Limits: Fixed and Fluid

Trigger Warning – I’m not certain this post requires a content warning. I have decided it’s safer to err on the side of kindness. 


We’d been drinking for hours with our classmates celebrating the end of finals. Dancing. Laughing. Finally too drunk to care about being good hosts, my boyfriend and I slipped away from the others to his bedroom, escaped from our clothes, flopped into bed. He was rowdy that night, bigger than himself: rolling me flat with sloppy voracity, hungry mouth sucking my tongue, chortling, nibbling, teeth knocking. I was happy playing a bit more rough than usual. Still, it was a surprise when I rolled over onto all fours expecting a romping version of our usual fucking and felt the painful stab of his hard penis ramming at my anus.

I shrieked and lurched away from him.

He didn’t persist.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say, Thank god. Or I was lucky. But I don’t want to. I know countless people aren’t spared what I was spared. Damn the entire universe that I (or any person) feels lucky when a could-be rapist doesn’t rape. It shouldn’t be that way. Yes, I am grateful, and I do count myself as lucky, yet that doesn’t change the fact: I absolutely hate that not being raped is an indication of luck.

This post isn’t about rape though, it’s about limits.

The details of that night are hazy, but I’m guessing what happened was that—because the boyfriend and I had discussed our histories, knowing I had had anal sex before—he naively assumed it was within my limits and drunkenly followed his impulse. When I asserted my limit (with a shriek) he complied. Maybe that’s all there is to be said about limits.

Or maybe not. It’s more complicated than that, isn’t it?

Limits shift depending on who the players are. Years ago, after sending me a generous and beautiful bouquet of red roses on Valentine’s day, an acquaintance asked me to dinner. My answer was No. With him, dining together was outside my limits. The same year another man took me to a baseball game, bought me an ice-cream cone; he was sweet. I tried to summon an attraction for him, but there was none. With him, a kiss goodnight was outside my limits. More recently, a new lover asked me repeatedly if we could record video of ourselves having sex. With him, then, the answer was No. That’s not to say I’ll never choose to perform for a camera.

Limits can be lines in the sand, malleable and moveable, as long as each person controls his or her own sand. 


Photo credit:

This post was written for Wicked Wednesday, a site where writers share erotic stories (fiction and non) every week. The fun is hosted by the insightful and generous Marie Rebelle of Rebel’s Notes, whose endeavors you can support at Patreon.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Read more fab Wicked Wednesday “Off Limits” entries here!

8 thoughts on “Limits: Fixed and Fluid

  1. Love the last line. Exactly. Even with the same person, the line can move. As you build or break trust, or explore your reasons for a limit. I also agree with your comments on rape. I repeatedly had to tell grown men ‘no’ when I hit puberty. I was a bossy, shrill bitch (ok, still am) and most were drunk rather than evil, so I didn’t suffer unwanted penetration. But waking up from a sound sleep with a drunk dude on top of you ranks right up there in my top 10 list of “What the Fuck Were You Thinking, Ass Hat?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree, limits can change with different people or even with the same person because we change, the key when that happens is to be open and honest with one another


    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re absolutely right. My limits are very fluid, and even with my partner can shift depending on whether my chronic pain is flaring that night or not. While I submit to him and to very carefully chosen partners, kink would be a hard limit with strangers. And so forth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a wonderful post.

    I agree completely about the shifting and fluid nature of limits. For me, they are also inextricably linked to trust – the more I trust, the more I feel, my limits are expanded and explored honestly and openly.

    ~M x


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