Although this can be a lot of fun, as well as being erotic, there are some safety precautions listed below, which you will need to be aware of before attempting to play.
The Players and the Scene
To write this in an uncomplicated way, it will be assumed that the players are a heterosexual couple. Give each of the couple a role and a title: the one doing the tying and giving, we will call the Dominant (Dom)1 and the one being tied, and receiving, the submissive (sub). Imagine that the bondage session takes place in the bedroom, and call it a scene, in much the same way as in Dominance & submission – A Power Exchange Relationship.
Some people find they enjoy the sensation of being submissive, of feeling vulnerable, and the suspense and anticipation of not knowing what their partner is going to do. Others find they enjoy the sense of authority, power and trust of playing a Dom, which their partner has temporarily given them. To discover if either partner is a natural Dom or sub, you will need to play a few scenes and switch roles.
The Toy Box
This does not need to be an actual box; it can be part of a drawer, or wardrobe. This is where you can keep the items that will be used during a scene. The contents of your toy box, and what you do with these items, will mostly depend on the scope of your own imagination.
The beginner might like to try silk, cotton or nylon scarves and neckties or similar every day items that can be used to tie the sub. Stretchy or elasticised material, such as stockings or tights, should never be used as the knots may tighten, causing restriction of the blood circulation.
Rope may sound like an obvious choice, but needs to be used with care.
Rope can easily cause friction/rope burns, which can be painful, and if it causes red marks on the wrists these may be difficult to hide.
If you are concerned about the possibility of friction/rope burns you could try putting some kind of soft cloth between the skin and the rope.
Care also needs to be taken to not tie too tight, which can restrict blood circulation. Ideally a few winds of rope around the wrists to spread the pressure, rather than just one single wind of the rope.
Assuming both partners will at some time be playing the role of Dom and sub, both will need to learn and practise their knot-tying skills.
Your sub should feel secure, yet comfortable. There are various types of rope, some more suitable than others:
Nylon rope is great general-purpose rope. It is easily manageable when tying and untying. It is strong and hard-wearing, but should not be exposed to sunlight or chemicals. The ends of cut nylon rope can be heat-sealed to prevent fraying.
Soft braid cotton rope is not easy to find. Knots can be tied easily in cotton, but can be difficult to untie. Washing can make it softer, however cotton rope is not hard-wearing.
Climbing rope is the more expensive. Although it is a good strong rope that has its uses, it is not suitable for tying the wrists due to its thickness.
Hemp, manila, and sisal rope should be avoided, as they feel scratchy and uncomfortable. It is harder to tie, and tightens when wet, and is susceptible to rotting.
Polypropylene rope is unsuitable for use, as it is too stiff and hard to work with.
Soft bondage rope is ideal, but expensive. However it is worth paying out for, if you find you enjoy erotic bondage.
Scissors or a sharp knife should be easily available - appropriate to cut the material intended to be used for tying. For safety, these should be kept in a protective cover or case.
Handcuffs, ideally fur-covered, are not essential, however they do add a certain element to the scene. As with most things, you get what you pay for; some of the cheap furry handcuffs will break very easily. And you should choose furry handcuffs that have a safety mechanism; a small clip, which when positioned correctly prevents the handcuffs from tightening, should the sub struggle during play.
Handcuffs are usually purchased with two keys. Some will not open without the key, while others are easier to open without the key. In either case, the keys should be kept somewhere safe, and the handcuffs not used unless the key is nearby.
Leather cuffs: these are quite an expensive item, and only worth buying if you have played a few scenes and enjoyed them enough to wish to continue. Quality leather cuffs are at least two inches wide, made of soft leather, have a D-shaped ring, and are secured by a buckle. Some people enjoy the comfort and convenience of these types of restraints.
Velcro-fastening cuffs made of soft material are available and often cheaper than other types of cuffs. Many do not have a D-ring.
Fur can feel very sensual, when used lightly in an imaginative way. It need not be real fur; fake fur is just as effective.
Feathers have a nice feel to them. Some craft and hobby shops sell feathers; or a even feather duster (kept separate from the one used for dusting!) will be enjoyable.
A blindfold. This can be a scarf; however, a sleep mask makes an ideal, though not perfect blindfold, and can be purchased from most chemist shops. Using a blindfold adds to the feeling of suspense and anticipation, of being tied and blindfolded, hearing their Dom moving about, and not knowing what erotic pleasures are about to be bestowed.
If the sub is being blindfolded, this can be put on first, or last; depending on what has been discussed. Though, if you are role-playing, with the Dom dressed up, it is more interesting to leave the blindfold off.
A tube of chocolate-flavoured body paint, with a paintbrush. This can be purchased from shops such as Ann Summers. How you use this depends on your imagination, and on which of the couple has the sweetest tooth. Using cooking chocolate or melting ordinary chocolate is not recommended, as the chocolate will set too quickly.
Massaging Oil. There are various different massaging oils available, such as almond oil with a few drops of essential oil, or even baby oil is a reasonable substitute.
Ice cubes can have their uses, especially during hot weather. A glass of these will need to be taken to the bedroom before the start of the scene. One idea would be for the Dom to put a couple of small ice cubes in their mouth; the feel of a cool mouth can be very sensual on certain parts of the body. (This is more interesting when the lady is the Dom.) Another option is to hold the ice cube so it drips on your sub, (not ice water poured from the glass, it will just make the sub 'jump' - that is not erotic at all). Ice cream is not recommended, as it turns watery far too quickly.
Some items are best kept in the fridge and taken to the bedroom before the start of a scene; such as a can of squirty whipped cream, or maybe some cherries or pieces of fruit. These can have some erotic and fun uses - it's another case of using your imagination.
When No Means Yes
During normal situations with your partner, if they say no, enough, stop, etc then you should respect their wishes and stop immediately. However, the emotions in a scene with erotic bondage tend to be more intense, your sub may say no, enough, and so on when stopping is the last thing they want their Dom to do. This is where the 'safeword', which means Stop now! comes in. The safeword is usually a word chosen by the sub, which both parties agree to, and can be used by either of them. Ideally it should be a word that would not normally be used is such a situation and is easy to remember; maybe the sub's own name, the name of a favourite pub, or place. Whatever safeword you choose, it should be short and easy to remember in the heat of the moment.
There are various reasons why the safeword might be used, either to stop temporarily, or to end the scene.
Safe, Sane and Consensual
Many couples play quite safely using common sense and good communication. However, it is a good idea to have some extra safety structures. Such as the safeword, and the safe, sane and consensual guidelines, which are frequently used by those in the BDSM2 lifestyle - of which bondage is a part. Bondage is also used separately from other aspects of BDSM.
Trust between the couple is a vital element. Ideally you should have been in your relationship long enough to build up trust in each other. The Dom is responsible for the sub's safety and wellbeing while the sub is bound. The sub must know the Dom well enough to be sure they will take this responsibility seriously.
Never tie, or put any pressure, on or around the neck. Any pressure on the throat can cause unconsciousness quicker than you might imagine.
A sub should never be left alone in the bedroom when tied. This is more important when they are tied lying on their back. There is the possibility of choking, so be aware, be vigilant and be safe.
Just in case an emergency release is needed, a pair of scissors or an appropriate knife/cutting tool to cut the ties should always be nearby.
You should never play while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your senses are likely to be duller and reactions to certain situations may be slower.
It is recommended that you do not play after having an argument that has not been made up, or that you use a scene as a way to make up.
If either partner uses the agreed safeword the scene must stop immediately!
Have a pre-scene discussion to decide who will be the Dom, and who will be the sub. The discussion can also include things like whether or not a blindfold will be used, what clothes (if any) will be worn (maybe lingerie) or if role-playing will be included and what position the sub would prefer to be tied in.
It is a good idea to discuss limits. There may be something that the sub would really not want the Dom to do; for instance, some people hate having their feet tickled or even touched. If the sub is one of these, then they can say no touching or tickling of their feet, and the Dom must agree and respect their limits.
It's Tough at the Top
Much is said about the sub, and reassuring them as they are the ones seen as vulnerable, albeit by mutual consent. However it's worth remembering that the Dom needs reassurance too. The Dom has the main responsibility in a scene, and they need to know their sub is enjoying what is happening in the scene.
Who Will You Be?
Role-playing can add extra interest and fun to a scene. There are two ways to go about this, one is to be an imaginary character, and act as that character, the other fancy dress. This can be uniforms or well-known characters.
Uniforms tend to be the most popular in role-playing. Some are easy to adapt from what you have in your wardrobe, by adding a few accessories - or some novelty shops sell fancy dress. If you are clever, you could make your own.
Police Constable/Officer uniform is one of the easiest: Black trousers/skirt, white shirt/blouse and black tie. Can be finished off with home-made epaulettes. Optional helmets/caps can be purchased from some novelty shops.
To make epaulettes; you'll need some cardboard, black paper, silver-coloured pen or silver-coloured numbers, which can be purchased from shops which sell cake-decorating items. Cut the cardboard in the shape of the epaulettes, cut, cover and glue the black paper on, choose a number and write this using the silver-coloured pen, or stick the silver number on. Then use double-sided tape, or Velcro to attach to the shirt/blouse shoulder.
Just a few suggestions for role-playing; either as both partners dressed up, or just the one.
- Tarzan and Jane
- Vicar or nun
- Vicar and tart
- Police Constable
- French maid
- Nurse or doctor
There is another uniform, which is somewhat controversial, but is popular enough to be a mentioned; schoolchild, usually schoolgirl. While some people see this as harmless fun, others are uncomfortable with the idea of an adult dressing as a schoolchild in order to play adult games.
Bound for Pleasure
How the sub is tied will depend to some extent on the type of headboard attached to the bed. Ideally the sub should be tied so that they feel secure and comfortable, with a few windings of rope around the wrist, but not too tight.
The best type of headboard for erotic bondage is that made of various metals or wood, with horizontal or vertical decorative bars. If you have this type, it's very easy to tie or handcuff the sub's arms above or to the side of their head.
If you have a fabric headboard that is attached to the bed by two legs you can either use those to tie the sub's wrists to, or alternatively attach a piece of rope between the two headboard legs and tie the sub to that. Handcuffs can also be used in the latter way.
It is recommended that you do not tie or handcuff the sub's hands behind their back. Some find this very uncomfortable. Although this is something you can experiment with, some people enjoy having their hands secured behind their back when lying on their stomach.
The First Adventure into Erotic Bondage
It is very likely that the sub will feel nervous and vulnerable the first time they are bound; even more so if they are blindfolded too, even if it was the sub's idea. The Dom will need to relax the sub; one way to do this is by, using their fingertips gently stroking all over their sub's body, and talking gently and reassuringly, reminding them that they can use the safeword, if they want to stop the scene for any reason. The Dom should be able to tell when the sub is relaxed by their body language and facial expressions.
Throughout the scene, the Dom should be observing their sub's body language and facial expressions, plus any other reactions in order to enable them to ascertain what their sub finds most pleasing, and what they do not. If the Dom is concerned at any time, they can use the safeword, rather than just stopping and leaving their sub not knowing what is happening.
When the scene is over, have a big hug and cuddle, and use this opportunity to discuss what each of you enjoyed, or did not like.
You may find when you are out shopping you see ordinary items and materials in a different way - as possible toys for your toybox. You may find yourself picking them up, and gently rubbing them on your arm, to see if they have the potential to be sensual.http://www.bbc.co.uk/relationships/sex_and_sexual_health/