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Some couples do incorporate elements of restraints into their otherwise conventional sex lives at some point in their relationships. Bedroom restraints games often constitute foreplay. Bedroom chains is usually mild restraints, with one partner voluntarily being put into confinement by being confined up or cuffed, hogtied or spread-eagled, possibly blindfolded and gagged etc. by the other, who then sexually stimulates the confined partner at will by masturbation, oral sex, a vibrator or intercourse.
Restraints can be used for purposes other than sexual foreplay. For example, it may be used in delicious titillating or for sexual teasing.
The bound partner's satisfaction is often indicated by writhing, struggling or vocalizations etc. The free partner may derive delicious pleasure or achieve sexual arousal from being in a dominant situation, while the restrained partner may achieve arousal from being in a largely "helpless" position in the hands of a trusted partner. Either way, the partners may be playing out the ties games to act out their sexual fantasies (not necessarily the same one) and many established couples find the experience relationship-affirming, as they both require and imply a level of trust between them that is not normally found within more casual relationships as well as being a shared facet of their private and personal sex lives.
This form of confinement has its own niche on some internet websites, where photograhs and videos usually depict voluntarily-tied chicks undergoing inescapable hardcore sexual pleasure, rather than any menace, force or pain.
Safety rules followed by couples are frequently oral or visual context- and trust-based as the bound partner may be held in a painslave sexual position. Sex therefore takes place with their pre-given consent as e.g. a sex game or rape fantasy enactment. In contrast, e.g. a photograph not agreed upon taken while the chained person is incapable of resisting can be considered non-consensual.
The use of confinement by couples in their homes tends to be different from that associated with bondage in (for example) a Sadomaso cellar,where confinement may be an end in itself with no sexual contact at all and is often combined with infliction of pain.
Bondage features prominently in S&M scenes and sexual roleplay. Restraints has a sexual appeal to people of both sexes and all sexual orientations, in either a dominant (top) or slaveslut (tail) role.
There are also some common fantasy settings in which chains may be a component. These include:
* Rape, ravishment and/or abduction: The top fictitiously seizes or abducts the consenting butt and has complete control to do what he/she pleases.
Chains is often combined with other sexual and Sadomasochistic techniques.
Self-bondage is more complex, and may involve special techniques to apply ties to oneself, and also to effect a release after a lapsed period of time. Self-bondage is also notably risky: see the safety notes below.
A huge variety of bondage equipment is available for use in S&M scenes for a number of results. These include rope, straps, or harnesses which can be used to hold limbs together; spreader bars, x-frames which can be used to keep limbs apart; the body or limbs can be bound to an object, such as to chairs or stocks; the body may be suspended from another object, as in suspension ties; or it may used to restrict normal movement, such as use of hobble skirts, handcuffs, or pony harness. Restraints may also be used to wrap the whole body or a part of it in bindings, such as cloth or plastic (saran wrap or cling film "mummification") as well as sleepsack bondage.
One of the purposes of confinement in Sadomaso is to restrain a person (typically called the arse) in a Sadomasochistic position. This may involve simply tying the hands together in front or behind. Other positions involve the use of a waist belt to anchor the hands to the front, back or sides. Other popular positions are the spread eagle, with the limbs splayed out and fastened by wrists and ankles to bedposts, door frame or some other anchoring point; the hogtie, which secures each wrist to its corresponding ankle behind the back (wider, padded chains such as restraints cuffs are recommended for this); the balltie, which secures wrists to ankles, in front, with the knees drawn up to the chest; the crotch rope, which involves pulling a rope between the labia to apply pressure to the female genitals. Sometimes a knot is placed in the rope at the position of the clitoris to intensify the sensation. Other positions include the reverse prayer position (not recommended unless the subject has flexible shoulders), and an over-arm tie, in which the arms are brought over the head, and the wrists fastened together tush the head and then by a length of rope, chain or strapping to a belt at the waist.
The types of confinement used in bondage include rope, which is often preferred because of its flexibility. Rigging, however, requires considerable skill and practice to do safely. Other types of chains include confinement, handcuffs, thumbcuffs and belly chains. Institutional confinement, such as straitjackets may be used in some roleplays, and purpose-made chains gear, such as monogloves, sleepsacks, restraints hooks and bondage tables, are also available.
Some Bdsm play parties offer "bondage workshops", where couples, or people otherwise consenting with each other, can practice tying up each other under the instruction and supervision of an experienced ties rigger.