Just like most other hobbies and interests, it is possible to spend lots of money buying all the newest and most elaborate equipment to satisfy your tastes in bondage.  But consider this–do you really want a St. Andrews Cross in your living room?  While it would probably be fun and all, it would tend to dominate your furniture arrangement and might be difficult to explain when your family comes to visit.  “Oh that?  It’s a…plant holder.”  I don’t know if anybody’s quite going to buy that explanation.

Realistically, it’s possible to have a whole lot of fun without buying lots of pricey items.  In fact, one of these days I think I’ll write a post about all the interesting positions in which you can bind your partner using only wrist and ankle cuffs and snap hooks.  There are more than you think!

However, you’re going to need at least some equipment if you’re going to incorporate bondage into your sex life.  I realize that it’s possible to make do strictly with improvisational items–a scarf for a blindfold, an old tie to bind your partner’s hands, etc.  However, if this is truly something you’re interested in, at some point you will want to change over to proper bondage gear.  It’s more durable, can be used in many different ways, is quicker to get on and off, and does a better job of keeping your partner secure.  And there is something very sexy about seeing your partner all dressed up for your private party.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the essential items I believe should be incorporated into your basic bondage kit, so that you always have them handy when the appropriate time comes.  Please note that these are basic items only–if you’re practicing suspension or other, more severe types of bondage, you’ll need specialty items.

 

Cuffs – There are many kinds.  As you might guess from the title of this website, I like the look of simple leather, but there are also fuzzy and/or padded cuffs, and they work well if you or your partner prefer them.  I tend to stay away from metal cuffs, though they are certainly available.  They are not as comfortable for your partner to wear, especially if it’s for an extended period of time.

You should get both wrist and ankle cuffs so that you can secure both hands and feet.  Aesthetically speaking, it’s nice if they all match.  Some cuffs can be locked in place (and there’s something magical about the little “snick” the padlock makes as it closes–it sends shivers up Joy’s spine).  However, plain old non-locking cuffs will do just fine in a basic kit.

If you go one step beyond basic, I’d recommend getting a pair of thigh cuffs as well.  There are many interesting positions available that call for securing your partner’s thighs.  If you have the money to spend, I also recommend getting at least two full sets of cuffs to keep in your cupboard.  You never know when you might need them for a friend.

Collar – In my opinion the collar is mostly decorative.  Occasionally it can come in handy as an attachment point, but I’m always a little cautious about this because it could be a choking hazard.  But imagine your partner wearing a black leather collar to match their black leather cuffs…  Isn’t that a fun picture to hold in your mind?  Decorative or not, IMHO, a collar is an important accessory and worth keeping in your kit.

Again, there are lots of options as to style.  I’d suggest picking the cuffs first and then buying the collar to match them, but that’s just me.

Blindfold – This one’s probably the easiest item to improvise, but a true blindfold does a far better job of obscuring vision than a kerchief or rolled up towel, and doesn’t slip off nearly so easily. And they’re not very expensive.  In a pinch, you can even use the free one they sometimes hand out on airplanes on international flights.

If you’re concerned about the blindfold coming off right in the middle of something important, there are kinds with multiple straps that fit around the head and even under the chin.  I tend not to like these, though–I don’t like the way they look.  For your basic kit, a simple blindfold, either with a buckle (more secure and my favorite) or an elastic band should be fine.

Snap hooks –  You’ll need quite a few–at least eight or ten.  They come in different colors, sizes and styles, but pretty much any of them will work well enough.
Ropes, chains or other materials for tying off – You’ll need to choose your type and length based on how you plan to use these.  If you’re just looking for some way to secure your partner’s hands over their head, you can use just about anything.  By attaching it to the cuff rather than tying it around your partner’s wrist or ankle, you eliminate most comfort issues.  On the other hand, if you envision binding your partner’s body in one of the many possible ways, you’ll want material that won’t cause abraisons or pain (unless, of course, you’re into the “S” part of BDSM).

Again, aesthetics play a role.  Some people like the look of rope.  Personally, I prefer to use chains for basic securing of limbs.  I think the idea of unbreakability and Joy’s being truly unable to escape makes chain more appealing than rope.  You can certainly buy lengths of chain at the hardware store if you want to, but I usually just go to PetSmart and buy some chain dog collars. (Please note that I do NOT use them as choke chains, and highly recommend that you do not either!)  They come in various lengths, they’re cheap, and they have a ring at each end convenient for use with a snap hook. 

Vibrator(s)/Dildo(s) – “What?” you ask.  “I get that these are fun, but what do they have to do with bondage?”  Strictly speaking, you’re right–you do not need any of these toys to secure your partner.  However, one of the great joys of bondage is the ability to take your time!  There’s no rush–your partner’s certainly not going anywhere!  You can, and should, go slowly and play with them, ideally bringing them to the edge of ecstasy (or beyond) multiple times before your encounter ends. 

Joy and I usually spend at least an hour and a half and often more than two hours together when we have a bondage adventure.  My goal is to bring her off as many times as I can during that time, and not to finish myself until the very end.  That way we both end up satisfied, and there are smiles all around.

There may be a few men out there who can do this using exclusively their own body parts, but I’m not one of them.  Even if you stick to just your hands and tongue for most of the adventure, you’ll find you get tired.  A vibrator will be your best friend (and probably your partner’s, too).  A simple one is all that’s required.  If you’ve already got one, it will probably do just fine. 

There are many, many other options out there in the toy world–far too many to cover in this article.  Feel free to explore to your heart’s content!  However, I do want to suggest one other type because it’s very useful, and because it probably wouldn’t occur to most men.  Consider buying a strap-on dildo

“WTF?” you are probably saying to yourself.  “Why would I want that?”  The answer, my friend, is exactly what I said earlier–because you can’t use your own body part for long periods of time without exploding and the fun being over!  With a strap-on, I can ride Joy for literally hours if she’s up for it, and then still be ready to go with my own personal body part when the time comes.  As an added bonus, depending on the type you get, you can use the strap-on at the same time as your own, personal appendage, and give your partner a double-penetration experience if they are into it.

Optional add-on items:  There are many toys to consider, as well as paddles if you’re into spanking, clamps for nipples or other locations, and all kinds of lingerie or other apparel that might be appropriate.  Pad locks might be a good add-on if you’re into them, both for the cuffs and potentially to replace some or all of the snap hooks.  Just be careful not to lose the keys!

There are also gags to consider.  Let’s be honest–a gag falls into the same category as a collar.  It’s there more for its appearance and the sense of dominance it brings than anything else.  Functionally, it’s pretty much a nuisance.  It get’s in the way of almost every activity that involves your partner’s mouth, certainly including conversation, but also including everything else starting with kissing and going on to all sorts of other fun activities.  With that being said, I confess that I have gags and often use them–see that comment I made above about the dominance thing.  I’d definitely relegate then to the category of add-ons, though–they’re not necessary for your basic kit.

I believe I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site that Joy and I have an eye hook installed in the ceiling–that’s a great add on, and has been the centerpoint of many a fun evening.  While there are also rigs that you can add to your bed to make it easier to secure your partner in many different positions, my experience has been that it’s pretty easy to use a standard bed frame to accomplish the same thing, so I don’t think I’d include one of these in the basic kit.

If you include just the standard items I’ve listed above in your bondage kit, you and your partner are set for many thrilling nights.  Once you’ve developed your basic bondage kit and explored the possibilities it brings, you’ll likely want to go beyond it and add new items based on your own personal preferences.  But for just starting out, stick with the items above and see how much fun you can have!

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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