BDSM most commonly stands for Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism. Today we are going to be focusing on the big “B”, bondage!

Bondage is an exciting, popular, and enjoyable aspect of BDSM that can feel overwhelming to enter. Before getting into bondage, we highly encourage doing research on kink to develop an understanding of kink practices to use while exploring. 

This article is a great place to start to learn more about kink!

So what exactly is bondage?

Bondage is the consensual practice of binding or restraining someone for the purpose of pleasure, intimacy, or differing sensations. Bondage can look like a lot of different things! Bondage can inhibit someone’s movement in some parts (ie wrists or ankles) or can completely eliminate the ability to move. Bondage can also function by not inhibiting movement at all but instead inhibiting senses like sight -- think blindfolds!

So, how do you get started with Bondage?

First and foremost, before exploring with bondage , do your research to figure out what you are interested in- the world of bondage is big and complex! There are different types of bondage to explore so narrow down what your intentions with bondage are: the aesthetic, the restraint, the complete loss of control and movement, some inhibition of movement, all of the above? 

There is Shibari/Japanese, which is typically done with the beauty, symbolism, and full restriction as the purpose. Shibari is what typically comes to mind when we think of bondage! These are pictures of people bound in suspension with rope all over their body. The rope itself  in Shibari is usually natural-fiber ropes! This rope is made from bast fiber, such as hemp, linen, or jute. 

Then there is western which is primarily done for the restraint and lack-of-movement aspect. Think handcuffs, over the door restraints, leg-spreaders, or under the bed restraints! The rope used in western bondage is typically for the activity without the added intention of aesthetics. In western bondage styles, unlike shibari, suspension is not as common and the rope is typically nylon or cotton ropes! 

Another key aspect of exploring bondage is to do it with someone you trust and can communicate with! The use of negotiation, setting safewords, setting boundaries, and aftercare is essential when engaging in bondage!

Because bondage comes in many forms, the best way to get started is to do your research, determine what kind of bondage you want to explore, go slow, start simple, and do it with someone you thoroughly trust! 

So how do I practice bondage in a risk-aware way?

Remember the “ABCS” of bondage! 

The “ABCS” of bondage stand for: Airways should be unobstructed at all times, Breathing should be gentle and controlled, Circulation should always be maintained, and Scissors should be nearby at all times to quickly remove restraints

The “ABCS '' of bondage are a helpful acronym to remember when engaging in bondage to ensure it is done in the safest way possible! 

What are some good beginner bondage toys to begin with?

Blindfolds

Blindfolds are a great introduction to bondage! Blindfolds take away the huge sense of sight. Taking away sight takes away our primary protective sense, which is another form of restraint often not talked about with bondage. Using blindfolds with a partner can be a great way to dip your feet into bondage!

Handcuffs!

Handcuffs made out of neoprene are comfortable, restricting, and reduce the risk of nerve damage that is prone with metal handcuffs! These handcuffs are a great introduction in restraining you or your partner's ability to move their arms. The great thing about hand cuffs for beginners is the ability to get them on and off quickly. Try using handcuffs as an introduction to the restraint side of bondage!

Under the bed restraints!

If you are curious about full body restraining, under the bed restraints is a great introduction! Under the bed restraints are used by putting straps under the bed attached to wrist and ankle restraints that are above the bed. The wrist and ankle restraints are meant to fully restrain someone. Those who are interested in full restraint bondage without rope, under the bed restraints are a great introduction toy!

Last but not least, I like to remember the 5 big things when exploring bondage:

  • Be Educated – the more you know, the more informed your decisions will be!
  • Be Mindful – know yourself, trust your instincts, be aware of what's happening!
  • Be prepared – physically and mentally! make sure there are bondage scissors nearby, drink water, and eat beforehand.
  • Know Your Limits – everyone has them; know yours, don’t be ashamed of them, and communicate them!w
  • Communicate Clearly – about your intentions, hopes, and expectations; about your experience in bondage; as soon as you notice an issue, communication is key!