BDSM Guide Sex Guides and Tips
by Double D, aka Delilah Douglas

Bondage/ Restraints

Restraints/ Bondage:
Bondage is defined as restraints (Mental/Verbal or Physical) placed on the body to restrict movement.

Physical restraints include all types of cuff (hand/wrist, ankle, thigh, and thumb), collars, harnesses, belts, ropes, bondage tape, spreader bars, blindfolds, straightjackets, silk ties/scarves, ball gags, as well as cock and ball devices (though some suggest they, like nipple clamps, are for sensation play).

Mental/Verbal bondage, when a Sub is instructed to hold a certain position/posture as if held by physical restraints, but the body itself is not bound. A Sub could be instructed to keep his/her hands on the head until told otherwise by the Dom. If you are curious about bondage but nervous about wearing restraints, this type of play is a good way to start.

Physical bondage is very important to sensation play, especially flogging and other types of S&M, because restraining a Bottom is sometimes a safety precaution as well as a way to exercise the Dom/Sub and Top/Bottom relationships. If you are just experimenting with bondage, restraining a lover can be a very erotic experience. It involves complete sexual surrender and trust in a partner.

Trust is very important in bondage as well as any other type of erotic activity; if you feel you cannot trust a player 100%, DO NOT participate in bondage/restraint play with that person. You will not be able to enjoy the pleasure of surrendering to pure sensation when you are constantly worrying if your Top will perform a nonconsensual act or leave you tied up longer than consented. Please see the section on Consent for more information.

Cuffs/Restraints:
These pieces of bondage gear are worn around the limbs; most of which have special rings used to bind the limbs together (like traditional handcuffs) or bind them to other objects (like headboards, spreader bars, straps attached to furniture, the possibilities are endless). Cuffs can be made of a variety of materials, but most are made of leather, nylon/neoprene, or metal.
Wrist/hand cuffs:
There are many situations where a player can have the wrists restrained and still be able to move if he/she wants (see the Positioning section for specifics). Novice players should get something that won't be too harsh on the wrists. You may have the fantasy of being handcuffed by the police, but try using nylon/neoprene restraints instead, because they are much more versatile and comfortable. There are variations on the traditional metal cuffs with fuzzy covers, but they are still not as user friendly as the synthetic ones. The nylon/neoprene cuffs look like mountain climbing gear and, with the use of straps, can be attached to just about anything worth being tied to.
Beginners try:
More experienced players try:
Police handcuff
Police handcuff
Master suspension cuffs
Master suspension cuffs
Ankle cuffs:
Most wrist cuffs double as ankle cuffs. These restraints can be a lot of fun when they are tied together as well as apart. Play around with spreader bars and straps to keep those bound legs open and other parts fully accessible. As with wrist cuffs, they are more user friendly in the nylon/neoprene versions, but the leather versions are sexy too. If you still want to pursue the sensation of metal on your skin, there are a few varieties of metal ankle cuffs available for your captivity.
Beginners try:
More experienced players try:
Locking restraints
Locking restraints
Pleasurebound ankle cuffs
Pleasurebound ankle cuffs
Thigh cuffs:
These restraints are usually made of nylon/neoprene material and are a great alternative to ankle cuffs. They are mostly used to keep the thighs spread apart for sexual pleasure or pain sensation play. You can attach wrist restraints to thigh cuffs for a more relaxed, comfortable position.
Beginners try:
Thighcuffs
Thighcuffs
Tie-ups thigh cuffs pair
Tie-ups thigh cuffs pair
More experienced players try:
Sex sling black neoprene
Sex sling black neoprene
Harness:
The basic idea behind the harness is to offer something to attach other restraints. Harnesses are used in a number of ways, therefore are created to suit those specific intentions. There are strap-on harnesses for wearing a dildo,
Beginners try
Thighcuffs
Thigh and wrist harness
More experienced players try
Special ops waist harness
Special ops waist harness
though these are more universally used and not made specifically for BDSM play. There are harnesses designed for sexual positioning like sex slings and swings. There are chest and waist harnesses that can be used to attach other restraints (cuffs, leashes, etc.). Cuffs can also be attached to harnesses made for furniture. The term is all encompassing and so are the possibilities. For more information about strap-on harnesses, please see our Harness Guide.
Straps:
Straps or tethers are mostly used to connect restraints to one another or to other objects such as bedposts, chairs, railings, etc. They can also be used as a rope for the art of bondage tying. They are similar to straps for rock climbing and come in a variety of sizes. Bed straps are a great alternative for people that want to try bondage but never sprung for the four poster bed. The strap runs under the mattress and the ends come up over the sides of the bed. You can attach most restraints to it and tuck the ends under the mattress when you're not using the strap. Beginners should get a restraint kit to start off with: a good kit will contain straps, wrist cuffs, and ankle/thigh cuffs.
Spreader:
A bar used to keep legs and arms apart during BDSM play. It is a rigid bar, usually about 18 inches long that has multiple hooks or rings to attach cuffs. They are especially
Try
Spreader with triangles
Spreader with triangles
Spreader with snap hooks
Spreader with snap hooks
useful to people without bondage-friendly furniture. Spreaders are also convenient when used for leverage during intercourse; you can pull the bar to bring your partner closer or just move it up and down to lift his/her pelvis off the bed. Be careful, the bar is attached to the player's limbs. If you are looking to make an amateur dungeon, spreaders can be hung from the ceiling, as well as connected to a wall or the floor.
Bondage Tape:
Tape that is made specifically for restraining bodies and only sticks to itself: not skin, hair, or anything else. It resembles wide electrical or packing tape and comes in a variety of different colors. It can be used to bind body parts together or to objects. The tape can also be used to
Try
Fantasy bondage tape
Fantasy bondage tape
bind large parts of the body to make clothes; it can be used for corseted bondage (sensation play that restrains the whole torso very tightly); or used for mummification (wrapping the whole body together).

Some players reuse their bondage tape, but it is very difficult to keep it straight enough to recycle. Most players cut the tape off using EMT shears with a blunt edge. It is a lot of fun to use and very sexy to look at, but be aware of how tight you are wrapping and leave room for the blood to circulate.

Rope:
Rope made for bondage is usually made of cotton or nylon for comfort. This is the most
Try
Japanese bondage rope
Japanese bondage rope
and read
Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage
Seductive Art of
Japanese Bondage
traditional form of bondage and the Japanese style of rope tying is very beautiful and elaborate. Rope comes in many lengths depending on what you intend to tie up. Some players make entire harnesses out of rope and others use it simply to tie limbs together and to other objects. Boy scouts and sailors have a leg up over most people when it comes to tying rope for bondage, but anyone can learn how with a little practice and a trusting partner. Be sure to leave room for blood circulation when tying ropes for bondage.
Scarf:
Silk scarves or ties can be used in BDSM to restrain a player. They are tied similar to rope, but are not as strong and are not available in long pieces for more elaborate knots. Scarves are softer and more comfortable than rope, but knots made with them have a tendency to slip more than any other restraining material. This may be a good thing for slightly nervous beginners that want to play with bondage but are not sure they want to make the leap into purchasing cuffs.
Try
Black silk scarf
Black silk scarf
Collar:
Similar to the collars for domesticated animals, BDSM collars are typically made of leather or synthetic materials and are worn mostly by Subs. Some Doms wear collars that correspond with the one worn by his/her Sub to show "ownership" of that person. The collar serves little practical application, but represents Dominant's power over the Sub wearing it. Most collars have D-rings in order to be used with a leash. Keep a collar loose enough to slip one finger through, and if using a leash, always lead from the front of the collar as not to cut off air flow through the windpipe.
More experienced players try:
Leash:
Similar to a leash for a dog, most BDSM leashes are chains, leather, or synthetic materials tethered to collars or harnesses. Some leashes are for leading a Submissive around by the genitals or nipples. If using with a collar, always lead from the front as not to cut off the player's air supply.
Fetish Mask:
A mask or a hood worn during BSDM play used to help players establish a different personality for the sake of the scene. Many players love
Beginners try
Fetish love mask
Fetish love mask
More experienced players try
Leather hood with zip eyes and mouth
Leather hood with zip eyes and mouth
kinky theatrics and, the way an actor can get into character easier with the help of good costuming and make up, the mask helps the transformation into submissive behavior. Masks with zippers over the mouth and eyes can be used for sensory deprivation. The mask is also important safety gear in S&M play to protect the face from stray lashes.
Blindfold:
Many people are familiar with blindfolds, but in BDSM they are mostly used for sensory deprivation and restraint. When one sense (in this case sight) is removed, other sensations are magnified. The Bottom is not distracted by the visual aspects of the experience and can focus
Beginners try
Taboo love blinders
Taboo love blinders
More experienced players try
Fleece lined blindfold
Fleece lined blindfold
in on the sensation of pleasure (however the Top chooses to present it). It also creates an element of surprise because the Bottom has no idea if the Top is going to strike with pleasure or pain. It also works like the fetish mask to get a player into character. Weighted blindfolds are typically better for the experience because it forces the eyes to stay closed. Using a blindfold is a good way for beginners to start playing with sensation and bondage.
Gag:
Gags are used in BDSM mostly to prevent a player from speaking. They are also used as something to bear/bite down on when receiving a flogging. If you are familiar with gags at all, you are most likely thinking of a ball gag; a red rubber ball (a little bigger than a golf ball) attached to a head strap. There are variations on the classic ball gag that are similar to pacifiers and much more comfortable for the gagged player. On the other end of the
Beginners try
Beginner ball gag
Beginner ball gag
More experienced players try
Rubber ball gag
Rubber ball gag
spectrum there are gags that are akin to horse bits, which can be very brutal for the wearer (but that is usually the objective).

Truly effective gag use is gradually achieved; inexperienced wearers will have to find a breathing technique that works for them. Some people are able to mouth breathe with a gag, while others learn to breathe through the nose. A person with a sensitive gag reflex or asthma should stay clear of tight, deep ball gags; you might try the pacifier style gags instead. You should also refrain from use of ANY gag if you are congested or sick.

When using restraints, be conscious of...

Positioning:
There are numerous materials and methods of restraining; some should not be performed by inexperienced/uneducated players. It is great to have fantasies and be able to make them realities, but you might want to ease your way into some forms of bondage. Players more familiar with restraints are able to safely perform certain standing or suspended positions. Novices should try to avoid any positions that cause excessive tension or torsion of the muscles. Eventually you can work up to being uncomfortable "on purpose," but here are a few good positions for beginners.

For spanking, flogging, and other S&M:

  1. Have the player begin in a standing position, arms down at his/her sides where they fall naturally.
  2. Then place the player's hands resting palm-to-palm in front of the crotch. He/she should keep the shoulders relaxed as much as possible.
  3. With whatever method/material you choose, restrain the wrists together in front of the body leaving room to slip a finger within the cuff, rope, tape, etc. (this is to avoid cutting off circulation).
  4. Have the player kneel, legs together in front of a chair, coffee table, bench, or the bed. You can put a pillow or folded towel on the floor for his/her knees. Have the player rest the torso horizontally or diagonally over the chair, bed, etc.
  5. Make sure the player's legs are closed and then restrain the ankles as you did the wrists, leaving room for one finger in the restraint.
  6. The player's butt should be in perfectly situated for a good spanking. Even though this position leaves little worry about the safety of the genitals, the player can position the hands over his/her crotch if so inclined.

Variations:
You can choose to leave the ankles unbound, but be careful of the genitals when spanking or flogging. For penetration purposes, you can separate the legs by attaching ankle restraints to a spreader bar (or if using a chair, attach ankle restraints to the chair legs). If you're not into the pain of S&M play, this is a fun position for teasing the player with vibrators, anal beads, oral sex, and rimming (oral sex performed on the anus).

For Penetration and Teasing Foreplay:

For the classic four poster bed, spread-eagle position… If you do not have a foot/headboard, see the Variations at the end of the instructions.

  1. Have the player lay down (face up or down, however you like), legs spread apart, preferably so the ankles are a little further than shoulder length apart.
  2. The arms should be raised on either side of the body so the elbows are slightly above shoulder height with the forearms angled away from each other; a "Y" shape.
  3. With whatever method/material you choose, restrain the ankles to the opposite sides of the footboard leaving room to slip a finger within the cuff, rope, tape, etc. (this is to avoid cutting off circulation).
  4. Then restrain the wrists to the opposite sides of the headboard leaving room for one finger as well.
  5. The safest, most convenient way to achieve this position is to use ankle and wrist cuffs that are made of leather or fabric. Then use suspension straps made of leather or nylon/neoprene to secure the cuffs to the four corners of the bed; be sure to leave a little slack on the straps.
  6. Once restrained, you can have your way with the captive player in a number of different styles. Penetration is easier if you place a pillow under the pelvis/butt of the restrained player as he/she will not be able to meet your movements as easily as if unbound. If you find that this is still too difficult you can use a dildo or vibrator for penetrating your partner. Teasing the player with vibrators, anal beads, other toys, oral sex, and rimming (oral sex performed on the anus) is a great way to make him/her squirm with pleasure.

Variations:
If you find that penetration is difficult this way, then you can leave the ankles unbound or attach the ankle restraints to a spreader bar. This will let the player move the hips but still keep the legs apart and it is also pretty fun to hold onto as you penetrate, just be aware that the bar is attached to the player's limbs, so be careful. The wrists can also be bound together above the head or behind the neck (do not attach restraints to the neck itself).

For those who do not have head/footboards there are several alternatives. One is attaching the restraints with straps around the legs of the bed frame, they just have to be a little longer, but most straps are pretty long and very versatile. Another way is using a bed strap; a very long strap that runs under the mattress, the ends come up over the sides of the bed. You can attach most restraints to it and tuck the ends under the mattress when you're not using the strap. And yet another way to restrain a player is the use of a sling. This restraint is used to spread the legs using the neck as leverage. The sling has a padded, strap-like cradle that sits behind the player's neck, attached to the neck-rest are 2 long straps that connect to a cuff for each leg/ankle. A sling usually comes with ankle restraints already attached and can only be used comfortably while the player is lying on his/her back.

Duration of Restraint:
It is recommended that the duration of a restraint/bondage session be monitored for the sake of blood flow and other health concerns. The average player should not be restrained for longer than 15-20 minutes, especially in a position where the player is standing, inverted or contorted (tied-up like a pretzel or unusual positioning of the limbs). Only experienced players have a full understanding of their physical/emotional limits and can choose to push those limits through prolonged restraint play.
Tightness of Restraints:
Never restrain a player so tightly that it will cut off the blood circulation. If blood circulation is restricted, the player will lose color (turn blue), become cold, or experience numbness of the limbs. The general rule of thumb is actually the "rule of finger"; there must be at least a finger's worth of slack for each limb inside the restraint. If 2 limbs are being tied together, then leave room for 2 fingers, etc. This includes cuffs of any variety, rope, collars, silk scarves, harnesses, and bondage tape.
Getting out of Restraints:
We at EdenFantasys.com make these guides to prevent the harshness of learning the "hard way." Emergencies happen whether it's a fire or an unexpected visitor, so you should always have an "escape plan." If you are using restraints with locks, always have the key close at hand. Pick a permanent spot near the area of play for the key or combination to the lock written on a piece of paper in case of emergencies. If you will be using bondage tape or rope, always have sharp scissors close by, we recommend getting EMT shears that have a blunt end to slip safely into restraints. If you get stuck, don't be ashamed to call 911; they have heard and seen it all, so don't think you're the only folks who have ever lost the key to their handcuffs.
Reactions and Health Issues:
There is no way to predict how a player will react to a new form of sensation play. The Bottom might squirm a little, or just suddenly react and run away out of instinct. A Bottom player being tickled could flail about which may cause injury the Top or him/herself. A player being flogged may try to crouch into the fetal position or pull back from the hit. The best tissue for flogging is relaxed and stationary, if a Bottom tenses up or causes the Top to strike near a joint, it can be potentially dangerous. Keeping a player restrained prevents these incidents caused by sudden movements. But the act of restraining has health issues to be considered as well.

There are a number of health concerns to be aware of when playing with restraints. You as a responsible player need to know your health risks, as well the issues of each player involved. Before you begin, be sure to tell your partner(s) of any body aches or health conditions.

The main concern with restraints is blood flow. If the restrained player begins to lose color (turn blue), becomes very cold, or experiences numbness, undo the restraints right away. When restraining a player, be sure to leave room in the restraints to slip one finger in the bound part. However many limbs are being bound together, that is how many fingers you should be able to put inside that restraint in addition to those limbs. If 2 limbs are being tied together, then leave room for 2 fingers, and so on.

Another blood flow issue is leaving the arms or legs above the head too long. The blood will not be able to flow into arms raised above the head while standing, so don't leave the player in these positions for too long.

If you are congested or asthmatic, this can be an issue if there is a gag or deprivation hood in the scene. There are many other issues that could come into play, but they are mostly situational and vary from person to person. Be mindful of what you are going to do in the scene and how its execution will affect your partner(s).

If flogging or other S&M will come into play, please read the Health Concerns in the Flogging section for more information.