Bondage for Beginners I: The Rules

Are you interested in “kinky” sex? Is your partner? If the idea of being tied to the bed (or doing that to someone else) makes you shiver in all the right places, this lesson is for you! The first thing you should know is that while it can look kind of scary, experimenting with bondage and domination is just a way to play a fun game with your lover. It gives you a chance to let go completely, or run the whole show, in ways that you wouldn’t at any other time.

In order to really enjoy things, it’s important for you and your partner to set a start time and an end time for your game. The time when you’re playing is usually referred to as a scene. Scenes are kind of like Las Vegas – what happens in the scene, stays in the scene. That helps everyone involved remember that even though a little bossiness can be sexy in the bedroom, it can be really rude if you’re trying to decide where to go for dinner.

You can give your scene a start and finish point in many different ways – it could be an outfit you wear, a bell you ring, or a special CD playing. It’s up to the two of you. Since it’s clearly marked off from the “real world”, a scene becomes a special place where the rules of that world don’t apply. You can give your husband a spanking, and ignore him when he protests! Come on, admit it…we’ve all fantasized about that one.

It’s often helpful to figure out what you’d like to do in your scene before the scene actually starts. Figure out who will dominate, and who will submit. Let your partner know if there are certain things you’d really like them to do, or things you don’t want them to do. Doing some negotiation in advance will make your scene run more smoothly, and potentially keep your from hurting each other’s feelings by accident. We all have certain things that aren’t okay with us, even in play, and if you talk about your plans ahead of time, you can avoid doing those things. In the beginning, it’s best to be as specific with your negotiations as possible, but as you get to know this part of each other better, they can be as little as a raised eyebrow and a glance at your “naughty drawer.”

The most important thing to figure out in advance is your safeword. If you think about it, it might be hard to tell whether your lover’s cries for you to stop are part of your game, or if he really does want you to stop. That’s a big problem - after all, what if you’re the one getting spanked? A safeword takes care of all that. When someone says a safeword during a scene, it means the scene stops, right then and there. You and your partner can pick any word you like, but try to make it something that you probably wouldn’t say as part of a scene, like “rutabaga” or “Flintstone”. That way, he can beg for mercy all he wants, but you’ll know he doesn’t mean it unless he says the safeword. When you’re within the confines of a scene and you’ve agreed on a safeword, you can get really dramatic (one or both or you could get downright mean!), and know that you still love, respect, and trust each other very much in real life. How cool is that?

In B&D lingo, the person with the power is often referred to as the top. Their “victim” is the bottom. Some people only like to play as tops. These folks find it extremely sexy to have a love slave at their beck and call, or enjoy figuring out creative new experiences to give to their partner. Others only like to be bottoms. They love getting a break from the pressures of daily life by giving up all the decision making to their top for a while, leaving them free to focus on pleasure alone. Still others enjoy both equally, or prefer one or the other depending on who they’re playing with. You’ll find out what you enjoy best as you try out different scenes with your partner. Don’t be afraid to try a role that takes you out of your comfort zone – you can always use your safeword (yep, tops can say them too), and you might just enjoy it!

After a scene is over, make sure to take some time to come back to earth. If things got particularly intense, the bottom may need reassurance that they are still valued and respected in the “real world”, and the top may need reassurance that they’re still a nice person. Snuggling is strongly recommended at this point, or doing whatever you two do to show each other your love. In fact, some people save the sex itself for this moment!

Now that you know what to do before and after a scene, you’d probably like some advice on what to do when you’re in one! I’ll give you some pointers on that in Bondage for Beginners II: The Tools.

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