Restraining dominance and submission

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Physical bondage is awesome.

One of the reasons I say that is because there are so many different ways of doing it.

You can do light bondage, such as by tying your lovely to the bedposts with silk scarves (assuming you are lucky enough to have bedposts). Some people consider blindfolds to be part of bondage and they're just as easy and light to apply at the same time.

You can get a bit more serious and buy yourself some soft cotton rope or cord and start tying ankles together or tying hands behind backs.

You can get more serious still and try out a hogtie.

You can get long pieces of clear kitchen wrap and go for a sort of mummified look with opportune holes in the wrap for easy access to some of the more interesting body parts which may lay inside.

You can use coarse rope, thin rope, thick rope, stretchy rope, string, duct tape (over clothing because duct tape can stick nastily to skin) or even superglue (with a lot of care and please keep some nail polish handy to dissolve it). All these create different sensations.

You can use metal bondage - chains, metal clamps, handcuffs or leg irons. You can even use cages.

You can tie someone loosely so that they can still move around a bit or even so that they can have a chance of escaping... and there are plenty of escapologist submissives bottoms out there, I can assure you.

You can have someone really, really tightly restrained so that can't even wiggle their fingers, or you could put a collar or leg iron on them, attach a long chain between it and a bolt on a wall and then they can move their arms, legs and body around as much as they want - they just can't go very far.

You can do partial restraint. You can tie just one arm. Or you can tie both arms behind their back and leave them to wander the apartment in mild frustration. This can be good at a party where you hang a tray over their neck like the ones cigarette girls used to carry, and have them take around drinks and bring back empty glasses.

You can even have restraint which isn't restraint at all but which feels restraining, such as breast bondage, body harnesses or rope corsets.

Most BDSM and leather folk are familiar with short bondage scenes or even overnight bondage scenes where you keep your tied-up partner in bed with you, but bondage scenes can also be quite long. You can have someone chained up for the whole of a weekend, or longer, and as long as you take care to feed and toilet them it'll be quite fine.

There are many reasons why people do bondage. It can cathartic. It can be empowering. It can create exciting feelings of helplessness. It can be extremely intimate. It can build trust.

One excellent characteristic of bondage is that you can very quickly turn it off. You can undo the ropes, unlock the padlocks or open the cage and the scene is over. This is different to, say, flogging, caning or whipping where bruises, cuts or tenderness can last for days after the last blow.

Oddly though, it's quite common to think of dominance and submission (and mastery and slavery) in quite limited terms even though there's no reason why we can't have a similar variety, similar range and similar breadth of dominance and submission as bondage aficionados have with rope and chains.

Dominance and submission and mastery and slavery aren't limited to single ideas of service, sexual availability, kneeling or special clothing so it's useful to consider and compare the different types of physical bondage which exist to what might be their dominance-and-submission equivalents.

  • Micromanaging a slave or a submissive might be like the use of coarse, rough rope in bondage,
  • Setting a goal and then letting a slave work out for themselves how they're going to achieve it could be like using soft, cotton rope tied loosely,
  • Tying someone, or mummifying them, could be like placing a stationary slave in a corner as decoration or on a table as a candle holder, and
  • Switching from formal protocol to casual protocol might be the equivalent of cutting off or loosening part of a rope tie.

What other comparisons can you make?

What we can do is consider that slavery and submission have psychological or spiritual parallels to physical bondage. We can be just as open to finding new ways to explore them as bondage fans are with rope and whatever else they can get their hands on that can be pressed to purpose.

When we do see dominance, submission, mastery or slavery just in terms of service or sex then aren't we actually applying restraints to ourselves in an unproductive way? We're applying a sort of bondage to ourselves which limits what we do but it doesn't lead us to catharsis or empowerment. Instead, it simply keeps us in a little alley while there are streets and even a whole city waiting for us outside.