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Woman wearing a collar with attached chain
|B&D, B/D, or BD||Bondage and discipline|
|D&s, D/s, or Ds||Dominance and submission|
|S&M, S/M, or SM||Sadism and masochism|
|Top/Dominant||partner who performs or controls the activity|
|Bottom/Submissive||partner who receives or is controlled|
|Switch||switches between roles|
Bondage is a term that historically was used to talk about to the restrictive tie bond that united to masters and slaves, or to feudal lords and vassals. In the terminology used in the BDSM culture the term bondage is usually associated with strings attached with ropes or other restriction elements, but linguistically the word bind does not come from the term bond. Erotic practices related to bondage are, therefore, those that establish asymmetrical power roles, such as master-submissive, employer-employee, boss-employee, teacher-student, police-detained, owner-mascot, lady-maid, etc. Improperly in practice this expression is also related to the bonds and restrictions with erotic purposes.
Escape may be made more difficult by a variety of techniques. These include for example ensuring that all knots are out of reach, rendering the fingers useless with duct tape or bondage mittens and securing straps with padlocks[wipi]. A blindfold is itself useful in this regard, since it is harder to escape when you cannot see what to do.
- A person in strict bondage is by definition completely helpless. Close monitoring to ensure that they are not in danger is therefore essential.
Progressive bondage is a scene[wipi] in which a captive is initially placed in light, not very restrictive bondage but the bondage is gradually made more and more restrictive, and ultimately is very strict bondage. For example, initially there may be no blindfold or gag, but these are added later. A hogtie may be made more stringent, with the addition of a knee tie and elbow bondage[wipi], finally being converted into a pretzel hogtie[wipi]. Such a scene may last for several hours.
Progressive bondage may be part of abduction play[wipi], where bondage is made stricter as part of the plot or to thwart initial escape attempts. It may be a surprise, where the captive is not initially told that it will happen.
Predicament bondage is the art of restraining a captive in such a way that there is a limited number of positions that they can adopt (usually two). Each of these positions is so uncomfortable or even painful that they will shift their weight or position. Upon doing so, they place themselves in the other equally uncomfortable position. The captive will try over and over again to find a position that will bring them comfort, but to no avail.
For example, someone may be tied so that they are forced to stand on tiptoes. An attempt to stand with feet flat on the ground means that their genitals, which are also tightly bound, will be slowly pulled. Eventually, the foot muscles will tire, and they will no longer be able to stand on tiptoe.
A very mild form of predicament bondage is to make someone wear a very tight corset and uncomfortable shoes[wipi]. If they stand up, their feet hurt; if they sit down, the corset gets more uncomfortable.
There can be safety issues with predicament bondage. The captor not only needs to consider the mechanics of the predicament that they are placing their captive in, but also what will happen should the captive faint or become too weak to support themselves. Specifically, the captive needs to consider how to release the captive unaided should they faint and if they faint or are unable to support themselves will they cause injury to themselves.