Due to the nature of a power exchange relationship, you should ensure that your potential partners knows what activities are on and off the table and what you really enjoy. Limits are not restricted to only sexual activities either. Both submissives and dominants need to have a limit list prepared.
Hard Limits are activities that are activities that are not acceptable to you under any circumstances. For example: one of my hard limits is any play that intentionally breaks open the skin such as cutting or needle play. Hard limits should never, ever be pushed. They should be reevaluated occasionally to see if your stance on them has changed any.
Soft Limits are things you are not open to currently but you haven’t ruled them out completely. One of my soft limits is playing with another woman. I haven’t ruled it out completely but I’m not ready to try it yet. In general, soft limits are meant to be pushed just a little bit. That doesn’t mean these limits are meant to be violated, it means the dominant should encourage the submissive to carefully explore things on their soft limit list. Maybe give one of them a try (after education and practice of course) and decide if that limit should be a hard limit or removed altogether. Daddy will eventually push my soft limits when I am ready to try them and from there we will decide if the activity should be a hard limit, or a limit at all. Be open to trying things that are soft limits when you are ready. You never know what you’ll like until you try it.
Your limits should always be respected. If someone is unwilling to respect your limits, don’t play with them.
Your limits will, and should, change. Some things will always be a hard limit but bdsm is also about growth and that means pushing your own boundaries. If you push a boundary and discover you really don’t like it, that’s perfectly ok. Needle play will always be one of my hard limits but my soft limits will change over time.
Sometimes the reason behind your limits will be relevant. If you’re going to be playing with someone that you don’t plan on having a relationship with, they probably don’t need to know that face slapping is a hard limit because you were abused. However, if you’re entering into a romantic relationship, your potential partner needs to know why your limits exist so they can work with you on them. Use your own discretion when deciding when the why is relevant.
Always discuss both your hard and soft limits with any potential play partner and, as always, be safe, sane, and consensual in everything you do.