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"Bondage is one of the safest, least expensive, and easily done sports of the leather scene. Rope is cheap and easy to come by, furniture is usually handy, and bondage itself can be as sexy or as asexual as the partners desire."

Ties That Bind
by Jack Rinella

When I was a kid, my brother and I used to play Christians and gladiators with two girls. We lived in a neighborhood where the four of us were the only children so it was natural for us to be playmates. The game, and any of its variations, pirates or slaves or cowboys, entailed capturing the enemy and tying him or her up. I guess my games have only changed slightly since then, though some of my toys are more expensive.

I still get a kick out of tying people up. Bondage is one of the safest, least expensive, and easily done sports of the leather scene. Rope is cheap and easy to come by, furniture is usually handy, and bondage itself can be as sexy or as asexual as the partners desire.

My basic bondage kit consists of ten pieces of rope which vary from seven to fifteen feet in length. I keep them rolled up with rubber bands in a small cloth bag. I also have four or five strips of rawhide that are three to six feet in length. Wash new ropes before using them to make them softer. If a rope is too short it's hard to tie properly. The same goes for lengths that are too long. Varied lengths let you use some for smaller parts of the body, such as wrists or nuts, while the longer pieces are necessary for more extensive full-body bondage.

I only use the thongs for cock and ball tying, though I'm sure they can be effective on breasts as well. You can tie your bottom to most any kind of furniture.

I have a workout bench that is ideal. I bought a futon bed a year or so ago because the slats in its wooden platform make a great bondage area, yet it serves double duty as a chair and a guest bed. If you look around your home, you'll find other usable places, such as staircase railings, table tops, hassocks, and, of course, beds.

You can get fancier if you like. I have a large bed framed in four-by-fours and two-by-eights built just for my play activities. Less grandiose facilities include hooks and eye-bolts in the ceiling, doorways, or closets. A friend sold me an excellent sawhorse, padded in leather.

The standard, reasonable precautions for bondage are simply to take care not to cut off circulation by tying knots too tightly and NEVER tie ropes around your bottom's neck. You knew those two things though.

Use thicker ropes rather than thinner ones. Leather thongs may be more cutting and restrictive than is safe. They're also harder to untie.

Check circulation in the bottom's hands and feet often. As a safety precaution always have a good pair of scissors handy in case you've got to untie your partner in a relatively quick time period.

When joining ropes, use a square knot. When tying, use loops as often as possible, so that the simple pull of one end of the rope loosens the knot immediately.

I'd guess there are three positions in which one may tie a person: to himself, to an object, or to another. There's no reason that these positions can't be combined as well.

Bondage to oneself is usually restrictive, such as tying wrists to ankles, arms to legs, hands to nuts, etc. An alternative is to simply encase the bottom in rope, but allow him or her to maintain their mobility. I tied up a boy's testicles the other night, stuck a butt plug up his ass, and then we went to a low key but enjoyable party.

Among those discussing politics, friendships, and the recent University of Chicago study on sexuality, only he and I knew that he was bound, but my handiwork kept him aware of his position as my slave for the entire evening. Rope harnesses, ball stretchers, and the like can all be part of a mobile bondage scene.

When tying a person for immobility, wrap several loops of rope around the appendage. Seldom is a single strand safe. Multiple strands insure that the stresses on the rope are spread over a larger part of the body and therefore are less intense.

In tying hands, for instance, I'm liable to warp five or six loops around both wrists while one hand actually touches the other. This insures that there is at least one part of the wrist that is not compressed by rope, guaranteeing that circulation will not be cut. I will then loop the ends of the rope around the strands between the wrists making an effective pair of rope hand-cuffs.

An easy and inexpensive facility for bondage can be built inside a convenient closet door frame just by putting eye-bolts in the four corners. If you're like me you'll want to put several other hooks and bolts in the top and sides of the door frame as well. The nice thing about this is that when the closet door is shut, no one knows what or who's inside. If using too many bolts proves a difficulty, You can string a chain on each side of the door and use its links as fastening points for the ropes. I do this on my four poster bed, either horizontally or vertically.

That statement leads me naturally into other types of restraining equipment. Among my favorites are ace bandages, which are great for making blind folds, binding genitals, tying hands and feet, etc. They are easy to apply and remove. I don't think the self-sticking type work very well but the old-fashioned kind that comes with a small "clamp" works excellently.

As your bondage skills and escapades evolve, you'll want to get leather restraint equipment as well. Wrist and ankle cuffs, either padded or not, are much easier to use and much safer than rope, though the visual effect may not be as sexy. Hoods, gags, chastity devices, and all sorts of leather gear to restrain one's legs and arms are available.

I just got a great catalog from a local leather craftsman named Paul C. (2421 W Pratt. ste 959, Chicago, IL 60645, 800-338-4740) with all sorts of restraining inventions in it. Mr. Fetter's catalog is just as enlightening and much larger ($15.00, 310 7th St, San Francisco, CA. 94103, 415-863-7764).

Catalogs such as these move you out of the inexpensive bondage equipment area, but store bought stuff can be a real asset. I like to browse catalogs just for the ideas.

No good bondage kit is complete without saran wrap and duct tape. You haven't been tied until you've been mummified. It takes about half a roll of the wrap. You can use the duct tape to secure parts of the wrap, or go whole hog and wrap your bottom in tape as well. Be sure to put the tape over the saran warp. Taping the skin directly would move the exercise from bondage to extreme sadism. When you unwrap your friend expect to find a sweaty person.

At last year's Inferno Run, a friend of mine was mummified in a plaster cast, toes to crown and left there for more than ten hours. It was a bondage event worth pondering.

Copyright 1999 by Jack Rinella. This material may not be copied in any manner. For permission to reproduce this essay, contact


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