B is for Bondage

This is part 1. of a series of posts I will be writing called The ABC’s of BDsM.  In each post, I will break down one letter of the BDsM acronym to delve deeper into what practices and preferences make up the world of BDsM.  This is by no means a definitive discussion of BDsM, but is rather intended to be a primer for interested beginners.

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B is for Bondage

Bondage refers to the act of  restraining another person.  Bondage may involve restricting a person’s bodily movement, or it can extend to restricting speech and ability to see, through gagging and blindfolding.  Physical bondage is most common, however, bondage may also be psychological, when the dominant partner forbids the submissive partner to move or speak.

There are countless different types of bondage, and the tools of the trade range from the simple to the extreme.  Some common tools for bondage include the following:

  • Rope (which may be used for the Japanese art of shibari)
  • Bondage tape
  • cling film
  • Hand and ankle cuffs
  • Hogties, which force the ankles and wrists to be bound together, either in front of or behind the body.
  • Silk scarves or ties
  • Bondage furniture, such as the St Andrews Cross.
  • Bondage clothing, such as mitts that restrict the use of hands, hobble trousers or corsetry, masks, hoods, binders and straitjackets.
  • Gags, such as ball gags, bit gags, cloth gags, rope gags, o-ring gags and spider gags.
  • Blindfolds
  • Portable points of attachment, such as over-the-door restraints and under-the-bed restraints.
  • Collars
  • Spreader bars

 

There are countless ways to employ bondage techniques.  It could be as simple as the dominant partner blindfolding the submissive so that they can’t see what is going on, or as complex as tying their limbs into a fixed position and suspending them in the air.  Bondage play may employ just one technique, or a multitude of tools and restraints.  As with all types of BDsM, bondage may or may not include a sexual element.  Many bondage enthusiasts enjoy it for it’s own reasons, and do not mix sex with play.  Others use bondage to enhance sexual encounters.  Bondage is often an element in role playing scenes, such as a kidnapping scenario or sexual torture fantasies.

 

So, why are people into bondage?  The reasons why people explore bondage play are as diverse and numbered as the players themselves.  It would be impossible for me to list every reason here.  But there are some reasons that are most common.  For example, a lot of players enjoy the feeling of vulnerability, the idea that they are helpless at at the mercy of their dominant partner.  For some, bondage gives them a sense of safety and security, a feeling of being held tightly.  Others enjoy the beauty of bondage, and see bondage as a way to create a living sculpture or work of art using rope, chains and clothing.  Every person’s reasons for enjoying this practice are complex and varied, as with any type of BDsM play.

As I mentioned earlier, bondage may be extremely simple or devilishly complicated.  But any bondage scene must be carefully planned and discussed between the people who will be playing.  All BDsM play should be safe, sane and consensual.  Here are some important bondage-specific safety concerns to keep in mind:

  • You should choose your equipment with care, making sure that any locks and fasteners are in good working order and that there are no sharp edges that might hurt your submissive.
  • Safety shears should always be kept on hand to release the submissive quickly if the need arises.  It’s always better to ruin your equipment than cause injury to your play partner.
  • Any scene should be preceded with a frank and honest discussion of your wants, needs and limitations.  This includes disclosure of any medical ailments or prior injuries that need to be taken into account when constructing the scene.
  • Both parties should make themselves aware of the signs of distress to look for, and keep bondage sessions short to begin with.
  • The submissive should be released immediately if they experience numbness or tingling in their limbs, or if the restrained limb becomes pale or cold to the touch.
  • Safe words or signals should always be discussed and respected.  If the submissive is gagged, a signal such as holding up three fingers, ringing a bell or dropping an object placed in their hand before play can be used.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of education and practice in bondage.  Bondage can be very dangerous and as such you shouldn’t rush into something complex that you are not ready for.  Read books on the subject, take classes or attend events where you can learn techniques from more experienced players, watch demonstrations and practice your techniques well before using them on a partner.

As you can see, bondage is an exciting and titillating aspect of BDsM play, which has endless applications and appeal.  It can be simple and basic or intricate and complex.

 

So now we know that B is for Bondage. Next time, I’ll be taking you through the ins and outs of discipline

 

 

 

 

 

 

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