Saturday, December 31, 2011

Retro Post: The Big BDSM Rundown

Note: I did a fairly good job going through the various aspects of BDSM on my other blog.  Here it is:

Disclaimer:  Pictures are fun, therefore this entry is going to contain lots of them.  If you are offended by bound people, or nude or graphic images of bondage and sexual acts, you should go elsewhere.  There will be breasts and vaginas and penises.  Get over it.





It occurred to me, after talking with a few of my friends, that I should go through the nitty gritty details of BDSM.  A lot of people have vague concepts of restraint and inflicting pain, but don't have a good grasp of the specifics of the lifestyle, or quite simply, of what kinds of things people who are into bondage do.

BDSM stands for Bondage, Domination, Sadism, and Masochism.  A lot of people lump everything under bondage, but that is really only one component of BDSM.  I won't get into other fetishes (like feet) unless they directly apply to one of the above.

Ah, shall we begin?  (The correct answer is 'yes sir.')  I'm going to go through each letter, defining the gist of each aspect and then breaking them down into scenes or actions that fit into that component of BDSM.  If this sounds boring, remember, there will be nudie pictures.


B is for Bondage!


Simply put, bondage is restraint.  You could use rope, or handcuffs, or a number of types of dungeon furniture, but the basic premise is the physical restriction of movement.  It's probably the second most commonly practiced aspect of BDSM.  Half the people reading this probably have fuzzy handcuffs or fancy scarves stashed away somewhere.

There are several media and accessories you can use:

Rope (My personal favorite):  The type of rope depends largely on what you want to do with it.  I prefer a fairly soft (nylon or cloth) rope about 3/8" to 1/2" inch thick for any major tie points (wrists, ankles, thighs).  If you're doing something smaller, say breasts, or male or female genitals you can go smaller, even all the way down to floss depending on how devious you want to be.

Tape:  It sounds like a really bad idea unless you know that there is such a thing as Bondage Tape which only sticks to itself and not skin.

Irons:  This is where handcuffs fall along with many other devices.  Handcuffs in themselves have many sub-categories, from standard wrist and ankle cuffs with chains of varying lengths to thumb and toe cuffs.  There are also several different types of spreader bars, yokes, stockades, and even medieval devices like the scavenger's daughter.

Gags:  They don't do a whole lot to restrict physical movement, but I consider them to fall under bondage.  Personally I'm not a fan because I think there are much better things to put in someone's mouth.  Everyone is probably familiar with the bright red ball gag, but that's only the tip of the iceberg.  There are bit gags, the devious ring gag and Jennings dental gag, penis gags, dildo gags, inflatable gags, and even some more bizarre (and practical) gags.

Collars:  A lot of people are turned off to collars because they equate them with degradation and humiliation.  I would bet that a lot of people reading this blog though have delighted in dragging a boyfriend around by his tie, or pulling a girl's hair.  The principle is the same.  In the BDSM world, a collar is used to show ownership.  When a Dom gives a sub a collar they are solidifying their relationship and their roles within the relationship.  Lifestyle subs wear their collar 24/7 unless told otherwise.  (More on lifestyle BDSM later.)

Furniture (Another favorite of mine):  Most dungeons come equipped with three basic things.  A bed with several rungs, loops, or bars for tie points, a chair with the same thing, and a St. Andrew's Cross.  After these three things, most bondage furniture is custom made.  Perhaps a Dom wants a chair with a kneeler to use as an oral sex throne, or a bed with built in hospital restraints.  The possibilities are virtually limitless.

In itself, bondage is enough of a fetish to tide many couples over for the duration of their relationship.  It's so broad and so vague that there are endless possibilities if you have a little imagination.  In addition to a wide variety of positions such as hogites (above), strappado ties, and frogties, there are many sub-fetishes to bondage.


Suspensions.


Suspension bondage is exactly what it sounds like; the act of hanging someone off the ground either partially (balanced on one foot) or entirely as seen above.  The first reaction everyone is probably going to have is, "ouch," which isn't entirely off base.  Suspensions can be really comfortable, like lying in a hammock, or they can be among the most difficult ties.  The suspension shown above is (obviously) one of the harder ones.  Most of her weight sits on the ropes that run just below her waist, and the rest is distributed onto her shoulders as her upper body wants to succumb to gravity.  She was probably only in that position for 10-15 minutes tops.

The allure to suspensions for most people is that they are a very pure form of restraint.  If you're tied on the ground, you have friction.  Most of the time, unless you're bound to something, you can roll and wiggle and scoot across the room.  When you're suspended, you have nothing.  You can hang there, and maybe swing a little.  That's it.

As you can probably guess, it is a high-danger form of bondage.  I'm no suspension expert, but I know there are a lot of nerve endings in the body that you do not want to pinch or put too much pressure on because you can cause permanent damage.  The best bets to hold weight are the legs and hips (think climbing harnesses) and the arms and shoulders.  

Shibari

Shibari is a form of Japanese bondage that is just as much about being artistic as it is physically restraining someone.  One of the more interesting aspects to Japanese culture is that they believe that knots are insulting, thus true Shibari will have several complicated rope wraps to keep things snug, but no actual knots.  Oftentimes Shibari will not be used to restrain at all, but to merely create a wonderful symmetrical rope harness that can be as much a symbol of submission and artistic expression as it is a physical tool.

A lot of people are drawn to the intricate and perfectionist nature of Shibari.  Certainly a tie looks much better if the rope work is crisp and clean, and Shibari takes that to an even greater level.  It is especially handy in suspensions as a good rope harness can distribute weight quite evenly across the body.

Like any type of bondage tie, safety is paramount, mainly avoiding certain nerve clusters and uncomfortable tightness.  Many Shibari ties are extremely comfortable though and can even be worn under clothes for the duration of the day.  I do know how to do one such harness.


Predicament Bondage and Self Bondage: 


I lumped these two together because self-bondage is a form of predicament bondage.  Basically PB (tired of typing that) is bondage that puts the sub in an uncomfortable position that gets worse over time.  Probably the most common form is to force a model onto her tiptoes to take pressure off of a crotchrope or nipple clamps.  As she tires, the pain is going to intensify.

Self bondage usually requires some type of predicament for the performer to get themselves into it (since it's pretty much impossible to physically tie oneself satisfactorily).  A lot of SB practitioners make use of uncomfortable situations that take time to get out of, or time release cuffs.

PB enthusiasts like pushing their limits, specifically pain tolerance and physical stamina.  A bit of pain can heighten the contrasting sensations of physical pleasure.  SB practitioners usually are forced into their craft, not having anyone they trust to tie them up, or anyone on which to experiment besides themselves.  This is how I, and kink.com founder Peter Acworth got our introductions to bondage.

Neither one should be performed without some kind of failsafe.  PB probably needs someone watching at all times.  SB practitioner need to have a knife or phone nearby or a backup to come over after a set amount of time in case they can't free themselves

Funny story:  In high school, I was always trying different types of bondage, though it was somewhat infuriating that there was no way to make myself completely helpless.  One day after school, the house was empty.  I had a locking door, but I was still a bit nervous about trying anything too complicated when anyone was around.  I took the only piece of bondage equipment I had, a flannel bath robe belt and climbed my bunk bed naked.  I tied my ankles to the top rung of the ladder and slowly dangled myself down until I was hanging completely upside down, my head a few inches off the floor.  It was exhilarating to actually be suspended, and I stayed there a while until I got bored.

This is when I found two issues.  Getting back up onto the top bunk was not as easy as it had been to get down, and trying to untie the belt was all but impossible from the hanging position.  After much struggling, I finally dragged/wormed my way back up to the top.  Unfortunately my weight had pulled the knots tight and for a while I didn't think I would be able to get them out.  Starting to get nervous, I started simply pulling at the bonds, hoping to tear them.  No luck.  I was downright panicked.  I groped at the knots once more and slowly began to loosen them.  Finally after five to ten minutes of struggling, I untied myself.  Not twenty seconds after I walked out my door, my mom came home.  Yikes.

Cock and Ball Torture and Crotch Ropes

Another shocker for a lot of the people that don't have the level of bondage knowledge that I do.  In most cases, it looks worse than it really is.  Tightness is an issue, but as long as you're attentive and careful, there is no real danger.  A lot of CBT and crotchropes delve into the pain aspect of BDSM, but a lot don't,  In fact, neither of the two above pics is probably very painful.

Why do it?  That was probably everyone's first question.  It's usually not because of the pain.  It's the opposite, the pressure of rope in certain areas feels very, very good.  The rope that wraps around the base of the guy's scrotum is rubbing a very sensitive spot.  If the cock ropes were gone, it would be hitting that spot with every stroke, and he would be quite happy.

Like I said, they look worse than they actually are.  Tightness is key, as you can do plenty of damage if you're not careful.  Circulation is also something to pay attention to, especially when binding the cock and balls, but depending on the tie, it's not much of an issue most times.



D is for Domination!

Domination is every bit as common as bondage, and probably even more so.  I guarantee that every couple has done some sort of D/s (Domination/submission) activity.  Sex is a power exchange, there is always someone in charge.  Someone is on top, or dictating the action, or controlling the pace, or pulling hair.  If someone is performing a striptease for their partner, they're putting themselves in a submissive role.  It happens everywhere.

Like bondage, domination is not hard to define.  One party is in control, and one party is being controlled, simple as that.  It can be light and easy as the things I've described, or it can be incredibly serious and complex.  There are couples that enjoy roleplays that put one party in a position of power for an extended period of time.  Think about those nurse-patient and sexy cop fantasies that you might have.  Those are D/s scenes.

Then there are BDSM Lifestyle relationships.  For these people, BDSM is not a kink, it is a way of life.  There are no scenes, their life is the scene.  There are couples where one is dominant and the other is submissive all the time.  The sub does what the Master says, (within limits). While this might seem like a form of slavery, I urge you not to make that mistake.  Proper bondage is always consensual.  Either party may terminate the agreement at anytime and safe words are usually used.

You might be wondering how such a situation works.  Aside from the BDSM dynamic, the relationship is like any other.  Two people meet, find themselves to be compatible and keep taking things further.  Typically both parties are aware of the BDSM dynamic and this can show itself very early.  It can be as simple as a Dom giving a sub something innocuous to do to prove their submission during their first meeting.  Something subtle enough to go unnoticed in a public place but very obvious to the two people who know what's going on.  The sub might have to wear a certain color shirt, or fix their hair a certain way, or merely stand as the Dom enters wherever they're meeting.

Typcally that type of protocol increases over time  The Dom might wish to be greeted a certain way when they see each other, or he may have eye contact restrictions for the sub.  A lot of Doms are a fan of having a series of positions that the sub must get into on command, like the one shown above.

As the relationship continues and trust develops, rules are usually outlined.  They can be less than a page and detail a few "musts" or they can be numerous and explicit.  An example set of rules might be as follows:

  1. Jack will hereafter be defined as the Master, and Jill will hereafter be defined as the submissive.
  2. Both the Master and the sub understand that this is a consensual relationship and can be terminated at any time by either party.
  3. Both the Master and the sub will be honest with each other at all times.
  4. The safeword protocol will be as follows: "Yellow" will mean that the activity needs to be slowed or paused while the sub catches their breath or recovers.  If necessary both parties can discuss the means in which to continue.  "Red" will mean that the activity must be stopped immediately.
  5. The sub's soft limits (things that are a no right away, but may be acceptable in the future) are as follows...
  6. The sub's hard limits (things that are a no way in hell) are as follows...
  7. The Master agrees to abide by the safeword protocols and limits.
  8. The sub agrees to only use the safeword protocols in times of duress and not simply to get out of undesirable activities.
  9. The sub will refer to the Master as Master Jack unless otherwise specified.
  10. The sub will seek approval of all dress with The Master before going out in public.
  11. The sub will not orgasm without The Master's permission.
  12. The sub will be required to perform sexual duties as dictated by The Master.
This is a pretty basic list, but I think you get the idea.  At this time I want to remind those reading that there are MANY people who not only tolerate such an arrangement, but LOVE it, as hard as that may be to believe.

When such a relationship is solidified, the Dom will present the sub with a collar signifying the nature of the relationship.  Subs see it at a great symbol of respect and gratification to earn a collar.  (Think of it like a wedding ring.)

I bet that at least a few people are wondering right now where I fall.  I love a lot of the more "vanilla" types of domination, things that many couples do like asking a partner to strip, or perform a role play.  Personally one of my favorite things is assigning a dress code in certain situations.  I stayed in a hotel with an ex once in which she wore a thong and nothing else for an entire night.  Games that reward one party with dominance such as strip poker are fun too.

I would date a lifestyle submissive.  I have met a few and they are intriguing to say the least.  One girl very much subscribed to the 1950s view towards women in which they were expected to clean, cook, and yield to their husband's authority.  She told me (literally told me) that she didn't think it was right for women to work full time and that she felt that her duties were to cater to a husband's whims when he came home from work.

As I said, I would date someone like that, but I suspect that I would get bored and it wouldn't work in the long run.  Lifestyle submissives tend to be very meek.  A willingness to follow orders is desirable, but an unwillingness to think independently is not.  I feel that such a person crosses too close to the line of holding back personal opinions and attributes in favor of their Dom's desires, essentially burying everything that makes a human being interesting.



Female Domination

Female Domination or femdom follows most of the concepts outlined above, but the dominant (or domme) is a woman.  I have split it into it's own subcategory because things are different when a woman is in charge.  Being a switch (both dominant and submissive) I have encountered and played with my share of dominant women.  It has been my personal observation that the great pleasure men get out of dominating is in having their sexual needs tended to in any way desire.  Women seem to enjoy the simple aspect of control in any shape or form.  A list of rules from a man is likely to contain detailed sexual instructions, while a list from a woman is likely to contain detailed restrictions.

Anal Play

Strap-on sex is probably the ultimate form of dominance for a female Mistress.  Most guys are extremely ...um...anal about things not going in their ass.  Using penetration as a form of control, something that typically only women experience, is the ideal way to put a guy in his place.  You'd probably be hard pressed to find a female Domme that isn't interested in some type of anal play.

Women enjoy the control they get out of sticking a fake penis into a guys ass, definitely, but it isn't all negative for the male.  There are plenty of nerve endings in and around the anus, including the make g-spot, or p-spot.  Anal sex for a man can produce extremely intense orgasms.  And if this doesn't make all my male friends cringe...

Chastity

...this will.  Chastity, the act of not allowing a sub to orgasm.  Much easier to inflict on a male since you simply need a device like the one above that keeps the cock soft.  While male Doms might like the control of only having their partner cum with permission, they're far less likely to actually practice long term chastity.  Men love making women cum.  The ability to pleasure a woman is one of the basest aspects of our manhood.  If we can't make her cum, we're emasculated.

Remember what I said about Dommes loving control?  This is the biggie.  There is no greater control than having a man's cock inescapably locked away.  While not every Domme enjoys using such a device (after all, a hard cock is much more fun than a soft one), I have yet to encounter one that does not enjoy placing strict restrictions on her man's ability to orgasm.

Femdom is largely about the female forcing the man to do things that men normally do not do, whether it is anal sex, cum eating, or forced chastity.  The role reversal is a large part of what makes it very alluring to both parties.

The safety concerns in any type of domination are entirely mental.  The two people HAVE to be honest with each other so they are always on the same page.  The Dom needs to be be very good at differentiating between anxiety borne out of excitement, and anxiety born out of fear and the sub needs to be very good at conveying their feelings.  It is easy for a Dom to push too far when a sub is uncomfortable for the wrong reasons and shatter trust.  On the flip side, we LIKE being uncomfortable to a certain extent.  The whole point of BDSM is to be uncomfortable in a pleasurable manner.  It's just everyone needs to know where their line is.

S and M are for Sadism and Masochism!

Sadism is the desire to inflict pain on another and Masochism is the desire to have pain inflicted upon oneself.  I lumped them together because they both deal with something that makes people very uncomfortable, pain.

Whenever porn-bashers and obscenity lawyers rail on explicit media, one of the first things they bring up is the intensity of pain in BDSM porn.  And there's no escaping it, pain is intense and the reactions are often very raw.  But like I've said with everything else here, people love pain.  Girls like getting spanked and having their hair pulled, guys like being squeezed, scratched, and bitten.  Some of the best orgasms I've had have come while practicing CBT.

Impact Play

Spanking, whipping, caning, flogging, yum.  I'm actually not that much into impact play.  The above pic was one of two that I found among my files that had whipping or spanking in it.  I think part of the problem is that most of the fun is in doing it, and not merely seeing the results.

As I said, people love pain.  I'm no expert on body chemistry, but I know that the chemicals that are released in pain, combined with the stimulation of the nerves in certain areas, further combined with pleasure can be very intoxicating.

Much of the safety in impact play is kind of a no brainer.  Don't strike fragile areas too hard (face, testicles, breasts).  Don't break any bones and stop when skin is starting to rupture, unless the sub likes it.  (Some do.)  I would say the bigger issue is keeping things to yourself.  If you like having your face slapped, you better find a way to do it without bruising.  Likewise, a short skirt is not a good idea after a night of caning.



Forced Orgasms
 
I know people are going to question that any sort of orgasm can be included in the pain category and perhaps torture would be a better word for it.  Orgasms are usually never painful, but there is a point where they stop being pleasurable.  This is more a male Dom type of activity as women need far less of a cool down between orgasms than men.  You can leave a vibrator on a girl after she cums and have her ready to blow again in short order.  Pretty soon her love of the hitachi wand (shown above) will turn to loathing and she'll be begging you to stop.

I think the allure here is kind of obvious for both sides.  The sub receives an immense and often torturous amount of pleasure, and the Dom gets the enjoyment of inflicting that pleasure, the gratification that they're so good, they're overwhelming their sub.

Depending on what you do, there is a point when too much is too much.  Repeated orgasms will tire and dehydrate a person severely.  Likewise, the human body is fragile, things chafe, skin gets raw, and rubbing gets uncomfortable.  When something starts to hurt too much, it's time to stop.




Grippables and Zippers

I love clothespins, but finding a zipper pic was a pain in the ass.  A zipper is a series of clothespins placed on someones body over a rope as shown above.  A tug on the rope (painfully) pulls all the clothespins off at once.  It is an interesting sensation that is closer to relief than pain.  Those fuckers hurt when they're on, and while ripping them off hurts even more, the relief after is calming.

Some of the best orgasms I've had have involved clothespins.  They can definitely heighten sensations in the right places.  A devious dom with an inexperienced sub can have a little fun with an extra piece of knowledge when he pins a sub.  On a scale of one to ten, putting them on is about a five.  Then the pain slowly disipates to a two or three.  Immediately upon being removed the pain jumps to a seven or eight depending on how long they were left on.  A lot of people don't realize this and things are going to be rosy when they come off.  I've had over fifty on my body at once.  It is intense.

When using clothespins and clamps, you have to remember that you're cutting off circulation to a small area of the body, so they need to be watched.  Most sites tell you to avoid keeping them on more than twenty minutes which is a good baseline.  I kept some on for an hour once and ended up with bruises that lasted a few days, but no permanent damage.

Sensations
 
 
Touch is a wonderful sense to be exploited.  From hot wax play, to the wartenburg wheel, to massages, to tickling, it can be fun to exploit the helpless skin of the bound.

I have some experience with candle wax, the real shit, not the cold burning candles for vanilla people.  The sensation is interesting, a very localized pain, followed by cooling, and skin that is more sensitive.  Besides, who hasn't been mesmerized by candle wax as a kid?

Safety...uh...don't eat it or put it in orifices.  Also if you're a hairy person and you use candlewax, you're going to hate yourself.  Trust me on that one.


Electricity

I'm probably beginning to sound like a broken record by now, but the stimulation that comes from electricity can bring certain pleasurable sensations to new heights.  Though I have no experience so I can't really elaborate.  What you see above are shock pads, kind of like those old goofy belts that are supposed to tighten up your abs.  There are all sorts of wands and metal dildos and cattle prods for electro-stimulation.

As far as safety is concerned, it's pretty obvious.  Use devices that have been designed for that sort of thing, stay away from the heart and brain, and be very conscious of pain tolerances.



Rough Bondage

Bend into position.  Add rope.  Enjoy.  Someone once said, "bondage is purposeless without the desire to escape," and while I think a nice, snug, comfortable tie is perfectly purposeful, I agree that rough bondage is devilishly fun.  Contorting someone into an uncomfortable position and binding them there is a slow, methodical sort of torture, one that can be contrasted with active fingers, tongues, and toys.

My big fear with a difficult position is that something will slip and cause a muscle pull or dislocation.  Some positions are simple and very safe (such as tying someone to the floor and ceiling so that they can't lock their knees to stand, but can't sit either) and some require a wealth of knowledge and experience.  If you're not an expert, just say no to anything around the neck.

Sensory Deprivation

While it doesn't have to be a (near) full mummification as shown above, the use of a blindfold can add some excitement.  When one sense disappears the others become heightened to compensate.  Plus there's the anxiety in not knowing what's coming.  I used to blindfold my ex every chance I got because it was so fun watching her exaggerated reactions when she didn't know what was coming.  Even something as simple as a kiss on the cheek would cause her to jump.

The biggest downside to mummification is the time it takes to get into and out of such a position.  Having medical shears handy to cut through bondage tape is probably not a bad idea.


Breast Bondage/Torture



I like boobs so I tend to want to treat them well, but a clothespin or two, or a handy set of nipple clamps can be fun.  Again, it's all about mixing sensations.  Plus good breast bondage can make a girl's boobs look as fantastic as some pricey bras.

Don't cut off circulation for too long.  Be careful how much weight you're adding to clamps.  FOR GOD'S SAKE, THINK OF THE TITS MAN!
CBT/Crotchropes for Pain



I warned you about this entry...  Actually that CBT probably doesn't hurt all that much, but I can guarantee that it doesn't feel good either.  One of the things Doms delight in doing to a female sub is stringing a high rope across the room and between her legs.  Devious enough if she has to tiptoe across the room.  Even worse if the rope has knots...

Now I'm just repeating a lot of the same things.  Be safe, know your limits, know your partners.  Communicate, know at least basic anatomy, have the hospital on speed dial and don't get too attached to your testicles, I mean...


Misconceptions
Whew.  I suspect I've lost a few people long before this, but to those that have made it this far, congratulations.  I hope you've learned a lot, or at least gotten some enjoyable pictures.  Probably the biggest issue that bondage aficionados is stereotyping of the fetish and the various misconceptions that people have.

Bondage is whips and chains and leather and I'm not into it.
Bondage is whatever you want it to be.  If you want to tie your girlfriend up with silk scarves, you practice bondage.  If you want to peg your boyfriend, hey, good for you too.

Lifestyle BDSM is slavery.
Sex Trafficking is a very real and disgusting problem.  It also has nothing to do with BDSM.  Lifestyle BDSM is consensual.  Both parties are enjoying themselves.  Some subs like an extremely structured lifestyle.  Some Doms like control.  It's fine, and it's not slavery.

Bondage models are being exploited.  No one can enjoy that.
Go to Behind Kink, register (completely free) and watch their documentaries.  Kink treats their employees EXTREMELY well.  The models LOVE working there.  One of the things that makes people uncomfortable is the reactions are very raw.  There is pain involved.  People will yell, curse, bite their lip, and even cry.  The directors at Kink are phenomenal.  If they sense that a model is uncomfortable, even if she insists she is fine, they will stop the shoot and she will still get full pay.

Liking Bondage makes you a weirdo.
Look, everyone has a fetish that makes them a weirdo.  But I don't think bondage is one of them.  Studies have shown that over 60% of couples actively enjoy bondage.  That is a majority (something my ex didn't understand when she insisted that bondage was weird and most people hated it).  Studies have also shown that people's number one fantasy is to be dominated sexually.

I tried to give a good rundown of all the basics and most common aspects of BDSM.  I'm sure there is plenty I've left out.  Also, just because I possess the knowledge to write such an article doesn't mean I have an active interest in everything I've shown.  I have things that I enjoy more than others, and I suspect that compared with many in the BDSM community, my kins are fairly tame.

Restraint makes it rape.
What part of consensual don't you understand?



And Finally...

This article has dealt largely with the technical details of BDSM itself.  Bondage is most enjoyable when mixed with another carnal pleasure, sex.  So get out there and have some fun.




If anyone is interested, or has any questions, e-mail me at baseball74656@yahoo.com.
All of the images are from one of kink.com's sites.  Free promos can be found at Free Hardcore.
All of the equipment referenced is from Extreme Restraints.

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