Bonding Through Bondage: A Beginner’s How-To

For whatever reason, bondage is one of the most common kinks out there.

There’s something unbelievably hot about having things done to you, or alternately, doing things to others. It’s easy to invoke that old cliché that those who have power in their real lives seek submission in their personal lives, and vice-versa, but I think that it’s a bit murkier than that. From my personal experience, it can be fun to experiment with both sides of the bondage game, and so I think the term “power play” might be a more accurate way to describe and update the more standard and specific delineations of BDSM. We all know that power and sex are inextricably entwined, and how we feel about ourselves and our partners on any given day may determine what power position we enjoy.

Bondage and power play are incredibly common kinks, but they still aren’t exactly dinner table topics. Most people exploring these kinks for the first time are likely to find themselves, as I have, using household objects ranging from a belt, to a necktie, to a vacuum-cleaner cord.  To bring this common kink out into the light and help novice couples enter into its joyous fold without having their hands go numb from blood loss, I’ve done the hard work of investigating how a novice can safely and enjoyably get tied up in bondage.

Annanda Desilva of Come As You Are gave me some helpful tips and tricks for bondage amateurs who want to explore this kink, without breaking the bank – or their arms, for that matter. First off, she recommends having a talk with your partner, obviously, to determine boundaries before you begin, but also be clear about health concerns. You don’t want to mistake a moan of pain for one of pleasure and twist something too hard. She also recommends checking in afterwards to discuss what each of you felt and what you would change/do again. Sometimes articulating your experience can make it more navigable for you and for your partner(s). Plus it can just be hot.

In terms of materials, Come As You Are and other sex shops offer all kinds of bondage toys, from leather ankle restraints, to more simple rubber tape and cotton rope. When tying hands and feet, make sure you have a manageable length of rope that won’t get tangled or stuck, and if you’re using more complicated knots, be sure to have a pair of shears nearby, just in case. It’s also important to remember that the more loops you make around the limb, the better distributed the pressure will be and the more you or your partner will be able to focus on the sexiness of being tied up, and not the discomfort. Unless you’re into that.

If you want to go DIY, cotton or hemp rope from your local hardware store will do the trick, as will scarves and belts from around the house. Annanda does not recommend a vacuum-cleaner cord. And neither do I. Whatever material you choose, natural is always better, and running it through your hands a few times will give you a sense of its burn factor. Another trick to remember is that rubber will get sweaty and sticky, whereas leather will sting more if you’re using it for some spanking fun, breathe better and soften over time.

If you’re the studious type, Annanda also recommends a few books, including “How to Be Kinky“, a beginner’s guide to power play, and “Showing You the Ropes,” an illustrated handbook on tying sensual and decorative rope bondage. Come As You Are also runs several workshops on the various power-play related topics, including “Embracing Your Fantasies,” “The Dance of D/S,” and “Canes and Caning,” for those ready to move to the next level. Whatever your kink, know that there are others out there who share it, and increasingly, a community willing to not only talk about it, but swap tips and tricks, as though it were nothing more racy than eyebrow waxing. The world of power play is fun, easy to explore and a great introduction into the kinds of kinky sex we all should, at least occasionally, be having.

 


Doin’ It Well is a monthly column by Alanna Goldstein on sex, pleasure and politics. Alanna is a writer, social critic and multiple orgasm-haver living in Toronto. Find Alanna on Tumblr.

Images courtesy Deceptology and Madonna’s “Human Nature” (1995). 

 



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