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Guide to Bondage Restraints

Guide to Bondage Restraints

When introducing a bit of kink to the bedroom, using bondage restraints is often one of the first places that couples start with their BDSM journey. But not all BDSM play needs to involve a red room a la Fifty Shades of Grey. It can just be as simple as tying your partner's hands to the bed frame with some fluffy handcuffs (if that's what you're after).

Somewhat ironically, the act of bondage is one of the most liberating sexual experiences you can enjoy. With your arms and/or legs bound in some way, you are completely at your partner’s mercy while they explore and pleasure you, allowing you to just let everything else go and get lost in the moment.

Equally - for the dominant partner (the one doing the tying up), being in complete control of their lover, knowing they are the one responsible for their partner’s pleasure is a huge turn-on.

When it comes to locking down your lover, there are lots of different types of BDSM restraints. Many people are a bit nervous about being tied up - and understandably. What if we lose the key? What if I can’t undo the knot? Do we need a safeword? What if it leaves a mark on my body that people will see?

All very understandable questions and concerns. And very good reasons why we would always recommend using proper restraints, intended for bondage play. A lot of people have been known to reach for a pair of silky stockings to tie up their lover, and whilst this seems very sexy, they’re probably one of the worst things to use. The material of stockings makes for very small knots which are often very difficult to untie - plus, they can tighten whilst you're writhing in pleasure, deepening the knot further, leaving your partner running off to find a pair of scissors to release you - talk about mood killer!

If you're new to the world of BDSM, take a look at our Beginners Guide to Bondage post which goes into a bit more detail on how to get started. But if you're ready to crack the whip (pun intended), there’s a huge range of options to choose from - whether you’re looking to tie up wandering hands or hold your lover in a sexual position,  here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular bondage restraints.

Blindfolds

One of the most simple but effective sex toys, a blindfold inhibits the wearer's sight which then heightens all their other senses, making them more responsive to touch, taste, smell and sound, bringing new levels of anticipation and eroticism to the bedroom.

Wrist and Ankle Bondage Cuffs 

When you think of wrist restraints, classic metal handcuffs are probably the first thing you think of. Which are fine if you're going for a bit of cops 'n' robbers role play. But they're not everyone’s cup of tea as they can be quite uncomfortable, and possibly even leave a mark. 

Instead, our best sellers and what we usually recommend are leather cuffs that do up with a buckle. Not only do they look super sexy, but for the wearer, they’re actually pretty comfortable, keeping those wrists and ankles firmly in place without any digging or chafing. When it comes to locking up those limbs, these cuffs come with easy-release trigger clips - so no keys that you need to worry about losing. Plus, in the heat of the moment, you can detach and reattach the cuffs to each other, a spreader bar, or other restraints as you move positions. If leather's not your thing, there's also a great choice of high-quality PU leather and vegan-friendly faux leather options too.

Bondage Rope

Immensely versatile, the classic bondage rope can be used to bind your lover however you please, whether you want to tie their hands together, to the bed, or into a submissive position, rope is great for first-timers and extreme BDSM play alike. Before you start heading to your local DIY store, it's important to use purpose-made bondage rope that will hold knots well, won’t chafe the skin and won’t cause nasty rope burns. It’s probably also worth spending a bit of time practicing your knots - and that's before you’ve started tying up your partner. Be sure you know a couple of good knots that will hold in place, but are easy to get out of when you’re done.

If you really want to go to town, the ancient Japanese art of rope tying has swept the world over the last few years. Using intricate and beautiful knots and patterns, Shibari is more than an erotic fetish, it's a form of art used to restrain and give sensation to the body as well as relaxation and mental stimulation.

Spreader Bar

These extendable metal bars have detachable cuffs at either end which then fasten to your wrists, ankles or knees to hold them apart during erotic play. With your legs stretched wide, you’re completely exposed and at your partner’s mercy!

Hogties

Hogties are used to fix your partner or sub in a specific position, usually securing their wrists to their legs. Shaped as a cross or X that you attach your wrist cuffs and thigh cuffs or ankle cuffs to, leaving your sub securely bound into a position of your choosing!

Collars

One of the classics when it comes to bondage gear, a collar is one of the ultimate symbols of a dom/sub power exchange and showing who’s in charge. Most collars come with an O-ring at the front to clip on a lead which can then be used to move the wearer, or you can use the ring for attaching other bondage accessories or harnesses.

Nipple Clamps

For those that like a little pain with their pleasure, nipple clamps not only add an aesthetically pleasing bondage look to your sex play but wearing them increases sensitivity to the area. There are various options including some that look like peg-style clips, but for the first time nipple-clamp players, opt for an adjustable set. These grip with a little slider, so you can start gently and then work up to a tighter pinch.

Ball Gags

Gags, like most restraints, are all about deprivation and humiliation. If you’re looking to try gags for the first time, be aware that some of them can be quite hard and uncomfortable (which is the intention for many people who are into more extreme BDSM play). We’d always recommend starting with a silicone ball gag which will be a bit softer and more pliable, and aim for one with holes that will allow you to breathe through both your nose and mouth.

Bondage Tape

In our opinion - if you’re going to buy one bondage restraint, make it bondage tape. Highly versatile, you can use it to tie up wrists, legs or even keep your sub quiet with a strip over their mouth!

Cleverly designed to stick only to itself, rather than skin, you can twist this tape over your partner’s body a few times and it will form a strong bond, holding them firmly in place and at your mercy, without any agony when you peel it off later.

Under the bed restraint kits

There's a common misconception that you need an ornate metal bed frame for tying up your lover, but if like most people, you’ve just got a normal bed, you’re still in luck. These brilliant bed bondage restraint sets have straps that slip under the mattress with ankle and wrist cuffs at each corner. So you can still get the full spreadeagled effect, even if you don’t have sturdy bedposts.

Bedroom restraints and positioning kits

If you want to get more creative with your sexual positioning but don't have space for your own dungeon, there's an excellent range of restraint systems that you can use in your own home. From over-the-door sex swings to leg slings, they're are all heavy-duty enough to keep your partner held in position, but can all be tidied away in the drawer when you're done and no one would be any the wiser!

Bondage Kits

If you're looking to begin your BDSM toy collection, a good bondage set is a good place to start. These helpful kits come with a range of bondage toys with everything you need. Smaller kits include all the basics such as wrist cuffs, ankle restraints and blindfolds. Then the more deluxe versions come with ball gags, hogties and even under-the-bed restraint straps. 

So if you're ready to explore your BDSM fetish fantasy, head over to the bondage section of our site where you'll find a huge selection of all the bondage gear you can think of. While you're there, choose a few extra toys to spice up your play, such as a vibrator or butt plug to stimulate your lover, and don't forget the lube!