I’m a pretty regular user on tiktok, I’m on it all the time and I post vlogs, cosplay videos, and kink education pretty frequently on there. Something that I noticed in the kink related videos recently was a lot of jokes about “fake Doms and subs” saying they “have no limits.” While that is a running theme I went ahead and made a tiktok explaining newbies are the exception to this whole idea. I wanted to share my ideas and thoughts around it here in a more nuanced post. (My ideas around this aren’t completely mine either. I had strong feelings about the topic for a while but conversations with Devyn Stone allowed me to have more nuanced thoughts about this).
Firstly, when a newbie says “I have no limits” it comes from a place of unwillful ignorance and frenzy. We’re all pretty aware of what frenzy is. It’s that excitement to learn and play and explore the roles they’ve seen played out in porn or that they’ve fantasized about. It can happen to even the most researched newbie.
In terms of unwilful ignorance I mean exactly that. They are ignorant of this information by no fault of their own. This goes for the wholly uneducated as well as the pretty well researched. Those that come in not know what safewords and limits are at all are often cited as willfully ignorant, but I bring in the argument that they didn’t know they were supposed to do any research or learning to do kink. For those that know what these concepts are, that’s exactly what they are to them, concepts. They have no tangible experience to attach to the concept of a limit.
However, there’s the ever elusive and rare “perfectly educated” newbie. They know what safewords are, the know what limits are and have an idea of what their limits are, and even know what they want to try. They’re not much better though.
Not to toot my own horn but I would like to think I was the “perfect” newbie. I was privileged enough to have a kink aware therapist in my late teens that gave me age appropriate reading materials before I first joined the community. I knew what safewords were, I knew what limits were and even had an idea of what mine were, and I did some exploring on my own before I joined.
This however did nothing to actually protect me. I was freshly traumatized coming out of high school hoping to find connection in a community of weirdos. I was at the peak of being a meek people pleaser with a fawn response that would have said yes to anything. What protected me from doing something that would possibly disfigure me was going to college three hours away from my home community. That however didn’t protect me from being abandoned in a collar I had to take off myself. No where in my reading did I find information about collars. I didn’t know what collars were until I joined the community and I sure as hell didn’t understand them until I was given one.
Joking about “getting the chainsaw” when a newbie says they have no limits is you making fun of someone to their face about something that they don’t know or don’t understand. It can be humiliating, embarrassing, and it makes you seem less empathetic and trust worthy. And as mentioned before in my case me having practically no limits or boundaries was a result of trauma. And by no means am I the only individual with trauma that joins the community. At best you’re mean at worst you’re actively mocking or instilling trauma responses.
Instead of making a joke sit them down and run through a scenario with them. Give them an example of “if I did x to you during a scene would that upset you?” or “Well are you into x?” until you find something that they don’t like.
An example of this being that when I was negotiating a scene with Devyn I had basically no experience with knife play thus I had almost no knowledge of what actually happens during knife play scenes. All I knew is that amputation and “excessive” bleeding were hard limits and I thought that was all. He then listed off several things that he will usually do during knife scenes and I very quickly added a few more limits to add to that list.
We always talk about being kind and understanding with newbies until the topic of limits. Limits is the same wheel house of newbies not knowing things about kink or the community.
Also who knows, they could be a budding edge player and have the appearance of having no limits because they have so few!
in love and leather