Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Bondage

(Warning: I'm slightly swirly on migraine pain meds at the moment. If the post comes out as something entirely off the wall, bare with me. I'm sure I'll be back to edit it when the tabs wear off!)

Simply put bondage can be defined any physical restraint put upon one person by another - generally put up a submissive by a dominant.

There are lots of different types. Hand cuffs are the classic staring point, I suppose, along with silk scarves. But they really are just a starting point, the spectrum runs all the way up to fully functional Dungeon Furniture - cages, stocks, St. Andrew's Cross and pretty much anything someone can think up.

There are lots of sub-genres like Japanese style rope bondage - which tends to be complicated, asymmetric and, from a writing point of view, very difficult to describe in less than two thousand words in a story.

The simple fact is if you want to know what people use to tie other people up, there are plenty of web sites that will not only show you want to use, but try to sell it to you too. Try www.extremerestraints.com if you want a list of what's available. (Site NOT suitable for work, or those who are easily offended!)

No doubt handcuffs and cages and a whole host of other things will turn up as their own word of the week in due course, but for this over view I'm going to concentrate on something few sites seem to talk about and that is why?

Okay. Bondage. Why?

Even that simple little question is more complicated than it first appears.

There's the obvious answer. A dominant puts a submissive in bondage to control and restrict their range of movement. If, for example, you're hands are cuffed behind your back, you can't move your hands.

But, that's not the full story. Lets keep that specific example and play with it a little bit more. What does it mean to have your hands cuffed behind your back?

From the dominant's point of view, it can be an expression of control and possession. He might put the cuffs on for no greater reason than because he can, because the submissive has given him the right to do that. If it's for an hour or a life time, he's making it clear to the submissive that their body belongs to him right then.

It could be to encourage certain emotions such as feelings of helplessness and dependence. There are certain things you simply can't do when your hands are behind your back. The submissive has no choice but to look to the dominant for help, protection and even the basic things. Being in bondage can focus the submissive's attention on their dominant.

Imagine this, you are in a night club. You've never been there before. So what do you do? You look around, see what's going on, you wonder if you know anyone there. You might chat to a few people. You might have a drink, dance, all the usual things.

Now imagine this. Same situation. You're hands are cuffed behind your back. What changes?

Everything.

Do you want a drink? How do you do that with your hands behind your back? Can't get your money out of your wallet or purse. Can't pick up the drink. You'd probably find it difficult to push your way to the front of the queue and put your order down in the first place.

Do you dance? Would you want to walk out onto a dance floor without your hands free to push someone away if you needed to?

Most importantly of all - How do you feel about the person standing besides you, the one with the keys to the cuffs?

I'd guess that you're going to stick close to their side, you're going to keep far more of your attention focused on them than you would under other circumstances. Do you see them differently? Do you feel as if you belong to them? Do you feel proud of yourself for trusting your dominant and being able to do as he's asking you to do? (I'm not saying this is what you should think, just that these are possibilities, what some people might find themselves thinking.)

And the man with the key. Where do you think his attention is? If he's the sort of man you should be letting cuff you, you can bet he is just as focused on you as you are on him. He should be just as affected by the cuffs as you are. His evening out has changed completely too.

The hand cuffs are the starting point, but they aren't the whole story. For me at least, they are interesting because the way they make the characters feel, because of the dynamic that changes between them.

Bondage is different for everyone. For some people it is about taking risks and being vulnerable. The same set up could make another person feel owned and safe. But if it doesn't make you feel something other than a sensation around your wrists, it seems pretty pointless from where I stand.

That leads me on to bondage in my books.

It's not in every book. Some characters just aren't that into it.

And most bondage scenes don't actually require a lot of complicated things.

Spread eagle, either standing up or lying down, is a classic for a reason. A bit of metal and leather at all four corners and most people are good to go.

A collar, with out without and attached lead, is simple but incredibly powerful when you give it to the right pairing.

Then there are other characters like to make things a bit more complicated. I've got a few who have a dungeon full of toys they like to play with at every opportunity. And that's great because it's part of them.

I suppose it boils down to something very simple for me. My characters don't tie each other up because they want to shock the reader by how kinky and daring they are. They don't tie each other up so I can vary the sex scenes in my books or because I want a higher heat rating.

They tie each other up because it means something to them, because they can't imagine doing anything else right then, because it feels right and it gets them a little bit closer to the happy ever after at the end of the book.

Bondage done right, should be about more than the bindings.

.....

Other news:

Not much really.

Second short story is coming along. Might actually end up being short story length. *Shocked Gasp*

Not done much editing yet.

Hope you are all having a good day.

(As I said, if I'm weirder than normal, wait for the post pain meds edit and try reading it again.)

4 comments:

Merc said...

Hope you feel better when the meds wear off!

I really enjoyed the post, thank you. You have a great point about how the bondage should MEAN something more than cuffs or leather or chains on your limbs. ;)

While I've actually done very little with this, it's definitely making me think... like how the characters perceive what they're doing, etc.

Great article!

Brynn Paulin said...

Wow Kim, that's a fantastic post. Excellent!
~~B

Bronwyn Green said...

Wow, I can't believe you wrote all that on pain meds! Fabulous post!!!

Kim Dare said...

It didn't actually turn out too bad all things considered. Might not go back and edit after all :)

Glad you enjoyed it.