Limits: Cupid Does Not Have Me In A Chokehold

In this entry of my hard limits blog series, I decided to talk about one of the major things that has plagued my entire sexual history. Choking. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just light pressure from a hand being placed on my neck or hands more forcefully pressed against my throat, everything neck related (aside from kissing and the occasional collar wearing) is off-limits for me. I’ll pretty much give anything a go once or twice (within reason) but both times I’ve tried choking have resulted in a PTSD flashback. I’ve had to go into a dark room with my favourite blanket and a scented candle to feel okay again.

If I take you back to the limits post that I wrote about rape play, you’ll know that I was assaulted at a young age. This is relevant because the guy that was responsible for that event put his forearm against my throat during the assault. It was forceful and it hurt. I didn’t really understand it at the time. I thought he was trying to kill me. I now understand that this was an attempt to keep me quiet but because of this, I can’t associate any level of choking or breath play with anything but traumatic memories and physical pain. It’s not a sexy type of domination for me. I don’t know if my feelings and boundaries on this topic will change following a revisit to trauma treatment, but I am not expecting it to be an activity that’s part of my sex life anytime soon. It is a defined in stone hard limit for me and I don’t think I’d mind if this box stayed locked forever.

I think it looks hot in porn, and I can see how that level of trust and vulnerability can be sexy to some, but it’s not something I could do. I thought that coming back to it in adulthood with a trusted sexual partner could change the way I feel about it, or at least make me less scared of it, but evidently that’s something I’m not able to explore. I have taken a few steps in recovery such as allowing someone touch me there and penetration was an issue for a while, but acting out anything similar to what happened during that assault send me into a trauma infused panic attack. I can’t do certain sex positions with my partner now as they are variations of what that person put me through and it’s a painful (mentally and physically) encounter.

Outside of that part of my past, there’s another reason that plays on my mind when I think about choking. My health. This can be a very risky, dangerous play and using the wrong amount of pressure or missing a safe signal can be deadly. For that reason, I think that being in a well-rested, sober mind-set with good lung health is vital before engaging. I personally do not have great lung health. I am a lifelong asthmatic who had pneumonia in my childhood that required surgery on my left lung. I still have it, unlike my grandfather who had to have his removed, but it’s never been quite the same. I end up in a panic state if I can’t take a deep inhale/exhale every five seconds or so. I wouldn’t be able to feel safe, comfortable and sane during a choking scene as a result.

If you are going to engage in this sort of play, I’d recommend only doing so with someone you truly trust. Someone you’ve been intimate with before. Someone who understands what “no”, “stop” or a safe word/signal means. Get those safety measures in place beforehand. Both be clear on the signal and make sure to follow through and use it if needed. Be aware of your surroundings if the choking isn’t taking place on a bed and remove any possible hazards from the area such as long cables or dressing gown ties that could get caught around the throat. Don’t pull the neck upwards, apply pressure on the receivers windpipe or use your grip to move a partner around. Use their lower body to manoeuvre them into a more comfortable, accessible position or stop and let them adjust themselves.

Limits: Oh Toe You Don’t

Ah, foot fetishes. A topic that can turn a conversation into a debate. Some people love this fetish, some hate it, some feel indifferent and some are confused. I think this goes with most fetishes and kinks, but I’ve found that people have a lot of thoughts on feet in particular. In this post, I’m going to be talking about the reasons behind this fetish being a hard limit for me, my thoughts on the fetish in general and sharing a bit of a rant about kink shaming.

Foot Fetishes - LimitsI’ve never really liked feet. I don’t know what it is about them, but I just don’t like them. I know there are a lot of others out there who feel the same as I do and that’s totally fine. We all have areas of the body that we aren’t too keen on. I just so happen to be freaked out by feet/toes and belly buttons. No logical explanations for either are known to me. I take care of my own feet, regarding clipping and painting my nails, with the occasional foot bath here and there, but I insist on making those ‘pampering’ sessions go by as quickly as possible. Would I go to a spa and get a professional pedicure? Absolutely not. It’s bad enough that I have to touch my own feet. I wouldn’t be comfortable with someone else doing so. I’d rather get a facial or back massage any day.

If it was possible for toenails to clip and paint themselves and soles to apply lotion to their cracked skin without assistance, I’d be made up. Unfortunately, the human body has not evolved that far. So whilst I may be uncomfortable, I’ll deal with my feet to remain clean and fresh. That’s as far as my relationship with my feet will ever go. I’m certainly not interested in touching, treating or tending to anyone else’s, so my toe contact is limited to about once a week. I can cope with this. I couldn’t cope with someone wanting to touch my feet, hold my feet, massage my feet, suck my toes etc. It has been asked of me before and it’s always been a straight up no.

Looking back, I remember feeling harsh for having to completely reject all aspects of a person’s fetish as I’m usually quite open to experimenting, but I’ve realized that I shouldn’t feel bad for having limits. This fetish is one that I don’t feel I could ever budge on, just because of the way that I feel about feet, and luckily for me, this does not interest my long-term partner. If he hypothetically did have a thing for feet, I’d want him to find someone he could explore that with, even if it meant letting him go. We all deserve to be with partners that we are sexually compatible with for the most part.

I may not ever completely understand the old foot fetish, but I respect that this kink is not my kink. It works for a lot of people as is evident by the reports that show that this is one of the most common fetishes around. It might still be a taboo topic for some, but it’s a genuine source of enjoyment for others. My thoughts are this; as long as the foot fetishist doesn’t creepily approach unwilling strangers to satisfy their kink (because this happens more than I’d like it to), purposely cross over someone’s boundaries or limits or hurt someone, then I think we should be happy for them. They’ve found what works for them and that’s a great thing.

I’ve read posts on a few forums about people not wanting to communicate with their partner in relation to this fetish. The most common reason behind this is the fear of being judged or branded as strange. I don’t think that’s fair. What one person might find strange could be vanilla to someone else. Sexual preferences are exactly that, preferences. We shouldn’t talk badly about someone else’s or make them feel insecure for liking something that we don’t. If feet are your thing, good for you. I hope you find someone you can communicate this with openly and honestly, without fears.

Limits: A Firm No to Rape Play

StopI’m starting a new blog series. This one is going to be all about our sexual limits, boundaries and the reasons behind them. I decided to start with my hardest limit, one that is firmly placed in my red zone, a place it will never move from. Most of my limits are within the orange realm, so are subject to change, but this one is not up for discussion.

When my partner and I first got together, I opened up to him about a sexual assault and rape that I experienced when I was younger. He was great about it. He was happy to take everything at my pace and sat with me through the many panic attacks that happened during our first sexual encounters. As a result of what I encountered, I find this a touchy subject and I completely understand others will too. It’s not something I was ever going to talk about here but I decided to write about this subject when I heard a podcast that the wonderful Kink Craft did discussing it.

I like to think of myself as an open-minded Person and a firm advocate of doing whatever you want as long as along parties involved are consenting. This excludes illegal acts of course. As a result, I wanted to understand this sort of play more in the hopes of getting some answers and being more accepting of it. So that’s exactly what I did. Through the research I’ve done over the past few months, i can now (sort of) understand the attraction to consensual non consent.

The feeling of having the control being taken away from you but knowing you have that safety net of being able to stop at the drop of a safe word. That is something I can relate to. My partner and I have explored elements of this within bondage. An adrenaline rush that comes through control play can be very exciting, but I draw the line at consensual non consent when it’s in the form of a roleplay rape. I feel like I would have said it’s not healthy for anyone to do this a few years ago, but now I think it’s fine as long as all the safety precautions are in place, such as safe words and signals, aftercare and trust.

I am still very much affected by my experiences and struggle to cope with it on a daily basis, even ten + years later. I still receive treatment and there are days where I can’t even consider being intimate with a partner, let alone actually following through with it. Sometimes I think I’m going to be fine but fall apart the second we get between the sheets. It can be tough, but this is exactly why I could never engage in rape play. I’m still dealing with the aftermath so something like this would do more harm than good.

What I found when I researched was interesting. The amount of survivors that use this type of play as a form of taking back control. I give these people huge props, because this is something I couldn’t do. Turning something traumatic like that, into a situation where you have all the power over the outcome, is actually very smart and important to recovery, regardless of how you choose to do it. I’m doing a similar sort of thing with this blog, I’m reclaiming my sexuality and learning that sex doesn’t have to be painful or harmful, it can actually be lots of fun.