Submission 102: Setting Sexual and Non-Sexual Boundaries for Yourself

Good Evening Friends,

How is everyone doing tonight? I hope you all are having a wonderful start to the week. Tonight I want to slow things down and discuss sexual and non-sexual boundaries. Let’s pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage, and unpack this topic together. I was recently browsing through Reddit when I came across not one, but seven threads posted by very young Littles desperately looking for a Caregiver or Daddy. The titles of their threads went something like this, “(18F) Looking for a Daddy!!! Cute, adorable, shy, eager to learn, come chat w me!!!”.

My immediate reaction was not one of judgement, but one of wanting to pull these young Littles aside and urge them to focus more on their own personal journey as a Little, rather than immediately jump into a relationship to “learn” about the lifestyle. Alas, I can’t physically herd these young, impressionable people into a classroom, so I will use my platform tonight to help the community and discuss the importance of setting boundaries for yourself.

Everyone’s little space is going to look different. Some littles are sexual while others are not. Regardless of how and what you do while regressed, it is vital that you be your biggest advocate in setting boundaries for yourself. You need to understand your limits and know how to negotiate with your partner. You need to understand that negotiation and consent are radically different. Just because you spoke about a topic with your partner doesn’t mean that they just “get to do it” to you. Consent, safety, boundaries, limits, trust, compassion… all of these things make up the foundation of the D/s lifestyle. Are you ready to learn more? Then, let’s dive in.

I. Negotiation:

What is negotiation? When I think of the word negotiate I imagine two businessmen around a conference table arguing to get a little more of the deal in their favor. In the world of D/s we use the word negotiation in another way. To negotiate simply means, “talking about what you want to do with your play partner and coming to an agreement that pleases both people”. The goal is to speak ahead of time about a play session that you wish to do. You and your Dominant or Caregiver will discuss everything that will take place at length. You want to make sure that you both feel completely comfortable and consent to everything that is going to take place. In our little space community, I’ve seen people mistakenly think that negotiation only applies to littles who have sexual relationships. In actual reality, all couples should be negotiating and tonight I have a few documents to aid you and your partner:

  • 💙If you desire to have intimacy and sexual contact in your relationship it will be important for you and your partner to discuss your kinks, fetishes, and fantasies. My Daddy and I have created a checklist for you and your partner to use and discuss each item at length. You can pick up this FREE printable here.
  • 💛If you have a non-sexual little space you will still want to learn how to negotiate with your partner. There will be many items and skills that you will want your Caregiver to know, that you desire in your little space. This is why I designed a 10-page FREE printable for non-sexual littles to use with their caregiver to help them understand what you desire to experience while regressed. Simply go down the checklist and mark each item or skill that you desire to have in your little space. Then hand the document to your partner and discuss everything at length.

Now that you have your checklists ready to go let’s discuss how to talk about these things with your partner. There are typically three main styles of negotiating that most D/s couples take. They are as follows:

  • Opt-in Method: This method is when you discuss everything and use a checklist to show exactly what you’d like to do. You agree on what you wish to experience together and come to a consensus and that’s what happens while you’re regressed in little space. This is the method that I recommend the most because it is the most straightforward approach to talking things through with your partner. There aren’t surprises or sudden deviations to “test” something out that you haven’t discussed in your adult headspace. You check what you want and that is what you do, period.
  • The Opt-out Method: This method is when you use a checklist and then share which items are hard limits and which are soft limits. You “opt out” of your hard limits but then consent to your Dom pushing certain soft limits while assuming that anything else is fine. While this allows the Dom much more creativity in play sessions I would only advise couples who deeply trust each other and who are experienced practitioners to use this approach.
  • The C.N.C. Method: This isn’t really a method per say but I wanted to toss it in here. With Consensual Non-Consent there is still negotiation and hard limits are made and respected by all parties. Then everything else is assumed to be a blanket consent where a Dom can “force” a soft limit. Safewords are always observed. People enjoy C.N.C. because of the loss of control and/or the fantasy of rape play.

Whether your little space is sexual or not there are other factors that you’ll want to bring up with your partner when you’re negotiating. Discuss any physical or mobility limitations. If it’s difficult to get down on the floor for play, speak up and say so! If you have mental health limitations or triggers (also referred to as landmines), your Caregiver or Dominant needs to be made aware. Remember, your Dominant or Caregiver wants to provide the best level of care and pleasure for you, but in order to be able to do that they need to have 100% transparency from you. As you’re discussing everything with your partner make sure that they can repeat your limits and boundaries back to you. This will ease your fears and know that they have paid attention to your requests and boundaries!

II. Safewords and Consent:

Alright, now let’s focus on safewords. You have to be living under a digital rock if you haven’t heard the word “safeword” in the BDSM Community because it is everywhere, and for good reason! A safeword is a code word used to signal your physical or emotional state. For example: Daddy and I have always kept it easy and use the traffic light approach. “Yellow” means slow down, I need a moment. And “red” means stop right now. Find a safeword that resonates with you and your partner. You’ll want it to be something easy to remember that you can say while regressed. Now, it’s important to remember that many Littles and Adult Babies become non-verbal (or nearly non-verbal) while regressed, so having a non-verbal safeword is equally as important. Have your Little wear a jingle bell bracelet on their wrist while regressed and playing. If they need to stop everything and feel uncomfortable while regressed they can simply rip off the velcro bracelet and let it drop to the ground. This “signal” will tell the Caregiver or Dominant to stop everything and immediately assist in helping their little shift out of their regressed headspace.

A word about “Yes” and “No” as safewords: I don’t advise that anyone use the terms “yes” and “no” as safewords for various reasons. While regressed the word “no” is used too frequently, even playfully, for it to be a sacred safeword. Also, if your Little is a brat they might say “no” in an effort to brat their Dominant and get a rise out of them. Similarly, if your little space is sexual and involves intercourse, you don’t want to be in the throes of passion saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and have things come to an abrupt stop! 😉

Once you negotiate and consent on what you both desire to experience together (with your checklists) then have your Caregiver or Dominant plan out a play session and tell you the details ahead of time so that you can mentally prepare. This also gives time for you to put together certain items that you might need, or to talk through any concerns that you might have.

Be mindful of guiding your little or baby in and out of their regressed headspace. For many of us, moving too fast in and out of little space can feel deeply jarring. Some people have described this feeling like “a bucket of ice water getting splashed on your face”. Others have equated it to the sensation of “zapping or popping” in their mind. The best way that I can describe it is feeling a mental “freeze” while the brain tries to acclimate quickly between the regressed headspace and your adult mindset. In order to avoid having your little experience this abrupt (and uncomfortable) shift, gently guide them with tender aftercare. Give them praise for being such a good little or baby. Thank them for being so good to you. Explain to them that now it’s time for them to begin to move into their “big” headspace and be patient as they shift in doing so. Lastly, to my fellow littles, middles, and adult babies, don’t forget that dominants and caregivers are people too. Dom drop is a very real issue and can hit a dominant hard. In order to avoid drop on their part, reinforce to your partner that they are a good dom or caregiver. Thank them for taking care of you and give them plenty of love and affection.

III. How to “Warm Up” for a Play Date:

I want to wrap up this post by talking about how we can warm up for regressing into little space. I was pondering the other night about how it feels to regress. Just as we pause and stretch out our muscles before going for a jog, so too should we have a pre-play session ritual before we regress. The brain is a muscle and it needs some gentle stretching before you dive into your little headspace! How you warm up will be unique to you, but the goal in warming up is universal for everyone. Aim to ease into regression instead of abruptly becoming little. Use music or watch a favorite animated TV program to “set the mood” for your headspace. Warming up also will benefit your dominant or caregiver by helping to “pull” them into their headspace as well in a gentle transition. If you plan to crawl around on the floor, this warm up period is a good time to physically stretch out your muscles.

While you are warming up, your dominant or caregiver can set aside an activity for after the play session to assist in your aftercare with the intention of guiding you back into your adult headspace. Remember, the goal of warming up is to help you gently connect with your little self. It is also a time for you to emotionally connect with your dominant or caregiver. Loving touches and snuggles is an excellent way to help shift both dom and little into their headspace as you both ease into a beautiful state of mind ready to play.

Alright my friends, that’s it from me for this post. I hope you all enjoyed it! If you did, hit that like button and let me know. Smash that follow button if you’re new around here, and I will see you back here for the next topic!

Much love,

~Penny x

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