Bondage 101: Now That My Partner is Tied Down...Now What?

Okay, so now what? What do you actually do with a partner who's at your mercy, bound to the bed?

You'll find answers to that question scattered all over this Web site, but for new, let's talk about a few specifics about restraining your partner, about creating a psychological environment, and about what to do with a partner who's tied down and helpless.


For many people, the act of being restrained and helpless is, by itself, psychologically charged. The simple fact that you are restrained and unable to prevent your lover from doing whatever it is he or she wants to do is intoxicating, and intensifies everything else that happens, even if it's just no-frills sex.

You can play with this psychological charge to heighten your lover's awareness and anticipation. How you do this depends on you and your partner, but there are all kinds of things you can try.

Some people like having their arms restrained first, because it immediately restricts freedom and makes resisting very difficult. Other people like to start with the ankles, because it heightens the anticipation of impending helplessness.

With many kinds of kinky sex play, including bondage, adding a blindfold increases the sense of powerlessness and anticipation still more. When your partner can't tell what you're about to do, the emotional impact, and the excitement, are increased considerably. Again, some people like being blindfolded before being bound, to jump immediately into that sense of helplessness; other people like adding the blindfold last, to increase the anticipation as the person is being bound.

Other things you can do to play with that sense of anticipation:

  • Tell your partner, as you are tying him or her up, some of the things you plan to do when he or she is helpless. Describe how your partner won't be able to prevent you from doing what you intend to do.
  • If you have expendable clothing, leave your partner dressed while you tie him or her up, then rip or cut the clothing off after your partner is bound.

Once your partner is bound, blindfolded, and naked, it's time to have some fun. A good way to begin is with a thorough body massage, with just a hint of kink. Pour some massage oil along your partner's body; or better yet, use some body wax candles, which burn cooler than regular candles and turn into massage oil when you pour the hot drippings on your partner's body. Straddle your partner and give him or her a very long, sensual massage. Work your way down your partner's body, paying special attention to nipples and (if your partner is female) breasts. Keep moving down, lingering over your partner's inner thighs, teasing but not quite touching your partner's genitals.

When you've finished the massage, your partner should be quite ready for what comes next, which can be different depending on your mood and tastes. For example:

If teasing is your thing:

Once your partner is suitably worked up, you can start teasing in earnest. Run your fingertips very lightly between your partner's legs. Lean over to brush your partner's lips with your own, but draw back before he or she can actually kiss you. Explore your partner's body with the tips of your fingers, finding all the sensitive places that get a reaction. When your partner is even more worked up, bring your lips and tongue into the picture, teasing, nibbling, and licking.

Take your time. Linger over your partner, touching and teasing and licking, until he or she is quite frantic. If you like, you can make your partner beg before you give him or her any sort of sexual relief...or, if you're feeling particularly evil, don't offer your lover any relief at all!

If clips and clamps suit you:

Here's a fun game you can play: Once your partner is securely tied down, arrange several toys and implements--clothespins or clamps, a vibrator or two, perhaps a paddle or crop, an ice cube, maybe a Wartenberg wheel, or whatever else strikes your fancy--on the night stand. Assign a number between one and however many of the various implements you have to each one.

Then, with your partner securely blindfolded, have him or her pick a number and a part of the body, such as "seven left nipple," "four inner thigh," or whatever. Use that implement on that part of the body--clamp a clothespin to your partner's left nipple, run the ice cube along his or her thigh, and so forth. Then randomly scramble the numbers, and do it again.

If you like, you can combine elements from both of these. Tease and nibble your partner between rounds of the number game, or roll dice to decide how many rounds to play before you finally bring your partner to ecstasy. Another variant: Assign numbers to all the implements you have, and then assign another number to "teasing with fingertips" and a number to "teasing with lips and tongue." This way, you can add teasing into the mix without letting your partner know what will happen next.

You can find other fun ideas in the scenarios section and the cuffs section, too.

What you'll need

Many of these things are talked about in greater depth in other sections of this site. For the scenarios I describe here, a few things that might come in handy include:

Basic Nylon Rope
25' lengths, available in
white or black
Standard, straightforward nylon rope, which is inexpensive, soft, and strong. 25' is a good working length for rope, and this rope is available in black or white. It's good for basic bondage, and for tying rope harnesses as described in the other sections of this Web site.

Basic Wrist Cuffs
Adjustable cuffs
with reinforced leather
These are solid, functional, inexpensive wrist cuffs suitable for basic bondage. Each includes a solid metal D-ring that makes attaching a rope or snap hook. These cuffs are comfortable and easily adjusted. Available in black, red, or pink.

Leather Ankle Cuffs
Adjustable leather cuffs
with D-ring
Like the wrist cuffs above, these are solid, functional, inexpensive ankle cuffs that work well for basic bondage. Each includes a solid metal D-ring that makes attaching a rope or snap hook. These cuffs are comfortable and easily adjusted. Available in black, red, or pink.

Fleece-Lined Leather "Cat Eye" Blindfold
Rugged purple leather with black fleece lining on the inside and adjustable elastic strap
This well-designed, uniquely feminine leather blindfold is very comfortable and features an adjustable strap. It can be worn for extended periods of time and is highly effective. It's also quite attractive, and looks great when worn.

Body Wax Scented Candles
Soy wax and massage oil, cool-burning scented candle
Sensual scented candles designed for hot wax play made of clean-burning wax and massage oil, these candles are available in several different scents. The melted wax turns into massage oil when dripped on your partner's skin. This is a great way to combine temperature play, sensation play, and sensual massage all in one.

Gripper Clothespins
Black with rubber lining
Set of 25
These clothespins offer an improvement over the ordinary wooden variety in that the gripping surface is lined with rubber. This helps prevent the clothespins from slipping off accidentally, which can be somewhat startling, and not in a good way. They're also quite a bit more attractive, I think.

Chain Tweezer Clamps
Silver with black vinyl tips
Tweezer nipple clamps are a fun, mild, and versatile way to add a little extra fun in the bedroom. They're pretty, pleasurable, and easy to use, and they're mild enough to wear for extended periods of time. If you're especially naughty, try wearing them in public beneath your clothes!

Bell Tweezer Clamps
Vinyl-coated tweezer clamps
with attached bell; come in pairs.
These bell clamps are just fun. The adjustable tweezer-style clamps are quite mold to moderate, and the bell rings whenever the person wearing them moves. These clamps work great on nipples, labia, and the underside of the penis, and turn your partner into a squirming musical instrument.

Wartenberg Wheel
Stainless steel neurological
One of the most basic sensation toys, the classic Wartenberg wheel is a must-have for anyone who likes playing with sensation. You can find a specially fitted carrying sheath for it here, which will prevent it from snagging anything you store it with.


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