Beginner’s Guide to Bondage

If you're one of the many people who looks at the bondage section of Lovehoney as if it's written in an alien language, you're not alone...

There are so many tools and terms to get to grips with that even understanding the purpose of some of the equipment can take considerable effort, let alone using it.

Here is an insight into the wonderful world of bondage & discipline, and sadomasochism.

Video: 5 Reasons to try Bondage Tape

Above: Perfect for everyone from beginners to professionals, bondage tape is one of our most popular types of restraint. Want to know why? Just watch this video and let Jess Wilde give you 5 reasons why you should try it!

Why do people do it?

BDSM covers a huge range of activities that many people find erotic and sexually fulfilling. Some kinks are easier to understand than others.

  1. Experiment with power play (submission and dominance).
  2. Broaden sexual and sensual horizons.
  3. Explore fetish and role play.
  4. Increase sexual repertoire and techniques.
  5. Revolutionise and optimise sexual happiness.

Different types of bondage equipment

Ball Gags

A ball gag is designed to muffle the voice of the wearer or prevent them from speaking. They do not usually impede breathing. Usually strapped around or over the head with a rubber ball that sits inside the wearer’s lips and teeth, a gag is used to instil a sense of submission.

Because the wearer can't talk, the wearer has to become more creative with communication and their partner better at understanding their lover’s requirements during play. Other types of gag including bits, hooks, rings and ratchets can also be found under this category. Learn more about ball gags here.

Bedroom Bondage Kits

All-in-one solutions for bondage scenarios. Often marketed for beginners, bedroom bondage kits generally include a pair of ankle cuffs, a pair of wrist cuffs, a blindfold and some form of whip, flogger or paddle.

Some other bondage kits include ball gags, ticklers, collars and leads, ropes, bondage tape, spreader bars and more elaborate restraints.

Kits are a wonderful way of building up your collection of bondage gear, and tend to work out cheaper than buying all items separately. Learn more about bondage kits here.

Blindfolds

A blindfold prevents the wearer from seeing anything. Blindfolds can be styled in a classic sleep mask style or as a scarf that requires tying.

By restricting eyesight, the wearer's other senses are sharpened. This can increase sensitivity to touch, taste, smell and sound. The blindfolded lover is likely to feel less self conscious about experimentation. Learn more about blindfolds here.

Bondage Hoods

Sometimes confused with blindfolds, a bondage hood covers either half of the head and face or all of it. They come in many different guises, some without mouth, nose or eye holes and some with completely open faces.

Bondage hoods are used to change the appearance and for sensory deprivation. There are some functional hoods which incorporate gags and restraints. Learn more about bondage hoods here.

Bondage Rope & Tape

Bondage rope is any length of rope sold with the express intention of being used to tie up a person. Bondage tape is a form of tape designed specifically to use on a person to bind them or to create clothing. It is self-adhesive, offering a skin-safe alternative to other tapes.

Bondage rope is especially designed for tying people up and should not be substituted with ropes found in DIY stores and similar, which are often harder on the skin and too inflexible to tie intricate knots. Learn more about bondage rope and tape here.

Chastity Belts & Devices

A chastity device refers to anything fitted to or over the genitalia to prohibit sexual function or access.

Some of these are worn for a visual effect (such as in a role play scenario) but many found in this category will permit long term wear by the user, allowing other bodily functions but preventing sexual contact with others and themselves. Learn more about chastity devices here.

Clit Clamps

Either a decorative charm that can be hung over the clitoris or clitoral hood, or a device that clips directly onto the clitoris resulting in a mixture of pain from the clamp, and pleasure from the movement of the device.

Clit clamps applied to cause pain can cause a numbing sensation to the clitoris to accentuate sexual frustration along with a slight pain that can be arousing. Clit clamps also cause enlargement of the clitoris which can be beneficial for assisting in clitoral contact during sex. Learn more about clit clamps here.

Cock Straps

Often decorative, but some of these function as cock rings – offering better stimulation to partners and a longer-lasting erection for the wearer.

Others are used to stretch or temporarily deform the appearance of the penis and scrotum, sometimes with discomfort or mild pain, which is all part of the pleasure. Learn more about cock straps here.

Collars & Leads

When used together, a collar and leash form a bondage device that can be used to control the wearer by moving them using the lead. The collar when worn alone is often a symbol of ownership, but can also correct posture or be worn for decorative purposes.

Some collars feature lockable buckles which prevent removal by the wearer to accentuate the feeling of helplessness or being owned. Many collars are fitted with a frontal O-ring to allow leads, harnesses and bondage equipment to be connected to them. Learn more about collars and leashes here.

Electro Sex Toys

Any form of toy that uses electricity as a stimulus for erotic sensations or pain-inflicting purposes. Electro sex toys have many attachments, with everything from dildos, butt plugs and bullet vibrators to electrified gloves, penis bands and nipple clamps.

The sensation of electro toys is akin to vibration with a deeper-penetrating feeling. The levels are variable, so you can start off very gently and work your way up to ensure you’re always comfortable with the levels you’re working with. Learn more about electro sex toys here.

Feather Ticklers

A feather tickler is made either entirely or partially from feathers used to tickle and tease the skin. The feeling of a feather running over the skin excites the nerve endings and causes you to get goosebumps, making you more sensitive to touch temporarily.

Feather ticklers are often used during foreplay to enhance erotic sensation and cause a sense of anticipation for sexual contact which heightens mental arousal. Learn more about feather ticklers here.

Floggers

A flogger has several surfaces which all hit the skin at roughly the same time. As floggers spread the force of the hit over a larger surface area, the pain felt is often less than is caused by a whip.

Floggers are brilliant during foreplay - just tease your lover by running the fronds up and down their skin to set their heart pumping. Learn more about floggers here.

Handcuffs

A form of wrist restraint which connects the two hands together. A single unit composite of two wrists cuffs and a chain, they are usually made from metal in the standard police style.

Handcuffs are traditionally used to secure the hands behind the wearer's back but can also be used to secure the wrists around an object, fixture or fitting to prevent the wearer from moving from the position they are placed in. Learn more about handcuffs here.

Masks

A decorative facial accessory designed to transform the appearance or conceal the true identity of the wearer. Commonly worn at fetish and swingers parties and events to avoid being recognised in person, in photos or on film.

Masks are also used in role play between partners to create a new image. Learn more about masks here.

Medical Fetish

A category incorporating anything considered to be medical in nature. Including but not restricted to gynaecological equipment, douches, urethral sounds, and electrostimulation kits. Learn more about medical fetish here.

Nipple Clamps & Suckers

An article that either clips onto, hangs off of or sucks onto a nipple to increase sensitivity or size, cause pain to the area or provide pleasurable sensations. They are usually adjustable to allow you to control the pressure exerted on the nipple.

Vibrating nipple clamps follow the same principal but are teamed with vibrating bullets to enhance sensations further. Once the clamps are removed, nipples appear swollen and feel more sensitive. Learn more about nipple clamps and suckers here.

Sex Machines

A machine (usually electrical) designed to simulate thrusting movements to allow the user to have penetrative sex as they would with a partner.

These often have faster thrusting settings that can be more physically gratifying for the user than sex with a partner, and are popular for use in fantasies of ‘forced orgasm’ (often also involving bondage). Learn more about sex machines here.

Spanking Paddles

A flat device, usually with a handle, that is used in the same way as a hand is to spank another person or oneself. They come in varied textures to cause different sensations which either amplify or absorb force to make the impact harder or softer.

Most paddles are made from leather, which is much softer against the skin than wood and provides an audible ‘thwack’ that accentuates the experience of being paddled or spanked for both partners. Spankers are often used as part of sensory play to accentuate touch by awakening the nerve endings and inducing an adrenaline rush in the spankee. Learn more about spanking paddles here.

Whips

A whip has a singular surface with which one can hit another person to inflict pain. They come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and styles.

Similar items include riding crops and canes. They all tend to provide a sharper sting than paddles and floggers. Learn more about whips here.

Wrist & Ankle Restraints

An article to be worn either around the wrists or ankles, which will restrict movement or can be used in combination with something else to restrict movement.

In this category you'll find a wide range of body restraints in all sorts of combinations - for example neck-to-wrist, wrist-to-thigh, ankle-to-wrist. Learn more about wrist and ankle restraints here.

Recommended Bondage Accessories

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