Pushing limits is the practice of pushing a submissive past their designated limits during BDSM play. Specifically this term refers to pushing soft limits. These are the limits which may be negotiated with the right partner under the right circumstances. These limits may encompass activities a submissive hasn’t tried, activities the submissive did not enjoy in the past, and activities the submissive has enjoyed but only experienced to a mild degree.
Dominants typically push their submissives’ limits to expand the boundaries of pain allowed in play. This can increase the possibilities for a couple’s play and deepen their connection. Submissives may enjoy pushing their limits to increase their tolerance for pain and experience things they never imagined experiencing before.
However, the limits a submissive sets can also be emotionally charged. In these cases, pushing limits can be difficult or even undesirable. It’s important for a submissive and dominant to examine why the submissive has a limit, why they may want to push it, and any feelings associated with the limit.
It’s important for a dominant to know which limits to push and how to push the limits. A dominant must go slowly when pushing limits to avoid overwhelming the submissive. Patience, understanding, trust, and communication are vital for ensuring this process goes well. These virtues should be practiced after pushing limits too, to ensure negative feelings do not arise after play.
As with all interaction between a submissive and their dominant, limits should not be pushed without the consent of both parties. The submissive should use an agreed upon safe word if the play moves to his or her hard limits. A dominant should never pressure their submissive to push limits.