The Big BDSM Tape Guide - Which Kinds of Tape are Bondage Friendly?

 

If you’re curious about bondage, you might have come across tape.

 

It’s great for beginners and advanced kinksters alike and comes with fewer danger points than rope or other restraints. However, with all the options out there, it can get confusing what you can use versus what you should avoid, or what is unique and might require some extra care.

 

Here is a rundown of ALL types of tape, if it’s BDSM friendly, safety, and any other useful information to help you decide which you might want to experiment with.

 

 

TAPE CONSIDERATIONS


 

PRICE – You can use just a little for a gag or a lot for full mummification. But the more you use, the more price conscious you have to be. You might dream of an entire body wrap of therapeutic tape, but it would be more efficient and cost-effective to do it in bondage tape or even packing tape.

 

STRETCH – Some products stretch. Some don’t. This is important to test because if you’re using it as restraints, it might be easy for your partner to wiggle out of OR it could cause circulation problems or bruising if stretched too tight.

 

BREATHABILITY – Most often, the medical stuff will breathe (because it’s meant to stay on the skin for a while). But other products will trap in any sweat and moisture. This could/will cause the skin to get waterlogged – and possibly cause problems if left on too long.

 

BENDABILITY – Things like duct tape have a stronger structure, so when you put it on someone, the lengths won’t bunch, twist, roll, or distort as much. This means you might only need one or two layers to get the result you want (like one layer for a mouth gag). But thinner or softer tapes probably need more than one layer (think packing tape) if you want to restrain someone.

 

GLUE & TOXICITY – Stronger glue doesn’t always mean “good”. It can damage the skin, cause allergic reactions, rip off furniture finishes, and leave residue. It can also have a bad smell or taste (for gags). Keep this in mind while you’re shopping. And, if you don’t know, go to a hardware store in person and see.

 

 

TAPE SAFETY


 

These are the possible injuries or problems that can come from tape…

 

ABRASIONS – The glue is too strong and it pulls at the skin when you remove it. It will often leave a red tinge behind on the skin.

 

STRIPPING – The glue is FAR too strong and pulls OFF layers skin when you remove the tape.

 

TENSION INJURY – The skin is pulled with the tape and blisters, tears, or other injuries might appear.

 

ALLERGIC REACTION – People can be sensitive to the adhesives or have bad reactions to certain tapes. It can also vary from brand to brand.

 

FOLLICLE INFLAMMATION – Hair removal can sometimes leave the follicle open, or hair gets pulled out by the tape. The chemicals in the glue or bacteria can get into the follicle and cause irritation.

 

MACERATION – Ever leave a Band-Aid on your finger too long and the skin turned white? That’s maceration. It makes the skin more delicate and easier to injure.

 

CIRCULATION – Pulling tape too tightly can cut off blood flow.

 

BRUISING – Tension/pressure against the skin can cause bruising. The chances of bruising will increase with how much the tape can stretch or how much “rough play” you might want to do in a session.

 

BREATHING PROBLEMS For example, if someone has asthma, a mouth gag could be a problem.

 

MENTAL STATE – Whether it’s a simple wrist tie or full mummification, being bound and restrained can cause discomfort, panic, or trigger old/new trauma.

 

OTHER INJURIES – If you want to tie the person up in different positions, or anything that puts strain on the body, it increases the risk of injury. Also, there are certain points on the body where the nerves sit closer to the surface of the skin. If the tape rolls up, and the tension isn’t spread across that part of the body, it could cause nerve damage.

 

 

DEALING WITH THE DANGERS


 

It’s as simple as following the SSSC and RACK rules as well as using common sense.

 

  • Learn where nerve damage can happen
  • Have a verbal AND nonverbal safe word
  • Discuss limits and worries beforehand
  • If you’re a beginner, start simple and small
  • Test and understand the tape you choose
  • Restrain with LAYERS not tension
  • Always deliver appropriate aftercare
  • Do a patch test on the skin first

 

 

PRO TIP – If the adhesive could cause problems, many players will first put a layer or two of plastic wrap on their partner and THEN add the tape. People who make cheap body patterns for clothing also do this.

 

SAFETY SCISSORSThis isn’t just part of your safety measures, but unless it’s bondage tape, you’ll have to cut them out anyway. This means you’ll need medical/safety scissors – the ones with the dull/rounded ends that you can slide under what you need to cut without hurting the skin.

 

 

KINDS OF TAPE


 

I found as many unique kinds of tape out there and rated them for BDSM play. Here's what I looked at...

 

  • Price (P) = $, $$, $$$
  • Adhesive Strength (AS) = Low, Med, High
  • Stretch (ST) = None, Some, A Lot
  • BDSM Friendly (BF) = Yes, Sort of, Not really, No

 

DISCLAIMER – If two tapes have the same rating (e.g. $$), that does NOT mean they will be exactly the same. This is a generalization to give you an idea of where to start.

 

 

BOX-SEALING TAPE – Cheap and easy to find. Strong but easily twists, bunches, and rolls. Sweat or other fluids will weaken the glue – it will stay in place better if you have an under-layer of plastic wrap or even clothing. Can be used for mummification (full or partial) but would need several layers to stay in place.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) None - (BF) Sort of

 

BONDAGE TAPE – Perfect for bondage. Affordable, REUSABLE, and resistant to water. Sticks to itself and not the skin. No odor or residue.

 

► (P) $$ - (AS) None - (ST) Some - (BF) Yes

 

DUCT TAPE – A stronger tape that will stay in place longer than other options as well as being more water resistant, but it’s a bit more expensive as a result. Can be used in mummification, however taking it off could damage the skin. Heavy residue and odor. Often used because of the stereotypical visuals in medial around kidnapping, interrogation, etc. Popularity has created demand for it in many colors.

 

► (P) $$ - (AS) Med - (ST) None - (BF) Yes

 

ELASTIC THERAPEUTIC TAPE – Also called Kinesio tape. It’s cotton, medical grade, latex-free, and waterproof. It comes in a wide variety of colors. The downside – it’s VERY stretchy, so it’s not great for bondage. Better suited for aesthetics accents during parties (think nipple covers) or medical use rather than BDSM play.

 

► (P) $$$ - (AS) Med  - (ST) A Lot  - (BF) Sort of

 

ELECTRICAL TAPE – Has a similar feeling to latex or PVC. Very durable with some stretch. Any play should be with a wider roll of tape (instead of the thin ones used for electrical use). Sometimes used as nipple covers for parties or as construction materials for some BDSM toys or tools (cheap handle wraps etc.)

 

► (P) $$ - (AS) Low - (ST) High - (BF) Sort of

 

 

FILAMENT TAPE – Tape woven with fiberglass filaments to increase strength. Not really used in BDSM

 

► (P) $$ - (AS) Med - (ST) None - (BF) No

 

FLOOR MARKING TAPE – Heavy duty tape that’s often used instead of paint. Strong adhesive and dangerous for the skin.

 

► (P) $$$ - (AS) High - (ST) None - (BF) No

 

GRIP TAPE – Confusing because there are three kinds: skateboard, hockey, and general sport use. However, none are useful for BDSM. Skateboard grip tape is like sandpaper. The hockey one is a thin mesh for gloves. And the sports version isn’t compatible with use on the body – maybe if you wanted a better grip on your flogger?

 

► (P) $$ - (AS) Med  - (ST) Depends - (BF) No

 

FRICTION TAPE – Sticky on both sides and used for electrical work.

 

► (P) $$  - (AS) Med - (ST) Some - (BF) No

 

GAFFER TAPE – Used in theater for marking stage areas or around equipment. Similar to duct tape, but the glue is petroleum-based and will come off clean. Easily torn and available in many colors.

 

► (P) $$ - (AS) Med - (ST) None  - (BF) Sort of

 

 

POND LINER SEAM TAPE – For repairing rubber sheet pond liners. Not for people or kink play.

 

► (P) $$$ - (AS) High - (ST) None - (BF) No

 

DOUBLE SIDED TAPE – In general, double-sided tape isn’t useful for any BDSM play. Avoid.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Med - (ST) Some - (BF) No

 

GORILLA TAPE – Similar to duct tape, but targeted more for outdoor use or underwater repairs. The glue would probably be too strong on the skin and would need to put it over plastic wrap. But when duct tape is cheaper, I’m not sure why anyone would bother with this.

 

► (P) $$ - (AS) Med - (ST) None - (BF) Sort of

 

LINGERIE TAPE – Specifically meant to attach to fabric and skin – but to keep clothing in place. Fashion tape is good when you want your BDSM outfits to stay just in place, but that’s it.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) low - (ST) none - (BF) Not really

 

MAGIC OR SCOTCH TAPE – It’s the stuff you wrap gifts with. Not really useful and won’t stick to skin or fabric. Maybe as part of some sort of humiliation play?

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) None - (BF) Not really

 

 

MASKING TAPE – Cheap and comes in different widths. Easy to tear and cheap. Okay for bondage but you’ll need many layers. It’s not as flexible as other kinds of tape, so the rolling, twisting, and bunching

will be worse if you go for the narrow rolls.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) None - (BF) Sort of

 

ROAD MARKING TAPE – This is the stuff they embed in asphalt that reflects light and will last for years. Definitely to be avoided.

 

► (P) $$$ - (AS) High - (ST) N/A - (BF) No

 

HOCKEY TAPE – There are two kinds (one for the stick and one for the shin pads). One isn’t stretchy, the other is. One is self-sticking and the other is not. However, there’s no point using either for kinky play because there are cheaper alternatives (e.g. bondage tape, which is reusable).

 

► (P) $ to $$ - (AS) Low - (ST) yes/no - (BF) Not really

 

SECURITY TAPE – Similar to packing tape, but with designs or watermarks to show if someone has tampered with or opened the box. Comes in different designs or with various words or warnings, which could be a dash of extra fun for when you play.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) low - (ST) None - (BF) Yes

 

DRYWALL TAPE – Mean to hide drywall seams. Pointless for kink.

 

► (P) $$ - (AS) N/A - (ST) Some - (BF) No

 

 

SELF-AMALGAMATING TAPE – Think of something similar to electrical tape, but it will only stick to itself. Pointless for play when electrical tape is so much cheaper.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) Some - (BF) Sort of

 

SPEED TAPE – Quick fix, aluminum tape for race cars and airplanes.

 

► (P) $$$ - (AS) High - (ST) None - (BF) No

 

PAPER TAPE – Think masking tape but for craft or labeling purposes.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) None - (BF) Not really

 

SPIKE TAPE – Also used in theatres and other media productions. It’s meant to mark where actors should stand or where items should go. Comes in many colors. Also good for labeling. Not useful for bondage, but could be added as a final layer to decorate your submissive.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) None - (BF) Sort of

 

 

HOLOGRAPHIC TAPE – Either for crafts or to hang in the garden and scare away birds. Could be used as decoration over other, more sturdy BDSM-friendly tapes.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) None - (BF) I suppose so

 

SURGICAL TAPE – It’s specifically meant to stick to the skin without any reactions as well as come off without harming the skin – so it’s great for all kinds of play, especially medical. It would be too pricy for mummification, but better suited for smaller restraints or coverings.

 

(P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) Very little  - (BF) Yes

 

WOUND CLOSURE TAPE – Another medical product that can be used for smaller patches of play and medical role plays.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) None - (BF) Sort of

 

FLORAL TAPE – Used to hold bunches of flowers together. It comes in a wide variety of colours but it very thin. Since there are better alternatives, I wouldn’t bother with this unless you want to get into some kinky floral or plant-themed play (not sure if it’s a thing, but it’s the world of BDSM – so who knows.)

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) Little - (BF) Not really

 

TEAR TAPE – This tape is meant for packaging and is always quite narrow, so it’s pretty useless for play.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Low - (ST) None - (BF) Not really

 

FLAGGING TAPE – Meant for marking trails when you’re hiking. Since you tie it, not stick it, there’s not much use for kinksters unless you’re marking a trail as a scavenger hunt for some kinky purpose.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) None - (ST) Some - (BF) No

 

 

FACING TAPE – Silver tape that can withstand very hot or cold temperatures. Skip this stuff.

 

► (P) $$ to $$$ - (AS) Low to High - (ST) Flexible - (BF) No

 

TIE TAPE -  Tape to use in your garden on your plants (because if its high flexibility, it won’t damage whatever flora its tied to).

 

► (P) $ - (AS) None - (ST) High - (BF) No

 

MAGNETIC TAPE – It’s literally a magnetic strip that’s sticky on one side. Skip it.

 

► (P) $ - (AS) Med - (ST) None - (BF) No

 

 

VERDICT


 

Bondage tape is the obvious winner, but if you want something to use as a base, then duct, packing, security, and wide masking tape will do the trick. However, anything that involves smaller quantities or less body surface, will allow you WAY more choices (like gaffer tape).

 

And remember, if you buy something with adhesive that could cause issues (whether too strong or not strong enough), you don’t have to throw it away – add a few layers of plastic wrap and you’ll be good to go (even if the tape is good, you should be doing this for mummifications anyway).

 

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What's your favorite tape to use during a BDSM scene? Share in the comments!

 

Also, if you want more useful or interesting articles, you might like these...

 

 

Have a kinky day!

Robyn

Mots clésKinds of Tape

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