BDSM Restraints 101 - Hogtied and Happy for Beginners

Header for BDSM Restraints article - leather cuffs around a woman's wrists and ankles, painted purple nails, black flogger in front

 

 

I would have to say that restraints are in my top three BDSM kinks. That doesn’t mean, however, I love all restraints. Anything that bends my knee in a stressful position is a no-go. Anything that will leave lasting marks (like metal) is something we shy away from (I have a bleeding condition that makes me break out in a bruise even if I just think about bumping into something).

 

Thankfully the menu is large and varied.

 

 

WHAT ARE YOUR RESTRAINT OPTIONS?


 

I bet the first thing you think of is handcuffs or rope.

 

You are correct, BUT...

 

BDSM restraints are anything that restricts or hinders (natural) movement etc.

 

FOR EXAMPLE: Armbinders, hooks, gags, bondage furniture, mittens or monogloves, belts, hoods, tape, yokes, binders, chastity belts, cock rings, collars, corsets, diaper restraints, harnesses, humblers, spreader bars, medical or dental equipment, slings, cages, St. Andrew’s Cross, plastic wrap, rope, shackles, handcuffs, sleep sacks, stocks, straight jackets, ties, scarves … the list goes on.

 

Materials can also include metal, canvas, leather, plastic, Velcro, hemp, silk, rubber, and padding etc.

 

Each of these has their own pros and cons. For example, metal is easy to clean, plastic wrap is cheap, ties are easy to find, and Velcro is an easy way to escape things.

 

 

REASONS PEOPLE LOVE BONDAGE


 

REDIRECTING POWER

 

BDSM restraint set - cuffs, flogger, ball gag, collar, rope, blindfold, and nipple clampsSome people like giving or gaining power over another person (for many different reasons). For example, you might have very little “power” in your everyday life. But for a couple hours, you are in control, feeling god/goddess-like while holding another person at your mercy.

 

Or, conversely, you might feel the burden of constant decision making, growth/success of a company, or all-around responsibility.

 

It’s nice to let it go and let someone else make the choices for you. Granted, this isn’t only for bondage, but some people find this release through bondage.

 

BEING FREE FROM GUILT

 

Society attaches a lot of guilt to sexuality and many sexual acts. People can feel “helpless” and not responsible for whatever happens to them while they are tied up.

 

Coil of differet colored ropeSECURITY

 

Often bondage receivers comment how being securely bound feels like a big hug or returning to the womb.

 

EROTIC EFFECTS 

 

This one’s pretty obvious.

 

MEDITATION OR RELAXATION

 

Especially with bondage that leaves you completely immobile, when you’re lying there with nothing but your thoughts, it’s easy for some to slips into a meditative state. There no choice but to focus inwardly.

 

AESTHETIC PURPOSES

 

Sometimes, it just looks pretty - especially if you get into the intricate Japanese knot tying. Gorgeous!

 

ROLEPLAYING OR ESCAPE

 

Playing make-believe isn’t just for kids. Imagining yourself in a different situation or scenario can be like an energizing, mini vacation.

 

TACTILE SENSATIONS

 

The feeling of certain materials against the skin can have various effects (think of how great it feels to wear silk pajamas)

 

… and EXCITEMENT!

 

 

WHICH ONES DO YOU CHOOSE?


 

That, I would say, depends greatly on what kind of play you are looking for and your current level of experience.

 

black, metal handcuffs with two keysIf you’ve never played with restraints before, don’t use rope, ties, pantyhose, or scarves. I know many sites will suggest these things because they are cheap and easy to get your hands on.

 

BUT...

 

They are the WORST for beginners, because (if you want to be safe) they require A LOT of knowledge about proper knot tying and to be thoroughly educated on anatomy relating to pressure points and joints. Padded cuffs with Velcro and metal clasps would be better.

 

Are you looking for something atheistically pleasing? Corsets and collars might be nice.

 

How about some role play? Medical/dental equipment or straight-jackets work well.

 

It’s also not a good idea to dump an entire paycheck on BDSM furniture when you’re not sure if you’ll use it or not.

 

 

RESTRICTIONS, CHALLENGES, GAMES


 

Roll of pink bondage tapeTying someone up doesn’t only have to be about “restrained” intercourse. There are mountains upon mountains of things you can play around with. 

 

1. Blindfolds are the easiest way to get into light bondage. Since your eyes are covered, your movement is restricted. PLUS we all know how other sensations increase when one is taken away.

 

2. Arm or hand restraints can be used while your sub tries to serve you wine or clean something (maybe within a time limit or they get a “punishment”).

 

3. Wearing a ball gag or dental equipment while trying to recite poetry – You might laugh or cringe at that one, but I KNOW you’ve played “chubby bunny” when you were a kid … or adult. You know, when you shove a ton of marshmallows in your mouth and try to say “chubby bunny.”  Yep. Oral restraints.

 

4. Another fun thing to try is taping up your partner’s calves, thighs, and upper arms (notice that we are NOT tying the ankles, knees, and elbows) and make them “worm” across the floor to get something and bring it back to you. Laugh at that one too, but DAMN, it’s a great work out!

 

5. Walking around in public with a chastity belt (male or female) under your clothes can be very fun. No one, save your partner, is paying attention to you. However, you totally feel like all eyes are on you. For some people, a dirty little secret can be very erotic.

 

 

SAFETY


 

Even when playing with mild levels of restraints, safety is a must.

 

Close up of someone's back as they're tied up Japanese bondage style with arms behind their backThere is also nothing to guarantee you’ll be 100% safe (especially with more elaborate forms of Bondage). It’s like driving a car – you can be as cautious as you’re capable of, and most of the time nothing bad happens, but every so often shit hits the fan.

 

START WITH THE BASICS 

 

If you and your partner are just getting into Bondage, you need to talk about things ahead of time – we’re talking more communication than you give your shrink or best friend who comes to you with the latest gossip bomb.

 

BE SAFE, SANE, AND CONSENSUAL (SSC)

 

We’re also going to add another “S” to that acronym: SOBER. Under no circumstances should anyone be playing around with Bondage when they are drunk. One glass of wine during dinner is fine, but nothing more … and it doesn’t matter how high you think your tolerances are.

 

BDSM play requires the person with the power to be responsible and in their right mind during play.

 

People’s comfort levels can also change (or full-on crash) depending on how much they are restrained. They could be fine with a gag, but freak out if they wear a full mask.

 

Similarly...

 

Someone could be comfortable with just their legs bound, but a sleep sack (or anything that makes their whole body immobile) might give them panic attacks.

 

This is where communicate and slow experimentation, and safety words are, again, important. The emotional state of your sub is just as important as their physical health.

 

SIDE NOTE: We tend to focus on bottoms/sub’s safety more often (mostly because they are the ones put into a situation with more risks than normal). However, it should be fun for both sides.  Everyone's emotional and physical wellbeing is something to consider. So, if a Top isn't comfortable using or doing something, it should be respected.

 

Learn more about Safe Words here:

Pickles, Porcupine, Poland - BDSM, What is a Safe Word?

 

 

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR


 

A nervous looking husband tied to the bed as his wife holds up a makeshift blindfoldWhether rope bondage or any other kind, you need to be aware of...

 

DECREASED CIRCULATION -- numbness, color change, coldness (which can occur slowly). Needs action and care.

 

NERVE DAMAGE -- Sharp or shooting pain, weakness, stress, tingling (which can occur quickly). Need immediate action and care.

 

Make sure to check in every so often with your sub and double check there are no weird, tingly, or cold sensations.

 

 

LIST OF DOs & DO NOTs


 

  • Don’t make things too tight
  • Don’t leave a restrained person unattended for any reason
  • Don’t go near the throat
  • Don’t use handcuffs that don’t have a double lock
  • Don’t place anything over the mouth or nose while restrained

 

  • Do have medical scissors ready for emergency cutting
  • Do have two or three extra keys available (if you lose one)
  • Do keep the nose free if you use a gag
  • Do avoid and be careful of pressure points and joints
  • Do be aware of how long they are tied up
  • Do get the sub to confirm their safety word if play gets intense

 

There are obvious “exceptions”...

 

For example, I said, “stay away from the throat”.

 

However, collars are meant to be worn around the neck (just don't make it too tight). And certainly don’t go dragging your sub around by a leash, putting pressure on vital areas and the spine.

 

 

RESTRAINT RECOMMENDATIONS


 

 

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Good luck on your bondage journey. Remember to have fun and stay safe!

 

Also, if you're looking for more interesting reading on the topic of BDSM or restraints, you might want to check out these:

 

 

Have a kinky day!

Robyn

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Daphne says:

    Im new to this.. Thank you for all the information

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