I'm having trouble writing this because I want to make it intellectual enough that I'm not emotionally invested in it. The reason I want to do that is that I've had this discussion before and have been browbeaten with stupidity over it. Some of it is honest concern that simply gets overwrought, but some of it is just argumentative for no good reason. I can handle that when it's an intellectual and theoretical discussion (in fact, I enjoy it). But when it is about my life and the way I express my love for Mistress Delila...I don't always respond well to being told that it is wrong.
I believe that I am a decent and moral person. Because I am a decent and moral person, there are things that I simply could not do. I could not, for example, kill and eat a person (see also: Donner Party for a possible exception...if I got trapped in a time vortex). In BDSM terms, that's a "hard limit" for me (...and if it isn't a hard limit for you, stop reading and call your nearest psych-hotline). It's something I absolutely positively could not, would not do (I feel compelled to say, "Sam I am!").
Before Mistress and I formalized our relationship, we spent a lot of time comparing things that we needed in a BDSM relationship. We talked about what we fantasized about. We talked about things that kind of sound erotic but we aren't sure we want to do. We talked about things that we would be willing to do for someone else, but that really doesn't do much for us. And we talked about things we would never want to be associated with...like killing and eating someone (actually, I don't know if we discussed that in particular, but we are in agreement on it).
Even after She put a collar on my neck and claimed me as Her pet, I didn't fully submit to Her. It took time and patience for Her to gain my full confidence. When She had proven to me that She could be trusted and I was not going to be hurt (in a non-yummy kind of way), when I was sure that our limits were in full alignment and fully compatible, I looked up at Her and said, "I surrender." And I did. Completely.
She has complete authority over every arena of my life. This is not to say that I have no voice in our relationship, though. She is very willing to suspend judgment and listen to my thoughts, my feelings, whatever arguments I may want to present. But then She makes the decision, and I abide by it.
When I have said this previously, there are generally three spurious arguments that come up. First, that I cannot actually surrender completely and still have limits. Second, that it is impossible to surrender completely because slavery is illegal. Third, because She cannot force me to stay in this relationship against my will, then it is only play.
Picture me releasing a heavy sigh.
For the third argument, let me just say that having power to end a relationship and walk away - which I will always have - is not the same as having any power within a relationship. Think of it as being analogous to being at work. You always have the option of walking out the door unemployed. Does that make you feel any more powerful? No, not really. Because it does give you any control over what happens between the time you clock in and the time you clock out. The same is true within my relationship with Mistress Delila - the fact that I can end it does not give me power within it.
Of course, slavery is illegal in the United States. It still exists, though. But the specter of legal slavery (which is enforced servitude without consent that denies full legal status to the servant) has as much place in a discussion of consensual power release (voluntary servitude with consent and retention of legal status) as rape and sexual battery has in a discussion of sado-masochism...it should serve as an outlier warning that anyone who equates the two is being psychotic. Generally speaking, if a person can't give some idea of how they are different; then they shouldn't be engaged in them.
Finally, I would argue that a person MUST have limits to surrender. Actually, I would argue that a person must have limits to be a person. Even people who were slaves under legal systems that allowed extreme injustice had limits beyond which they could not be pushed - so they escaped, led slave revolts, or died trying. It just isn't possible to have no limits. I am fortunate enough to have found a woman whose limits are exceptionally compatible with mine. Because that is true, I can submit without fear of being abused or injured.
To ask what would happen if She violated my limits is to ask what would happen if She suddenly became someone else. It is just on the inside limit of the possible...but it would be an indication of some sort of medical issue, like a brain tumor or an aneurysm. Because I happen to love Her, I would insist on medical review in such cases, and possibly a mental health checkup.
Within our relationship, She is in control. This is what She wants and what I want. It isn't theoretical, and it isn't playing. It is the way we love each other.