101 Advice on Bondage & BDSM Play

Bodyjoys’ beginner’s guide to bondage and BDSM play

Imagine being tied to the bed with your limbs spread, rushed with excitement, your senses heightened from being blindfolded, being teased and edged by an attentive partner…

If you and your partner are up for experimenting with something new and daring in your sex life, you may want to explore the realm of BDSM. There are many facets to BDSM and among the most popular disciplines is bondage play.

There is plenty to enjoy with bondage, and it’s a sure way to break with your regular bedroom routine and heat things up a notch. Let us explain a few things about kinky bondage and BDSM play.

What is bondage play and what does BDSM stand for?

The term BDSM is kind of a catch-all expression for a variety of erotic activities and kinks that involve power dynamics in consensual sexual activities. In BDSM practices, one person typically takes the dominant role (“dom” or “top”) while the other person assumes the submissive role (“sub” or “bottom”).

BDSM comprises acronyms that cover three related but distinct fetish groups, or sex practices:

  • BD: bondage and discipline
  • DS: dominance and submission
  • SM: sadism and masochism

Bondage and discipline

Bondage focuses on restraint, whereby one person ties up their partner’s limbs with ropes, tape, chains, or spreader bars. One person having control over their partner’s pleasure is central, and props like blindfolds or handcuffs are also used in this practice. Masters of their craft may apply Shibari, an aesthetic form of Japanese rope bondage.

Discipline is the act of the sub obeying the dom, following their instructions, or executing certain acts. This practice may involve role play, for example where the disobedient sub is spanked as part of a disciplinary action.

Dominance and submission

In DS play, the sub gives up control to a dom who is willingly taking that power. This practice can be physical, psychological and/or emotional, and the power dynamics are not necessarily performed sexually, but also through acts of control and service. Props for this play are typically gags, restraints and chastity devices (femdoms should check out our dominatrix toys).

Both sub and dom enjoy the pleasure and gratification they receive from acting out their sexual fantasies with their partners.

Sadism and masochism

SM is a practice in which people experience pleasure and joy from sensations of pain. The sadist becomes aroused by inflicting pain on their partner, while the masochist savours receiving pain. Practicing SM safely involves a lot of preparation and rules, including well-defined boundaries and safe word(s).

The complex and challenging set-up can be empowering and a big turn-on. SM practitioners often use accessories such as spankers and floggers, nipple clamps, and medical fetish devices.

Why people like bondage and BDSM play

There is a general misconception that BDSM is “about pain", but in reality, it is essentially about psychology and fun. BDSM activities involve power, humiliation, and pleasure, and its practitioners lust for the sensations experienced by different emotions of the mind. Hence, it’s the mental connotations of certain acts that are the major turn-on, and not necessarily the sex itself.

People add bondage play to their sexual repertoire for many reasons:

  • To have fun with your partner, experience something new and maybe somewhat outside your normal comfort zone
  • To indulge in pleasure, new sensations and the empowerment of role and power play
  • To overcome inhibitions and to indulge in sexual fantasies
  • To explore kinks that you haven’t been aware of before
  • To increase the bond and mutual trust with your partner

How to tell my partner about my bondage fantasies?

Often, people don’t know how to tell their partner about their bondage fantasies. Rather than simply ordering a spanking paddle, it’s probably best to approach it in a more subtle way and plant the seed in your partner’s mind.

You may mention that there could be pleasurable elements in bondage play that could be fun exploring together. Once you’ve launched that thought process, you will find out pretty quickly whether there is mutual appetite for a kinky adventure.

Tips to get started in bondage play

Because the dominant partner takes psychological control over the submissive, the emphasis on informed consent is paramount in bondage practices. Despite bondage play being very much about a gradual “learning by doing”, you may find the following few tips helpful if you are new to it:

  • Agree on the rules: speak to your partner, discuss what you both are comfortable with, set clear boundaries (and also major turn-ons) for your play. Mutual trust and explicit consent are crucial for any BDSM activity, so it’s important that you’re talking about consensual power exchange
  • Agree on a safe word: establish a safe word that either partner can say to stop the session immediately at any point, in case a set boundary has been crossed or a partner feels no longer confident with the act
  • Start slow and keep it simple: begin with soft bondage accessories such as blindfolds and handcuffs, or a bondage set, and expand your BDSM repertoire from there. You will find many accessories that are soft and sensual to start with

Be relaxed, be respectful to your partner and you both will enjoy great pleasure and fun (the most important part).

Types of accessories and devices used in bondage and BDSM play

While bondage equipment may sound intimidating at first, you’ll soon discover that the equipment and accessories are actually quite accessible and not daunting all. The following is a summary of bondage gear ranging from first-time-friendly soft bondage props to specialty devices that cater to more experienced users:

Whether you are new to bondage (see our full range of bondage accessories for beginners) or looking for raunchy additions to your BDSM tool box, we have all kinds of toys to tickle (and spank) your fancy.

The most popular types of bondage and BDSM equipment – overview

Most popular bondage accessories – Bondage for Beginners Sets

Offering numerous ways to play, all-in-one tie-and-tease bondage sets are great for kicking off your bondage experience and immersing into sensual bondage.

  • Bondage sets for newbies generally include a pair of wrist and ankle cuffs, a blindfold or mask, some form of paddle or whip, and more for you to enjoy
  • The more advanced bondage kits equip you for all kinds of mischief and may also include feather ticklers, collars and leads, ball gags, bondage ropes and other restraints such as spreader bars

Browse our inspiring range of bondage kits and let your inner sub or dom flourish.

Not sure which set to choose? Take a look at the BDSM Box by Loveboxxx (pictured).

Most popular bondage accessories – Restraints

Some suggestions for starting to explore the realm of bondage play are handcuffs, wrist and ankle restraints, and for the keener newbies, bondage rope.

  • Give control to your lover so they can tease and stimulate you into orgasmic excitement, or take control yourself and tie your lover exactly where you want them, knowing that their pleasure is in your hands
  • Those with more experience may want to explore our spreader bars, collars and leads for a tantalising fetish experience
  • The O-rings on many of our accessories, to which you can attach ropes, chains and hooks – hogtie your lover for even kinkier play

Browse our full range of bondage restraints.

Handcuffs

Furry handcuffs provide an easy entry into bondage play.

  • Touching your lover during sex forms part of the intimate pleasure of the act and taking that ability away creates a frustrating but simultaneously pleasurable torment
  • Handcuffs let you experience the delights of letting go and submitting in a playful way

Browse our full range of handcuffs. From plush and faux fur to quickie silicone cuffs, lockable stainless steel or even metal thumb cuffs, we’ve got you covered.

Fancy a pair of plush cuffs? Opt for the pink plush Furry Fun Handcuffs by ToyJoy (pictured).

Wrist and ankle restraints

If you and your lover fancy playing with restraints then our selection of cuffs comes with everything you’ll need to keep limbs spread wide, waiting to be teased into orgasmic excitement.

  • Full body restraint is becoming increasingly popular, with couples keen to employ our bed ties and under-the-bed restraint sets
  • Bed ties, wrist and ankle restraints enable you to take charge and tease your partner for enhanced pleasure with sensory experimentation, or let your lover simply lay back and enjoy the sex while tied to the bed
  • And of course, you can switch roles and let your lover restrain you instead – enjoy submitting to their every touch, stroke or bite, all focused purely on your pleasure!
  • Bondage beginners can choose soft, velcro-fastening cuffs, and more experienced doms can opt for lockable sets that give ultimate control

Browse our full range of wrist and ankle restraints. Bed ties and restraints come in a variety of lengths and styles to fit any bed shape, and are easy to install and store.

Best option for restraining your sub for passionate bondage play? Check out the Boundless Collar Body Restraint (pictured). 

Bondage Hogties

Looking to elevate your adventurous side in the bedroom? Consider experimenting with a bondage hogtie kit featuring adjustable ankle and wrist cuffs.

  • The versatile hog tie restraints enable you to create a comprehensive full-body binding experience, ideal for exploring both submissive and dominant roles.
  • Hand over control to your partner for a thrilling experience, or assert your dominance and guide your partner‘s sensations according to your desires. Surprise them with this enticing addition on your next weekend escape!

Check out our entire collection of hogties. Not sure what to choose? Take a look at the erotic Rosegasm Hogtie Bondage Set from Secret Kisses (pictured). 

Spreader bars

Enjoy the body of your lover at will – keep your lover’s limbs from touching, permitting you to tease them into thigh-quivering orgasms.

  • Spreader bars with hand and ankle cuffs and leg spreaders keep your playmate’s legs and arms precisely where you want them
  • Spreaders allow you to assert dominance and augment tension, with the added pleasure of deeper penetration when the timing is appropriate

Browse our full range of spreader bars that come with different features and a range of styles that include light-weight bars, metal bars, and bars with hooks that allow further play scenarios.

Looking for a spreader bar with cuffs? Check out the Sex And Mischief Spread The Love Bar (pictured).

Collars and leads

Bondage collars and leads are used to command obedience from your willing submissive and offer a strong symbol of submission, with ownership status dramatically visualised.

  • While bondage collars can be a loving way to express to your sub that you belong to each other, these collars can be used in any type of bondage play
  • Most collars are fitted with a O-ring to attach a lead or other sassy bondage play accessories
  • The lead is used by the dom to control the wearer’s movement, and couples who fancy humiliation play can use the leash to humiliate their sub into pleasure

Browse our full range of collars and leads that come with a variety of features and in different materials. Some collars are fitted with locks to reinforce the sense of ownership or surrender.

Is a studded collar for you? Have a look at the black O-Ring Thin Studded Collar from Rouge Garments (pictured).

Bondage rope and tape

For Shibari experts and newbies alike, your imagination is the only limit when it comes to bondage ropes and bondage tape.

  • For beginners, start off slowly by tying your partner to the bed frame and experience just how enticing giving and taking control can be
  • Running a rope around your partner’s body, stroking all of their erogenous zones as you tie elaborate knots is just as erotic as it sounds
  • More advanced users can use our gear to finesse their Japanese rope bondage skills
  • Simple and effective use makes bondage tape a cherished addition to any BDSM toy box

Shop our full range of bondage rope and tape.

If you’re looking for a good quality rope, then check out the purple Cotton Bondage Rope 10m (pictured).

Most popular bondage accessories – Blindfolds, Masks & Gags

Discover the erotic delights of letting go and submitting in bondage role-play.

  • Is it more arousing for you to relinquish control or do you feel more stimulated when taking charge and being in control?
  • Find out with our wonderful selection of sensual blindfolds, stylish masks, daring bondage hoods and naughty mouth gags that will equip you for maximum indulgence during erotic role-play and sensory deprivation

Browse our full range of blindfolds, masks, hoods and gags.

Blindfolds

Deprive your lover’s sight and instantly intensify their other senses.

  • As you tease your lover, the blindfold heightens their feeling of sexual anticipation and makes your lovemaking more erotic and stimulating
  • From romantic, playful fun to kinky bondage play, there is always a place for a blindfold
  • Indulge in sensory play and amplify sensations as your spoil your partner with your touches, kisses and licks, or discipline them with a whip for their naughtiness

Shop our racy range of blindfolds made of satin or leather.

Intrigued and want to try? We recommend the Rouge Garments Leather Croc Print Padded Blindfold (pictured).

Hoods and masks

When you’re teasing your playmate and they can’t see what’s going to happen next, their other senses are amplified.

  • The feeling of sexual anticipation instantly intensifies, making lovemaking more erotic and stimulating
  • Hoods and masks help you discover new tricks and experiment with sensory deprivation – from kinky role-play to romantic massage and temperature play

Browse our full range of hoods and masks that come in latex, leather, PVC and velvet, and with special features such as zips, mouth openings, detachable blinkers and more.

If you are looking for a comfortable submission mask, take a look at the Ouch Submission Mask with Open Mouth from Shots Toys (pictured).

Gags

Gags are used to instil a sense of submission and add another level of humiliation to bondage power play.

  • By preventing the wearer from speaking, a gag increases the sub’s sense of helplessness and anxiety
  • The act of surrender can be wonderfully stimulating and erotic for your playmate, and delightfully arousing for you whilst you take control
  • Since the gagged person’s voice is muffled, they are still able to groan, allowing you to enjoy the sounds of their pleasure, frustration, or helplessness

Browse our full range of gags made of skin-safe and comfortable materials and available in a range of styles, from classic ball gags to bit gags, spider and O-ring gags. If you fancy something more daring and extreme, choose a dildo or inflatable gag.

Not sure where to start? Take a look at the Saffron Breathable Silicone Ball Gag from Sportsheets (pictured).

Most popular bondage accessories – Spankers, Floggers & Ticklers

Indulge in steamy bondage sensations by adding floggers and whips to your play.

  • These naughty tools have been designed to both punish and arouse
  • Discipline your sub with a smack, or arouse your playmate with a teasing slap from a bondage paddle
  • Keep the spankee on their toes, not just by smacking their buttocks but also finding other areas where your slaps excite their senses
  • Up the bondage game by adding under-the-bed restraints, spreader bars or bondage tape to your play

Browse our full range of spankers, floggers and ticklers.

Feather ticklers

Bondage is much more about playing with different sensations than inflicting pain or punishment.

  • Tickling is a fetish in its own right and for the ultimate tease, tantalise your playmate’s senses with the lightest of touches from a feather tickler
  • The feeling of a feather gliding over the skin causes goosebumps and heightens sensory perception, making you much more sensitive to your partner’s kisses, touch and caresses
  • Affectionate and relaxing foreplay with feather ticklers increases anticipation and arousal for more intense sex

Shop our range of feather ticklers to get you started.

Fancy a tickler made of marabou feathers? You’ll love the Tickle Me Tickler from Bijoux Indiscrets (pictured).

Floggers

Are you and your partner keen to experiment with pain-pleasure sensations? Our bondage floggers are just the thing.

  • The aim is not to harm, but to use pain to enhance sensation and, ultimately, sexual pleasure
  • Start slow and only ever go as hard as your playmate fancies
  • To flog your lover is to hit their buttocks or back repeatedly with a flogger while they are tied up or holding onto or to a bed or wall
  • You can also run the tassels over your sub’s skin to tease and arouse them, then yank back and spank them with it
  • Reward your lover afterwards by gently soothing their sensitive skin with massage oil

Browse our full range of leather floggers that give you a good grip and salacious pleasure.

Need a bit of help? We suggest you go for the Rouge Short Leather Flogger With Studs (pictured).

Spanking paddles

Spank your eager playmate’s buttocks and thighs into a delicious pain-pleasure haze with one of our spanking paddles.

  • The paddle’s wide, flat head is ideal for delivering a firmer slap across a large area with minimal force, and makes it easier to hit the intended area on your sub’s body – perfect for newbie spankers
  • Most paddles are made of leather or suede, which inflict a softer slap than wood and make a sharp smacking sound when they hit the skin, which adds a thrilling dimension to the experience

Browse our full range of spanking paddles.

Spoilt for choice? You can’t go wrong with the Sex And Mischief Enchanted Heart Paddle from Sportsheets (pictured).

Bondage whips, canes and crops

Whips, crops and canes can be used for gentle strokes but are generally employed to keep your disobedient submissive in check and in a state of enhanced erotic stimulation.

  • Whips, canes and riding crops tend to inflict a sharper and more stinging sensation than floggers and paddles
  • As with other bondage toys, the aim is not to harm, but to use pain to enhance sensation and sexual pleasure
  • To cause a pronounced, sharp “smack” sound, flick your wrist when the whip or cane comes into contact with your partner’s skin
  • Please note that all spanking should be performed with the wrist, rather than the whole arm
  • Start slow and, as with any pain-pleasure sensation play, only ever go as far as your playmate is comfortable with

Shop our full range of bondage whips and bondage canes and crops.

If you want to buy a trusted best seller, take a look at the Rouge Garments Riding Crop (pictured).

Most popular bondage accessories – Nipple Vibrators

Immerse yourself in our exciting collection of nipple vibrators, carefully curated for those who crave heightened sensory pleasure. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned enthusiast, our range of nipple vibrators offers a wide range of devices to excite and stimulate your sensitive nipple areas.

Key features and benefits of nipple vibrators:

  • Small and compact, yet effective and capable of producing a wide range of sensations, from gentle caresses to intense pulsations
  • Excellent for pampering yourself alone or for exciting intimate moments with your partner
  • Compact, easy for travel

Choose a fave from our entire range of sensual nipple vibrators and enjoy intense erotic stimulation.

We recommend you check out CalExoticsHeated Vibrating Nipple Teasers (see picture), a best-seller.

Most popular bondage accessories – Puppy Play

Unleash your animal fetish fantasies with our puppy play bondage collection. Our range includes everything from puppy masks, bone gags, mittens, and paw paddles to collars, leads, and even furry tail butt plugs.

  • Embrace your animal role-playing kink and indulge in pup play as puppy, or as handler
  • Take on a canine personality, or have fun with other pup-themed role-play essentials

Browse our inspiring range of puppy play accessories and let your role-play fantasies run wild.

If you’re looking for a high-quality puppy hood, take a look at the Ouch Puppy Play Neoprene Puppy Mask (pictured).

Advanced bondage play

In these sections of our fetish advice guide, we’ll tell you more about some of the kinkier BDSM activities and the equipment they call for. So, experienced BDSM aficionados, read on:

Nipple and clit play

Penis and balls play (CBT aka cock and ball torture)

  • Interested in pain-pleasure sensation and simultaneously elevating your performance? Take a look at our penis and balls play guide.

Chastity devices

Electro and medical fetish