This entry is part 13 of 26 in the series Blogging from A to Z

Today’s post, is brought to you by the letter “L”.

Now, I have to admit that “L” is one of the tougher letters for me in the challenge so far, at least from the standpoint of selection.

There aren’t a lot of paraphilias that start with the letter L, which limits my options to a certain extent.

With that said, it should be noted that any letter that starts the word “Love” can’t be all bad!

The nominees are:

Labiaplasty – a plastic surgery procedure for altering the labia minora (inner labia) and the labia majora (outer labia), the folds of skin surrounding the human vulva.
Lactaphilia – term for sexual arousal caused by lactating breasts
Lagneuomania – an abnormal preoccupation with lewd talk and actions.
Lambskin – material used in natural condoms (and luxury floggers)
Lap Dancing – a personal dance by a stripper
Lesbians – ladies loving ladies, but if I really need to define this one for you, you need more basic sex education
Lesbian Lavender – a special shade of pink
Liberator – manufacturer of a variety of sex shapes and erotic toys
Lighting – the quality and intensity of lighting can effect mood and sexual receptiveness.
Limits – what someone “won’t” do or is hesitant to do.
Lingerie – frilly and lacy, silky or satin
Love Addiction / Love Compulsion – an irresistible impulst to fantasize about a love object, expecting it to provide a solution for problems
Love Potion – similar to an aphrodisiac but different, in that a magic ritual or incantation is performed as a part of concocting a love potion
Loving M/sMaster/slave relationship in a loving context
Lubricants – slippery stuff for when we aren’t slipper enough on our own
Lunch at the Y – euphemism for cunnilingus
Lupercalia – roman celebration that included public flagellation
Lust – if you need to learn what lust means, you came to the wrong place.
Lygerastia – tendency to become aroused only in darkened or partly darkened rooms.

Among words considered but rejected for inclusion on the list of words starting with “L” is the term Lust Murder. It seems that the term “lust murder” is used to denote cases where serial killers get direct sexual thrills from killing and murder.  Obviously, I want to dispel the notion that sadists have an evil core at work, that underneath our exterior lies a serial killer waiting to erupt.  It’s just not true, not even close to reality.  Yes there are sick individuals who would take the life of another for their own thrill, but they are sociopaths and psychopaths not dominants and/or sexual sadists into BDSM.  Totally different creatures.  Its repulsive that we even have to share the name sadist.

Lagnonector – a person who kills in order to have sex with a corpse, also did not make the list, for obvious reasons1.

There are some nice words there on the list of “L” words, but only one just screams out to me when discussing the joy of kink, and that’s the term “limits”.  In the Kink community we use that term a little bit differently than in the vanilla world, so it seems more than worthy of a few comments.

“L” is for Limits

In the BDSM community we use the term “limits” to denote actions we don’t want to do, that we simply can’t do, or that we are very hesitant to do.  It’s such an important concept that the BDSM community isn’t satisfied to talk about limits in a single context, we use the terms “hard limit” and “soft limit” to denote further subtleties.  The term limits is usually used as a part of negotiation between participants in a BDSM scene (or relationship) to assure that some actions and activities that might be damaging to their person, psyche, faith, or world view, do not happen.

It’s most common to talk about a submissive person’s limits, but it should be noted that dominants have limits too.  However, because dominants are usually in control of a scene, it’s far more rare that a dom’s, or domme’s, limits would be encountered in a scene, let alone exceeded.

hard limit

Hard limits are actions that are absolutely off limits, they shouldn’t even be considered, never to be acted out or acted on.  Hard limits are prohibited activities, pure and simple. Violating another person’s hard limit is absolutely verboten, never allowed.  It’s simply not done by a responsible person!  Violating a hard limit is akin to a consent violation.  To be honest, it’s hard for me to equate a hard limit violation with anything less than a rape.

Yes, it really is that serious.

Without a doubt, any sort of hard limit violation is absolute just cause for ending a scene immediately.  To my way of thinking, one’s partner violating a hard limit should be just cause for ending a relationship too.  Relationships are about trust.  Consent and limit violations clearly indicate that the individual committing them is unworthy of trust.  If a hard limit violation occurs, I’d have to ask, “Where’s the relationship?”, because to may eyes a relationship without trust is a relationship in name only.  It is an illusion.

soft limit

A soft limit is a limit with subtlety.  Soft limits are not absolutely forbidden, but may be prohibited under certain circumstances or conditions.  A soft limit is an activity that a submissive/bottom hesitates about, or places strict conditions on, but for which they may still give informed consent, if those conditions are met.

Soft limits may be an area where the submissive has fears that must be approached carefully.  Another scenario where soft limits are commonly encountered are activities that require extraordinary skill.  A submissive, for instance, might allow casual play with a number of dominants, but only allow fire play and other edge play activities with a single dominant they know to be skilled.

other limits?

I’ve seen the term “must limit” or “requirement limit” used to denote something that a person will not do a scene without.  It might be used in a context like this – “A good connection is a must limit for me, I just can’t do a scene unless a I feel that connection.”  Personally, I prefer to just use the word “need”.  Saying, “I need a good connection,” is a so much simpler and straightforward way to communicate.

I’ve also observed (only occasionally) the term “time limit” used to denote a specific time frame for a scene.  The term “time limit” seems to feel a bit like an athletic event is in progress, at least that’s how it feels to me.  As such, I prefer to simply talk about scheduling.  I don’t ask a slave their “time limit”, I’m more likely to say – “How long can I keep you?” Keep it simple stupid – KISS – is a pretty good philosophy for communication, eh?

And, occasionally in the BDSM community you’ll encounter someone who says they are a “no limits” slave.  If you ever encounter such a beast, I have one piece of advice.  Put the laptop away, get up off the Barcalounger, and go to a munch or something.  There is no such thing (in the real world) as a “no limits” slave, they exist only in the fevered imagination of people who rarely have any experience, outside of a fantasy existence where extreme masochism sounds romantic.

If they tell you they are “pure submissive” and have few limits, it usually means the same thing as the “no limits” crowd.  They are all most commonly encountered online, as to go out in the real world and meet actual BDSM players would expose the fantasy as pure fraud.  Do yourself a favor if you meet this sort, lace your shoes up tight, and head in the other direction as fast as you can.  Don’t look back!


  1. necrophilia in all it’s forms is a hard limit here
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Blogging from A to Z Challenge “L” is for Limits
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