What is bondage

Bondage is part of the BDSM subculture. It refers to consensually tying up your partner/s with cuffs, ropes, or bondage tape. The person doing the tying is called a dominant (dom), and the person being tied up is called a submissive (sub). 

BDSM may be used in conjunction with other activities, for example using cuffs to tie up the hands, while still leaving them free to move around. Incorporating tiny elements of bondage into your sex life is a great way to start your BDSM journey for beginners. 

Woman wearing handcuffs

Bondage can also be used for its own sake. For example in rope bondage and breast bondage, the partner is completely tied up and unable to move. For some people, the main draw towards bondage comes from seeing their partner tied up and unable to stop them, leaving them more pleasurable. For others, it’s the idea of completely having control over their partner that draws them in. 

How to stay safe

Safety is number one when it comes to bondage. Before you start, always agree on a safeword you both can use to signal if something is wrong. Using “stop” as your safeword is always a good first step. Some people enjoy using the traffic light system, where “Red” means stop, “Yellow” means slow down, and “Green” means to keep going. This also makes it easy to check in on your partner with a quick “Color?” before moving forward. If your partner happens to use the safeword, stop everything immediately and check in on them. Don’t play it off as a joke and make sure everyone is okay.

For tying, always keep something sharp in hand in case of an emergency. A pair of scissors will help you if needed. It’s also recommended to test cutting the rope with your chosen tool. This way you know exactly how quickly and easily you can free your partner.

You also need to make sure to not tie the knot too tight. You should always be able to slip two fingers between their skin and the rope. If not, do it again. Pay extra attention to the wrists, knees, thighs, and arms. That’s where your nerves are most exposed and a wrongly tied knot can lead to serious nerve damage. Your partner should be able to give you a thumbs up with no difficulty. Submissives, always let your dom know if something is hurting you or is tied too tight. Bondage is foremost pleasure, then pain. 

Below is an image showing the most dangerous spots to look out for. 

Which rope to use

As mentioned before, you have the choice between a rope, bondage tape, or cuffs. Cuffs are the best choice for beginners because they are very easy to use and quick to remove.

When choosing between tape and rope, we recommend using rope since it’s easier to work with and makes practicing simpler.

When choosing your rope, always use a high-quality rope. Avoid anything with a diameter under 5mm, since a small diameter rope can lead to skin burn and nerve damage. As for the material, these three are the most common options:

Cotton

Cotton is probably the first choice for many. It’s cheaper than the other options, usually comes in many different colors, and doesn’t cause allergic reactions. It’s lightweight, strong, and feels soft against the skin. One thing to look out for is cotton’s ability to “lock” –  Make a knot go very tight and difficult to unravel. It also stretches out quicker than the others, so if you’re looking for something to last you a long time, this might not be the best option. 

Hemp

Hemp ropes have been traditionally used for a long time. Made of natural hemp, it feels smooth against your skin and comes in many colors. One thing to consider is the fact it’s quite stiff when first purchased, and takes a while to break in. It’s also the most expensive out of the three options. 

Bamboo

Bamboo silk feels gentle against your skin. It’s flexible, not too stretchy, and is easy to work with. While it’s a bit more on the pricier side, it’s worth it.  

First ties

When starting, make sure to take it slow. Practicing on stuffed animals or other objects is also recommended. Try to keep your ties loose and practice safety over appearance. There are many different websites for you to learn. Our favorite website is The Duchy. They offer tons of free and paid tutorials that are easy to follow by everyone.

We also tested out some different ties, giving you our favorites. For all of these, we used the Unicorn Rainbow Bondage Rope by Emojibator and 20M Cotton Deluxe Rope

Wrap & Cinch Double Column


This tie is perfect for binding your partner’s wrists together. It’s one of the first ties we’d recommend because it’s rather safe and quick to do, whilst teaching you the basics of binding. You can also do this with a shorter rope, as only 3 meters is needed. If your rope happens to be longer, you can try using the extra length to tie their hands around their torso or legs. 

If you’d like to see the full tutorial, find it Here!

Hobble | Simple elbow tie


This tie is amazing if you want to bind two things together or to keep two things apart, for example, ankles. This is probably the easiest tie to learn and master, as it mostly requires you to keep looping the rope around. Just keep in mind to now tie it too tight. Recommended rope length is 9 meters, but you can use the extra length when tying it around the arms. 

If you’d like to see the full tutorial, find it Here!

Inline Single Column

   

Even though it requires a bit more practice, this tie is a great option for many. It allows for binding together the arms, even if the rope is anchored to something else. You can even continue on with the rope, making it an easy tie for full arm/body binding. The recommended rope length is 5 meters, but you can always use a longer one for more bondage. 

If you’d like to see the full tutorial, find it Here!

Bondage Belt

This tie is quite similar to the Inline Single Column tie. You can use rope that’s already secured to something else, making sure your partner stays in place. Use rope that’s at least 5 meters long, but a longer rope is recommended for more bondage. It’s also one of the fastest ties we tried, making it great for some quick fun. 

If you’d like to see the full tutorial, find it Here!

Shinju

This tie is mostly recommended for aesthetic purposes. It takes some practice to manage, but the end result looks very beautiful. With some modification, it can be turned into full chest bondage – but that’s once you know how to do the basics. Recommended rope length is 9 meters, but you may require more based on your partner’s build.

If you’d like to see the full tutorial, find it Here!

Aftercare

Aftercare is one of the most important parts of BDSM. Aftercare is exactly what it sounds like – After play care. This helps both you and your partner return to the real world and make sure everyone stays safe. 

Firstly, you should untie any knots and bindings. Put your rope aside to clean it later.

Then, make sure your partner has no injuries. Clean any areas that seem damaged and apply bandages. If the skin looks purple or blue or is inflamed, ice it. Make sure they can move their limbs and stretch with no problems. You can also apply some Aloe Vera gel to help the skin calm down and avoid any future bruises. 

Then, have some water and discuss how everything went.

Moving forward

If this peaked your interest, keep searching. The internet has so many amazing resources for rope options, bindings, and everything else that’s on your mind. Make sure to take things slow and safe, and you will be opened to a completely new world of pleasure.