What is bondage?
Sex education

What is bondage?

Published
Sep 04, 2020
Author
Davey Davis

Here's how to start exploring the world of bondage safely.

If you’ve ever felt butterflies at the idea of being restrained, held down, cocooned, or contained—or have maybe wanted to do it one of those things to someone else—you might consider exploring the world of bondage. 

There’s a lot to explore. The first letter in the BDSM acronym covers a diverse range of activities. Finding out what aspects of bondage are appealing to you and learning how to pursue them is something that anyone can do, but first, a little background about what it is and how it’s done. 

What is bondage?
Bondage is the practice of consensually tying, binding, or restraining someone. Though it falls under the very big umbrella of BDSM, bondage can be a “vanilla” activity. Whether erotic, aesthetic, spiritual, or what’s known as somatosensory—another way of saying it’s done because of the physical sensations it elicits—bondage, like many other activities encompassed by BDSM, is what you make of it. 

Some of the more common bondage devices include rope, cuffs, leather restraints, saran wrap, tape, sleepsacks, and cages. A bondage scene can incorporate sex, sadomasochism, roleplay, or be an end in and of itself. 

  • Aesthetic bondage includes practices like Kinbaku, the Japanese art of rope bondage that is often referred to as Shibari by English speakers.
  • Kink bondage can use rope to put bottoms through torture or into stressful predicaments, to immobilize, restrain, or position them according to the top’s (or rigger’s) wishes.
  • Somatosensory bondage is experienced with a mind toward changing perceptions of touch, pressure, pain, temperature, position, movement, and vibration.

More than just rope
Leather and chains are often associated with bondage, but there are other tools and activities that do what they do: induce constraint and inhibit, limit, or control the senses. These include sensory deprivation tanks, ball-gags, masks, spreader bars, and vacuum sacks.

How do I learn about bondage?
BDSM is the conscious, risk-aware decision to engage in activities that can be dangerous. Like any other kind of BDSM, bondage of any kind can be life-threatening when done without safety precautions and proper training. Even when done properly and with the right protocol, bondage activities can cause permanent physical damage or death.

This is why educating yourself with books or by attending workshops put on by leather organizations like the Lesbian Sex Mafia is so important. Rigger and amateur gay historian Daemonumx recommends online tutorials from Shibari Study as a great place to start exploring the world of bondage safely.

What is bondage?

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