articles and tutorials bondage tips Rope cuffs and bondage restraints
Bondage Restraints (Leather or Pleather Cuffs) — Cuffs are generally comfy so the sub can focus more on what the Dom is doing and less on whether rope or metal handcuffs are digging into the skin too tightly. Meanwhile, the Dom can focus on being sensually dominant rather than on being MacGyver or a rope-tying expert. The great thing about “made for BDSM” cuffs is that they are quick and easy to put on and take off. When they have soft padding or fleece on the inside, they are less likely to bruise or chafe.
The ones Mr. Hall brought over were leather with a padded interior and five eyelets for tightness adjustment. They also had small metal D rings on the sides, which he could attach the rope to and then ostensibly attach the rope to a bed or to a pair of matching ankle cuffs or even to the spreader bar the cuffs apparently came with. And, as Mr. Hall explained, one should not let the decor of his or her home dictate how the cuffs are used. You can screw an eyehook into the ceiling and attach a very long piece of rope to it. Then you can attach the rope to the cuffs. When “normals” come over, you can hide the cuffs and just hang a plant from the hook.
Maybe it’s my fear of the po-po, but conventional handcuffs frighten me. Also, since I lose my apartment keys, my phone, and my charger daily, I have a very real fear of losing the keys to whatever handcuffs I might procure.
Unlike bondage cuffs, the primary goal of handcuffs is not comfort and safety, but immobilization and prevention of escape, so they are not padded to reduce the risk of nerve damage and other injuries. Metal can also hurt skin tissue or cut off the blood circulation if the handcuffs get locked too tightly, so be extra careful with them and make sure you have an extra set of keys or a locksmith’s number close at hand. (I smell a porn plot a-brewing ... “Did somebody call a locksmith?”)
Because of safety concerns, I would only recommend metal cuffs for light play and shorter sessions and only double-locking cuffs where the setting that it is already on won’t change. You don’t want cuffs suddenly getting tighter and causing nerve damage. Just know that when metal cuffs are used, bruising is always a possibility. If you’ve ever been arrested at a protest, you know this all too well!
Rope bondage really deserves its own book ... one that I am unfit to write. Luckily, there are many books out there specifically devoted to it. There are also many pros and cons to rope bondage. On the one hand, it looks pretty when done expertly and, on the other hand, like a well-executed work of art, it’s not easy to do.
Rope is inexpensive, easy to obtain, and easy to store—not like having a giant fuck swing in your kitchen. Remember, your knots don’t have to be perfect. After all, little in sex is ever perfect. Still, you will find many “rope experts” online giving complex instructions that will baffle anyone who has never been a scout, a sailor, or into the outdoors in any way, shape, or form (me).
1. Start by making two loops in your rope, each about 10 inches long.
2. Cross the left loop over the right, creating a third loop in the center.
3. Thread the loop that is now on the right through the new center loop, creating a knot.
4. Pull the knot taut before placing your partner’s hands though the loops to make “cuffs.”
If I was able to figure this out, you will be able to, too. And I’m sure if I didn’t have two jobs and a wild rope-obsessed kitten attacking me as I attempted to learn rope bondage, I would be excellent at it.
Erotic sexual denial, also known as orgasm denial, is a sexual practice in which a heightened state of arousal is maintained for an extended length of time without orgasm. This sometimes involves long-term denial and the use of chastity belts. This sounds like a living hell to me, so instead we are going to discuss orgasm control, a process that requires a sub to ask a Dom for permission to come. Often this is done while the sub is tied up and teased with, say, a vibrator or the Dom's tongue. The sub must then ask the Dom, “Can I come yet, Master?” And the Dom can respond yea or nay.
Orgasm control is almost the opposite of what everybody else on Earth is trying to do: shoot loads across the room. (If you've ever gotten spam mail, you know this appears to be a worldwide goal.) With orgasm control, the idea is to keep your sub on the brink until he or she is near a state of lunacy.
What if simple pretending, cuffing, and light binding aren’t quite enough? Perhaps, you want to be completely bound or you want to completely bind another? There is always mummification.
Just a touch more elaborate than all the above, this practice involves restraining a living person’s body by wrapping it head to toe or neck to toe so he or she looks like a mummy! For the millionth time in this book, I’ll be perfectly honest here: Though I have great interest in ancient Egyptian art and even went so far as to build giant Isis wings, paint myself gold, and go nude (except for the wings and a pair of gold panties) to a party, I have never made anyone up to look like a mummy, not even on Halloween. But apparently mummification is a popular form of sensation play and bondage.
Usually the body wrapping is done with materials like plastic wrap, cloth, bandages, duct tape, body bags, or straightjackets. Those who like to be mummified describe it as an almost transcendent experience, like being in a sensory deprivation tank. As with most forms of bondage, watch for circulation problems and be especially careful to keep all wrapping materials away from the subject’s face to prevent breathing restriction accidents.
Obviously, this is not a one-person job and were I ever to be mummified, I would want to do it at some sort of fetish event where there are plenty of people around and someone standing nearby with surgical safety scissors. Never mummify yourself alone. (I didn’t think this was even possible, but having now watched innumerable mummification videos online, it appears it is.)
It also appears some of these mummies like to have holes strategically cut in their “wrapping” whereupon some of their parts magically spring to life!
Actually, my friend, Kat, claims to have had a friend named “Midge” who was not only into eggplant butt plugs (not a good idea), but he would also top it off with head-to-toe mummification with silver duct tape and just a couple of air holes for his nose and mouth. She reports that there was a lot of patchy, red, swollen skin in the aftermath. Kat also mentioned that Midge had a hook in his closet, which he hung from while “duc’t up.”
Please don’t try what Midge did at home.
Say you want to be suspended like Midge, just not in a closet while mummified? What are your options? If you have the money, renting out space in a commercial dungeon will provide you with fancy crank-operated suspension bars and lots of other fun equipment. However, if you are on a budget like most regular folk, it need not interfere in the fulfillment of your wildest, kinkiest dreams.
It is possible to suspend a loved one (or vice versa) at home using a simple spreader bar and the aforementioned eyehook in the ceiling. (Just make sure it’s been sturdily installed. Mr. Hall recommends attaching said hook to a support beam and asking your hardware store person for a hook and chain that will hold fifty pounds more than your play partner.) What’s more, a spreader bar can be used for more than just suspension. But what exactly is a spreader bar?
A spreader bar is simply a bar made of metal, wood, bamboo, or any other durable material with attachment points for cuffs at each end that can be fastened to wrists, ankles, or knees to hold them apart. A variant of the spreader bar is a simple bamboo rod, used in rope bondage to place your sub in elegant yet sexually available positions regardless of the gender of the bottom. If you’re feeling crafty, it’s easy to make a spreader bar with a wooden dowel, eyehooks, and basic tools.
Spreader bars are most often used on the ankles either to keep a sub in a spread eagle position or bent over and unable to do much else (except, you know, be spread eagle or bent over ...). Just keep the sub steady so he or she doesn’t fall over and make sure the legs aren’t spread too far apart for too long because pulled muscles are a bitch, as is waking up to your beloved sub screaming from charley horse pains at four in the morning.
A Coffee Table — Bet ya didn’t think of this one? Me neither. Mr. Hall, “the Bob Vila of BDSM,” did. When you live in small New York City studio apartments, it pays to be creative. As Mr. Hall pointed out, “A coffee table can provide excellent home decor with a secret purpose. Add some O hooks hidden underneath and you can easily bind your partner/lover/sub to it.” This is a great idea, but I would recommend against doing this on a glass coffee table.
Sex Swings — In the olden days of yore, it was difficult to obtain these complex contraptions, but nowadays, with the advent of the World Wide Web, people order sex swings off of Amazon like they are going out of style. As the UPS man or woman carries the generic package to your door, he or she will have no idea what a kinky fuck you are. The carrier will just think you are having a heavy pair of shoes or a box set of PBS Masterpiece Classic DVDs delivered to your door. Meanwhile, you will revel in the secret knowledge that within a few hours, either you or your partner will be strapped in for the ride of your/his/her life.
While sex swings are not exclusive to bondage or BDSM play, they do involve one partner being bound to a device (the swing) while the other moves about freely. It should be noted that not all sex swings are used to fulfill kinky desires. Individuals with muscular weakness or arthritis use them simply to enjoy sexual activity without undue strain on their weak muscles.
Miscellaneous Gear — Not everyone wants to turn their home into a dungeon, but if you do, there are boatloads of opportunities to do so, given the variety of bondage furniture that’s out there. There are cages both big and small, made for sleeping, standing, or kneeling. Some are shaped like puppy cages and some like birdcages. Or for several hundred dollars, one can obtain a Renaissance faire-style stockade, a St. Andrew’s cross, a spanking horse, or a bondage bench! Even better, some people have garages, tools, and woodworking skills with which to make their own. Of course, all of these things take up space and cost money.
Have a discussion with your partner and ask each other a few simple questions before beginning to establish the scenario:
1. Who will be the Top and who will be the bottom?
2. How will the bottom be bound?
3. What equipment will you need to do this binding properly and safely?
4. Finally, what will transpire once the bottom is bound?
Now we’ll move on to a subject not far removed from bondage: collars. They are the Holy Grail of BDSM (except much easier to find).