Bondage for Beginners

Bondage Cuffs

When you think about bondage, it may conjure up all sorts of images. Maybe your’ve read 50 Shades of Grey. Maybe you’ve seen bondage porn on the Internet. But bondage isn’t – or doesn’t have to be – any of the things you’ve seen or read. It simply means that one person is restrained during sex play.

Yikes! Why?

There are a couple of reasons why a person might want to be bound:

(1) Sense Play

Being bound, and perhaps blindfolded, heightens your senses and makes everything more intense. In sense play, the top (the person who has bound their partner) focuses on giving their partner pleasurable experiences. The might include caresses, tickling, vibrators and other sex toys, spanking or paddling, oral sex, penetrative sex and more… whatever both partners are into.

Sense play works well with edging. The top should try to keep the bound partner arouse and on the edge of orgasm as long as possible. Another variation is for the top to bring their partner to orgasm multiple times.

(2) Dominance Play

In this variation, the bound partner (the bottom) enjoys being helpless and controlled. The bottom can also really give in to their sexual feelings without any sense of embarassment or guilt, because they are being controlled by their partner.

The top uses the bound partner for their sexual pleasure and the bottom cannot resist. Dominance play may involve humiliation, pain, or punishment.

In both scenarios, the primary focus of the play is to give the bottom pleasure, although in different ways. Bondage play can be a very generous and giving form of sex, but it also depends on trust between the partners.

Getting Started

Before getting out the ropes, it’s important to prepare. So let’s get started!

  1. Do some research to understand what bondage play is about (reading this article together is a good start).
  2. Talk with your partner about expectations, goals, and limits! If you haven’t already done so, consider taking our Sexual Interest Match Test to understand what things your partner is open to.
  3. Agree to a safe word. This is a safety mechanism to allow the bottom to stop the play at any time. The safe word must be respected. The top should never try to convince or force the bottom partner to continue once the safe word has been used. However, the bottom can use the safe word to pause or redirect the play. For example, the bottom might use the safe word and then say “The spanking hurts too much. I’d like to continue, but without the spanking.”
  4. Be safe! As a beginner, don’t restrain your partner in ways that could cut off their air flow, or put stress on joints. Never leave the bottom unattended while they are restrained.
  5. Talk about spanking and paddling. If you want to introduce pain or punishment into your bondage play, it’s best to use a glancing blow or slap rather than a direct strike. Practice this before restraining your partner.
  6. Plan on after care. Bondage can be very intimidating, especially when it’s coupled with dominance play. After the session is over, the partners should reconnect and support one another emotionally. This might include cuddling, talking about the experience, having a cup of tea, or even ordering take-out and watching a favorite show on Netflix.

What You’ll Need

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Beginner's Bondage Kit

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You can get started with some soft cotton rope from the local hardware store, but it’s surprisingly hard to safely tie someone up in a way that restrains them without harming them. The fancy knots and rope play that you see on porn sites is something that requires training!

It’s better to start with a basic bondage kit. This may include:

Wrist and Ankle Cuffs

These are leather or vinyl cuffs that are placed on the ankles and wrists. They may be held in place with buckles or velcro. The cuffs can be hooked together, so you might fasten the bottom’s arms behind their back. They can also have ropes attached, so you could tie your partner spread-eagle on the bed. Using cuffs means that the ropes don’t come into direct contact with your partners skin, where they may cause rope burns or even cut off circulation if not properly tied.

Blindfold

A blindfold can help the bottom to focus on other senses, like tough, taste and smell. I can also increase feelings of helplessness.

Sensory Tools

These are simply things to add to the bottom’s sensory experience. You might use a fur mitt, a feather, or an ice cube! For couples who want to introduce pain or punishment, consider a padded paddle or a soft leather flogger, which you can find in most sex shops. Remember to try paddles or similar implements before restraining your partner.

A Collar and Leash

If you are focussing on dominance play, and especially if you want to add an element of humiliation, you may want to put a collar on the bottom. If you do, make sure to get a padded collar specifically for this purpose from a sex shop. Don’t use a pet collar! Human skin is a lot more sensitive than fur. And remember, safety first! The bottom should not be tied or restrained by their collar.

Wow, That’s a Little Scary!

Yes, I’ve covered some things that won’t appeal to everyone. Remember what I said earlier in this article?

The primary focus of bondage is to give the bottom pleasure, although in different ways. Bondage play can be a very generous and giving form of sex, but it also depends on trust between the partners.

Talk about what would be fun for both partners, and then give it a try!

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