Bondage

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Hogtied person

Bondage means restraining someone or tying them up. They might be tied down to something or suspended from something or might be simply have limbs restrained. They may be fully restrained or have partial movement.

For many, the arousal in bondage comes from the fantasy or act of being physically restrained or tied up. This is usually, but not necessarily, linked to submissive behaviour. For many people the bondage is a physical manifestion of a desire to give up control to another. The bondage can act as a permanent reminder to the bound person that they no longer control what is happening to them. The sensations of being bound can also be arousing in their own right as it can stress the body and give the bound person something to struggle against. Bondage can also cause pressure on parts of the bondy which can be pleasurable (for example mummification).

Bondage is a common component in SM play and it can fulfill various different functions. It can be used to stop the masochist from moving or to inflict sensation in itself, or a combination.

For people into power exchange the physical restraint of themselves or another enhances the feels of loss of control or power that they have over another. Depending on the nature of the play there may or may not be any sexual contact or relase at the end of the session.

Many people get aesthetic pleasure from good rope bondage. Japanese rope bondage is a subject all of its own.

It is often used by couples as a sexual technique to enhance and prolong sex between them. In these cases the session usually ends in some form of sexual release, either from masturbation or sexual intercourse.

Bondage techniques can be divided into seven main categories:

A room design to allow people to act out their bondage fantasies is known as a dungeon which may have a wide variety of SM equipment to enhance the experience.

Bondage can also be acted out by an individual, this is known as self bondage. This by definition is a risky activity since there is always the risk that the practicioner might not be able to release themselves at the end of the session.

Bondage Philosophy

Perhaps the most interesting and ardent "bondage philosopher" was Michel Foucault. While it is believed Foucault had only a limited personal involvement in the practice of bondage, he wrote a number of intellectual explorations of BDSM culture. He was particularly interested in the power relations that bondage brought to the surface, and how these relations reflected upon a larger societal discourse. Of further interest was the notion of a "Limit Experience", wherein the participant attempted to navigate the line between the most intense pleasure and nearly unbearable pain. While some have derided "Limit Experience" as a perverse manifestation of the Freudian "death instinct", Focault believed bondage could provide a safe and telling environment for studying this concept.

Bondage erotica

Studies of men's sexual fantasies have shown that the fantasy of being bound during intercourse is second in frequency only to the basic fantasy of sex with a voluptuous nude woman. Consequently, it should be no surprise that bondage themes have been present in pornography for some time.

Bondage pornography for heterosexual men almost overwhelmingly depicts bound women, rather than bound men, despite the most common fantasy in both sexes being one of being bound, rather than of being the dominant. This may be because many men fear becoming aroused by pictures of other men, and are more willing to identify with a bound woman. It may also be because pictures of bound women allow them to experience vicariously both the heterosexual male dominant and female submissive fantasies.

Most people will have have had their first expeiences of bondage via erotica, only later wanting to try to experience their fantasies in real life. Some words of warning for people about to make this leap. The bondage depicted in many of these images is performed by models with flexible joints and bound by riggers with years of experience in their art. The more extreme poses are held for only long enough to take the picture before the model is let down or partially released. Finally, the bondage shown is often not suitable for the kind of sexual activity that a couple would want to do during their early experiments. Do remember that the bondage you experience in your fantasies will almost always be more extreme than the bondage you could endure in real life.

See Also


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