Bondage has been part of the sex life for people all across the world for hundreds of years. But for many, it has been considered taboo, kept behind closed doors and spoken of only in a whisper. Thankfully, that has been changing over the last few years. Odds are, if you haven’t gotten a bit kinky in the bedroom, you have in your fantasies. If it’s time to bring these fantasies to life – and into the light – here are a few things you need to know.
First of all, what is bondage, anyway? And why is it so exciting?
Unless you have experience in the world of BDSM, it’s easy to have some misconceptions about it. On the surface, bondage is exactly what it sounds like: the use of ties, bindings, or restraints to enhance the sexual experience. But it really goes much deeper than that.
Handcuffs and blindfolds come into the scene often, but the core of bondage is trust. It’s about surrendering to your partner, or having them surrender to you. In the process, we are able to let go, become totally absorbed in the sensation, and allow ourselves to be held in a luscious sensual space. On top of that, bondage is a light entry to BDSM, helping us to explore our taboo fantasies and push our boundaries, and to make some really exciting discoveries in the process.
So, when it comes time to spice up your love life with a little kink, here are a few easy tips to get you started:
1. Talk About It
Sometimes, this is the hardest part. If you and your lover have been having vanilla sex over the course of your relationship, you may feel nervous broaching the subject. One way to ease into it is to plant a seed. You may want to bring in some erotic fiction or a sexy film. This can get the idea floating around, and maybe even change your lover’s perspective.
From there, you can start to share some of your fantasies, and open the floor for your partner to share theirs. Explore what turns your partner on – and off. See where they’ve been going in their taboo daydreams. They may surprise you. Plus, even if you never choose to go there physically, it’s incredibly hot to go into some of the exciting things you can explore together in the bedroom. This conversation alone can lead to some steamy sensual time.
2. Trust is Key
I know, I mentioned this above. But remember, bondage is about surrender. And you want to make sure that you trust the person that you relinquish your power to. So, this may not be best to explore with that new Tinder date or the person you’ve just met. Make sure you feel comfortable and safe with them. When shared between consensual adults on a foundation of loving, conscious communication, bondage can be both thrilling and deeply healing.
3. Go Slow at First
Here’s where a common misconception comes in. For those who haven’t explored BDSM, it may conjure images of whips and chains, intense fetish play, gags and blindfolds. And, though you may wish to explore this all in time, it can be a bit overwhelming all at once. The truth is, there is an entire spectrum of bondage play, from simply holding the arms down during sex to some of the wildest and most out there fantasies you can imagine – and probably some you can’t! And light bondage play can be just as exciting as the more intense stuff, especially at first.
Basically, you want to meet where both you and your lover are comfortable, not jump off into the deep end before you’re ready. So, start with simple things. A blindfold is a nice start, and it’s a great way for you or your partner to tune out the visuals and just focus on sensation. Plus, they’re non-intimidating, and can help your partner to feel comfortable with this new sexual exploration. And you don’t need a store-bought blindfold for this; a silk scarf, tie, or pair of tights will work just as well.
When it’s time to move into more official bondage territory, light restraints are an excellent starting point. Practice your knots beforehand so that you know how to untie them easily and quickly. You may even want to work with Velcro or easy- release clips. And avoid things like ties or nylons for restraints. Ties can tighten into difficult to remove knots, and because of the stretch factor, nylons can become uncomfortably tight under pressure. As you explore with your lover, each of you will have new inspirations come in, so you can follow the flow to take your journey from there.
4. Communication is Essential!
The talking doesn’t stop once the play begins. In fact, this is one of the most exciting things about exploring BDSM with your partner. It can get you both talking, sharing about how you feel in the moment, about what you want to feel.
If you’re in the dominant position, check in with your partner. And, if you’re in the submissive position, share how it feels. Is it what you want? Are you coming closer to a boundary that you aren’t ready to cross? Speak up!
Since this is a mutual exploration, there may be things that you don’t know you like until you move into that territory. That’s why, in BDSM, there are soft and hard limits. Soft limits are those areas that we may be hesitant about, but are willing to try if the mood takes us there. Hard limits are absolute “no’s” where to go there is a violation of trust. Remember SSC: Safe, Sane, and Consensual.
One of the most important aspects for BDSM is a safe word. This is a word or phrase that you and your lover have agreed upon that signals a “stop!” to the action, whatever that might be in the moment. The more outlandish, the better, so long as it’s a word or phrase that you will both remember and recognise immediately. One common approach for beginners is the traffic light system. Green for “Oh my God, keep going!”, Yellow for “Slow down, take it easy I’m nearing a hard limit”, and Red for “STOP”.
5. Who’s in Charge?
When entering into bondage play, one person is the dominant partner, and the other is the submissive one. One holds the reins, and the other surrenders. But it doesn’t have to be the same person each time. And honestly, before you begin to explore how you feel in each role, you won’t know what you really like.
The best way is to feel into it, to sample each role and see where it takes you. Plus, you may find that you – or your lover – may prefer to be a dom on one day and a sub on the next. There’s no rule that says you always have to take the same role. Again, it’s all about communication, and exploring what turns you both on.
These are just a few tips to get you started. Once you do, you’ll find that the mood will take you into places you both enjoy, and this is part of the beauty of the journey. It’s an exploration and a mutual discovery.
Final tip: Keep it simple at first. You don’t need loads of expensive toys to begin your play – though they can be heaps of fun once you hit your stride. At first, you can just get creative with what you have around the house – ice cubes, feathers, chop sticks, a hairbrush. You’ll be amazed at all the sensations you can bring into your play once you get inspired. Have fun and get excited!
In love and light,