Here's my wah-wah: I'm 20, gay and my boyfriend of eight months is into tying me up. I work out a lot and I have pretty decent muscles, and something about tying me up makes him extra horny, which is a turn on for me too. I'm wondering if I have anything to be worried about — not necessarily psycho-killer worried, but, well, is this gonna warp me somehow? Why is it so much fun? My main problem is that when my boyfriend has me tied up I can't touch him! And what about pictures? He takes lots of them, and I'm wondering if I should put a stop to that. What if they show up online when I'm running for president?
— Fit To Be Tied
First, the photo issue: If you want to be a bondage-porn mogul like, say, Van Darkholme (www.vanhotman.com) when you grow up or a bondage porn model for, say, www.capturedguys.com or www.boundandgagged.com, those pics will help, not hurt, your future job prospects. But on the off chance that you do want to run for president — assuming, for the sake of argument, that the American Taliban hasn't finished turning this country into a morally and fiscally bankrupt theocracy by the time you're old enough to run for president — those bondage pics could hurt your political prospects.
Thankfully, FTBT, there are tons of career options in addition to bondage-porn model and President of the United States. You could be a lawyer or a banker or a fireman or an advice columnist when you grow up. In our postParis Hilton universe, a few bondage pics floating around on the Web are unlikely to hurt your future job prospects as an out gay man. Bondage is the new oral sex — it just isn't that kinky anymore.
What makes bondage fun? The very "problem" you mention: the frustration of not being able to touch the other person, the helplessness, the loss of control. For most bondage freaks — guys like your boyfriend — there's a visual aspect to bondage. Looking at a hot male body wrapped in ropes does it for him. It's an intense form of objectification: When he ties you up, he has complete control over you. He can look at your hot body just as long as he likes and you can't cover up or leave or determine what happens next. For as long as he keeps you tied up, you're an object, his possession.
"Objectification" is a word that's usually tossed around in a negative context; mostly we hear it when someone is complaining about the objectification of women. But being treated like an object — when you want to be to be treated like an object — can be intensely sexy. Hell, we all long to be objectified. Why do you work out so much, FTBT? So that people will admire your body, yes? And you're not only interested in being admired by people you know, right? You want to be admired by strangers on the street, other guys at the gym, people on the bus. To strangers — people who know nothing of your beautiful mind — you're only an object.
Enjoy it while it lasts, FTBT, because one day no one is going to objectify you anymore, whether you're tied up or walking around, and you're going to miss it.
My girlfriend, 22 and Christian, likes to be tied up. She's into anime-style Japanese bondage porn and she wants me to do that incredibly complicated rope bondage. I've looked at some pictures — she has thousands of them that she's been downloading and saving on her computer since she was a teenager — but I can't make it happen. I'm the first boy she's ever told about her fetish, and I don't want to disappoint her. Where does a nice boy like me go to learn how to truss up a nice girl like her in the style of Japanese bondage porn?
— Blessed Be The Ties That Bind
"Rope bondage is a great way to create a sensual connection with your partner," says Monk, the brains behind www.twistedmonk.com, which sells high-quality, multi-colored hemp rope to bondage enthusiasts. "It does, however, take time and practice."
The first thing Monk wants you and your girlfriend to bear in mind is that a lot of the bondage in Japanese anime isn't practical — not even the bondage shown in actual photos of actual tied-up people. "Many of the shots are the sort of thing where they intricately tie a woman up," says Monk, "hoist her in the air for the few minutes it takes to snap the photo, and then immediately bring her down and out of the rope."
Your first assignment from Monk isn't a bondage session but a bondage conversation. "Ask your girlfriend what about being tied up turns her crank," says Monk. "Is it the act of being restrained? The sense of helplessness? Or is she getting high from the endorphins produced by stressful rope?" Once you have a better idea what she's after, "get your hands on some practical instruction. Midori's The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage is always a great place to start."
And get some decent rope! "That coil from Home Depot is just not going to cut it," says Monk. "It won't hold knots as well, it will burn her skin if it's used incorrectly, and it's generally harder to work with than Whitney Houston at an NA meeting. Hemp rope, on the other hand, when properly treated, holds knots well and is strong yet soft. Hemp rope is the traditional rope used in Asian bondage and most rope sluts will agree that it feels the best against exposed skin."
Hey, did I mention that Monk sells hemp rope? He does: www.twistedmonk.com.
Finally, Monk suggests you set aside some time for low-stakes practice sessions. "Try some stuff out when you're not emotionally invested in the outcome of the bondage," said Monk. "Start small, experiment, have her give you feedback as to how it feels. ... Where does it hurt? Is this a good thing or a bad thing for her? Practice will allow you to feel more confident doing this in the heat of actual play."
Dan, you hit the nail on the head in your response to the man with a crush on his friend's wife, especially when you explained why the woman seemed to be sending "I'm into you too" vibes: "Because you're her husband's friend, and she doesn't want to embarrass you by telling you that she would rather eat her own shit than fuck your vibin' ass." Well put.
My wife, who is very attractive, is very nice to my friends, even the ones she doesn't like. But it's gotten to the point where she almost has to be rude. Why are so many guys so stupid? Not all of them come on to her, although some do, but they tell me, other friends and her that they wish they had met her first, they monopolize her time when we're out and one business acquaintance has started sending her love notes behind my back.
We have started to anonymously send your article to them. Perhaps they'll get the hint that she's only being nice to them because she thinks she has to.
— She's Hot And She's Married
Thanks for sharing, SHASM.
Next week in Savage Love: Shitloads of good advice for 15-year-old girls.