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Beginner Bondage: Honey, Can We Get a Little Knotty Tonight?

by William Stitt from picnoi.com
A guest post by Gray "Dancer" Miller

It’s a lot easier than it used to be.

There was a time when “that kinky stuff” was a deal breaker in relationships, considered “sick” and “perverted” (and that’s the nice way to put it). It was mocked in sitcoms and associated with serial killers and worse in movies and TV.

Then came Anne Rice, and The Secretary, and Lady Heather on CSI, and the incredible breakout success of 50 Shades of Grey, which you could see people reading on the subway.

Suddenly it’s a lot easier to say to your lover: Hey, can we try something a little kinky tonight? because you can add Y’know, like they did in the movie… and not have to be talking about porn.

Testing the Waters

But what if you’re not quite there yet? Maybe you know that you want to try it, but your partner is one of the few people who has no idea what Mr. Grey does in his spare time, and you’re really not sure how to bring it up casually over the dinner table. Here’s a few suggestions:

  1. by William Stitt from picnoi.com

    by William Stitt from picnoi.com

    Keep it casual. Believe it or not, dinner is a fine time to bring it up. Or on a ride home, or just while hanging out on the couch. It takes the pressure off of both of you (compared to the dreaded “Honey, we need to talk”) and if they don’t seem interested it gives you an easy exit strategy because there’s something else to focus on.

  2. Create a safe space. One of the first things that your partner may think when you talk about adding some kink to the mix is: ”I’m not satisfying you! What’s wrong with me?” So put the whole question into a safe container, something like “Sex with you is absolutely amazing, and I feel so safe with you…that’s why I feel like I can ask you if we can try to explore some fantasies that I’ve been having about us, just to see if we like it…
  3. Have an idea of what you want. It can be as simple as an image (“You know that part in the preview where the rope tightens around her wrist? That was kinda hot.”) or it can be a whole scenario (“I want you to be Steve Rogers on Themyscira and see what my golden lasso can get out of you…”). In the words of the Sex Geek Reid Mihalko, don’t ask for what you think they’ll agree to, ask for what you want. Why? Because the surprising fact is that they’re likely to agree to whatever you suggest, so you might as well make it what you really want.
  4. Surprise is not your friend. In romance novels, the heroine pulls out the handcuffs with a sultry smile and hot sexy times ensue. In reality, if you suddenly pull out rope when your partner isn’t expecting it, it’s not likely to go that smoothly. It’s better to talk about things first, and then plan on a special time to explore these new possibilities.

In general, when you first try out some kinky times, make it a playful, low-pressure situation. Leave room for mistakes and laughter and shared goofiness along with the sexy times. The more you can take the pressure off of each other, the more likely you are to have a good time.

Great, But What Do We Do?

When you’re looking at something that turns you on, it’s important to remember a few things:

  • You don’t really want to be doing that thing they’re doing – you want to be feeling the way those people are feeling.
  • Except you don’t really want to be feeling that – you want to be feeling the way you think those people are feeling.

That’s the thing about looking at things like bondage: it’s a bunch of ties and ropes that are supposed to evoke a certain feeling in the people who are in them. But the kinds of ties and harnesses that make one person feel totally submissive and sexy may make someone else feel embarrassed and silly.

So it’s better to start out with: how do you want to feel? Once you start out with that, you can start making decisions that work towards that feeling:

  • Sensation: Are you looking for secure but comfortable bondage? Cotton ropes are your friend (and they’re cheap!). Wait, you say you like a little pain to spice it up? Go to the hardware store and look for some Sisal or Coconut rope. Doing some shiny fetish photography? Nylon comes in many gorgeous colors to match your outfit. If you’re wanting to get into things like Japanese suspension, you’re going to want some good treated hemp from a vendor like Twisted Monk.
  • Action: What’s the goal? Is it just feeling sexy, or are you wanting to end in a happy sweaty puddle of orgasm? If you normally cum with a vibrator, a rope isn’t likely to change that – but there are certainly ties that can help it along, as well as ties that are specifically designed to get it on fast and hard. However, if you’re wanting to do some decorative, complex ties, enjoy that sensation and save the sex for later. The rope won’t care. But your partner will care, so make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to what you want to get out of your rope play.
  • Have a Plan: Especially when you’re trying it out for the first time, have an idea of what you’re going to be doing. Rope bondage ties take some practice and learning, so plan on that: have the video pulled up on your iPhone, or the book open on the coffee table, and leave the lights up for now so you can see what you’re doing. Have fun figuring things out together, and see how the basic building blocks of single-column ties and body harnesses can inspire your fantasies of control and role-play and hot sex.
  • Check In: There’s a lot of talk about “safe words” when people talk about kink, but when you’re starting to play around with rope and kink, it’s better to just use good old-fashioned communication. “Ow, that’s too tight,” and “Ooh, that feels nice!” is going to get you where you want to go a lot faster than waiting for your partner to say “Rutabaga!

That check-in should go beyond just the play time you set aside to try out kinky bondage. Ask your partner what they liked about it, what they might want to change, and think about it yourself. Then you can bring those ideas next time and continue your intimate journey into kink together.  

Further Learning

If you want to learn some specific bondage ties and get more detailed instruction, these step-by-step videos at Kink Academy are wonderful resources: 

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