Basic Bondage Safety Precautions for New or Old Dominants
SDC ASN Lifestyle Magazine Dirk Hooper BDSM Dominant Safety Precautions
SDC ASN Lifestyle Magazine Dirk Hooper BDSM Dominant Safety Precautions
Dirk Hooper guides you through the basics of practicing bondage domination responsibly.

By Dirk Hooper for ASN Lifestyle Magazine

Bondage, whether it’s the fancy artistic rope bondage that you see in photos, or just using off-the-shelf handcuffs can be a fun part of your play. But something that most people don’t consider is just how dangerous bondage can be if you’re not informed, and you’re not prepared.

I’ve been doing bondage (usually basic rope bondage and stuff with leather cuffs and binders) for over 20 years. I’ve also had the privilege of working with several highly-skilled people who do Kinbaku and other forms of Shibari. What I’ve learned is that bondage can go sideways in some unexpected ways and you need to know what you’re doing before you try anything. 

And guess what? Some of the most innocuous things may be the most dangerous, precisely because you don’t have your guard up. 

Even if you do everything right, something might happen to you that is completely unexpected.

You’re delusional if you think nothing can happen to you, as a top, or a dominant, if you’re in your younger. While you probably won’t experience a heart attack, it’s still possible.

There are a number of scenarios where a person who is perfectly healthy at any age could fall or break a limb, or who knows what? BDSM, or sex in general, can be physically demanding and unpredictable (if you’re lucky).


Some Things to Consider If You’re Older


1. Do you have medication that you or your partner might need in an emergency? Keep it close.

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you’re in charge, you have to be honest about what you can pull off safely. Be an adult.

3. Is your partner older? You should be aware of their limitations too. Highly aware.

4. Hit the gym before you hit that ass! A lot of problems can be mitigated just by being in better shape. Don’t just be a weekend warrior.


Some Things to Consider No Matter What Your Age Is


The biggest problem you’re going to have is if your partner is restrained and the top or dominant has a medical problem or an accident, so I’m going to focus mostly on bondage.

The thing is, all that crazy shit you see in photos and in movies is not something you’re likely to be doing in your bedroom.

If you have to do crazy suspension rope bondage you better really know what you’re doing and my advice would still be to do that in a private setting with other people present. In almost every case of suspension bondage that I’ve seen there’s not enough time to actually have sex or anything. The suspension is the scene.

What happens in the bedroom is typically radically different. Whether bondage takes place through using rope, leather restraints, cuffs, or something else, you need to get some quality instruction before you try anything.


Effective Bondage is Not Tight


What you need to do is provide the illusion that the submissive, or bottom, is restrained. For the sake of your partner, you must watch out for things like tingling, coldness, or numbness in the limbs. You can achieve something that works, but is safer, if you know what you’re doing.

In a worst-case scenario, bondage that gives the illusion of restraint, but is, in all actuality, fairly easy to get out of, is the best way to protect your partner.


Keep Some Bandage Scissors Handy


You can pick up some cheap bandage scissors at your local drug store. They have a blunt side that you can slip close to the skin to cut some rope, or fabric, safely. Why not get a few pairs?


Don’t Leave a Bound Partner Alone


You need to be there in case anything goes wrong, and things can go wrong quickly.


Be Aware of How Uncomfortable Some Positions Are


Yeah, some of those positions look hot, but they lose their value quickly for the person who is restrained. You can do a lot more, for longer, if you pick a position that is better suited to longer play.


Stay Away from Handcuffs


Yes, they are cool and they have a certain sexiness attached to them, but you can achieve the same effect with something else that’s much safer (like leather cuffs). Cheap handcuffs can continue to get tighter and tighter if they are compressed just right. Even the good pairs run the risk of losing the damn keys.

You don’t want to lose the keys, trust me. That trip to the police or fire station to get those things off is going to be a very long trip… and I can promise you that it will kill the mood.


Scarves are More Dangerous than Rope


People think that scarves are safe because they are soft, but they are actually less safe than rope because they can cut off your circulation easily and create a very small knot that it difficult to untie.


Breath Play is Dangerous


Don’t ever cover the nose and the mouth, particularly if your partner is in bondage. My advice would be to stay far away from breath play in every case. I know people who do it, but it’s dangerous no matter how much information you have.


Learn CPR


We should all know CPR, whether we’re young or old, vanilla or kinky. You could save someone’s life! It’s even more important if you’re practicing BDSM.


Keep Your Phone Close


If you have your phone within arm’s reach then you’re just a call away from help. Don’t let the embarrassing situation you’ve gotten yourself into keep you from making that call. Those paramedics have seen crazier stuff I promise.

I could probably go on all day with this stuff. The best thing you can do, at any age, is to fill your brain with good information, find some mentors, and practice before you try it out for real. Also, knowing yourself and your partner will go a long way to prevent problems before they arise.


Further Reading


Here are a few good books that cover this subject much more extensively than I did here.

Reading is the first step to safety.

Two Knotty Boys Showing You the Ropes: A Step-by-Step, Illustrated Guide for Tying Sensual and Decorative Rope Bondage by Two Knotty Boys, Larry Utley

Jay Wiseman's Erotic Bondage Handbook by Jay Wiseman

How to Be Kinkier: More Adventures in Adult Playtime by Morpheous, Nina Hartley

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge by Tristan Taormino, Barbara Carrellas


ASN Lifestyle Magazine March 2020

This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.


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