Bondage – or: on the traces of a fascination

Fascinating about being tied up or being tied up is the purity in which trust and responsibility meet. If the persons, their previous understanding and the situation are right, then an intimate intensity of an otherwise hardly reached density can develop. There are as many styles and games of bondage as there are kisses or dances. Not all fit all, but those that fit fascinate when they are well “danced”.

Bondage can provide support or peace, bring out beauty or availability; promote devotion or provide comfort. Bondage can be art or fun or both. Bondage can and should be wellness therapy.

Bondage creates sensations and can amplify emotions or give them space through a frame. Where e.g. only despair makes comfort possible, Bondage can build the bridge (slow loosening belongs also still to the session!)
Bondage is a “treatment game”, like massage or a communication exercise. There is “to do” and “to participate” and not simply: to be either active or passive. More important than what it looks like, how it feels; exceptions: Photo sessions or auto voyeurism (i.e. wanting to mirror yourself in the mirror is of course OK …).

Bondage can be quiet or shrill, cruel, garish or cozy. It can be, as always people would like to be, if they (with the help of a second) should feel better. (Exceptions: autoeroticism and exhibitionism)

Bondage needs the willingness to feel what needs to be prepared or the willingness to feel what needs to be prepared. As in every game, there are rules so that you can get involved with the exuberance you desire to enjoy without being harmed or wreaked havoc.

How sexual is bondage?

  • Bondage can be hypersexual, mega sexy or ultra erotic.
  • In any case, bondage decelerates, “stretches” the time and stretches the pleasure.
  • So nothing for hectic quick squirts and their funny fuck mice. Bondage creates an exhilarating presence of erotic availabilities.
  • Bondage can create situations that are immediate experiential spaces of our fantasies and make them “more present than reality”. Bondage can be for pleasure what an oratory can be for edification. Bondage can turn fucking into what an oratorio makes harmony into, namely kitsch.
  • Bondage can also be a condition of the possibility of a mega fuck. Only the word “foreplay” could then ruin everything!
  • Bondage is head sex made with hand and rope. Skilful, bondage is “brain fuck” pure. Pure pleasure time.
  • Bondage can create the themes of such passionate genus marrots of homo sapiens such as election, submission and pairing an almost hyperreal experience.
  • Bondage stretches time and creates space, thus embodying the possibility of an answer to the “directness dilemma” of the sexes: to have a few metres of rope applied can give “her” the time she needs without “he” turning off in the meantime. And by “applying” a few meters of rope to “her”, he can savor her without fiddling with her desire. (As far as that’s the problem, bondage is a great “solution”; in other constellations bondage just has other effects.)
  • Bondage can create “erotic space-time” for everything that collapses in orgasm. If the orgasm is the “big bang,” then bondage is one of its possible evolutions and can thus be a condition of the possibility of its depth. (And good conditions of their possibility needs the depth of our orgasms. Only flat it comes by itself).
  • If the orgasm is a “petit mort”, then bondage means to zzelebrieren the rushing life before it in slow motion.
  • Bondage is more of a medium than a mere variation. A medium of intimacy. And the question of how sexual bondage can be shifts to the question of how sexual the desired intimacy should be.
  • The spectrum ranges from mummification fetishists to splinter nude fetishists.

The inevitable midfield moves somewhere between kimono (alternatively bathrobe) and lingerie. Pragmatically important here is to choose any clothing in such a way that it can be plucked from underneath the most unusual bondage lacing where it is to be done.

The word “can” appears 23 times so far. That is a lot and also says something: The answer to the question what bondage is is always what bondage can be.

In general, bondage is a possibility for intimate edification. The concrete constructions depend on how the people who think about them are knitted, on what they would like to have.

For people who know which emotions they want to experience, bondage is then a medium to intensify their experience, depending on how bondage suits these emotions and whether they can reasonably do what they are doing. So there is something to find out about bondage and what to learn and a lot to try and a lot to practice; if you want it to feel like it promises to feel when you look at the pictures when you “make” them.

Fantasies of romantic robbery could be distinguished from tender restraint and these again from cruel vulgarities or consuming despair. How genital may it be, how coarse should it be; so and so similar are the questions on whose answers depends which registers should be pulled during bondage; and what should be learned and practiced for this purpose. There is tango and there is waltz and everything in between. And everything wants to be reasonably skilful so that it doesn’t fall into disrepute. But practicing bondage is more fun than dancing lessons.

Japan and us

As with everything that goes more stylishly beautiful, Japan is the style-forming and leading country in bondage. After decades of the wildest winding of Californian chaos knots* (self-criticism: messy rope-work), Western bondage enthusiasts finally discovered in the bizarre shimmer of the Japanese fetish universes the centuries-old traditions of donating magical torture and pleasurable delights with ingenious rope guides. For centuries, the warlike and authoritarian uses of these skills stood in the way of any outrageous erotic occupation. What a shame!

Millions of Western Japan enthusiasts preferred to bang karate, serve tea or bend paper flowers after models from the Land of the Rising Sun, rather than once examine the everyday Japanese “violent pornography” with all the seriousness offered by lust for horniness and opportunities for staging. For about ten years now, the images of Japanese bondage eroticism have been widely available in magazines, films, and of course via the Internet in the West. Since then Californian knots have also been sitting better and more where they belong (on the “clit”, for example) and since then Western bondage enthusiasts have been following the rope guides of Japanese grandmasters as well as Japanese marketing people follow Western car model series.
Purists all over the world compete for the suppleness of their hemp ropes and simmer them for days on end in mink oil according to Japanese recipes to the annoyance of other roommates while the rope despisers among the SM people blaspheme about the picardliness, diligence and space requirements of the bondage enthusiasts at our parties.

Is Bondage SM?

Some people delimit bondage against SM and say e.g. they stand on shackles, but not on SM. It’s true that everyone should only do what he or she really appreciates and by no means should any complete packages à la “SM means that and that” be imposed on anyone. But the basic element of lust structure in bondage and SM is the same: our erotic feeling is enthusiastic about the characteristics and symbols of “object relationships”, to use a critic’s word, or, to put it less dramatically: in bondage as in SM, a difference in power (American power-exchange) is the object of lust pleasure.

The difference in power so effective in pleasure can manifest itself in pain, exertion, restrictions or humiliations; it may appear refined, harassing or raving; only what manifests itself there and what condenses intimacy is a difference in power, its “imbalance” and not a balance; the staging of an “asymmetrical” relationship.

Per se this is neither bad nor otherwise evaluable; it is simply a fact of homo sapiens, just as its climate is a fact of every region. The crux of the matter is the extent to which people succeed in creating games that suit their lust without imposing anything on them that they don’t want. But more about that later.

But another epilogue: What is power anyway? A word to describe encounters of our trust with our sense of responsibility, but which is also used to refer to abuse, incapacity and our healthy fear of it. What a pity, the language critic says.