Bondage in kink is a big deal. It’s the “B” in BDSM. Bondage takes all forms. There is the notion of being owned as a sub, as in you are in a bondage dynamic. You have surrendered your sovereignty, perhaps not your agency, but your sovereignty. There is bondage in a scene, being tied up or locked up. There is rope bondage and metal bondage and cage bondage.
Bondage involves all sorts of tools. If you are into latex, you might be in bondage in a latex vacuum bed. You might be in a straitjacket, or you might find yourself locked down with straps, tied up with rope, restricted with chains, restrained with hand cuffs, kept from moving with saran wrap, or even tied up with a necktie, with zip ties or even with saranwrap.
Being a submissive who enters a power exchange where bondage is an agreed to activity, you are looking to surrender your control to your Dominant. As a Dominant, being someone who puts someone else in bondage, you are taking on the responsibility of that person’s wellbeing while they are in bondage. This is an especially important consideration. It’s all on you as the “Bondage Top”.
People do bondage related activity for a number of reasons. The most common experience of bondage for a submissive is that they feel “safe and secure” in bondage and “cared for” by their Dominant who make the choice to put them in bondage restraints. For Tops, the issue is simply the arousal that accrues from power and control.
The ultimate bondage experience to be enslaved. In most kink-oriented dynamics, the state of Master/Slave is a roll-play construct, whereas there are in fact those submissives and dominants who take to the construct very completely and for all intents and purposes the submissive is indeed a slave in servitude to a Master or Mistress. We have talked to more than one Master and Slave where they occupy the space of a life of bondage with total control accruing to the Master or Mistress with no consent accruing to the slave. For the purposes of this piece, I do not intend to examine this level of bondage. In this writing, I am assuming that all forms of bondage are consensual and are part of kink play scenes or dynamics.
Much of bondage play is limited to chastity. For Cis males, a simple cage keeps them in a form of bondage that is a mind fuck. With their Master or Mistress being the keyholder, that ability to hold a submissive in bondage in the form of chastity that controls their orgasms can be a very hot way to spice up a dynamic.
Some forms of bondage, like rope bondage, require the rope top to be quite skilled. Naturally there is some risk associated with rope bondage. A tie that is too tight in the wrong place can cause nerve damage. If it’s too tight and on for too long it can cause other sorts of tissue or joint damage too. A rope top who puts a joint in an extreme compression and does not allow the sub out in time can cause non reversable orthopedic problems with joint failure a consequence over the long term. The point is that in order to participate as a rope bottom, one needs to be in communication with one’s rope top so that they can come to a point of clarity about the severity of the bonds they employ.
Naturally, there are metal bonds. My slut likes to be chained up. She finds that when I pull out the chains and she hears the clink and clank of the links as I get set up, she drops into subspace almost instinctively. Chains are very effective in restraining a submissive and with a few handy padlocks, very quick to employ as compared to rope. They also take much less skill to use, but they do have a downside, that being that the metal is unforgiving vs soft tissue, so make sure not to put compression on a nerve, especially at the wrist. Also true of you are using handcuffs for bondage.
Bondage is also art. Rope bondage is quite beautiful when done well. Shibari is the Japanese art of rope bondage. In fact, “…the origin of Shibari comes from Hojo-jutsu, the martial art of restraining captives. In Japan from 1400 to 1700, while the local police and Samurai used Hojo-jutsu as a form of imprisonment and torture, the honor of these ancient Samurai warriors required them to treat their prisoners well. So, they used different techniques to tie their prisoners, showing the honor and status of their captured prisoner.
In the late 1800′s and early 1900′s a new form of erotic Hojo-justu evolved, called Kinbaku, the art of erotic bondage. Today, particularly in the west, the art of erotic bondage is typically called Shibari, which is an art of erotic spirituality, not a martial art.
Shibari style rigging creates geometric patterns and shapes with rope that contrast beautifully with the human body’s natural curves. The ropes and their texture provide contrast to smooth skin and curves. In Shibari, the model is the canvas, the rope is the paint and brush, and the rigger is the rope artist.
The aesthetic arrangement of ropes and knots on the model’s body in Shibari rigging emphasizes characteristics like sensuality, vulnerability, and also strength. The positioning of knots in appropriate places stimulates pressure points on the body, very similarly to acupuncture techniques and Shiatsu, a form of Japanese massage. Some believe a Shibari experience also stimulates Ki energy flow and transfer.
In addition to creating beautiful patterns, with rope, body and limb placements, Shibari rigging induces physiological conditions known as “sub space” and “top space”, which are similar to the “runners high” experienced by athletes. A Shibari experience results in an increased level of endorphins and other hormones, creating a trance-like experience for the bottom/model and an adrenaline rush for the Top/rigger. When a Shibari scene is performed with appropriate ambience, these effects are actually visible in the face of the model. The term “rope drunk” is sometimes affectionately used to describe the euphoric condition of the model after a Shibari experience.
For most practitioners of Shibari, the use of rope bondage does not include an unwilling victim like the “Damsels in Distress” images popular in Detective type magazines. Instead, there is a collaboration between the Shibari artist (the rigger/Top) and the Shibari canvas (the model/bottom) to create a combination of effects including visual beauty, power exchange, helplessness, relaxation, and sub space and top space physiological experiences.
Contemporary practitioners of Shibari enjoy creating beautiful still images, live and recorded performance art. Shibari can also be used as a component in BDSM play and an enhancement in sexual activities.” (source: https://artofcontemporaryshibari.com).
The point is well taken, playing with bondage is like other D/s play dynamics where the essence of the power exchange is expressed and realized through bondage play. The sub achieves an altered state of mind and in many instances, as noted the top does too.
Something about being helpless seems to be a major motivator for a sub to agree to bondage. One of my favorite early moments with my sub occurred as I was testing her limits early in our dynamic. The scene cage bondage. I chained her in the cage on all fours. The chain held her head in place with a snug loop around her neck that tightened if she sagged onto it (this allowed her to explore breath play to her satisfaction) , and her arms were held in place at the wrist so she had to stay put. She was wearing a lemon juice infused ball gag, so she was drooling profusely, and at the same time, she had a stick of wet ginger in her ass which kept her attention, and of course, she was being relentlessly fucked with a fat dildo by a fuck machine. When I eventually released her from her bondage, she was in a state of deep subspace that lasted for hours after her release. When we talked later, she described the feeling of being helpless for my pleasure as making her “very wet”.
Gags are a simple form of bondage. Remember, all BDSM related bondage is about taking control away from a submissive in a manner that ultimately enhances sexuality. Whether is gags, or rope, or chains, or a cage or chastity, or simply an instruction, my submissive does not push back against imposed bondage. She is obedient and she knows that if she is in bondage, it pleases me. One of the first times I put her in bondage, I hogtied her. After she finished squirming, she relaxed into it and in a while was in a mental space of feeling secure in her bonds for my satisfaction and then when I removed the bonds, she was feeling both the side effects of being in bondage on one hand and proud of herself for being a good girl on the other.
She likes it when I do things like tie her down and use her because it plays on that helplessness that she finds so sexually arousing. If I restrain her by her tits while I fuck her ass, she cums hard.
Bondage lives in the world of a power exchange. One thing we have been playing with in the context of bondage is the notion of hypnotic bondage. We have found that hypnosis makes everything in our kink dynamic better and we believe that hypnotic bondage is no exception.
Bondage is a kink that depends on consent. It’s a choice to be helpless in a sexual context. It’s a choice to put someone in bondage. Consent is required to take someone’s freedom away from them, even for a short time. In many ways, bondage is the basic kink fetish that even those completely vanilla folks sometimes employ to spice up their sex life. And it’s the thin edge of the kink wedge. First, it’s “here let me tie you up” and then, it’s “here let me blindfold you” and all of a sudden you are mainlining kink. I jest, but all of bondage play is designed to enhance sexual experiences and this is true from the simple little tie to a bedframe, all the way to being suspended upside down in a Shibari rope scene. Very often, bondage is used to secure a submissive who is then subject to impact play. For example, the first time I used a cane on my slut, I tied her down so she would not squirm in a way that would create danger for her. So it’s a useful tool in a layered kink scene (a scene where there is more than one fetish in play).
There is another consideration on bondage where it is designed to be more in the realm of torture than play. In sado-masochism, the submissive suffers for the sadist. You see this with things like breast suspension, or perhaps restraining a submissive on a wooden pony, or hanging submissives by hooks in their shoulders, or using clamps to hold them onto a wall or St. Andrews Cross. There are lots of ways to add extremes utilizing bondage. I have known Tops to use coconut hemp which is very irritating, on one hand to rubbing ginger on the metal bar she is resting on with her naked (spread) vagina while restrained on the other, as a couple of examples.
As with anything in kink, consent is the key. It is always useful to spend time after a scene with a submissive in aftercare because of the depth of subspace that often occurs with extended bondage. Aftercare is very important, and especially the debriefing part of aftercare. It’s important to talk about what worked and what didn’t. What should be further explored and what aspects of the scene should be discarded. When your scene can inflict permanent damage on a submissive, its best to play with a healthy dose of caution.
We did a few podcasts on bondage:
Season1 Episode 74 The “Rope Podast” Interview
Season 1 Episode 29: Bondage, Slavery, Cages Rope and more!
That you can find in our archive at https://kinkycocktailhour.buzzsprout.com/
SafferMaster and Lady Petra offer Kink Relationship Coaching with online, group, and personal coaching options.
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Lady Petra and SafferMaster also produce the Kinky cocktail Hour podcast available on all podcast platforms and here: https://kinkycocktailhour.buzzsprout.com/