Let me start with the outlines of my story. I've been with my wife now for almost 15 years. We got together in college and just couldn't seem to shake each other. We have kids together. We're in love. We fight. We have issues. We're doing what we can to keep each other happy over the long term.
We both love rope bondage.
We're not in a D/S relationship, I don't keep her in a cage, I don't control what she eats, and while she does have several bracelets that look like rope (a little advertising can be sexy), and she doesn't wear a collar. There isn't a single piece of zippered leather in the house and we, to this point, have never had to conceal bruises. What I'm saying is we're normal people, with normal lives, and even a fairly normal sex life (other than the ropes and blindfolds, which don't even come out every time). In short, we're your average couple that just happens to really, really enjoy a little macrame with our sex. That's not a story you hear very often, so here I am, telling it.
I feel like, to those not well versed in bondage, it can look weird, maybe even anti-woman. I feel like it can look too theatrical, or phony. I feel like it can seem porny or angry or just off putting.
I feel like people think these things because until last year I thought them myself.
I would never have thought about tying up a woman. It seemed misogynistic. It seemed like something that people pretending to have a relationship might do. It seemed distancing, controlling, maybe even dangerous, certainly not something anyone who respected women might think about doing.
Then my wife suggested that it might turn her on. More specifically, she suggested that any sort of power exchange play might turn her on. I love my wife. I love having sex with my wife and I'll do anything to make it more fun for her. In service of that, I got some very unintimidating rubber tubing (Bright purple! No S&M or even porny overtones! Soft and friendly!) and got ready to use it on her. I carefully looked up a bunch of safety tips, I voraciously read about technique (mostly because I had no idea how this thing was supposed to go down), and one night I pulled out the tubes. I was shocked at how much it turned me on to see her submit to the ties. She was happy at how much she loved having her options taken away from her. Paradoxically, it freed her up to stop worrying and concentrate on what was going on with her. We went at it for hours like horny teenagers and finished up tired, sweaty, and a little chafed but incredibly happy.
We were hooked. I quickly ditched the tubing for some actual rope (twisted nylon, because it's cheap and leaves gorgeous marks, if you must know) and never looked back. I quickly found out that being a good rope top is nothing if not geeky. It takes research, creativity and practice. She quickly found out that the more options you take away from her the easier it is for her to go from basically inorgasmic to having earth shattering orgasms pretty much every time we try.
I know it sounds like I'm overstating my case, but it really has been a night and day difference in our relationship. It's amazing when you find the thing that works for you.
I'm working on talking about this because it makes us happy, and I know that one of the reasons we didn't start this sooner is that it all seemed so strange. People who are into bondage are presented in media as leather clad extremophiles who live "the lifestyle." Heck, even in niche media those are the people you hear from. The pain pigs with floggers and knives and choking play. The full time slaves and masters who own and trade them. I get it. Their stories are dramatic and they love to tell them, but they aren't the whole story. You don't have to go all in to enjoy a little bit of the out of the ordinary. Bondage doesn't have to be hard, it doesn't have to go out to the extremes, and it doesn't have to take over your life (even your sex life). It can be loving, it can be bonding, and it can be fun.