Vancouver
2 min

Bondage is freedom

My bondage takedown

Credit: Xtra West files

Recently, at the start of a bondage demo for a theatre full of eager conference-going leatherdykes, I had occasion to call for an audience volunteer for the bondage takedown. The trick to my bondage takedown demo is to run a few ropes in such a way that the bottom has total freedom of movement-until I grasp the dangling rope ends and give the slightest of pulls and a gentle nudge, whereupon the bottom folds up neatly and falls over in graceful slow-motion. Soon the volunteer was a tidy package on a mattress.



Before I went on to the next segment of the demo, I asked my volunteer if she wished to be untied. She shook her head, grinning. So there she stayed, content and relaxed, for the rest of the demo plus the Q&A period and the wrap-up. Only the threat of the next presenter needing the theatre made her sigh and agree to be unbound. But hers wasn’t a surprising reaction.



We can define bondage as the restriction of someone’s immediate physical movement by some means, mostly extrasomatic, often mechanical in nature. In other words, to put someone in bondage we make someone stay in one place-or cause them to be unable to use their arms or legs-by some concrete means. We can use (for instance) leather cuffs, steel chain or soft nylon rope. We can tie them spread-eagled on a bed, upright against a pole, or simply tie them in a sweet little ball and watch them wriggle their toes.



Bondage, more than most other kinds of BDSM play, involves a great deal of trust on the part of the bottom, since it changes the dynamics of power from a type of play that the bottom may end by walking out the door, to a real-life dependence on the sanity, skill and goodwill of the top. Exploration of the issues of trust and security is a big part of what makes BDSM relationships so deep and strong.



But that ain’t all. Sometimes we forget about another reason we might have for craving the pressure of ropes against our skin.



When we’re in bondage, we are not expected make decisions or act directly upon our surroundings. We can’t answer the phone, leap up to perform a forgotten chore, or perform any social niceties. We shift that burden to the shoulders of the top, and become free of distractions or constraints against experiencing pleasure or sensation. Any residual puritanical guilt is left on the floor with our street clothes.



Bondage is the manifestation of the ultimate permission to relax and enjoy. With our limbs bound, our imaginations, emotions and fantasies have complete freedom.