The truth about... Bondage

Really does not recommend you indulge in any of the practices or activities mentioned in the following article. But, if you’re the type of girl who hates being told what to do, read on… Bondage is a definite frontrunner in the fantasy hot list and high street sex shops are doing a storming trade in harnesses, cuffs and straps. So why do we find the idea of restraint just so intriguing

The truth about... Bondage

What's it all about?

According to Midori, artist, sex educator and author of The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage, far from being one of the dark arts, tying up or restraining your beloved in some way is "the steamy, consensual, erotic fun of making one's partner a lovely wrapped gift of pleasure!"

Bondage works by restricting normal movement. Simply done, this could mean hands tied in front or behind the back or legs tied together at the ankles - or to the bed posts.

The precise nature of bondage depends on the personalities, passions and fantasies of those who indulge in it. "Sometimes it's sweet and soft, like silk scarves," explains Midori, "at others it's dark and taboo with leather and buckles..."

Why might I like it?

In a survey by Yahoo, 62% of women said that they had either tied someone up or been tied up during sex. That's a lot of people who thought there might be something in it... so what's the appeal?

It all depends on the individual, but for some it's simply the thrill of something different, the realisation of a fantasy that makes bondage so enticing.

For others, it's about heightening sensory awareness by limiting movement - and making your lover's touch feel even hotter and more sensual.

The pressure and pull of the binds can be stimulation in their own right, but for some enthusiasts, the art of bondage is just that - an art, for which intricate knots and patterns of rope woven across and around the body are a thing of beauty.

Top tips on getting it right

1) When it comes to restraining, show some restraint. Start slowly and gently and talk things through with your partner before and during. A hot fantasy is one thing, but the reality can be different. How is it making you both feel? What are you getting out of it? Games like this are built on trust.

2) Enjoy the practice, enjoy the game, but the minute either of you aren’t, stop playing. It’s not about admitting defeat and there are many other ways to explore each other’s bodies.

3) Bondage devotees also make sure they have a get-out clause – “a special word or signal that means, ‘OK, I need a break from this now’”, says Midori. Pushing limits can be fun, but bulldozing through your partner’s boundaries is just not sexy and they won’t love you in the morning.

4) There are a few practical considerations to bear in mind too. Don’t block someone's airways or leave someone tied up or in the same position for too long or too tightly. Cutting off their circulation will just give them pins and needles and put limbs to sleep rather than awakening any great desire!

5) Also, make sure your partner is fit enough to take part – and we don’t just mean good-looking. We’re sure you love to make your partner’s pulse race but don’t risk going overboard!

6) Finally, have a pair of scissors handy – over-enthusiastic writhing coupled with inexperienced knot-tying can create noticeable complications when the world outside your sex life comes a-knocking…