)”

    I think on a site where so many aspects of BDSM are discussed it's not really such a weird thing. Having said that, I think the point at which you draw the line is different for everyone.

    I share MUCH more here on my blog than I would *ever* share on a discussion site because my personal feelings are not 'up for discussion'. While there is discussion here in the comments, and I love love LOVE that, it is a very different space here than a public discussion board. My blog, my personal experiences, my rants, my opinions, my space etc. It's kind of odd, since this is all 'the internet', but in my mind, my blog = my house; a public discussion board = a public mall. I would no more share very personal things on a public discussion board than I would shout it out in the middle of the street.

    In short, I get what you mean about having a line beyond which things are 'not public fodder for discussion'.

    “There's no equivalent I can think of in the vanilla world.”

    No, there's not, but then again, there is also no equivalent of 'pre-play negotiation' for vanilla encounters either (apart from 'no condom is a hard limit'):

    “Ok, I will suck your cock, but I won't swallow; you can stick a finger in my arse, but not more than one…” etc.

    You could argue that it wouldn't be such a bad thing, though imagining it does make me laugh.

    Ferns

  13. I totally love Fern's Cock T!!! haha… I may have to order one just for the 'hu?' factor? I mean… I love wearing stuff like that that stranger's don't get. Confusing people is one of my favorite hobbies!

    Regarding lack of thought and not to blow more smoke up your tushie or anything, but I think you are on the money with that. I feel in general society doesn't like to think about their own actions. It's why I stalk through blogs and places such as this! I blame this for most political issues across the globe.

    I'd also like to add that bad breath is a hard limit for me as well, dishevelleddomina. Certainly in the top 5 with long fingernails on a male and ear hair. *shivers*

  14. Oh my, I missed the quotation marks on that last part of your response at first. Certainly perked up my attention.

    “my blog = my house; a public discussion board = a public mall”

    I agree with this sentiment, which is why I'm still surprised by some of the stuff people post on forums.

    A misspelled unwelcome personal ad seems a lot like standing up in the food court with your fly open and yelling an unintelligible invitation to have sex.

  15. Brids: “I just don't see the harm is mentioning it.”

    I explained it in my post.

    Listing 'children' as a hard limit essentially implies that the BDSM community norm is that playing with kids is acceptable, in fact, it's *so* acceptable that you have to explicitly SAY that you won't do it. I don't know how to make the harm done by that that any clearer.

    Ferns

  16. N: “I think that it might have to do with self-justification. Many people feel uncomfortable (if only subconsciously) about their interests and likes. By stating that children are a hard limit to them, they somehow show the world (or themselves): “Hey, I'm not _THAT_ perverted.”

    I never thought of that. It's certainly a possibility, a twisted one, but still… I am still going with 'everyone else does it' reasoning in my mind, but your point raises the question of 'why did it start?'.

    I'm wondering now if it started because of online role players who could legitimately put limits on crazy *roleplay* (death, amputation, cannibalism, children…) and then maybe the fact that it was about online roleplay somehow got lost over time, then everyone piled on and suddenly it was the norm…

    Ferns

  17. dishevelleddomina: “…but it is something I might actually encounter and I'm really not ok with it. Mutilation, child abuse, etc. are so far off sides I would never have thought I'd need to list them.”

    *nod nod* This is the difference… “realms of possibility vs NOT”. Listing 'children' as a hard limit brings it into the 'realms of possibility' when it was NEVER in there in the first place! People BRING it there by listing it… Baffling!

    Ferns

  18. Anonymous: “No no no no no no no, I think you guys are taking this the wrong way.”

    I wish! If you and your friends are using it in some sort other way, then you are not helping! Stop it! *laugh*

    Seriously, the normal usage *is* about 'playing with minors'. As an example, this is a quote from an experienced Domme in a serious discussion about limits:

    “Scat, blood play, cutting and children (shudders)”

    She is not being funny or ironic or anything of the sort. She is seriously letting it be known that it is one of her limits because if she doesn't…um…ummmm…? What? What is the implication of that?

    Oh, but she doesn't list 'death' or 'cannibalism' so do we assume those are ok? Of course we don't!!!! If she didn't list 'children' WHO WOULD ASSUME IT'S OK?!

    “I really really doubt that people list it because they think kinksters are pedophiles.”

    While I disagree with your interpretation of *why* most poeple list it, I actually agree with this. When questioned, I think *those who list it* would agree that they don't think most kinksters are pedophiles… so why list it then?
    Just because… um… because!?

    Perhaps, as Brids said, they list it because 'what's the harm in it?' I actually think there IS harm in it.

    In thinking about this, I have to say also, that IF they think they are sending some sort of message to pedophile kinksters, then why not also send the message to serial killer kinksters and abusive kinksters and cheating kinksters?

    “Scat, blood play, cutting, children, serial killers, abusers, cheaters, sociopaths, people who say 'IMHO' before being horribly offensive etc…”

    Ferns

  19. Sweets: “I totally love Fern's Cock T!!! haha… I may have to order one just for the 'hu?' factor?”

    *laugh* Isn't it great?! You totally should! Then you can do a “things I said in response to 'hu?'” follow up!

    Thank you for following me here, by the way, and for sticking around!

    Ferns

  20. Peroxide: “A misspelled unwelcome personal ad seems a lot like standing up in the food court with your fly open and yelling an unintelligible invitation to have sex.”

    You mean this isn't acceptable behaviour? *sighs… does up her fly…*

    Ferns

  21. “Listing 'children' as a hard limit essentially implies that the BDSM community norm is that playing with kids is acceptable, in fact, it's *so* acceptable that you have to explicitly SAY that you won't do it.”

    How is that any different from listing something like scat or watersports? It's obviously not the norm because nearly every time someone mentions limits those two are there. Does that imply that everyone thinks the BDSM community is into scat/watersports? Not really, it just implies you don't want anything to do with it.

    “I don't know how to make the harm done by that that any clearer.”

    Harm? I don't see how such a thing could cause any harm, especially considering you had to use the words “essentially implies”. So it's really open to interpretation as to what it implies. To me, it implies nothing. It's just me spelling out what I don't want to do and it just so happens you're reading into when there's nothing there to be read into.

  22. Brids: “How is that any different from listing something like scat or watersports?”

    You are quite right, they are not the norm, but those things *are* completely acceptable forms of play. Hard limits communicate “these things are acceptable to some BDSMers, but not to me”. Listing 'children' brings it into the realm of possibility, as if it is an acceptable form of play in the community.

    I can't explain it any better.

    Ferns

  23. @Brids: I love watersports, and know many others who do. (Not so much waterSPOUTS, despite the 'help' my iPad wants to give me.)

    I think there is another issue at play, and that is the fetishization (in the non-sexual, religious, idolatrous sense) of children and childhood. Children are considered magical creatures now, and people feel the need to outdo one another in paying homage to the Almighty Screaming Brat. Children are pure, non-sexual, wholly good and innocent.

    They are children, undifferentiated children, until their 18th birthday, at which point they go through puberty like a light switch, and are suddenly alive to themselves as sexual beings, and great for porn. Meh.

    I'm all for not exploiting children. But I can be rational about it, and give it the amount of attention it needs from me, which is very little, given the number of kids in my life.

    So I don't list kids as a limit. It does go without saying. Unless you're irrational.

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