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Bondage And BDSM Part 1

This article was originally published our May 2004 Newsletter.
See also Bondage And BDSM - Part 2: Whips, Clips, Clamps and Pain.

What Is Bondage/BDSM?

BDSM refers to a very wide range of activities that include Bondage, Discipline, Sado-Masochism, Master or Mistress/Slave, Domination/Slave.

It is difficult to pin down exactly what this is all about since it covers such a wide range of activities where certain aspects are the main ingredients but may be mixed with others.

BDSM has a close connection with fetishism. Many participants like to mix their BDSM activities with fetish clothes or acts.

BDSM For the most part, BDSM describes situations where one person takes control of another for usually sexually based activities. The activities may involve punishment, symbolic torture, obedience etc or just control. They need not be explicitly sexual and indeed some participants desire only a mental stimulation, a rise in endorphins and a feeling of release from day to day pressures. Afterwards they report an immense feeling of calmness and relaxation - just what you might use to describe the results of explicit sexual activity - but without any actual sex.

BDSM activities may involve bondage. Bondage emphasises the vulnerability of the submissive and takes away responsibility in a physical way.

Bondage and associated activities are type of fantasy play. The players negotiate ahead of time the rules of play so that the bondage or BDSM activities remain consensual between the players.

Bondage

Mild bondage and other activities like spanking that are a part of BDSM have taken on a mystical sort of definition in the world outside of the BDSM culture. Although bondage and spanking are not for everyone, for a remarkable number of people, the practices of bondage and spanking holds a strong erotic appeal.

For some the feeling of being under control of someone else is stimulating and perversely liberating - liberating because they are being made to do/feel something they inwardly crave but might otherwise feel uncomfortable/embarrassed doing. They are no longer in control they 'have' to do whatever is demanded. Some people like both being controlled and get pleasure from pain. The pain has to be just right and built up in a particular manner and on particular areas of the body for that person. It is quite a complicated activity!

A session of this sort of play may be called a 'scene'. Usually a scene is played by two people. One person (the submissive or sub) agrees to submit to another person (the dominant or dom). Some people like to be dominant all the time, whilst others prefer to be submissive. Some people like to switch between the two roles to experience both.

Playing Safe

It is important that the sub can completely trust the dom. It may seem that the dominant person has the submissive one entirely under their control, and although in a sense they do, ultimately in reality it is the submissive that is in ultimate control. It is the submissive that sets boundaries of the play and if the experience goes too far the sub can bring the scene to an end immediately and without question.

To provide the means to do this it is important for the players to discuss the rules before they begin and to agree a 'safe' word if one or other does not wish to continue. 'Stop' is not a good word because for some people this word is part of the game. Shouting 'stop - stop' and for the dominatrix to carry on the 'punishment' often is a strong turn on. Limits must be agreed before play begins.

Trying Out Bondage

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Bondage And BDSM - Part 2: Whips, Clips, Clamps and Pain.

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