Mar. 15th, 2014

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What comes to mind when you hear the word bondage?  Handcuffs? Rope?  Maybe misappropriated neck ties?

All of these can be used in bondage, true, but why stop there?  There’s bondage tape, saran wrap, vet wrap, thread, holding someone down - psychological bondage can be just as satisfying as physical bondage depending on your kinks.  Restraint is restraint, even if it’s all in your head.

Another note: Bondage doesn’t just have to be tying someone TO something - some bondage is just about the ties themselves, about the restraint of the self.  And I’m not just talking about being tied up to yourself, either.  Sometimes just the feel of rope wrapped around you, holding you in your own skin, is all the restraint a person needs.

TYPES OF BONDAGE: 

FUNCTIONAL bondage is probably the most common type - this type of bondage is all business. You want to restrain someone in some way and keep them restrained. Cuffs (leather, handcuffs, whatever) lend themselves particularly well to this type of bondage, although of course they can be used in decorative or predicament bondage as well.

Tying someone to the bed so you can have your way with them, cuffing someone’s hands behind their back so they can’t defend themselves, using a spreader bar so they can’t help but remain completely open and exposed - these are all examples of functional bondage.

PREDICAMENT bondage also fulfills a function, but differs from the traditional functional bondage in that its function is not merely that of restraint. Predicament bondage is all, well, about creating a predicament, predictably enough. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.)

It’s all about forcing the bound person into a balancing act of sorts - for example, if they stand flat on the ground, their arms are uncomfortably strained above their head, but if they go up on tiptoe to relieve that strain, another tie pulls painfully elsewhere. They have to choose which form of discomfort they prefer, or manage to somehow maintain the perfect balance between the two - usually an impossible feat.

The predicament might not be just choosing one form of discomfort over another - it might be weighing the discomfort to be suffered with the reward to be gained. Maybe if they move just a little they can get the vibrator in just the right spot - but the clamps on their nipples will tighten almost unbearably.

Sadistic, isn’t it? And the best part is that the bottom is doing it entirely to themselves.

DECORATIVE bondage is done more for the aesthetics of it all - the way the bonds look against the bottom’s body, the positions the bottom is forced into - the bondage might also be functional and restrain the bottom in some way, but just as often it’s more of an accessory than anything else.

Forget about Victoria’s Secret: Rope totes makes the best lingerie.

SUSPENSION bondage is (you guessed it) bondage that suspends a person in the air. It’s usually done with rope, but can also be done with leather cuffs and harnesses, or even with saran wrap if you use enough of it.

Suspension bondage is DANGEROUS. All bondage is, of course, but suspension takes the cake. It should never be done without training, and I do not mean watching some how-to videos on the net. If your characters are doing suspension bondage, they had better have experience or be with someone experienced who’s showing them the metaphorical (and literal) ropes.

Suspensions can be very freeing - like flying, or swinging - but they’re also surprisingly painful! It makes sense, when you think about it: your whole weight is pressing down on a bunch of different ropes - of course they’re going to create painful pressure. The more wraps of rope and suspension points on the body, the less painful it’ll be - like wearing a flat instead of a heel, it’ll better distribute the pressure.

Although most suspensions you might see photos of are of tiny slender people, it is entirely possible - and enjoyable! - for heavier folks to be suspended as well. It is more likely to be painful and often the harnesses need to be adjusted to better distribute the weight, but don’t feel like your character can’t be suspended just because their top is half their weight - believe me, with the proper know-how, it doesn’t make any real difference.

SELF-BONDAGE: Next to suspension, self-bondage is probably one of the most dangerous kinds of bondage there is. (says the person who ties herself up all the time) However, there are ways to mitigate the risks. Check out this post for some of my self-bondage tips and tricks.

In real life, someone tying themselves up should make sure they can always get themselves untied again, but in fanfic, you’ve got a little more lee-way - walking in on or having to rescue a tied up friend or partner can be a pretty fun (if sometimes somewhat contrived) way to get kink introduced into your characters’ relationship.

PSYCHOLOGICAL bondage doesn’t restrain a bottom physically; instead, it relies on the bottom’s ability to restrain themselves - sometimes this might involve symbolic bondage of some kind, like wrapping a sash around wrists but not tying it, thread bondage, etc., or it might be as basic as “keep your hands on the headboard or we stop.”

If bondage is, for your character, something they’re into as more of a D/s thing than just bondage for bondage’s sake, then psychological bondage may also work really well on them.

SAFETY

Let me say it again: Bondage is dangerous.

All kinks have their dangers, of course, physical and/or psychological - not to mention possible legal and social ramifications if said kinksters are outed*- but bondage is one of the most dangerous kinks, IMHO, simply because of how non-threatening it seems. After all, you’re tying someone up, not hurting them. What’s the big deal?

Nerves.

Nerves are the big deal. Other things too, but nerves are probably the biggest concern. You know how quickly you can sustain irreversible nerve damage? Pretty damn quickly.

Luckily, most of the time, if the symptoms are noticed and dealt with immediately, the nerves will heal in time.

This article talks specifically about the dangers of nerve damage in the context of bondage, explaining what to look for and things to avoid. The most important thing is that the top pays attention to the bottom and how the bottom is feeling (checks in with them) and that the bottom immediately conveys anything that feels wrong - either because it hurts, or because something’s tingling or going numb, or something just doesn’t feel normal. Once a concern has been conveyed, the top should immediately adjust the ropes to alleviate the discomfort - if a simple loosening of the bondage does not alleviate the discomfort, it’s time to cut the scene completely short. Better safe than sorry.

Circulation is, of course, also a concern, but it takes a good deal longer for cut-off circulation to cause actual damage. In any case, the same holds true - there are certain places on the body one should avoid placing pressure on, but even with common generalities like “be careful binding wrists” it’s important to remember that everyone is unique and that your best protection is to pay attention to what your body is telling you (or, as a top, what your bottom is telling you).

A commonly cited rule is that you should be able to fit two fingers between a binding and the bound limb. As a bondage aficionado, I can tell you that sometimes that’s just too loose for what a girl needs when they’re being tied up - it’s more of a guideline than an actual rule, but especially for people new to bondage or people intent on longer-term bondage, it’s a good rule of thumb.

A good way of checking in is to ask the bottom to squeeze your hand and hold the grip for a period of time. Inability to do that indicates possible nerve damage. If the bottom’s extremities are cold to the touch, it could mean a circulation issue or at the very least that the bottom’s body is ready for the scene to be over.

As always, as with any kink, the key is communication.

OTHER SAFETY TIPS:

Do NOT use just anything as a tie. Some materials are safer than others. Anything slippery, for example, like a silk tie, should only be used with careful consideration of the fact that any pull on the restraints will tighten the knots - possibly so much so that it’s impossible to untie them.

Do NOT leave a character alone in bondage with no way to free themselves. I know, I know - it’s not quite as fun, but things can go wrong very quickly in bondage, both physically and emotionally.

Sometimes, even the most bondage-loving person will panic, and you need to be prepared to get them out quick - safety scissors (medical shears) and/or rescue hooks should be standard staples of any rope bondage kit. Ropetopia discusses using these items here.

Go forth and kink responsibly, my young padawans!

And remember, I am not what one would call any sort of expert and can only speak from my own experiences and research I’ve done. Use my Kink 101 posts to write more realistic fic, please! but don’t rely on my posts alone for any real life kink exploration. 

*Kinksters often refer to revealing their kinkiness to vanilla friends and family as ‘coming out’ and having it revealed without their consent as ‘being outed’ - opinions differ on whether or not this is an appropriate use of the term and/or if it’s an appropriation of a queer issue, but I use it because out kinky cishet folks experience many (though certainly not all) of the same difficulties members of the queer community do, and some, like legal and criminal repercussions that (at least in the USA, where I live), queer folks do not, at least not anymore. People who object to this use and/or the inclusion of kinky folks in GSM/GRM labels seem to generally be arguing that kinkiness is an activity and not an orientation, which from my own experience and immersion in the kinky community would say is at least for some people completely false.

 

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shamelessly_mkp: (Default)
“If you’re a known queer activist but are still suspected of ‘passing,’ you might be a bisexual.”
-

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tipchune:

tipchune:

i’m gonna set my facebook relationship status to “in a relationship” and see what happens

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dramaqueennails:

Stamping with holos is my new obsession. They don’t always work but when they do….sparkle! This stamp is fro the new Pueen 24B collection. The purple holo is @lilypadlacquer - Popping Purple. Bar studs are available from the online shop. I really like this combo, its very me :) xx #nails #nailart #aussienails

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