Bondage 101: A Lesbian Sexy NSFW Sunday Special

When we talked about how to have lesbian sex for the first time, we told you we’d keep it simple and vanilla. But it can be tons of fun to make things a little kinkier, which is why we’ve declared that February is Bondage Month on Autostraddle!

You already know how to have sex even if you haven’t, but bondage and S&M require a more deliberate learning curve. You aren’t going to be an expert the first time you spank someone, but you probably won’t be terrible at it, and it’s also easy to focus too much on the specifics — to pay attention to the rope, instead of the person you’re tying up. That said, it’s also a lot easier to pay attention to the person you’re tying up if you don’t have to watch a how-to video on repeat while you do it.

This post is very light and basic, as these things go, and also as with all things lesbosexy, we generally speak from personal experience which can be highly subjective — so, we’re not claiming to be experts and we’re very open to your feedback, suggestions, experiences and questions in the comments!


Open Negotiations

via prettyplussize.tumblr.com

Figure out what you already know you like, what things you want to try, what things you would be willing to try, and what things you would not want to do under any circumstances (or for the foreseeable future, anyway). You can brainstorm, or you can use a yes/no/maybe list (which I recommend), but get it down. Things on your list might or might not include:

  • Bondage (light)
  • Bondage (heavy)
  • Bruises
  • Corsets
  • Cuffs
  • Exhibitionism
  • Food play
  • Gender play
  • Hair pulling
  • Ice cubes
  • Leather restraints
  • Nipple play
  • Orgasm denial
  • Power play (all sorts of things)
  • Spanking (giving)
  • Spanking (receiving)
  • Teasing
  • Whips
  • So much more

Then talk about it with your partner. Remember: your goal is to have everything be safe, sane, and consensual, and the only way to do that is through communication. It is really important to talk things over before hand and decide what will happen, together.

Research

via tinynibbles.com

One of the best ways to find out what you might like is by reading about it/watching it. There are many excellent books of bondage erotica, and several excellent books of lesbian bondage erotica (our recommendations are coming later this month). Read them to explore what turns you on.

Education is also important. There are lots of books about bondage and BDSM, and lots of online resources. Here is a tiny, non-representative sample of them:

The BDSM Project at Sexis is an excellent jumping-off resource. Topics include suggestions for submissive types, suggestions for dominant types and being kinky and dating (by Sinclair Sexsmith):

“The key difference that separates a violent act from a kinky or BDSM exploration is consent. All parties consent to being involved, all parties have some knowledge of the parameters of what could happen, and all parties consent that they have the skills to be able to deal with the potential difficulties of playing with edgy things.

The people you date may or may not judge you for being submissive and kinky in the bedroom, that’s true — I won’t pretend no one will judge you. Dating is hard, and putting yourself out there with your desires is a vulnerable position. But remember: vulnerability comes from strength, not weakness. It takes strength to put yourself out there honestly. It is a risk to show your true colors because you could be laughed at or dismissed or called crazy. But the rewards are massive: You may find someone with whom you could play.”

+ Queer Kink no longer appears active, but still has guides to topics like wax play and sensory deprivation play.

+ If you don’t mind paying, Kink Academy has a ton of online posts and video on the fine points of flogger throws, basic suspension, and gender and kink, corsets, along with intro materials for beginners.

+ Do you know of more resources? Share them in the comments!

Plan Ahead

by Lew Rubens Productions

Have a conversation about safety. Safety: it is important. This might mean setting a safe word to stop whatever is happening, because some times you want to be able to plead and beg and say “stop” and know she won’t, and some times you want things to end immediately (words unlikely to come up in context work, but so do colour codes: red is stop, yellow is slow down. If one of you will be gagged, work out another signal.).

Safety might also mean making sure you have whatever you need for safe sex around, that any toys you might want to use are clean and in good repair, that if you are playing with something like candle wax, you have something nearby that could smother an accidental fire, you have safety scissors if you need to cut through rope, or that you know where you put the keys to your handcuffs.

Also have a conversation about what, specifically, you want to happen. If having your partner in control/being in control, then you will want some things, and if you like the idea of being restrained/restraining someone, then you might want other things. This is where reading bondage erotica will come in handy.

Finally, know what you are actually capable of doing. Suspension bondage looks dead sexy, but might not be your best bet the first time you ever pick up a piece of rope. Start with simpler things (in that case, much simpler), and go from there.

Get Down to Business

via fashionising.com

You know how sex is fun when you stop thinking and let your body think for you? That is not necessarily true with bondage. The very first time you spank someone, for example, you are not going to know exactly what you are doing, and that is OK. You might feel awkward, you might feel silly, you might not be sure they enjoy it, you might not be sure if you enjoy it, you might wonder if enjoying it (whatever end you’re on) makes you a bad person. And that is OK! (And it doesn’t).

There are hundreds of things you could learn about bondage but today we’re going to stay light and basic.

Communicate

Communication is important in vanilla sex, and it is even more important in non-vanilla sex. I keep saying this because it’s important: make sure that everyone involved has consented to everything you plan to do, be safe, and know that you can stop things the minute you don’t feel safe.

Play

Bondage/Restraint

via ropebondage.tumblr.com

“A thrill of warmth presses tight against my chest when I move to the part of the bed where se wants me. No time to think before her nylons — silk no longer gentle like my lover’s fingers — slide over my wrist. There’s no stopping the hiss of pleasure that slips past my lips at this exquisite, sensitive torture. Then my other wrist is in her grasp and to pull away would be like a sin, unrepentable.” —Elise Hepner, in Best Bondage Erotica 2012

The very best way to restrain someone easily and quickly is with actual restraints, which are padded and not likely to break with a bit of light struggling and, unlike metal handcuffs or scarves and ties, are not likely to tighten unexpectedly and cut off circulation. Even when lined, metal handcuffs are also too narrow and put a lot of pressure over a small area, particularly if the wearer wants to be able to struggle. Restraints are also easy to remove quickly if you need to, and require almost zero knowledge to use.

Rope is also a great way to restrain someone if you learn the basics. Here are a few of them:

  • Make sure you can slip at least two fingers between the ropes and someone’s skin, both to maintain circulation and to make sure you don’t accidentally compress a nerve. If there’s a risk of moisture from sweat etc., leave things even looser — most rope will expand and tighten when wet. Also make sure to distribute tension over a larger surface area (for example, if you are going to tie someone to the bed, don’t just tie their wrists and ankles — also tie their elbows, knees, waist, thighs, and shoulders)(but not upper arms).
  • Never tie rope around the front of someone’s neck or in a way that might prevent their ability to breathe.
  • Never leave a bound person alone.
  • Ask your partner about old injuries or anything that might make tying them in a certain place uncomfortable (such as if they slept funny on one arm last night).
  • Keep safety scissors (the medical kind with one blunt side for going against someone’s skin, not the cut-and-paste kind) on hand in case you need to get someone out quickly. The scissors should be sharp enough to cut through your rope of choice easily.
  • Check in with your partner every ten minutes. Make sure they know it’s OK to say if something is going numb or tingling, and monitor circulation yourself for discolouration.
  • Go slowly, and check in often.

See also: “Why I love bottoming to rope bondage,” “The ten rules of wrist restraint,” and, honestly, how-to videos, such as this one from Two Knotty Boys, the authors of Showing You the Ropes:

Spanking

via mrsexsmith.tumblr.com

“I remembered how it felt when Mimi did it to me. At first, you’re surprised someone’s hitting you, even if you’ve asked her to. Then you’re excited. Then you’re in pain, but it’s a fantastic kind of pain. Each slap makes you want more, as much as you can take, until you can’t take any more, and you’re shaking, more than ready to have an orgasm, the kind that can only be gotten from a woman diving headfirst into you with her wet tongue licking rapidly.” —Madlyn March, in Spanked

Hands are fun and easy to control, so start by using yours. Aim for fleshy areas of the body that have muscles to absorb impact, and avoid her kidneys, tailbone, joints, and hands and feet (her ass and thighs are an excellent place to start).

Begin with gentler strokes and move to heavier ones as you both warm up. Experiment: different positions and toys (such as paddles, floggers, and riding crops) create sensations between stingy and thud-y, so try out a few to discover what you both like. It can also be fun to alternate strokes with other sensations, such as caresses, nipple clamps, or a strategically placed vibrator.

Good Vibrations and Babeland have excellent selections of toys to get you started.

Lots and Lots of Other Things

via prettyplussize.tumblr.com

It might turn out that what most turns you on with bondage is the element of being in control or being controlled, so don’t be afraid to play with that.

You also might not want to buy leather wrist restraints the first time you want to tie someone up, but you probably own scarfs, ties, belts, or pantyhose, and those can do the trick (and can also work as blindfolds). You almost certainly own ice cubes. Or lotion that would work as massage lotion. Or soft and smooth or coarse-textured clothing to trail down someone’s skin. And, use your hands! Hands are fun, and you are gay, it’s what they’re there for.

Check back the rest of this month for a sexy bondage gallery, book reviews, toy reviews, erotica and more!


Disclaimer: All of the photographs on NSFW Sundays are taken from various tumblrs and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the tumblrs and photographers who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the model’s gender identity or sexual orientation. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email our tech director at cee [at] autostraddle dot com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.


Are you following us on Facebook?

Profile gravatar of Carolyn Yates

Carolyn Yates is the NSFW Editor and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Bitch, Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She recently moved to Los Angeles from Montreal. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 781 articles for us.

43 Comments

  1. Also, I’d like to add a safety note:

    In terms of bondage, scarves and stockings may seem like sexy tools, but if they’re silk scarves and nylon stockings, it can actually be dangerous, and not in the sexy safe-dangerous way. Because they’re slippery, they can pull tighter than intended over time, and can also really pinch.

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking, too. Thanks for pointing it out. Choosing your materials is very important, especially when you’re new. Even the thickness and material of the rope you use is the difference between big bruises, cuts, or no marks at all. The business woman (who had a meeting the morning after) I first practiced on would have been ticked if I’d left shallow cuts or big bruises on a visible part of her body. Though she admitted sometimes she picked the day after some crazy bondage fun to wear a thick bracelet or go 90s and have a hair tie around her wrist (so she could claim that’s where the mark came from if it was called out.)

      Also, ladies, please read about knots and how to safely tie someone up before doing it! You can’t just do a knot like you’re tying a bag, it will tighten and cut off her circulation. (Plus, there are so many fun ways to tie a woman down! A good education will only pay off in the end 😉 ) There’s also a level of vanity in the bondage community. Having knots that look good and smooth don’t just allow for a more secure bond on your girl, (if she’s a little Houdini and thinks its funny to find ways out of your knots you don’t want your work sloppy or your knots placed anywhere she can reach with her mouth) they’ll almost be expected if you’re with a girl who’s been tied down before.

      If you have a friend who’ll let you, practice on someone before you’re caught up in the moment. Ask your friend if it’s too tight, have them pull and tug on the ropes like crazy to be sure you’ve tied your knots so they don’t slip, etc. It was invaluable for me to practice on a consenting lady I had no intention to sleep with first, especially if she’s experienced in bondage and can talk to you about the emotional side of what she’s feeling, too. That’s how I first learned basic bondage and fire play. You can learn both on yourself, but learning to safely do it on someone else is a totally different experience. Learning to properly warm her up and give proper after care (especially if she’s new) is also important. (Side note: if you’re a switch, bottom or very trusting of a top friend, let them tie you down yourself so you know what it feels like. It will help you realize when you’re on top what to check and what your lady may be feeling.)

      It’s also good to regularly check her circulation, even if it’s just by pinching a fingertip or toe. She might not be aware that she can’t feel her hands or feet anymore if she’s caught up in the moment. Take responsibility as a top. Keep her safe.

  2. In our house, every month is bondage month! Still, the guide is appreciated and we had some really good fun reading it together. Now we’re off to practice some of those suggestions 😉

  3. I would also say that if tying girls up is a new thing for you, be sure you are getting bondage gear (like rope) from a legitimate sex-geared store/website/etc. and not from Home Depot! Restraints are awesome, but I prefer tying/being tied down, and would never risk doing it with rope or material I wasn’t certain wouldn’t get tighter or slip. I agree with the above comments too, fancy knot-tying is a skill you should acquire.
    It is less of a mood killer if you trust the products (and have practiced) so you don’t have to keep asking if the girl is alive/not being strangled every 2 minutes 🙂

  4. My girlfriend and I have been together for almost 10 years, were always experimenting and so soft bonding has really been some what of an interest to the both of us, she very dominant and very submissive. I guess i would just like to know if theirs a go to guide book, ive been surfin the net for one but have unsuccessful . Well none have caught my eye.. Is their any suggestion that anyone can toss our eay please 😉 ……..
    Our 10 year is coming soon it would be fun to ring it in with a good smack!!!

  5. Pingback: Bondage 101: How To Tie Up Someone’s Ankles | Subversive Press

  6. Pingback: Bondage 101: How To Tie Someone Up

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.