Bondage for Beginners, Part One: What You Need

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, bondage is something everyone should experience.

Too often, things like bondage or use of sex toys or whatever are all obscured by a perception that they’re made for people who REALLY are into sex as a lifestyle. Not so.

But even if it were so, what’s so bad about enjoying sex as a larger part of your existence? Is it really so bad? There’s no admission cost, you don’t have to find parking, you don’t need to plan ahead. Sex as entertainment isn’t the worst fucking thing you could be doing with your time, now, is it? Beats the shit out of watching another Will & Grace rerun.

People get bored with sex. “The Missionary? Again?” With good reason. Sex can get repetitive if it’s the same position, same approach, every time. You wouldn’t eat a hamburger every day, now, would you? (Unless you’re that boring fuck in the States who’s eaten 20,000+ Big Macs. Jesus Christ – don’t get me started. But lemme know when he finally visits an oncologist.)

And this is why there are sex toys. This is why people try bondage, or public sex, or whatever. Now, you don’t have to get all gussied up like the Gimp in Pulp Fiction in order to enjoy bondage. So, what do you need? Well, let’s start first with what you DON’T need.

  • You don’t need to own a copy of The Ashley Book of Knots.
  • You don’t need to be nurturing a passion for the Japanese art of Shibari.
  • You don’t need to own a closet full of leather or gear.
  • You don’t need to have any special equipment at all.
  • You don’t need to own rope.

No rope? Gasp! Really?! Why, yes, Virginia, there is bondage without proper rope. How about neckties? Scarves? Nylons? Even that belt from your housecoat will do. It needs to be able to tie in a standard knot. That’s all you need.

So, here’s the shortlist of your requirements.

  • You need something that can restrain your lover.
  • You need creativity.
  • You need trust.
  • You need inventiveness.
  • You need a sense of adventure.
  • You need to want to enjoy yourself.

And five out of six things on that list ain’t gonna be bought at Paul’s House of Porn, all right?

Here’s the deal. Bondage is about trusting your partner enough to let them tie you up and do what they like to you, or vice versa. It’s imperative you talk about what isn’t going to happen. Don’t like pain? Agree to not go there. It’s pretty simple. You can get all fancy and lifestyle-ish and pick a “stop” word (a word that, whenever you use it during anything experimental in sex, signals that’s going too far, and stopping has to happen) but I find the premise pretty silly for anything less than full-on BDSM experimentation involving serious pain.

Me, I’m crazy, I favour the word “stop.” I mean, fuck, like it’s that complicated? “Hello, stop that, please.” When your lover says to stop, I don’t care what you’re doing, STOP, whether it’s in standard sex, or when your lover’s slung from the roof in stirrups. The more often you stop what they don’t like, whenever they ask you to, the more they’ll trust you in the future. Makes sense, huh?

Not respecting your partner’s boundaries in bondage means you’re breaking the number one rule. The belief in bondage/BDSM is that the person who’s all tied up is the one with all the power. Why? Because if they say stop, you absolutely must. According to anyone who’s played in the lifestyle, ignoring the submissive’s wishes is grounds for an ass-kicking.

Now, if you’re all gung-ho to tie someone up, but don’t want to be tied up yourself, I don’t think you deserve to do the tying, and I don’t care about this “But I’m a top!” bullshit. It is an act of trust. If you expect your lover to trust you, but you won’t trust them, then you might as well get a hammer, ‘cos that’s the first nail in your relationship’s coffin.

When it comes to bondage, I prefer doing the tying up, but I’d never deny my lover the experience of returning the favour, because that’s what good relationships involve.

Once you’ve had the talk and you’ve decided who’s being tied up first, it’s time to play. Personally, I prefer making an agreement to explore bondage in advance, because I think you need to be organized beforehand. There are, indeed, things you need in order to play with bondage Steff’s way.

My shopping list tends to include:

  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel syrup
  • Strawberries
  • Nectarines
  • Kiwis
  • Mangos
  • Papayas
  • Apples
  • Massage oil
  • Lube

And whatever else gets you through the night, baby. No, you’re not making a fruit salad. You’re bringing food into the equation because a) they’re at your mercy and b) if you’re doing it right, they’ll be blindfolded for a while. The fruit is practical and sensual at the same time. When the bondage play begins, and they’re blindfolded, feeding them a mystery fruit will have to force them to turn their senses on. It’s a pleasure trigger. They’ll need to figure out what they’re eating, thus making them sensually more alert for when you begin playing. I’ll talk more about the food in the next posting.

First off, let’s talk setting. Do you have a headboard you can bind your lover to? No? Then visit your local hardware store. Get standard-issue drawer pulls and screw them in strategic locations. You could even put them on the side of the bed and the bottom, if you want a variety of positions in the night. This scenario runs you about $10 to do four mounts, depending on the price you’re paying for the drawer pulls. It’s practical, cheap, and you can move them around if you’ve chosen bad spots. These pulls pictured here are exactly the ones I’ve used on my bed. Two for $3, and they have plenty of room for getting rope underneath, and allow for a little wiggle room for my submissive (aka Guy). The alternative is bondage bedwear, but it’s such a hassle and it’s expensive. If you’re settling in for a long night of play, it could be useful, but it also might intimidate the shit out of the submissive.

Ah, you’re not ready yet, grasshopper. Now you need toys. If you want to shell out the big bucks on sex toys when you don’t already have them, feel free, but your house is filled with a million things that can trigger some really, really happy feelings in your lover.

Get creative. Go rummaging through your drawers. Make a stop in the kitchen. Find things you know will offer a variety of interesting sensations. Whether you’re lightly dragging the tines of a fresh-from-the-freezer ice-cold fork up in the inside of a lover’s leg, or teasing their privates with the bristles of a silicone pastry brush, you’ll be guaranteed some shivers.

Let me revisit the silicone pastry brush. Run, do not walk, to your local kitchen supply aisle and buy yourself an extra silicon pastry brush for the bedroom. Fuck feathers – the pastry brush is one of the most erotic feelings I’ve found. I sent shivers up my guy with it the other week. Trust me. Go get one, kids.

Buy a curtain tassel at the fabric store and tease your way around their body. Even a piece of paper being dragged up a naked body is amazing. Ice cubes rock, so make them in advance. Even one of those skin-scrubbing gloves for the shower can be pretty wild. It’s coarse, so it’s a change of pace from the soft and smooth things. Sandpaper. Anything works, provided you begin with light pressure and see what the reaction is.

If you don’t trust your ability to judge how something might feel, then do your rummaging half-naked and any time you find something that piques your curiosity, then simply close your eyes and try it on your inner thigh. If it works, great. If not, put it back.

If you plan on getting really sloppy with the syrup, and expect to have to clean your lover up a bit over course of time, you can grab a slow cooker or a rice cooker with a “keep warm” mode on it, put some water and some wash clothes in it, and keep it bedside for a clean, warm cloth to wipe them up with. Or you can save the filth and shower together later. Whatever, but there are options.

Lastly, what you need is a carrying tray. It does no good to have a lover about to be blindfolded if they can see what you’re going to use on them. They should be bound and blindfolded before you gather all your goods to bring bedside.

And that’s where we’ll stop for today. By the weekend I hope to post on how the actual act of bondage itself should unfold in its most basic terms, but you clearly have a couple ideas, I’m sure, of where this is headed. Any questions so far? Any tips on household products that have brought you bondage glee in the past?

Want more? Huh? Do ya, punk? Part two is here.

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