Rope bondage is an incredibly powerful tool to use in play. As much as I like the traditional collars and cuffs, there is something intimate, personal and visually pleasing when rope bondage is used. It is also INCREDIBLY RESTRICTIVE. After playing with someone last week who requested Shibari style rope work it re ignited my passion for rope play and I wanted to share a little about one of the predicament positions of Strappado Bondage……
Strappado bondage is a term describing a position and technique used in BDSM play. A person’s arms are bound behind their back, then by use of some method of attachment such as a rope or chain that runs from their wrists to a securing point above; their arms are lifted behind them until the person is forced to bend forward.
While the general principle of a bondage strappado remains the same – with the arms bound upwards behind the subject – there are various methods and styles used to achieve this. The different styles can be summarized as follows and several can be combined:
• legs apart – spreader bar or attachment points
• legs together
• elbows bound / not bound
• rope around neck/collar pulling down to force increased bend (in the interests of safety, it is important to ensure that there is no pressure on the front of the neck)
• hair bondage or other head bondage to pull head back
Also, the person may have a gag or blindfold .The exact technique used is very much related to the purpose of using this particular position in BDSM play:
• To reduce or inhibit the subject’s ability to struggle by placing the body in an awkward position such that any struggling on their part could result in their losing balance. As a result of this, it is the bound subject who chooses not to move for fear of falling over.
• To create a sense of vulnerability in the subject’s mind by exposing their buttocks and genital area.
The more common method of strappado often depicted in BDSM publications has the subject’s legs bound together at the ankles and just above the knees. The arms may or may not be bound at the elbows. The arms are pulled up behind the subject and they are placed into the strappado position. A variation on this is to tie a loose-fitting rope around the subject’s neck and to tie this rope to the ankle ropes, causing the subject to bend over more. This results in them having to bend their knees and push their buttocks further out. A collar around the neck is a safer method for securing the rope, as a loose rope can tighten and strangle the person.
A different style is to make use of a spreader bar . By keeping the legs far apart both the sense of imbalance as well as that of vulnerability is increased. Making the subject wear high heeled shoes or stand on a small surface in this position helps still further.
If the elbows are to be bound together, even for very flexible people it is rarely possible to bind them touching together. As the arms are lifted towards a horizontal position in relation to the position of the subject’s torso, the shoulder joints shift into a different position preventing the usual movement that occurs when the elbows are drawn together. Irrespective of this any elbow bondage , even minor, applied in this manner may severely increase tension and pain.
Other rope techniques are sometimes added such as crotch ropes and breast bondage . The use of tight-fitting garments such as a corset increases the visual appeal of the position as well as restricting the subject’s movements. By pulling the arms forward instead of just up the subject can be forced to bend over completely with their buttocks pointing up.
The use of head bondage allows the subject’s head to be pulled back to a front-facing position as opposed to hanging towards the floor and is often used to make the subject perform oral sex. In addition to the restrictiveness that this causes, if a suitable ring gag is used the subject may feel increasingly exposed to penetration and because the subject’s head is facing down drooling may also occur.
The normal reaction of the subject is to increase the forward bending as the arms are lifted. By further lifting the arms beyond a critical point this may become too difficult or even physically impossible to continue without lifting themselves off the floor and force them to stand more upright and increase the strain on the shoulder joints. The subject can also be secured to e.g. a frame and ropes or chains substituted for other bondage devices. By completely immobilizing the subject’s body the person in the dominant position can have complete and precise control over the tension and pain experienced.
A form of predicament bondage is to tie one foot of the subject to the opposite thigh or another body part so they have to concentrate on not causing more pain. Their arms are raised to the point where they have to stand on their toes. To relieve pain in their foot they must lower their body and cause more pain in their shoulders. To relieve pain in their shoulders they must stand on tip-toes and cause more pain in their foot and leg. Another variation is to tie the subject’s foot to a body part of another subject so they can relieve their own pain but increase it for the other subject.
With the breasts pointing towards the floor, the use of , possibly with weights attached, can be used to stimulate the subject with more pain.
Strappado bondage is most commonly used with the subject’s feet on the ground. Very rarely will someone use this technique with their feet off the ground, because of the pain and possibly severe injury this can cause.