Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bondage or the Ties that Bind

BDSM has many facets, but really each one needs to be dealt with separately do see how the all work together.  So here I will discuss just bondage.  Now I know that in a scene or play that is never just bondage, but whether it's a Dom tying up his sub for a night of teasing or hogtieing a masochist for their own safety, bondage has its own guidelines...

I may repeat information that I have already discussed in other posts or blogs but bear with me as I wanted this to be as complete as possible by itself.
For my own ease, throughout this I will refer to "top" and "bottom".  "Top" for the one doing the binding, and "bottom" for the one being bound.  This is purely for ease of writing and for no other reason.

Bondage 101

Here are the basics of bondage, where we all started.  Think of this a quick start guild to exploring the world of bondage.  First and foremost is safety, then basic equipment and tools of the trade, and lastly clean up and aftermath.

Safety, I cannot stress enough the importance of this.  The safety of the person being bound is bare none the most important thing in bondage even more so then the getting off.  The first of which is a safe word or signal.  This can be anything but it is suggested that it not be something that comes up in you sexual act or scene.  So "Ouch, you son of a bitch" is not a good safe word as you never know when that just might be said.  Good words are "Red", "Nine" (as in German for no), or you mothers name (But who knows that might be your fetish).  The main thing is that you talk about it and discus a safe word before the first cuff is tightened.

In some situations (like a gagged bottom) a safe word is just not possible; the solution is a sign or signal.  I personal favorite for this is practice golf balls in each of the bottoms hands.  They are light, easy to hold, and are very hard to brake from dropping of squeezing.  If the bottom drops one ball then I know that she is starting to get uncomfortable and needs the scene to take another direction.  If both drop then it's all stop and time to get her ungagged to find out the problem… If the first thing she says is the safe word after the gag comes off, well you get the idea.

Now that we have covered the necessities, on to the fun stuff!  Basic bondage can does not have to be expensive.  You probably have some basic stuff already in your house (refer to my post on spicing up sex on a budget).  Scarfs, nylons, belts, heck even a long tube sock can be used for bondage.  Use your imagination and look around your house with a whole new eye. 

Let's start with basic binding of wrists and ankles to each other.  Just tying someone's wrists behind their back with a scarf can add whole new twists to sexual fun.   No matter what you use, make sure that it is loose enough that you can fit one finger comfortably under the tie.  Loss of circulations is bad and means the limb is not getting enough blood.  No matter what you use, I suggest making one big loop around both wrists or ankles then looping the remainder around that loop between the wrists or ankles.  This allows for less constricting and also allows for a lead for you to pull on if needed.

If you want to buy some basic bondage gear, start with cuffs.  I suggest starting with soft Velcro ones as they are easy on and off, don't chaff if worn while getting sweaty, and are cheap.  Most of them come with one cuff having a clip to attach to the other.  Most of these can take a good amount of pulling on without coming apart but mostly how much pull they can take will depend on how much of the Velcro is attached. Later one you can buy a few more sets and mix and match for more fun, like combining two cuffs into one big thigh cuff, etc.

Another cheep start is a snapping collar.  Again, easy on and off, adds that little look of submissiveness to the bottom, and most can be found with some great sayings like "Slut", "Bitch" or "Slave".  Most of these do not come with attachment points for any kind of lead or to attach the cuffs, but you can add your own but slipping on a few key rings before putting the collar on the bottom.

Also good for the beginner are tethers, straps, and leashes, leads.  Tethers and straps are great for beginning tie downs, but a warning.  Before you use tethers and straps to bind a bottom you should test what you are going to use as an anchor.  IE, test how much yanking your head board can take before you use it.  Most of these come with a few clips, but picking up a few more mini carabiners so you don't run out or need a bigger clip.

Bondage Tape is another great inexpensive bondage toy.  It's like real tape but it only sticks to itself.  This can be great for binding wrists, ankles, arms, legs, or even wrapping your bottom to a chair or table.

Intermediate

So now that you have had some time playing with the basics, and your looking to up the stakes now.  Now we are going to cover: setting up anchor points on your bed, chain, basic rope, and spreader bars.  Now that we are getting into more serious bondage, again make sure that both top and bottom are wanting to take it to this step.

Unfortunately, it's time to start spending some money.  How much, well that's going to be up to you, but as with most things you get what you pay for.  But I will try and give you some pointers on how you can keep it reasonable when it comes to cost.  Use your imagination; some of the best bondage gear is right in front of you when you shop the hardware store or large box store.

Let's start this section with some basic anchor points.  Most of us don't have the space to build a dungeon in your house (But I'm working on it!) and some of us really don't want a full St. Andrews cross in the living room. Anchor points can be just about anything that you use to "anchor" a bottom to.  One of the easiest is an under the mattress system.  These can be as simple as straps run under the bed with ends coming out at all four corners.  These work ok and are easily transported, but do not stay in place well and can slide around the under the bed if pulled on to hard.

A much better option is using a sheet of plywood between you box spring and mattress.  You can then attach straps or rope to the board and bring them out to be used.  This way the straps stay put better, gives you a much stronger base to pull on, and you don't have to worry about the bottom pulling really hard on one side just to have the strap on the other leg tighten. Both of these options are good for concealment because when you are done playing you can just shove the straps between the mattresses. NOTE: I highly do not recommend using chain this way.  The chain rubbing against your mattress can ruin it.

For those of you that don't care if some of your anchor points are seen, and own your home then using a stud finder and some strong eye bolts in the walls, ceiling, and bed are always a popular option.  If you're going this rout, you might as well go all the way and get porch swing eyebolts.  This way you know that no matter how much you pull or yank on them they will not come out (That, and you never know when you might want to grab the same strap that's holding the top and use it for balance or leverage).

All of these anchor points are good and can be used for a multitude of fun with stuff you already have.  Tethers and straps can all be attached to these points and then to cuffs or collars to keep the bottom where you want them.  If you want to give a more medieval look to your bondage fun, pick up some chain.  Just like your anchors, make sure you buy strong enough chain, twice the weight of the bottom would suffice.  I personally love the look of chain, but not the after effects.  So be warned as chain sliding on beds, walls, or wood can damage them and can have a really great scene end badly with "Aw crap, look at the wall…"

At this point, you make also want to look at some rope.  Rope is very versatile and can be any tops best friend or worst enemy.  To start, let's stick to using rope for tethering and save putting rope on the body for later.  To start, I would pick up some utility rope, about 1/4 inch thick and about 50ft long of a color that you like.  Once you have your rope, cut it into 30ft length and 20ft length (these are the most common lengths for ties).  This will give you plenty of versatility with your rope. 

Simple uses of rope in this way are running though your eyebolts in the walls and ceiling so that you do not have to reach to attach the cuffs to the rope… Then slowly raise your bottoms arms above their head (drool).  Another is wrapping rope around the top and bottom of the bed and tying tightly to.  Throw in a few loops and you have some more anchor points on the bed.  You can even lace the rope through all your anchor points giving you sliding anchor points around your room and bed to attach to.

Another great tool of any top is the spreader bar.  The name really sums it up, a bar that keeps things spread.  Now you have a lot of different options when it comes to these.  There are some absolutely beautiful ones that you can buy.  Another option is to kinkify something that's not, like go to your local Wally world and check out the automotive accessories. You will find a clothing bar that supposed to hook onto each of your rear seats "oh shit" handles. Let's see, it expands, it has loops on either end, it can handle a good amount of weight… yup it's a spreader bar!

Lastly you can make your own.  There are two popular ways that I know (and probably more that I don't).  First is using a simple dowel rod cut to whatever length you want, but 2 and 3 feet are the most common.  Drill and mount eyebolts to the ends and maybe one in the center if you want, and there you go.  You can even stain the rod to match your bedroom furniture if you're so inclined. 

Another way is using PVC pipe and rope.  Drill out a hole in the center of the length of PVC (again 2-3 is good) Using a bent up metal coat hook, feed the rope into the hole you made in the center and pull loops out of both end of the PVC.  Loop the rope out either end around your bottom and pull on the middle rope to tighten.  Note: This works and its cheep, but I don't like it because the rope can become too tight, the PVC can cut if it is not sanded down…  But it's a hell of a lot less work.

Advanced

So you and your SO are really getting into bondage, to the point that you have finished off your basement so you can have a dungeon or "Dungeon Space" was on the list of requirements you gave your Realtor.  Well then, let's get into the good stuff.  Locking collars, cuffs, maniacal, posture collars, cages, locking spreader bars, and bondage vibrators.

Now some of this I have placed in the advanced section sole because it is not for everyday bondage use and if you're going to use it you need to take some time and make the proper precautions and preparations to use.  Now I'm not going to drum you about safe words again.  No this time I mean taking time to set scenes, and prep work before hand, and scheduling enough time so that you don't feel rushed when you are playing. 

The biggest is if you are going to be using anything locking that will take longer to get off or out of.  Basically I mean make sure that you will not be disturbed for a long time if you are going to use them, IE, No kids at home, don't try and use them if you're having fun the hour before the plumber gets there, etc.  You have come far enough with bondage that you are setting aside most of a day or an entire night to it.  This is time to get out all the toys, have them arranged on a side table within easy reach.

Also, if you are using anything that locks, make sure you know where the key is at all times.  I prefer to put it on a lanyard around my neck or hung from a specific hook within easy reach and view (It also fun to put it around your bottoms neck so they can see the key but are helpless to get it…) 

Posture collars are another one of those thing things that I feel you should hold off on until you are sure of you want to use them.  My reasoning behind this they are expensive, not everyone can wear them, and they can hurt if worn wrong or if struggled in too much.  So really, try them but do so with knowing that it may not work.

We have all seen them, those great photos where the bottom is bound to the table with a big vibe sitting right on her clit.  So, how do you do it?  It's not really that hard, and this is another great use for bondage tape.  But the hard part is which vibe to use.  Your standard phallus shaped ones are just not good for this.  Really, you need a special vibe for this.  A Hitachi style is really the best for this.

Hardcore, like you see on the web!

Now I know that anyone that has gone looking at photos of bondage has seen just some great set ups in those photos and I know that everyone of us has said "someday, I will have that in my house".  Well here's how you can.  Most of what you see is built so there is no reason that you can't.  Like the popular "bitch" stands, saw horses, St. Andrews cross, chain spider webs, rope corsets, chastity belts, anal hooks and more. For most of this stuff, there is no way that you can hide you kink unless you set aside a whole room in your house, or you just don't care if your friends see it. 

By this point if you're ready to start using this stuff then you really don't need me anymore.  Just keep common sense about you and you will just fine.  Really, the only thing left at this point is to tell you where to get this stuff. Prices and the best place to get things change all the time. My personal suggestion is to find the kinky sellers in your area. Best way to find them? Go to a local munch and... wait for it.... Ask someone!

Alright you fetish loving freaks… That's my take on bondage.  I hope I have entertained you or at least help educate some of you in how to have fun with bondage.  As always if you have any questions or comments, some other tidbit of advice, or a story to share, feel free to drop me a message here or at HavenSOV@gamil.com.

Keep it kinky!

-Haven De Lancret

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