With Fifty Shades of Grey everywhere you look (including Target, right next to the kids toothbrushes, ew!) there’s a lot of interest in bondage, and a lot of couples are experimenting with stuff they never would have thought of before. However, if you’re like me and have no intention of reading those books or watching the movies, you may be wondering what the big deal is — why would anyone want to be restrained during sex? Well, I know nothing about the BDSM “scene” so I can’t speak very broadly, but I can tell you in one word why Sexy Corte and I periodically enjoy adding some light bondage to our sexy time: vulnerability.
To understand bondage let’s talk first about the goal, then the methods, then why it’s fun. The goal is simple: voluntarily restrain one spouse to enhance his or her vulnerability and submission. It seems most common for the wife to be restrained, but I’ve had Sexy Corte tie me down and tease me and it was lots of fun. Usually though, it’s me restraining her. The purpose of the restraint is to give control of your body to your spouse, not to be painful or uncomfortable. Submitting to bondage is a huge demonstration of trust to your spouse because it puts your naked body into their control and makes you supremely vulnerable. The bondage benefits both the dominant and the submissive spouse by giving the dominant person permission to act, and the submissive person permission to let go. The various toys described below are only used to accent the submission that has already been agreed to.
There are limitless methods of bondage, but they generally share a few common features.
- Nakedness. The submissive spouse will usually be restrained naked, or at least with her sexy bits exposed. Being naked with your spouse is already a big show of trust, and being restrained kicks it up a notch.
- Hand restraint. Often the submissive’s hands are restrained to prevent her from “protecting” herself. (I use quotes, because of course nothing should be happening against the submissive’s desires.) Hands can be restrained above the head (for example, tied to the headboard), behind the back, in front (for front-to-back positions), or even attached to the ankles. Hand restraint is probably the most common element of light bondage. Get those hands out of the way!
- Leg restraint. Legs, ankles, and knees can be restrained to keep the wife’s legs spread or to prevent movement in general. Leg restraint is an important element of position restraint and orgasm control.
- Head restraint. Head or neck restraint could be uncomfortable or even dangerous. This isn’t something we do.
- Eye restraint. Covering the submissive’s eyes can add another layer of trust and enhance vulnerability. Using a blindfold can really make extended foreplay exciting.
- Mouth restraint. Sometimes you just want to hear your spouse moan with pleasure instead of talk. Sometimes talking is distracting. Taking away the option to talk can be liberating for the person who is restrained. Always be sure that anyone whose mouth is covered can breathe freely and can signal a desire to stop.
- Position restraint. A combination of restraints can be used to hold the submissive spouse in a certain position, say for spanking. This can be critical for orgasm delay and multiple orgasms, which we’ll talk about below.
So what are the actual devices that can be used for bondage play? Almost anything you can imagine can be incorporated, but here are a few ideas. Each of these items probably deserves its own post!
Wedge pillows. Sexy Corte and I enjoy these a lot for positioning, and they include attachments for…
Hand cuffs. We use some padded strips with velcro for closures and plastic clips that can be attached together or to the wedges. We’ve tried metal cuffs in the past, but they’re quite uncomfortable if you’re laying on them.
Under-the-mattress restraints. Looks complicated, but it’s not. The cuffs can be tucked under the mattress when not in use. These are especially useful if you don’t have a headboard suitable for tying to.
Blindfold. If you want to improvise, use a neck tie or panties.
Gags can be similarly improvised, or you can buy one.
Sex swing. We have one that can be quickly hung in a door frame and be used for a ton of positions. It’s easier than it looks.
Spreader bar. Keeps those legs apart. Can be used in many positions, including standing, but isn’t great for missionary. I made ours with a wooden dowel and some eye screws.
Pull-up bar. These can be mounted in a door way and used as a restraint point for securing someone in a standing position. Also great for getting ripped.
Vibrator. There are many kinds, but we find the egg vibrator to be the most versatile. We buy cheap ones (around $7 from Amazon) and replace them once or twice a year when they wear out. We also keep rechargeable batteries charging in our bedroom. A wand vibrator can also be useful for longer duration games or when you need more reach.
Rope. Check out our intro to shibari for some awesome ideas!
(Let me point out that you don’t actually need any toys! This post is getting long enough, so I won’t go into detail, but look forward to a future post on mental-only bondage.)
Finally, what’s fun about bondage anyway?
- Intimacy. Like I said at the beginning: the essence of bondage is vulnerability, and vulnerability is the key to intimacy. Bondage will teach you new things about your spouse’s mind and body. Bondage will let you explore new levels of sexual trust. Bondage exposes you to each other in amazing ways.
- Passion. Let’s face it: there can be something hot about dominating your spouse or submitting to his or her will. Maybe your sex is normally gentle and loving, and bondage lets you get a little rougher and more physically intense.
- Foreplay. Bondage requires time to execute, and all that time can be used as foreplay focused on the spouse being bound.
- Orgasm delay. Also known as teasing or edging. When the submissive spouse is free to move she can position her body just the right way to reach orgasm, and bondage can take away that ability and give control to the dominant spouse. It can be extremely difficult for a person to willingly back off from an orgasm when it’s close, but when using bondage the dominant spouse can pull back and keep the submissive spouse right on the edge without going over. This can make the orgasm incredibly powerful when it eventually comes.
- Multiple orgasms. After a woman orgasms her clitoris may become intensely sensitive, such that further stimulation is uncomfortable. If her hands and legs are free she may push the stimulation away for relief. However, if she is bound such that she can’t “protect” her clitoris her husband can continue with the stimulation and bring her to multiple orgasms. Sexy Corte describes these as an unending plateau of orgasm, rather than the peak and descent of the normal experience. They’re also quite exhausting, so this probably isn’t something you’ll do every day. As a husband, giving my wife multiple orgasms is one of my absolute favorite things.
- Fantasy. Bondage can be used as an element of fantasy or role-playing. It feels naughty, and once you’re in the naughty mindset you can free yourself to try some things that you normally wouldn’t. He’s the villain and she’s the kidnapped princess? She’s the super-spy and he’s the captured rogue agent who knows where the bomb is hidden?
- Exploration. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for our sexual desires, even when the marriage has good communication. Bondage can be an avenue for exploring desires that are difficult to speak out loud but perhaps easier to request non-verbally while in the moment. New experiences can break old habits, and you’re already feeling naughty, right?
- Escapism. Maybe it’s a minor form of dissociation, but bondage be a form of escapism from everyday life into a secret world of sex with your spouse.
- Novelty. Bondage introduces a myriad of new sexual options, new ways to play, new positions, new toys, and maybe even new desires.
Let us know what you think in the comments! What are you experiences? Do you have any suggestions to add?