Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How much is too much?

I do not believe BDSM should be seen as any sort of contest. Ten or fifteen hand spanks may be more than enough to get one person worked up, where another person may need 40 strokes from a cane to reach the same level of arousal. Neither is better or worse than the other -- there is no specific protocol for what makes a "good submissive". It's all about two or more people having complimentary kinks.

The comments to my Kink Monday post this week got me thinking. Diana thought forced orgasms could be hot, but not taken to the extreme example I gave. And I think denial can be hot, but with the exception of As She's Told, most of the time it doesn't do much for me in fiction when taken to the extreme. I'm pretty sure Anneke and Annabel are both pretty happy with denial in the extreme, though. We're all different, and we all have a different spot that it becomes too much and no longer works for us.

For the sake of simplifying the questions running around in my head, let's focus on fictional impact play: floggers and paddles and belts and tawses and whips and crops and wooden spoons and everything else commonly used for impact. Assuming the couple uses and respects safewords, and for the scene you are reading a safeword is not used to stop the scene: Where is your personal limit, at what point does it go from arousal to squick?

I can recall one time in fiction where it squicked me -- a submissive wanted the scene to stop but wouldn't safeword because he was trying to prove something by not using it. Which means the submissive wasn't really respecting the safeword so it doesn't fit into the frame of my question.

The math scene in Safeword Rainbow squicked some people, apparently because it was about real pain that took place outside of the comfort of subspace. That is apparently where the line in the sand is drawn for some people.

Is your turn off at the point of tears? Welts? Bruising? Blood? Or is it when actual pain is described and not just the heat from a spanking? If the submissive is enjoying it, even if you couldn't, is that enough for you to be able to enjoy it through him or her? Or are you only turned on when you would enjoy whatever is being done to the submissive?

I could ask the same question of submission -- when does it cross the line from hot to too much? I have a lot of fictional squicks that come to mind - kneeling and crawling on hard floors (tile, hardwood, concrete) for more than about thirty seconds, anything that happens in public where vanilla people see the dynamic, having to say "this one" or "this slave" instead of "I", eating dog food... I could go on and on and on. I don't think less of people who get off on those things, it's just that those things are a turn off for me even if the submissive is turned on by it.

As I said at the start - it's not a contest. There are no right or wrong answers. When it comes to fiction -- whatever arouses you is right for you, and whatever turns you off is wrong for you. In real life we have to deal with consent and sanity and a ton of other things, but I'm not talking about real life today. I think I ended up with two questions in all of my rambling:
  • Where is your personal limit where fictional impact play goes from arousal to squick?
  • At what point does fictional submission cross the line from hot to too much?


  1. It's hard to say where my limit is with fictional play. I know I don't like excessive beatings over and over done for the Dom's pleasure only, especially when he's adding welts and bruises to ones that are already there. That crosses the "no longer erotic" line for me.

    As far as fictional submission...well, I'm not crazy about any kind of animal play. It's just not my thing.

    The thing about the extreme forced orgasms is that I'm uncomfortable with them being used as punishment. There are so few pleasures in life, so I don't want to ruin one on the best ones. You know? Anyway, that's my two cents.

    ~ Diana

  2. That makes sense - not wanting something you see as pleasurable to be used as punishment.

    Striking a bruise can be a problem for me too, if it's a deep bruise, because that can be a safety issue.

  3. The dividing line on impact play for me would be blood and deep bruising -- damage, in other words, that would leave scars or take longer than, say, a week or so to heal. Does that make sense? I don't have a lot of experience to draw on. I know the pictures of bodies that look like raw meat are definitely not a turn-on!

    As for submissive behaviour, we all know I tend to go a bit further than most -- animal play and humiliation, etc. -- but I would draw the line at ingesting dog food or human waste -- ugh! Never got those particular fetishes. Nothing that would threaten health. Anything in public is out for me also, and that "this one" or "it" business is just silly. (I don't judge the sub who does it, though, since someone else has imposed it.)