Archive for category Do-It-Yourself Bondage

Thoughts on Blindfolds


Blindfolds are one of Joy’s favorite pieces of bondage equipment. They’re one of mine, too, and consequently we use one frequently for our adventures together. In my mind, there are four large benefits that a blindfold brings to the table:

  1. A blindfold increases the feelings of helplessness and vulnerability of the wearer. Sight is our most relied-upon sense, and one of its primary functions is to allow us to detect and avoid danger. Without vision, one feels vulnerable because that function is lost. Even in a BDSM scenario, when all parties present are trusted and the environment is safe, the inability to see instinctively causes a blindfold-wearer’s sense of helplessness to increase, and therefore heightens the feeling of dependency and submission.
  2. By blocking the wearer’s vision, a blindfold enables you to more easily leverage the element of surprise in your adventure. Surprise can be powerful, especially if you’re introducing something new. Suppose, for instance, that you have purchased a penis gag, and your partner has never seen it. Do you think their reaction when you place it in their mouths will be stronger as they recognize it solely from feeling the shape on their tongue?
  3. Removing the ability to see also frees the mind to imagine. Consider the example concerning the penis gag I just described. The actual penis attached to the gag is probably only about 2 inches in length. However, if your partner has never seen it, and can only estimate it from feeling it fill their mouth, they will imagine it to be much longer and severe than it really is. By restricting their ability to see the reality of the gag, you allow their mind to magnify it to reflect what they both fear and desire at the same time.
  4. Restricting the sense of site allows the blindfold-wearer’s mind to focus on their other senses, intensifying their input. For our purposes, this comes most into play with the sense of touch. A blindfolded party often finds that they become more sensitive to tactile stimulation of all types, both pleasurable and (if desired) painful.
  5. What’s the best type of blindfold to let you capitalize on these four benefits? Well, you have many options from which to choose!

    The most basic option would be the DIY model—simply take a handkerchief or suitable stand-in and tie it over your partner’s eyes. While this sort of works and is both cheap and makes use of materials you probably already have around the house, truth be told it’s not all that effective. The challenge is that an impromptu blindfold like this tends to do a poor job of fully blocking vision, and frequently becomes dislodged or falls off entirely during the course of an adventure. That being said, if you’ve got access to no better alternatives, by all means go this direction! You may not gain the full benefit, but it’s better than nothing.

    If you move up to purpose-made blindfolds, however, you’ll do far better. They come in many styles and colors, and you can choose whichever fulfills your sense of aesthetics best. I’m a sucker for black leather, of course, so that’s what our preferred blindfold is made of, but as I say, please yourself when it comes to looks. Functionally, though, there are a couple things you should look for.

    First, I highly recommend going with a model that has an elastic band to hold it in place. I’m not a fan of elastic in most applications, and originally I thought a buckle closure would be better. However, in actual practice, the elastic band performs better in two respects:

    • It’s much quicker and easier to get on and off.
    • It does a better job of staying in place, because the elastic tightens around the contours of the wearer’s head even if the blindfold slips around a bit during the course of an adventure. A buckle closure, if it slides out of place, cannot tighten itself and therefore falls off. There are few things worse than being right in the middle of an elaborate scene and having to stop to try to get the blindfold back on!

    Second, as blindfolds are generally worn for a fairly extended period of time, it’s wise to get one that’s comfortable for the wearer. Therefore, a soft interior side and a strap that fits the wearer’s head are important.

    And third, you want a blindfold that will totally block the wearer’s vision. The most they should be able to see is a band of light around the edge of the blindfold—if they can see through cracks around where it fits to their face, it defeats your purpose. However, to date I’ve not come across a purpose-made blindfold that doesn’t meet this standard, and hopefully you won’t either.

    If you continue further up the severity scale from basic blindfolds, you cross over into head harnesses (sometimes with built in gags and sometimes not) meant to ensure the blindfold stays put, and then into partial and full hoods. Though I applaud their purpose, I’ve not been a fan of head harnesses because I don’t like the way they look. However, that’s purely a matter of taste, and yours may differ from mine. Hoods, though, can definitely come in useful, and do an excellent job of blocking vision without any possibility of coming loose. We have a favorite that we use when a bit of anonymity and depersonalization is in order, and it has a built-in blindfold that completely obscures Joy’s sense of sight.

    Enjoy Yourself,

    Jake

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Administrivia

Well, looking out over the next several weeks (okay, maybe months), work is getting ready to really suck. That means blogging may be difficult–please pardon me if updates aren’t as regular. I may see if Joy is willing to pitch in with a weekly post to help keep the content fresh. On the other hand, if work sucks badly enough…well, it could lead to me having lots of free time for blogging, if you know what I mean. Of course, there’s that whole money thing, but…

My DIY project I referenced a few days ago has gotten off to a bit of a slower start than I’d hoped. However, I have at least purchased all the equipment I need, including a fresher carpet remnant that will do a much better job of protecting Joy’s knees than the original leftover scraps I had. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some progress in the actual constructing next weekend. This is especially important as my project has become a requirement for the long term objective I spoke about last week. I have set several different balls rolling to help that objective come to fruition at this point, and with luck, they’ll all coincide in a month or three. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

On the spanking front, we remain on hiatus. Though Joy’s rear end has repaired itself somewhat, she’s still not satisfied with the softness of her skin. With this in mind, I’ve taken a tip from spanking pro Renee Rose and purchased a tube of arnica cream to replace our alcohol-based arnica gel. Hopefully this will add a bit of moisture to the bruise-relief. And then we will see about whether we start our nightly routine again.

I still have many product reviews that I need to write. Every time I turn around, it seems like I stumble across another item I’ve purchased but we’ve never put up a review on. I’ll have to get cracking…there are some fun toys we’ve come across. And you know what? If I remember right, I still have a couple more packages on the way! I’m afraid we’re going to need more closet space…

Anyway, that’s the quick news from our place. Hope y’all have a great week!

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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DIY BDSM: A Ring Set into the Floor

Being sick gives one plenty of time to think. Consequently, I did quite a bit of thinking over the past weekend, and while many thoughts were of the “How much longer until I can take another dose of cold medicine?” variety, others were on more interesting topics. And by Monday, I had recovered sufficiently to turn those thoughts into action and take advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday to make a mid-day trip to the home improvement center.

For several months I’ve had this vision in my head. I see Joy wearing her cupless, leather corset, kneeling before me on the playroom carpet. Her hands are cuffed in front of her to a metal ring set into the floor. It’s a lovely vision—cuffing her to a ring like this presents so many opportunities! With her hands bound out of the way, I can make free use of her mouth if I choose, or I can lift her up onto her hands and knees and mount her from behind doggy-style. But best of all the ring enforces a kneeling position, a position of subservience—she cannot rise as long as her hands are cuffed to it.

When it occurred to me that I could use such a ring in other ways as well—picture Joy standing with her hands pulled high and cuffed to the hook in the ceiling and her feet cuffed to the ring in the floor as I take the switch to her fine rear end—it became clear that I needed to take steps. The ring in the floor could not be confined to idle thought, but instead needed to become reality. But the thought of simply screwing a metal hookeye into the floorboards didn’t seem satisfactory. Not only would it mess up the carpet, but it would present a tripping hazard and get in the way if we needed to move furniture around. So I devised a better solution.

At the home improvement store, I purchased two sheets of half inch plywood and several lengths of 1×2. I stopped in the hardware section to look at gate latches, and found one suitable to work for the ring itself. It came with the required nuts and bolts for installation, and I already had the remaining necessary wood screws and tacks, as well as a carpet remnant that could be cut to fit. When I returned home, I had all the materials I needed to build my vision.

Here is my plan. I will cut the plywood so that I can piece it into a six foot square and then install the gate fastener in the center, bolting it securely onto the wood. I will cut four 6’ lengths of 1×2 and miter the ends so that they can fit together in a square, and I will screw them to the bottom edges of the plywood to form a frame to hold the square together and hold the plywood off the floor so that it does not teeter on the bolts that hold the gate latch. I will run additional lengths of 1×2 across the bottom of the plywood inside the square frame for strength and to act as braces so that the plywood does not bow under weight. And when I am done, I will cut the carpet to cover the top and sides, slitting it to allow the gate latch to poke through. I’ll tack it into place to create a soft surface for kneeling and so nobody will get splinters.

When I am done, I will have created a six-foot square, very low dais with a ring set into the center. The dais will be portable, so I can pick it up and store it out of the way when I don’t need it (walk-in closets are so handy), or move it from one room to another when adventure calls somewhere outside the playroom. However, when I place Joy on the dais and cuff her hands to the ring, her own body weight will prevent her from being able to move the dais—she will be effectively cuffed to a ring set in the floor, just as I picture in my mind.

To date, I have only purchased the materials. Construction will likely begin this weekend and since the thing is so simple, should go quickly. Won’t Joy have a happy surprise when I let her test drive the contraption in the playroom after I get it finished?

I love DIY projects like this. Not only do they allow me to indulge my very favorite hobby in new and exciting ways, but they let me burnish my guy credentials through hands-on construction in the process. In a way, it’s kind of like a (very) adult version of Legos, only replacing the typical Star Wars with a Fifty Shades theme. What could be more fun that that?

Feel free to borrow this idea yourself if the urge hits you. When I get mine done, I’ll post pictures and a report of how Joy and I inaugurated it. In the meantime…

…enjoy Yourself!

Jake

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DIY BDSM

Suppose that you’re interested in bondage and BDSM, but you’re not sure whether you (or more likely, your partner) will enjoy it. It would be perfectly logical for you to want to try it before you spend money on restraints, paddles, floggers, blindfolds, etc. Or suppose that you and your partner are traveling and don’t have any special equipment with you, but want to have a bit of an adventure? How can you accomplish this?

Well, the truth is that it’s relatively easy to set up a BDSM adventure with no special equipment, just using items you have around the house, or even items you have with you when you’re traveling. Oh, the feeling of the adventure won’t be the same, but it will certainly be enough to give you a taste so that you can tell if you (and your partner) might like it. And you should be aware that these everyday items won’t be as effective as the real thing, and also might not be quite as safe (because they’re not designed for BDSM!). Therefore, make sure you don’t try anything too extreme with them!

However, bearing those cautions in mind, here’s a list of basic types of BDSM equipment and suggestions for ordinary items that can substitute for each type:

Restraints: Restraints are easy to substitute for. Traditionally, silk scarves make a good means of tying up your lover. However, silk scarves not being so common, you might want to use a few old neckties instead. They work well, and are usually non-abrasive and therefore relatively comfortable. Rope may also be used, of course, but be careful–the surface of many types of rope is rough, and may chafe the wearer’s skin. There are other options as well, but it’s wise to use caution to make sure that none of these alternatives get too tight around the wearer’s limbs, as they can be difficult to quickly loosen if you need to get them off in a hurry.

Blindfold: This is another easy one. A scarf, a neckerchief, a tie, a hand towel or even an old t-shirt can all make effective blindfolds. The challenge is usually with keeping the impromptu blindfold in place, but as long as you’re willing to readjust it from time to time when it slips out of position, you’ll do fine.

Gag: Be careful with impromptu gags. Any gag can be potentially dangerous, and a makeshift one can be more so. If you’re going to use a do-it-yourself gag, my suggestion would be to stick to a simple cleave gag, such as a handkerchief wrapped around the head and between the wearer’s teeth and tied in back. If you feel compelled to go one step further than this, try balling your partner’s panties/undershorts up and pushing them into their mouth and then applying the cleave gag.

Collar: This is another item to be careful with. Impromptu collars are risky because they can close around the wearer’s neck and restrict breathing, so use caution and be smart! I recommend employing impromptu collars for decorative purposes only. With that understanding, the best DIY collar option is probably a dog collar (not a choke chain!), sized appropriately for the wearer’s neck.

Paddle or Other Spanking Device: Well, the simplest of all is, of course, a hand. One can deliver a fine spanking using just that trusty implement! However, if that’s not enough for you, other traditional options include a belt, a hairbrush or a wooden spoon. Many other items may be used as well–feel free to use your imagination. Just avoid sharp edges and overly abrasive surfaces and you should be fine.

That ought to get you started, and all with stuff you probably already have at home or could get at a local store for cheap. With these items, you can have a very nice time with your partner, especially if the whole BDSM concept itself is new and exciting. After all, the most important thing when it comes to creating a bondage adventure isn’t the cuffs or the gag or the blindfold. It’s not a prop at all. The most important thing is your imagination.

Enjoy Yourself!

Jake

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Blow Up Dolls and Baby Steps

A couple weeks ago, Bella at DD and D/s asked me to participate in an online interview, and during the process, I mentioned that one of the toys Joy and I have in our toy chest is an inflatable sex doll. Bella wondered what exactly we’d gotten up to with that particular item, and since the story nicely supports the topic I want to discuss today, I figured I’d share it. By the way, today’s topic is “baby steps”.

When I apply the term “baby steps” to BDSM, it’s generally in reference to either exploring new kinky behavior or working with a limit. In either of these cases, I highly advocate proceeding in small increments, or “baby steps”, each increment taking your partner just slightly farther than they’ve gone before. It’s important to take a gradual approach like this for two reasons:

  • The first reason is to avoid triggering resistance due to fear or inhibition. Trying new things can be very exciting, but their unfamiliarity can also make them intimidating or downright scary. Being naughty is fun, but when actions go beyond naughty into what is perceived as “shocking”, the fun disappears like water down a drain. And any time a limit is in play energy levels will be high, but so will the risk of triggering fear or some sort of inhibition. The trust between Dominant and submissive will be tested in any of these cases, and it is far better for all participants that the results be happy ones.

    There are many elements involved in making sure that the test is passed and the trust holds, but one important factor is that you not ask your partner to confront too much all at once. Everyone has a comfort zone, and when you take your partner to its edge and perhaps just beyond, the result is adrenaline and excitement and arousal. But go too far beyond their zone of comfort and fear will arise, and no one will be happy after that.

    The good thing about comfort zones, however, is that they expand. What once was novel and new becomes accepted and familiar and eventually…comfortable. And when that happens, then it is time to take another baby step.

  • The second reason is to allow you and your partner to savor your BDSM journey. To illustrate what I mean by this, let’s use a metaphor. Suppose, for a minute, that you had the ability to consume your entire dinner in one giant, mouth-stretching, stomach-filling bite. A few chews and a swallow, and down it would go. Then, belly full, you could head off to watch TV or go to bed. Oh sure, it would be efficient, and you’d still end up with the same nutritional results as the normal, more gradual process, but consider what you would have lost!

    You’d miss out on that first sip of good red wine, the way it feels warm and lively on your tongue. All the flavors would be mixed together, so you’d never taste the pure bite of the dressing on the crisp salad, or the creamy goodness of the mashed potatoes topped with melting butter. And the whole meal would be over in a matter of seconds—instead of enjoying tastes and conversation and lingering over coffee and dessert, it would all be done. There wouldn’t even be a need to sit down!

    Baby steps ensure that you take the exact opposite approach to that described above when it comes to BDSM. All Dominants have fantasies that they want to enact and BDSM destinations that they want to visit. But rather than letting you rush right to your destination, baby steps force you to take your time, and they let you focus on each incremental stage of the journey. Without this focus, you miss things—the expression on your partner’s face the first time you insert the gag in their mouth, for instance, or the shocked gasp the first time your hand comes down on their bottom. Firsts are fun, and baby steps let you experience lots of individual firsts, rather than a huge conglomeration of firsts all rolled into one big ball. And they extend the experience of getting to your destination over a much longer period of time—rather than immediately getting full gratification and then realizing that it’s over, you get many instances of gratification, each building on the previous one, until finally you reach the culmination of your efforts.

And all this brings us back to our sex doll. Her name, by the way, is Sophia, and she is (or was) a baby step.

My wife, Joy, is filled with many dark and secret desires. Some we have explored together and over time, they have moved into her comfort zone. Others remain unexplored. Joy has a very difficult time facing up to some of the things that excite her—fear and shame and inhibition often get in the way. “I shouldn’t want that,” she seems to tell herself, “so I won’t want it.” Of course, the desire remains, but she keeps it hidden and won’t admit it, either to me or to herself.

In some cases I have quite a good idea what these desires are, even though Joy won’t confess them. A couple years ago I knew that Joy wanted to try being with another woman. This wasn’t just the typical guy fantasy, by the way—I mean it when I tell you that I knew she wanted it. Despite denials, despite statements to the contrary, it was plain. Interestingly enough, Joy sometimes most vociferously denies the things she most desires.

The question, of course, was how to free her of her inhibitions so that she could allow herself to experience this fantasy in reality. Most of the answer came down to taking baby steps.

Baby step number one was pretending—we’d role play the idea of including another woman in a BDSM scene. Sometimes Joy would Dominate her, sometimes she would Dominate Joy. And sometimes I would Dominate them both. With proper preparation, Joy was quite willing to act out these fantasies, and would get quite a surprising charge from them.

Baby step number two was watching videos. We watched quite a few different video options–some that touched a cord, and others that did not. The ones Joy liked the best were the “Ultimate Surrender” videos, where two women wrestled in the buff, and the winner got to “use” the loser.

Sophia was baby step number three. She’s a good quality blow up doll, but let’s be honest—no inflatable doll is anything close to realistic. Therefore, I blindfolded Joy, and she has to this day never seen Sophia. She has, however, kissed her, both on the lips and in many other interesting places. Sophia has worn a strap on, and made Joy suck and fuck it. And Sophia has brought Joy to orgasm, not once, but several times. Sophia allowed us to add a further touch of reality to our role-playing fantasies, and carried us one incremental step closer to reality.

For those of you keeping score at home, step four was a lap dance, and step five…well, step five was our friend Beth, who came to visit us at our house one night to help Joy live out her desires. Beth visited twice more, and Joy’s fantasies were rather thoroughly fulfilled.

Baby steps can be quite a powerful concept. I’ve already said thank you to Beth, but thank you, too, Sophia.

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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