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Bondage for beginners

Many people wonder about bondage but have no idea what it involves. Here's our beginner's guide to get you started safely.

Safety and respect are of utmost importance.

Safety and respect are of utmost importance.

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How bondage works

A simple definition of bondage is that it restricts someone’s movement. Many people have tried a bit of “tie and tease” and found it to be an exciting way to spice up their love life.

The most important aspect of bondage games is trust, because one of the partners is restricted and therefore vulnerable. You must be able to trust one another completely; otherwise these kinds of games should never be played. The active partner (or ‘top’) should never use the session purely to fulfil their own fantasies in a selfish way, they should also think about the pleasure of the restrained partner (‘passive partner’ or ‘bottom’).

What’s the attraction of bondage?

People are attracted to this type of play for a number of different reasons. Being tied up allows some people to relax and enjoy being given pleasure without having to worry about giving pleasure back to their partner at the same time. Others prefer to play-struggle against their restraints, and say it builds up an exciting adrenaline rush. Being blindfolded is supposed to heighten other sensations in the body. The person performing the bondage gets increased feelings of personal power, but of course this must never be abused.

First-time fun ideas

Some things that first-timers can try out include:

  • Taking turns to tie each other up with silk scarves and tease one another;
  • Tie the passive partner up with something that can easily be broken out of, such as paper streamers, or a really thin chain. Then they only have to stay in that position if they want to be there;
  • Blindfolding during sex, massage, or kissing;
  • Furry lovecuffs – handcuffs that are padded with fake fur on the inside to prevent chafing, and can’t close too far (which cuts off the circulation).

Safety tips

There are several safety issues to consider when playing bondage games, concerning consent, abuse, and physical injuries. If you don’t feel safe with something then don’t do it, there are hundreds of other things you can do instead.

  • This is NOT something to try with someone you’ve just met. You really don’t know whether they are trustworthy or not until you know them better, however charming they may seem at first.
  • Never let a partner coerce or bully you into any sexual practice that you don’t want to do. It’s perfectly OK to say no, a decent lover will understand.
  • Talk about it beforehand and discuss what you plan to do. Say what you will or will not allow. These rules and limits are sacred and must not be broken during the game.
  • Have a safe word agreed before you begin. This is something that the passive partner can say if they want the other person to stop, a common safe word is ‘enough’. The active partner must then stop what they are doing immediately, and release the passive partner within seconds.
  • Never tie something around someone’s neck unless it is a collar that’s specially made for the purpose. There is a high risk of tissue damage, choking, or fatal strangulation. Similarly, gags are potentially dangerous.
  • If someone is tied up, they must never be left alone. The active partner must make sure they are comfortable, breathing properly, and that nothing is cutting off their circulation.
  • Do not try bondage in a remote place, just in case there is an accident that leaves the active partner injured and the passive partner tied up with no way of getting help.
  • If you’ve never tried bondage before, don’t go straight into anything that uses complicated equipment. This is for experts only and has extra safety issues that you may not understand.
  • The rules of safer sex still apply. Use condoms for penetrative sex. Drink and drugs can cause you to seriously underestimate safety risks. Avoid intoxication.

Next Steps

    • Got a question about friends, dating, love or family life? Ask one of our trained advisors. This service is free and totally confidential.
    • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
    • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By

Updated on 24-Apr-2014

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