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Why Some People like to be Tied Up

by Tatu
December 1999

Why do some people like to be tied up?

While more and more is being written on the psychology of SM and pain, there doesn't seem to be much written on the psychology of bondage.  The number of reasons bondage players like restraint are as many as there are people. It is important that both bondager and captive have a good understanding of each other's needs so they can experience the greatest mutual pleasure.  If you are new to the bondage scene you need to make a point of having good communication with your bondager.   Bondagers often have their own specialties and favorite expertise, so you need to let him or her know what flips your switch.  If he cares about you, he will hear you and the result will be unbelievable.  So what type of bondager are you playing with, and what kind of captive are you? Knowing these things will result in finding the right experience for you


In the world of bondage play, people often use a lot of different words which can be used interchangeably to describe similar things.   Here are some of the terms in common use:

Bondage - The act restraining someone.  

Players - Those engaging in bondage

Scene - A specific time when people get together to play

Bondager - The one doing the restraining (Master, Mistress, Sensei, Top, Daddy, Dom/me)

Captive - The one being restrained (submissive, slave, bottom)

Consensual - The idea that everything that happens in a scene and everyone participating it it has given consent to participate and are doing so for their own pleasure and enjoyment.

Some Basic Psychology of Bondage

Bondage means different things to different people.  It might mean being a slave or serving another. It may also mean just being restrained and the act giving up of control.  

So why do some people like to be restrained?  Indeed for some they do it because they find the loss of control erotic and they crave that experience to feel pleasure.  It might be a way to find "subspace", an erotic endorphin tour in their own minds.  Still others may just use bondage to spice up one's vanilla sex life.   For many, they find the experience liberating, it seems to set one free. Sometimes one feels embarrassed about some of the kinky things they do, so bondage allows them to experience the pleasure regardless of what the nonsense society says about sex and pleasure. Once restrained, who cares what the world thinks,  you are free!!!! 

Types of People who like restraints

I have asked many people through the years what it is about being in bondage that clicks for them, and I have discovered many different reasons. I have divided these people into several types of captives:

When The Act of Submission Flips Your Switch

Many are into submitting to a master or mistress.  What ever pleases him or her, s/he is ready and willing to be "used for his / her pleasure".  S/he finds pleasure in knowing that s/he is pleasing one's Dominant.   S/he is into being told what to do. The actual bondage act may not be that significant.  This person would be happy in mental bondage with no physical restraints used at all. Then again s/he may enjoy being put to the test for her Master or Mistress.  S/he will be full of pride knowing that s/he has lived up to their owner's expectations.   

So the Bondager can use restraints as a tool to test  limits and devotion. Bondage may also help one overcome a psychological barrier to something like oral or anal sex or having  one's pussy or cock shaved. The Bondager who is a Master may also use restraints for discipline or punishment.  The submissive loves it  when the Dominant expresses love for his property by disciplining with restraints.

When Loss of Control Is Most Erotic

Some people are not necessarily a submissive to a master.  Some just simply crave the loss of control by submitting to the act of bondage.  The feeling of helplessness or the act of surrender  is a major component to this captives thinking and bondage is a way to get there. This captive probably enjoys scenes that involve sensory deprivation or mummification, and devices like hoods and gags.  We find these captives also enjoying self bondage and scenarios that are seemingly impossible get free from. They may even suspend the use of a safeword, and leave the end of a scene up to their bondager.

Again, this captive craves the feeling of helplessness and the act of surrender. The bondager normally initiates the scene by taking control in every way.... physically, mentally and verbally.   The initiation of the scene with a hood or blindfold, to be left in the dark, not knowing what will happen next are all components of a good scene to this person.   The bondage done to this person should be virtually impossible to escape from so that s/he feels totally helpless. The use of gags to prevent communication are often desirable (Remember to have a safe signal planned if a gag is used, but otherwise use an inescapable bondage on this person.)  Consensual abduction scenes are often a love for this person.

The Adventurous Spirit

This captive likes to top from the bottom as they say.  S/he enjoys every aspect of the scene and likes to have some hand in what is going to happen in the scene.  The setting of the scene, the anticipation, and the visual picture are very important to this captive.  S/he may also in all probability be an exhibitionist, ready to be tied up at the drop of a hat in a public S&M club, or may simply enjoy solitude in the state bondage.  The bondager is not so much a "master", but a partner in orchestrating the scene.  S/he moans and groans and struggles, but rests in complete knowledge that s/he can get free anytime.  This person may also be into self bondage, but is also careful to construct a way of escape.

The Scene Enthusiast

The Scene Enthusiasts may get off more on the bondage than any sexual act.  In fact sex if often not a part of this captive's scene.   Use of classic bondage scenarios like a hog-tie, spread-eagle tie, and chair bondage are good beginnings.   Positioning is important.  Scenes often involve use of several positions in one session.   Soon they will graduate to some very difficult positioning, like semi-suspension where one must stand on toes or only on one foot at a time. They don't usually like blindfolds or hoods, unless they can peek out.  They enjoy knowing they are being watched perhaps even video taped to watch later.   This captive is capable of visualizing to whole scene, the way it looks... the feel of the rope, the beauty of the scene, the struggle.  This person can go on complete head trips by reading a bondage magazine or book.

Fetish Equipment

This person has a fetish for specific equipment.  It might be latex rubber, pvc, leather, soft rope, scratchy rope, stockings, corsets, tattoos, piercings, hoods, gags, uniforms, body bags, straight jackets, etc. This captive can get excited by just being around certain items.  So bondage for this person involves their fetish.... to be restrained in leather vs rope, or to have be subjected to temporary piercing while bound and helpless. Again this person is not about submission or slavery.  This person's head trip is in how the bondage equipment looks, feels and smells.  

The bondager will learn to play this person like a finely tuned violin.  You discover their buttons and learn to use them.  This person loves new experiences, new equipment, and may have trunks full of gags, and restraints collected over the years.  They like surprises so keep lots of things a secret, and bring your toys out slowly a little at the time over many scenes.  

Endorphin Junkie

This person  is a sensation addict and is into a numerous sensations as a means of high sexual intensity.  Bondage is the means to make available all sorts of various sensations  in order to make sexual pleasure intense... this vast array of sensations vary from soft furs to the feel of a knife blade scratching across the skin, all going into making this person's scene intense... it can be out the top. These people can fly. They can get so high they are incapable of speaking.  So the bondager needs to be keenly aware of their physical and mental state, being careful to not do things that might interrupt the captives space once they are f lying. Bondage is the vanilla persons kinky tool of choice to intensify pleasure.

Using lots of sensations are part of testing the boundaries if you will.  S/he will want to do a little more all the time..  perhaps in the form of orgasm denial or experiencing multiple orgasms.

Pain Slut

This person is like the sub space cadet, only they craves real pain. They are masochists at heart. They are after that release of the body's natural endorphins. For the pain slut, bondage is a way of experiencing the desired pain in a scene. Restraints may be the tool used to hold the Pain Slut in place for administration of corporal floggings, canings, and whippings.... all which trigger the endorphin high  they seek. The endorphin high is the goal for the Pain Slut, restraints are simply the means to get to the goal.

Playing with a pain slut can be quite intense.  They want that endorphin high. They can get quite "toppy" or even "manipulative" to get their pain. A heavy endorphin scene can go far enough to where the bottom cannot speak.  They will gaze at you with a distant stare, all along not really being there.  Sex may not be a part of a pain sluts scene.  They can often cum on their own once the endorphin rush takes over her body.  For many pain is the only path to orgasm. Sensual pleasuring is often boring and meaningless to them in terms of reaching orgasm. It may or may not be appreciated in aftercare.


In Closing

No one fits solely in one category, often people are combinations of two or more shades of the above.  Consensual bondage can be a most wonderful experience.  Communicate, explore, fantasize, have fun..  and as  I always say... just play. .