Bondage 101: Tying to the Bed

When you say the word "bondage," the first thing that springs to many people's minds is the idea of tying a partner down to the bed and having fun. While bondage covers a lot more territory than that, it's a good place to start...and yes, it is a lot of fun.

If you have a bed with bedposts, you're in business. Tying someone spread eagle to the bed can be as simple as attaching a bit of rope to each bed post and then tying the rope to your partner's wrists and ankles, though for safety, comfort, and convenience I generally recommend using cuffs instead of tying the rope directly to your partner's limbs. They're easier to use, and less likely to cut off circulation...remember, if you keep your partner comfortable, you get to play longer!

"But I don't have a four-poster bed!"

But what if you don't have a bed with bedposts? It's difficult to tie someone to the bed without bedposts, right?

Fear not; there are some simple solutions to this problem. You can tie someone to a bed quite easily even if the bed appears to lack anything to affix a rope to. I'll talk about three ways to do that here.

And what do you do once you have your partner tied to the bed? We'll talk about that as well.


The fastest, cheapest way to tie someone to a bed that lacks the convenience of bedposts involves using two lengths of rope, each about 15-30' long, depending on how large your bed is. It's fast, it's simple, and it works with nearly all beds. Here's what you do:

  1. Find a couple of wrist cuffs that have D-rings or some other attachment point. Slip the rope through the D-rings. Lay the rope across the mattress so that one end just touches the floor, and decide where you'd like the cuffs to be. Slide the cuffs to the positions where you'd like them, then tie them in place. You'll have a rope with two wrist cuffs tied along it.
  2. Lay the rope back across the mattress, about a foot or so from the head of the bed. Take the long end of the rope and pass it underneath the mattress. Bring it back out the other side, and tie it in place. You can use even a simple granny knot to do this. When you're done, you'll have a rope tied completely around the head of the mattress, with two wrist cuffs just where you want them to be.
  3. Repeat with the second rope and the ankle cuffs, around the foot of the bed.

By tying the rope all the way around the mattress and tying wrist and ankle cuffs to it, you have a quick, ready-made way to restrain your partner spread eagle on the bed without requiring any fixed part of the bed to tie the restraints to.


Economical and even more convenient. The ready-made under-the-mattress kit is a clever system that consists of long straps made of nylon webbing, which connect beneath the bed to a connector strap that passes around and underneath it. The kit also includes four Velcro cuffs, one for each strap, that connect to the ends of the straps.

This system is not the most secure in the world. With a little patience, a person restrained in this way can probably work free. Using different cuffs that aren't Velcro makes it a bit more secure, but it's probably not the best choice for people who really like secure, hard-core restraint. It's convenient, portable, and comfortable, though, making it a good choice for beginners and intermediate bondage fans.


Pricier but very, very clever and very flexible, the Sportsheets bondage bedsheets are perfect for people who like light bondage and convenience. Essentially, this is a soft, fuzzy fitted sheet that straps to your mattress. It includes four cuffs with "anchor pads"--large Velcro pads that you can attach anywhere to the sheet. This arrangement allows you to secure your partner in just about any position you can imagine.

Like the under-the-bed kit, the bondage bedsheets are not really all that secure; with a bit of effort, a bound person can work free. If hardcore, escape-proof bondage is your scene, these probably won't fill the bill for you, but they're fun and non-threatening, making them a good choice for nervous beginners and people who like a more casual approach to bondage.

So once you've worked out the mechanics of getting your partner tied to the bed, then the fun begins!, why are you looking at me like that? Doesn't everyone have an intuitive sense of what to do with a bound and helpless partner?

Well, don't worry. This stuff is not obvious. If you're looking for ideas, read on!

What you'll need


All you really need to explore bondage without a four-poster bed is two lengths of rope and a set of cuffs that matches your tastes. You can find the rope anywhere; look for soft cotton or nylon rope. I personally like 25' lengths for general use, and 25' or 40' lengths for rope harnesses. Avoid stiff nylon (which is quite coarse). Nylon and cotton can both be dyed, if you prefer something other than plain white, but dying nylon is more difficult. To save trouble, I usually just buy nylon rope that's already been dyed the color I want.

Cuffs are a good time-saver for use with any kinds of bondage. I've included an entire page on different types of cuffs and their use; for convenience, I've placed links to inexpensive basic cuffs here as well.

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.

Hemp Rope Starter Kit
One 30' length and two
10' lengths of 6mm organic
hemp rope, available
in three colors, plus
EMT scissors.
Hemp rope is the gold standard for BDSM play. Hemp rope is made from an entirely organic fiber. When properly cared for, it is soft and supple and has a "feel" unlike any other kind of rope, and the sensation of a hemp rope harness is like nothing else.

In the past, hemp rope has been relatively difficult to find when compared with nylon or cotton rope. However, you can now get hemp rope "starter kits" online at a remarkably reasonable price. Each kit contains one 30' length of hemp rope, two 10' lengths, and a pair of bandage scissors, and the rope is available either naturally colored or in blue or red.

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
band and 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.


Under-Bed Restraint System
Four 60" nylon under-mattress
straps, one connector strap,
and four nylon cuffs
An inexpensive, easy-to-use, and non-threatening way to explore basic bondage, the under-the-bed restraint system contains everything you need (straps, connecting tie, and a set of four cuffs). This makes a good introduction to light bondage, with quick and easy setup, and requires no knot-tying skills whatsoever. It's also portable--just the thing to throw into the suitcase when you go on vacation. The entire kit is an excellent bargain as far as bondage equipment goes.

Bondage for Sex
by Chanta Rose

This book covers many types of bondage for the purpose of sex. It outlines a number of different scenarios and is packed with ideas about integrating bondage and sex.


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