Basic Bondage 101

Know Your Bondage Goals

Everyone has different goals in their scenes, and this is very true of bondage. My personal goals lately have been to wind up completely off the ground, or suspended, and stay there as long as possible. However, my goal used to be to train my waist to an 18” Victorian standard using a corset.

Common Goals: Restraint/Tightness Fetish, Art, Trust, Ceremony, Force/Power, Surrender/Submission, SM, Role Play, Magick, Sensation

Bondage Safety Rules of Thumb: SAFETY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL!

-Check all toys, and rope for kinks, damage, loose pieces, or unwanted stragglers (like staples). Take the time to lay out all your tools before use.

-Always keep EMT shears, keys to locks, a blanket, water or juice, and a phone nearby

SAFEWORDS! “No” and “stop” are not good safewords

-It is advisable to negotiate every scene, but especially negotiate scenes with edge play

-Serious Health Conditions that affect Bondage play: Allergies (like to rope), Asthma, Diabetes, Seizures, Circulatory, Nervous or Heart Problems, Joint problems, Osteoporosis, Bone or connective tissue disorders, Back problems, Emotional disorders such as panic attacks and claustrophobia, or previous history of trauma involving bondage or sexual abuse for example.

-Check circulation in fingers and toes at least every 10 minutes, and in larger limbs every 15-20 MINIMUM! Adjustments to position should be made to keep blood flowing.

-Bad signs: Weak grip, significant loss of feeling, coldness, or change in colour.
-Bottoms: Stretch before and after a scene.

-Eat before play, keep your blood sugar stable. Heavy drinking is always bad for SM.

-Arteries, nerve clusters, and joints (except hips) require a hand’s breadth of distance above and below for optimal safety.

-A knot combining two ropes decreases the strength of the rope by ½

-Diameter of rope (thickness) x2= strength x2

-Don’t mix types of rope in weight bearing situations. Different rope types have different flexibilities, and when combining, the more rigid will snap first.

-*Frayed or damaged rope (deregulated) should never be used in suspension, or weight bearing bondage. Suspension rope is good for 2-3 years of regular use, if treated nicely.

-A bruise is a bruise, and bondage can leave them, especially rope. Consider Doctor’s appointments, children, and work when positioning bondage.

ROPE. This is the most versatile bondage tool. It is relatively inexpensive, but also does not last forever.* With Rope, the same tool is a cuff, decoration, a harnass, for self, for other, for the bedroom and for suspension. It can come in any colour imaginable, and is different or the same according to your choosing. The only limitations are

creativity and skill. I am clearly biased in favour of rope.

Rope Types

Twisted vs. Braided

-twisted rope leaves better ligature marks, but braided unravels less.

-twisted rope never has a core, and braided sometimes has a core (core usually is a bad thing*)

Man-Made/Synthetic vs. Natural

-burn speeds: the silkier the rope the less the burn, although it moves faster

-tooth: the silkier the rope, the less it holds a knot

-end finishing: silkier rope needs more care to finish the ends. Synthetic fibers can be burned (coned!), or use tip dip

Synthetics: Nylon, Multifilament Polypropylene (MFP), Rayon, Polyester, Parachute Cord, Webbing, Unmanila, Rubber Tubing

Natural: Hemp, Cotton, Jute, Silk, flax

LEATHER. Leather is also versatile, but is considerably more expensive, requires more routine care, but is built to last and to withstand heavy play. Typically the implement purchased serves only one purpose, and size here matters- although loose leather straps and cords can sometimes be used like rope. With leather, price and quality are GOOD BED FELLOWS. Uniformity of thickness and texture are of the utmost importance, as well as edge finishing, and hardware attachment. But it does look hot. Leather is a smarter choice for people with certain health risks, because leather cuffs etc can use quick release/panic snaps, are typically wider, come with fur linings when desired, are easily adjustable, tend to be less tight and do not get tighter with struggle (not that rope has to), and can usually be removed quickly without needing to destroy it.

CHAINS and LOCKS. I don’t consider these to be beginner’s tools. Chain has no flex, and requires some serious machinery (bolt cutters, even torches) to remove, same with locks- and locks fail and refuse to open all the time. Also, not many locks are weight tested. Also, never use chain on the body as one would use rope, instead secure body ties or cuffs to chain, or rack by using linking hardware. If using a lock, keep the key within plain sight, within 3-5 paces (more experienced players may choose riskier scenarios). Keep lock lubricant on hand and USE IT, especially when using dungeon equipment, and equipment from someone else’s toy bag. Always assess and manage these risks.

CLOTHING. There are specific types of clothing which were intended by design to restrict or restrain movement, mobility, or even to immobilize limbs. Think straightjackets, corsets, and high heels. But there are also hobble skirts, belts, scarves, and pantyhose: imagine stretching the feet of your secretary’s stockings and using them to tie her ankles together! Some pieces can be worn under street clothing, even to work! Also, because they can be separates or combined, they can be as restrictive or not as desired. Good for discipline and vanity.

CLIPS and HARDWARE. Yes you can buy things at the hardware store, but make sure they are all weight tested. It will either say on the package or stamped directly on it. Stay away from O-rings and D-rings with open weld joints. Spring loaded clips wear out and are unsafe, and metal fatigue renders all metal gear questionable for weight loads after 3 years of frequent use. Typically a 3:1 ratio of load vs strain is wanted.

TERMS.

Cuffs: Handcuffs, Manacles, leg irons, suspension cuffs…….

Typically for ankles or wrists. Sometimes specifically for attaching these body parts to another part, such as the thigh, stomach or cuff bar.

Collars: Go around the neck. You can attach leashes or body parts to them.

Keep the force forwards, so pressure is only and always on the back of the neck. Do not in any way expect pressure to the neck to be sustained for a long duration of time, or heavy, this could cause a spinal injury.

Harnesses: Combine the concept of cuffs for the trunk of the body. Typically on

the chest, although can also be on the hips. This allows you to tie or attach movable limbs to the body, or control the body alone.

Blindfolds: An excellent combination of bondage and sensory deprivation.

Almost anything can be used as a blindfold. Blindfolds can also be made to support the weight of the head and neck.

Gags: Amazingly varied. Open mouth, closed mouth, ball gag, bit gag (as with

a horse), pipe/tunnel gag- And are made from everything from rubber balls and golf balls to rope and dishtowels. Also a form of sensory deprivation.

Hoods: Hoods cover the entire head and face, and can either include a blind fold

and gag or not, and these parts and others, are sometimes dynamic and can be changed at will, with snaps or zippers etc. These are riskier play items because it has an affect on breathing, even if only minor. This has a high amount of bondage sensory deprivation cross over, and a very intense look and feel. They are typically leather and rubber, although spandex is a good alternative for allergies, or vegans or the thrifty. Remember to negotiate scenes with hoods carefully, as with gags, especially since typical modes of expression, such as speech, may be rendered impossible.

Rope Techniques Covered:

-Chest Harness

-1 Column tie (aka the rope cuff)

-2 column tie: attaching things to other things

-Kikkou Body Harness (aka rope dress) time permitting

~ by Klawdya Rothschild on November 5, 2008.

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