By: James Bryant

Copied from "The Beginners Guide To Dominance and Submission" and used here with permission.


Chapter 5 - Bondage

Bondage is a tool used by the Dom to restrict the movement of, or to immobilize the sub. Binding can be used for correction, but it is often used for pleasure, depending on the particular D/s relationship. During bondage, the Dom has complete control over the sub, but this depends on the type of binding used. There are a variety of restraints you can purchase at your local adult bookstore, or through catalogs. Each one has its own use and purpose. Regardless of the style of restraint, they should all be somewhat comfortable to wear but restrictive, and should not cut off blood circulation. If the sub is extremely uncomfortable, they will have attention on their body and not fully on the Dom.

During bondage, the Dom has almost complete control of the sub's body, and can use the time for instruction, punishment, teasing, or can bring the sub to orgasm at the Dom's wishes. In order to be bound, there has to be a deep level of trust by the sub for the Dom. It is at this time more than any other that the Dom needs to be very perceptive of the cues the sub will give. When a sub is bound, the chance for injury jumps drastically, and the sub is not in a position to defend or assist herself. It is an act of total submission to allow yourself to be bound, and the sub is trusting the Dom to do the right thing. Therefore, the Dom must be in complete control of himself while handling a bound sub. Drinking or taking drugs before bondage is not recommended.

NOTE :  The following items should be used with extreme care. It is very easy to permanently injure or even kill another person with these items. If you are unsure of how to use these items, get the assistance of experienced D/s couples.



Rope bondage is the most common. This includes rope, scarves, neckties, belts, or any other multi-purpose item used to restrain the sub. Usually, the hands are bound to each other, but they can be bound to the thighs, waist, behind the back, or above the head. The sub can also be bound to another object such as a chair, shower curtain rod, hook in the ceiling, and many other places where you can tie off a rope. The feet can also be bound together, or apart.

NOTE: Care must be taken with rope. It is very easy to cut off circulation, or cause rope burns. Use a soft, large diameter rope, such as nautical rope. Check your sub frequently. The more the sub struggles, the tighter the rope becomes.


Normally, these are special items made of nylon webbing or leather. These are items that go a step beyond mere binding of hands or feet. They are much more difficult to get out of, and are more restrictive. Some strap items bind the wrists to the thighs, or to the ankles. Strap bondage items tend to be for a single purpose.

NOTE: When using strap items, check them thoroughly before use. If the item is frayed, ripped, has loose attachments, or is discolored, either repair the damage or throw the item away.



Cuffs are mainly used for wrist and arm restraint. When referring to leg and ankle restraint, they are normally called shackles. They can be made from many different materials, from nylon with Velcro closings, to leather, to metal. Care must be taken in using cuffs since a tight fit can cut off circulation. Cuffs can be used to bind the hands to the sub's waist, ankles, thighs, or to other objects. Usually, when hand or thumbcuffs are not used, the cuff is a specialized item that binds an extremity to another object, one or two at a time.

NOTE: I do not recommend police-style handcuffs for bondage. They do hurt, and can cause skin and tendon damage. Use a wrist strap device made for the purpose



Since chains can cause injury to the skin, they are normally used to support cuffs, or to hold up a suspension device. However, some Doms use chain directly on the skin because it will not tighten accidentally. Choose a smooth, finished chain, and use quick-release clasps.

NOTE: Chains can twist and catch skin, pinching or tearing it. Examine your chains before use, and if there is damage, do not use the item.



Collars are devices that go around the neck of the sub. They can be made of leather or nylon. Chains or straps can be attached to it to secure the hands or legs. These devices can be different from a standard collar which shows ownership.

NOTE: Beginners should avoid the use of collars, or anything which goes around the neck of a sub in the beginning. It is very easy to inadvertently choke your sub.



Bars, also called spreader bars, are used to separate extremities from each other. They are normally around 2-3 feet long, though the size varies. The ends of the bar can be attached to cuffs around the wrists, ankles, or neck. The bar enables the Dom to control the movement of the sub, and enables the Dom to access certain body areas easily.

NOTE: Care should be taken to ensure the connectors on the ends of the bars are securely fastened, because if a connector comes loose, the bar could swing around and strike either the sub or the Dom.


Suspension Devices

Suspension devices are used to raise the sub off the floor. These devices are more advanced, and are best left alone if you are inexperienced.


Specialty Items

These items include padded boards, gymnastic horses, racks, crosses, benches, stocks, and many other items. These items are expensive and normally take up large amounts of space. Before purchasing these, make sure you have room for them in your home. They are also advanced bondage items.

For the beginner, I would suggest using what you have in the house. Gym equipment, the dining room table, chairs, shower curtain rods, placing a hook above the door frame, or a four poster bed work very well for training purposes. A Dom does not need a fully equipped dungeon to properly train a submissive.

As you acquire more specialized bondage items over time, remember to inspect the item carefully before placing it on your sub. If the item is frayed or cut, or has broken clasps, throw it away. It is dangerous to use damaged items. At best, it is an unnecessary interruption of play. At worst, your sub could be injured. These are the Dom's tools. Keep them in working order.


Copyright James Bryant, © 1998, 1996, 1995 by The Bryant Press
First Electronic Edition © 1996 by The Bryant Press
Previous Edition: The Beginner's Guide to Bondage and Domination
All rights reserved.
The Beginners Guide to Dominance and Submission








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