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How to explore light bondage play with your trusted partner

Toni Sicola|2021.12.21

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Looking to spice things up and try something new with your partner? Thinking blindfolds and handcuffs perhaps? Let's get kinky and dive into the details of light bondage play. You might be more interested than you think!

Light bondage is just a toe-dip into the world of BDSM—you don't have to progress all the way to the hardcore stuff to enjoy the perks of light bondage play with a partner. There's a lot to discover within the worlds of role play, dom/sub play, and the use of restraints to add variety and excitement to your sex life.

And there's no pressure here. Light bondage is only fun if everyone is 100% on-board, feels completely safe, and is willing to play along. Even if you never go beyond a few light spankings, introducing some new sexy ideas can be a fun way to explore with your partner(s). Let's get into it.

Elements of light bondage

If you're looking to explore the world of light bondage, there are a number of potential elements to consider. There's the bondage part: the literal restraints you might use to keep your partner (or yourself) in place during the sexy activities. Then there are added bonuses like a blindfold, sex toys, a paddle or flogger (yes, you can be "light" about flogging!), tools for temperature play, and/or whatever other personal fetishes you might want to bring into the equation.

And finally, there's the establishment of a safe word and personal boundaries. This is where the rubber meets the road—none of the fun we're about to explore can happen without establishing a safe word and spelling out personal boundaries. We'll share communication tips here to make sure everyone’s on-board with every step of the process.

Restraints

You don't have to go out and buy something special for restraints, although you can—plenty of sex shops have whole sections dedicated to BDSM toys and specialized bondage for bedroom play.

Simple scarves or soft belts—even longer socks or stockings—can work great as wrist and ankle restraints. You can use them as bed restraints if you have a headboard or footboard with posts to tie to, or you can simply tie hands and feet together. You can also opt for the hog tie, in which you tie hands and feet together behind the person. This is incredibly incapacitating and requires immense trust.

The idea is for the person tied up (the sub) to surrender control to the person doing the tieing (the dom).

*Special note on restraints: Communication is key throughout this whole adventure if you want to come as close to guaranteeing as positive experience as possible. When you tie, check in and make sure that the restraints aren't too tight. You want them to be tight enough that they can't get out of it, but you're not trying to torture your partner, so communicate about comfort, circulation, etc.

You can also use "verbal bondage" with no physical restraints at all. All this means is that you've come to an agreement about who's in charge, and the other person does what they say (and experiences some sort of consequence if they don't follow the rules).

For example, you could straddle your partner and instruct them not to touch you or themselves, no matter what you do to yourself or them. From there, you could stroke them gently, do some light tickling or biting, tease the beginnings of a blow job or cunnilingus—any type of foreplay you want, really—but they can't touch you, no matter what.

If they reach out and touch you, then they receive a consequence. That consequence could be a light spanking or flogging, a verbal admonishment, a nipple squeeze, a tug of the hair, or you could walk away and refuse to come back till they beg for your forgiveness. You (both) decide!

Blindfolds and sensory play

Blindfolds do something similar to restraints—they empower one person while the other relinquishes control. You can use them in tandem or by themselves, and you can add sensory play to heighten the physical experience of losing your sight.

For example, you can use a blindfold to enhance the experience of temperature play. Temperature play is the use of hot and cold to stimulate and heighten your sexual senses. You can do this in a few different ways.

You could use a massage candle, which is made out of wax that's meant to be dripped directly on your skin, for hot play. You could run a cube of ice across key body parts for cold play. You could also explore temperature play with glass sex toys like dildos and butt plugs. Stick them in the fridge overnight before your light bondage sesh or warm them with warm water closer to play time. Just make sure nothing is too hot if you're planning on insertion. Test it in the fold of your knee before putting it anywhere near genitals.

Sex toys, lube, and furniture

Having all your favorite sex props and lubes at the ready during an experience like this is never a bad idea, especially if this is your first time exploring a light bondage kink. In fact, you might not know which elements of light bondage turn you on, so having that lube nearby could help smooth it all out as you discover what does and doesn't turn you on.

If your partner has a vulva and enjoys using a vibrator to reach orgasm, you might want to keep that around for teasing as you build tension during your light bondage sex sesh. That slow build, tease, build, tease could be pretty amazing—for both of you.

If your partner likes anal sex, you could keep a strap-on and dildo or butt plug hidden in the sheets and surprise them with it midway through your play session. Check in here to make sure they're up for it before proceeding with penetration.

If you have a sex pillow or other sex furniture, you might start with that and get it all set up underneath your partner before adding in restraints so that it's all in place for maximum pleasure.

Special BDSM toys could also come into play here for some light BDSM play if you're feeling even more adventurous. This could include nipple clamps, a tickler, a paddle, a whip or flogger, a collar and leash, or handcuffs. It never hurts to add some sexy lingerie or even some leather into the mix.

Safe words and boundaries

None of the fun we've just outlined will be possible without total trust between you and your partner. That's why communication and establishing a safe word are so critical, even if you're not planning to venture past light bondage into hardcore BDSM.

A safe word is an agreed-upon word that you and your partner establish ahead of time to mean that everything needs to stop immediately. It's important to establish this word because when role play or sub/dom is involved, it can be difficult to tell what's real and what's part of the act. If you choose a word like "cricket" or "watermelon," a word that doesn't have anything to do with the task at hand, then you'll both know that it's time to stop.

It's important to communicate before the experience through pre-care, even beyond establishing a safe word, before venturing into light bondage or BDSM for the first time. You want to make sure you know if your partner has experienced trauma or has any particular triggers that would ruin their experience with you without you realizing it.

For example, some people are turned on by verbal belittling or shaming. They love to be called useless and small. But there might be one area that goes too far for them. Perhaps they're an eating disorder survivor, and body shaming is too triggering for them. You'd want to know that in advance.

The paradox of the sub/dom relationship is that nothing happens without the sub's approval, even if it doesn't seem that way. The sub might be relinquishing control in the moment, but only within predefined parameters that all parties agree to in advance. For example, a sub might be willing to receive all sorts of light discipline—spanking, hot wax, nipple clamps—but have one thing that they never ever want to do—be tickled. The dom has to respect that for this type of relationship to work.

Light bondage: Get into it!

So now it's time for that chat. If you and your partner are ready to take the plunge into the world of light bondage, then sit down together and plan out what your first time is going to be like. Will you use restraints? Is it obvious from your relationship dynamics who should be the sub and who should be the dom? Do you want to stick to that or mix it up? What toys will you bring along? Anything off-limits? What's your safe word going to be?

For some sexy example stories the two of you can listen to to get yourself ready, head over to the Dipsea app. There, you can find all kinds of delicious audio erotica featuring a diverse array of characters. The stories are always consensual and focused on female pleasure. Take a listen to 'Golden Hour' and 'Eighty-Six II' to get an idea of what we mean.

Listen, light yourself up.

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