FREE Discreet Shipping plus EXCLUSIVE Discount Club Insider Savings Every 4 Days - Sign Up FREE!
April 08, 2014



Bondage FAQ

Well, here’s a big category and one I’m sure you’ve got some questions on! A lot of what you need to know can be answered by the description of each individual piece or the photo itself (I’m told they’re worth a thousand «Mmmmpphhh’s! *g*). Beyond that, I’m here to offer you my vast (ahem) expertise on these products, all of which I test and many of which I am lucky enough to use on a regular basis! Master is an experienced leather crafter and a lot of the designs you find here are from his fiendish imagination, so we know this stuff literally from start to finish.

What we’ll cover here are some basics; what to do, how to use it and what not to do in many cases. These little bits of knowledge are the bedrock upon which your playtime and ultimate good — heck GREAT time — are made safe and always fun without the dangers or hassles of finding out some of these things the hard way. So where shall we start?…

This is always the most important part. I know, I know…nobody wants to read the instruction manual, but if you don’t you or someone you love could be hurt, so I’ll keep it short and painless. Here are some of the basic safety guidelines:

For the Dom/me (aka Top):

Keep a close eye on the limbs for signs of circulation getting cut off such as a deep redness or blueness past the bindings. Tying too tightly can act like a tournequet and become very uncomfortable or even dangerous.

When tying, make sure you don’t contort any body part to an impossible position. Some people are less flexible than others and doing something you’ve seen the „pros“ do in photos, like getting her elbows to touch is rare and most difficult positions are often not a reality. On the other hand, if you’re both dedicated to trying that difficult position you saw or read about, go about it carefully and slowly. Pilates, yoga and lots of stretching will make you/your subject more flexible in general and stretching before being bound in a stringent position is a must.

Be extra careful with suspension bondage — read more about this in my „Suspension“ section below.

Never leave a bound and/or gagged sub alone. They rely on you for their safety! Remember — you like them helpless, you’re the reason they’re helpless now and you must take care of them properly. (This is the part I like best!)

Have a pair of EMT, or „Safety“ scissors (or something similar — Safety Scissors have a blunt edge to get between the ropes and the skin so your subject won’t be cut by the scissors freeing them) handy to get your sub out of bondage quickly in case of emergency (even something as un-serious, but still nerve-wreaking as the kids at the door!). They should be good enough to cut your strongest set of cuffs or thihckest ropes off in case of emergency. Remember — you can always replace your bondage gear — if you don’t get your submissive out of a tough situation quickly, you may not get the chance to use that gear again anyways! Panic Snaps are a quick release hardware piece that can be quickly and very easily opened even under a heavy load and are highly recommended for Suspension bondages.

Always have a safeword or safe gesture if gagged. Words like „please“ and „No!“ are sometimes a part of the game — play safe and make sure you’re not misunderstood. If your safeword is „Giraffe“, you or your Dom/me knows that something is wrong, you need to stop NOW or back off, things are getting too intense. Choosing a word that’s unlikely to come up lets you be certain the word is heeded and play stops until things are sorted out, not that there’s a giraffe sneaking up on you. For well-gagged subs, finger snapping works too! (see „For Both“ below for more info.)

For the Submissive (aka Bottom):

Make sure you know the person binding you well enough that they will respect your limitations and safewords or safe gestures (see more on safewords below in the „For Both“ section).

Use your safeties when needed without fail! Your Top can’t read your mind and it’s your responsibility to make sure you do not let anything proceed that makes you uncomfortable. If they don’t know, they can’t do anything about it. This includes loosing feeling in your arms/legs/wherever, difficulty breathing when gagged, the whipping is too hard, you’ve had enough of something and can’t take any more, etc.
A good addition to a „Stop“ safeword is a „That’s enough of that, let’s do something else“ safeword. Some submissives employ the „Red“ (STOP!), „Yellow“ (Go easy, slow down, take it easy) or even „Green“ when everything is good and the Dom/me is looking to determine if they should stop the session or if you’re ok — and you want to continue. True, you rarely hear about „Green“, but if you used „Yellow“ to slow down, or „Red“ to stop an activity, you may want to use „Green“ to get them going agan if you just wanted that to stop, but you’re not ready to be untied or stop the session yet — in other words, you’re not finished playing yet!

For Both:

Know your safeword / safe sound / safe gesture! Part of (role)playing often involves the idea of being „forced“ in which the sub might beg or say „no“, „please don’t“, „stop“ or something similar as part of their role in the game. This makes it confusing for the Top unless you have a safeword, sound or gesture. The idea of a safeword is to say something like „yellow“ to slow down or not push limitations or „red“ which means stop now! For bondage which includes a gag that may make your safeword hard to understand, a safe sound or gesture is needed, such as snapping your fingers if you’re able. Make sure it’s something the sub can do and the Top understands! As a bottom, it’s your responsibility to speak up — or gesture if you’re gagged — to keep yourself safe since your top won’t always know unless you tell them. Especially since a clamp that feels good in one situation may hurt really bad in another — that’s what’s commonly referred to as being in „sub-space“. Or on one day, you really loved something and on another, it feels terrible. For the Top, this means paying close attention to your submissive and respecting their safe words and gestures. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for their safety and they trust you with their greatest gift of all — their personal safety. That’s a big responsibility and one not to be taken lightly. Subs, this doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to let them know! (If something does happen, I suggest talking about it immediately in terms of „I would rather you…“ rather than „I don’t like it when you…“ to avoid making a bad situation worse by placing „blame“. It just happened to happen and if you learn from it, this experience will make all your other playtimes that much better!)

Talk, talk, talk! Sharing fantasies is sexy, but it also serves another purpose. It’s better to let someone know that you don’t like something before it happens to you and create problems in a relationship! A more formal way of discussing this is called „Negotiating a Scene“ where you both talk about what will happen and what the limitations of both are beforehand.

For more information, read SM 101, Learning the Ropes, The Art of Sensual Female Dominance or one of the many similar books in my Bondage Books section.

There are many types of cuffs, designed to fit your every desire and use. I have dainty cuffs, serious cuffs and everything in between. You can choose from pvc vinyl, latex, rubber, leather and patent leather styles. Suspension cuffs are larger and sometimes padded to reduce the strain of suspension. You can select from wide styles, padded styles or styles with lots of hardware. One of my favorites is my Deluxe Buckling Wrist Cuffs and Deluxe Buckling Ankle Cuffs. I’ve worn them so often that they’re like a comfortable pair of shoes and I actually sleep better with them on! You’ll find your own favorite pair by selecting a pair you like according to what you’d like to use them for. Most any pair of wrist cuffs will do the same thing, but there’s a couple things you need to know:

Beginner’s / Soft Bondage: I’ve got quite a bit for the nervous beginner and these soft cuffs are just the thing to make a novice sub with butterflies feel more comfortable about being bound. They’re soft, sexy and some are nearly as strong as some leather cuffs. There’s a lot to choose from and they’re mainly personal preference as they’re all very similar. Most use a heavy velcro closure which is surprisingly strong and very easy to put on and remove quickly for quick fun without fuss.

Latex and Rubber cuffs: Rubber cuffs are heavier and can be used for restraining & struggling while latex is much thinner, mainly for appearance and the feeling of being bound. Latex cuffs are not made to withstand serious struggling. Struggling hard in your latex cuffs could cause them to rip or tear. On the other hand, they look and feel great, plus you can get them wet! There’s a different feeling to the lighter cuffs and depending on what you want to use them for, they might be the sexier, more comfortable alternative for youe specific playtime ideas.

Wide and more serious cuffs: My Total Control set is my widest at 4» wide and have the most hardware on them. They are very sturdy and will withstand a very fiesty sub! (On top of it, these were MY personal design, so I tend to favor them a bit more because of that! *wink*) We also carry padded styles that help make any serious cuffs a little softer.

«Public» cuffs and the lighter side: We carry a lot of less serious, pretty cuffs that can be used for those times when you’re feeling soft and don’t want to be bound in heavy cuffs. Check our «Public Wear Bondage Gear» category for some sexy, but less obvious bondage gear you can wear out and about as a sexy secret between you and your lover.

Serious fun! Suspension toys are typically for more experienced players, but with a little knowledge, you can have a lot of fun! Suspension cuffs are larger and sometimes padded to reduce the strain of suspension. The wider cuffs are designed to spread the stress over a larger area to reduce strain and promote proper circulation when suspended. It is very important to make certain your hardware is capable of suspending the proper weight. Make sure to check the «working load» rating on hardware. This is different than just a hanging what’s known as «dead weight» which is weight that does not move. «Working Load» refers to the additional strain put on a piece of hardware by movement and struggling. Where the actual load might be 110 lbs on a scale, the working load of a moving 110 lb subject would be more like 140 lbs. or more depending on just how feisty your submissive can be, so make sure you use hardware that can hold much more than the weight of your subject. Also, make sure you attach your hardware into a ceiling joist or door frame that can handle the weight without pulling out. You may want to invest in a «stud sensor» for finding a stud or joist to connect into without making a lot of holes in the ceiling trying to find one!

Panic Snaps are an invaluable piece of hardware that can be opened to release quickly and easily even under a heavy weight. There are Panic Snaps in every pro’s gear and you should have them too if you do any kind of suspension.

Always keep a close eye on your sub and their bondage in a suspension situation. It’s always preferable to suspend with more than one limb accepting the weight. Know what you or your sub can take and any physical condition which may make a particular position risky. It’s never a good idea to use soft or sensitive areas like the stomach or neck to support the weight of your subject. You may attach a rope to a gag trainer or tie the hair for effect, but always be certain your subject’s weight is supported by a sturdy body structure like the rib cage, hips/thighs and so forth.

For beginners to suspension, how about a love swing? They’re even somewhat vanilla for novice players! Once you’ve got the swing, you can tie or cuff your lover to it — instant suspension bondage that’s very comfortable! Some of the swings we carry even include cuffs, stirrups and straps that are just right for bondage!

There are endless of ways to bind and be bound in rope, wraps and straps, the most flexible (literally) of all bondage gear! The key to doing it safely is by not tying too tightly in a way that might hinder circulation or bind to a body part that cannot accept the amount of stress you’re putting on it by a stringent position. Duration of the position is also a very important factor. You’ll get to know your partner and what you or they can endure and for how long by going slowly. Build up to more difficult positions and stringent bondages. When playing with wrap (such as wrapping large portions or the entire body, sometimes referred to as «mummification»), be sure the room is kept at a comfortable temperature. Plastic wrap keeps heat in and the body will quickly overheat if you’re not careful. It’s a good idea to have a robe or other cover up handy to lessen the shock after a long session of plastic wrapping.
To learn to tie beautifully rather than just functionally, books with diagrams help, plus practice, practice, practice! You can select from one of many books on the subject in our bookstore.

There’s a lot to see and play with here, but the aforementioned FAQ’s cover the most common and important questions and possibilities. Most of your choice really comes down to personal preference. If you have any further questions about something specific, please contact us! We’re happy to help!


Autumn LeFleur
Autumn LeFleur

Author