Bondage 101 (Part 2)

This is the second half of our two-part series in response to a request for information on light bondage. Today – toys! What kinds of things do you need to start indulging your interests in BDSM? You’re not going to need a fully-stocked sex dungeon right away (though that’s a goal we’re working toward) – you can start exploring bondage with little to no initial investment.

Things you most likely already have around the house, like belts, scarves, and neckties, can work perfectly well as blindfolds or restraints. Since those sorts of things are not usually made for tying people up, it’s possible for the knots to get too tight (especially with silk ties and scarves), so just make sure you know what kinds of knots you’re tying and how to undo them. And when you’re tying something around a person’s wrist or ankle, you’ll want to make sure not to pull it too tight – you ought to be able to fit your fingers in between the tie and the wrist or ankle, as this will be tight enough to keep them where you want them but not so tight that it might cut off their circulation. No matter what you’re using for restraints, any bondage beginner is best off starting out with a quick-release knot:

Quick-release knot video

(NOTE: Your bondage activities need not take place on a boat, but if that’s what you’re into we won’t stop you.) You might want to practice tying a few knots on your own before making it part of a sexy evening – you’ll feel smoother and more confident if you’ve done it before, plus having to turn on the video for a helpful reminder might dampen the mood a bit.

How can you restrain someone? Any way the two of you want, really. Most of us probably picture a person lying on their back with their wrists and ankles tied to the head and foot of a bed, which is lots of fun, but don’t be afraid to get creative. If you don’t have a headboard, you can still tie their wrists together above their head or behind their back, you can restrain someone in a chair, you can bend them over and tie them to the bed that way.

Package of Sportsheets's "under the bed" style handcuff and tether setSo if you do want to try some toys and accessories, what are your options? There are sex shops and online stores that specialize in BDSM gear, but most stores that sell sex toys will offer at least something in the way of bondage accessories. There are all kinds of “beginner bondage” kits that might be worth looking into, but you’ll want to have some idea of what you want to be able to do and what kind of bed/couch/kitchen table/etc. you’re working with – some kits come with cuffs that are attached to the ties, others come with tethers that are meant to be tied around bed posts or something similar, and so on. If you’re not vegetarian or vegan and are willing to use products with leather, you’ll have a lot more options, but it’s also quite possible to find plenty of non-leather accessories. Our personal recommendation if cuffs and tethers interest you would be this kit; the cuffs and ties all have o-rings and clasps so you can connect everything together any way you like, and you don’t need a headboard to achieve that “bound to the bed” feeling.

If you’re not interested in cuffs and ties, what are your other options? Bondage tape is reusable and is nice because it pretty much lets you tie any body part to anything you like. Bondage rope is another option; it’s less about tying someone to something and more about tying them to themselves.  That might not be the clearest way of putting it, but basically, bondage rope can be used for all sorts of creative binding techniques ““ many with no actual knots involved ““ that restrict movement and intensify sensations in key areas. Getting into this kind of bondage may not be terribly sexy or graceful, but once you’re in it, it can be very intense and erotic.

Whatever kind of bondage whets your appetite, make sure you read up on how to do it safely before putting it into practice ““ there are different things you need to be conscious of with different kinds of bondage. For instance, you probably don’t need to worry about cutting off your partner’s circulation if you handcuff their arms behind their back, but you’ll want to make sure not to have them lie down on their bound arms. The books we recommended last week cover BDSM safety very generally, and Violet Blue also discusses safety issues and some really cool sex toys we haven’t talked about here (like bondage beds!) in her book The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Sex Toys.

So what do you do once one of you is restrained? Whatever the two of you talked about and decided you were interested in. It may not be very different than the things you do without handcuffs or rope ““ bondage can make otherwise-vanilla sex a very different experience, and that may be enough for you. You might also have fun tormenting one another a little; it’s often fun to tease your partner a bit, and teasing them when they can’t move and are completely at your mercy can be quite enjoyable. You can almost-but-not-quite touch them, present the parts of your body you know they love just out of their reach, touch yourself in front of or on top of them, and so on. If you’re both interested, you can introduce a bit of pain or domination ““ scratching, biting, and hair-pulling may be good ways to test out whether you like a bit of pain with your bondage because they can very easily be done somewhat lightly and gently or much harder and more intensely. You might make your partner beg you to touch them or to untie them so they can touch you, or you could boss them around a bit. And remember, if either of you change your mind or something happens that you don’t like, you’ve got your safeword to put a stop to everything immediately.

And don’t be discouraged if the first few times you explore bondage aren’t amazing and perfect; if you’re using rope, you may fumble around and forget how to tie a proper knot, or you may be tied to the bed waiting to be roughed up a bit and your partner is more amusing than intimidating. It takes practice, and as you try things you’ll figure out what really works for you and what doesn’t, and with practice you’ll get more confident and sure of yourself.

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Got a ques­tion you’d like us to dis­cuss, myth you’d like us to bust, or general topic you’d like us to talk about? You can e-mail us at FriskyFeminist@persephonemagazine.com, and we’ve also set up a Tum­blr for the sole pur­pose of receiv­ing com­pletely anony­mous ques­tions at paperispatientsexqanda.tumblr.com.

 

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paperispatient

I recently earned my MA in women’s studies. I enjoy reading, working out, playing Scrabble, watching cheesy movies, and cooking yummy vegetarian meals with my partner and Frisky Feminist co-author, Future Mr. paperispatient.

2 thoughts on “Bondage 101 (Part 2)”

    1. I’ve never watched any instructional videos, but I’ve heard good things about twistedmonk.com – they’ve got some fairly basic videos you can watch here: http://twistedmonk.com/video.htm and they also sell their own instructional DVD as well as books and all kinds of rope. You can also find a TON of instructional videos on the Two Knotty Boys’ website here: http://www.knottyboys.com/code/downloads.php (They’ve written a few books on rope bondage.) Hope this helps! :)

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