The Art Of Seduction: Bondage & BDSM Toys for Beginners

Table of Contents

What Is BDSM?

What Is BDSM?

BDSM is a broad umbrella term used to describe (mostly) sexual interactions that often play with power dynamics. It encompasses four major groups: B for bondage and discipline, D for domination and submission, S for sadism and M for masochism. People can be interested in one or more of these main groups.

BDSM doesn’t have to involve sex or sex toys, but it can. Many people have a particular idea of what BDSM looks like, but in reality, the BDSM community welcomes a wide spectrum of non-normative sexual and power practices. BDSM can be for everyone — though it doesn’t have to be. Still, anyone should feel free to try it out, since there is no one way to do BDSM or one type of couple or person that can engage with it.

An essential foundation for any type of BDSM is informed consent. In order to be safe, all parties must be extremely clear and willing to engage in whatever practice is taking place. Informed consent goes one step further than agreeing to do something, because it entails full knowledge of everything you agree to.

The best practice to ensure informed consent is to talk openly and honestly about you and your partner’s fantasies … and your limits. When you start planning, make sure to designate a safe word — a word you say when you or your partner need to stop or feel compromised in any way. Doing this helps everyone. Knowing you can easily let your partner know when you want to stop, slow down or make adjustments makes it a lot easier to take more risks and try out those fantasies.

What Is Bondage?

WHAT IS BONDAGE

Bondage is the practice of restraining or being restrained. Think less handcuffs in the back of a cop car (unless that’s your fantasy, no judgment!) and more pink fluffy handcuffs. In a sexual context, restraints can be an exciting way to play with power dynamics.

Some people get turned on by the idea of being tied up or otherwise restrained, and some people would rather do the tying. It’s even a Japanese art form.

There are many bondage materials and ways to incorporate bondage into your bedroom. Some popular bondage materials are:

  • Blindfolds: This is an excellent way for beginners to start exploring BDSM because all you need is a blindfold to experience a massive shift in power dynamics. There is something truly exciting about sensory deprivation! An excellent option for a blindfold is our vegan leather Fascination Mask.
  • Cuffs: Another classic, handcuffs are great because they are so versatile. You can attach your partner to nearly anything you want! You can also bind their hands or feet together in a variety of positions. The versatility of cuffs is like BDSM itself — the sky is your partner’s or your limits! Try out the Fascination Cuffs.
  • Rope or other ties: Again, there is no one way to “do bondage”; you can use anything from silk, ribbons, string, zip ties or even tape. Softer materials are probably better for beginners, but it also depends on how you use them.

As you can see, bondage can take many forms. You can do bondage in public, you can do bondage as an exhibition to be viewed as a human sculpture or you can keep bondage in your bedroom with your partner.

Remember to keep materials like scissors or keys handy for safety (and safe word!) reasons. If someone wants to stop, you should always be able to quickly and efficiently.

When and Where Did BDSM/Bondage Originate?

BDSM and bondage have been around since before we even had those words to refer to them. There is evidence from all over the ancient world of people getting kinky, yet it was only in 1885 that the words “sadism” and “masochism” were defined.

The earliest evidence of kinky powerplay is in ancient Mesopotamian drawings that depict the goddess Ishtar engaging in crossdressing, ritualistic punishment and the blending of pleasure and pain. In fact, most of the archaic examples of these practices were tied to religious rituals. There are records of public and ritualistic sex in ancient Greece and Rome, complete with whipping, in wall paintings, frescos and statues. In ancient India, we have The Kamasutra, a Sanskrit guide on all things romantic. The Kamasutra describes all sorts of sexual and non-sexual relationships, power dynamics and situations.

Ancient Japan had its own version of The Kamasutra called The Shijuhatte, which taught young couples about sex. There are also incredible pieces of kinky art depicting bondage, sex with animals and other smutty imagery. There is a long history in Japan of erotica and erotic art that continues today.

While kinkiness is a global phenomenon and perhaps even a basic part of sexuality (depending on how you define “kinky”), the modern western lineage of BDSM can be traced to the Marquis de Sade. The S in BDSM is for sadism, and it’s named after this French writer, politician, and sexual libertine who was born in 1740.

The Marquis de Sade was a controversial and intense figure that set into motion a philosophical and artistic fascination with sexual kinks, but unfortunately, he was so intense — and cruel and abusive — that he created a negative stigma for BDSM that lasts to this day.

Modern BDSM, however, places immense importance on informed consent and the idea that all parties ultimately have equal agency over their sex lives. If it’s not consensual, it’s not sexy at all. When it is consensual? The sky — or the sex dungeon — is the limit.

BDSM and the Effect of Mainstream Media

Over time, the collective knowledge of BDSM has expanded. While in the past various cultures sought to extinguish or punish these practices, now we see examples of mainstream culture embracing them.

Today, in the United States, you can go to the supermarket and pick up a steamy magazine with an article about BDSM. You can see movies and TV shows like Fifty Shades of Grey or Nymphomaniac that focus on BDSM or kinky sex.

More subtly, you can even see traces of BDSM in fashion aesthetics everywhere. From the runways of Paris to the performers’ costumes at the Super Bowl, fetish and kink wear are now a huge part of the mainstream style. Think leather collars, fishnets, strappy tops, chains...

BDSM’s increased acceptance within the mainstream allows far more people to have nuanced conversations about BDSM. People who never thought they would ever want to try BDSM might realize that certain parts of their sex life have always incorporated elements of BDSM.

How Do I Get Into Bondage and BDSM Play With My Partner?

How Do I Get Into Bondage and BDSM Play With My Partner

BDSM is all about informed consent. As with all sex — but particularly with practices like bondage or sadomasochism that deal in power dynamics as well as the connection between pain and pleasure — you and your partner both need to be both down for and into it.

If you are interested in engaging in BDSM with a partner, talk through what you are looking for and what your limits are, and set your safe word. Other than informed consent and a safe word, there are no hard rules for how you conduct your personal BDSM/sexual life — at least not until you or your partner sets them!

What Can Be Used During BDSM / Bondage Play?

The better question is: what can’t be used in BDSM/bondage play? The very skilled practitioner of BDSM knows how to make a BDSM scene out of nothing. BDSM isn’t about a product but rather a mindset, a curiosity and a desire to explore.

If you are new to BDSM, you might want to invest in some products to get the mood going and spark further curiosity. The beginner can find a lot of inspiration through props like paddles, cuffs and other toys. Some good products to start with could be:

  • Nipple clamps
  • Vibrators, cock rings or other classic toys
  • Whips
  • Restraints
  • Collars with leashes

JimmyJane offers a sexy Seven-Piece Set that is great for beginners and kinky pros alike. Get one today and dive into the world of BDSM!

References

What is BDSM? An expert guide to BDSM sex for beginners. (February 2020). Cosmopolitan.

Understanding Consent. (2021). American Sexual Health Association.

Everything you need to know about using safewords. (September 2018). Cosmopolitan.

8 Bondage Sex Tips to Try if You’re a Total Beginner. (April 2018). Allure.

Where Did BDSM Come From?. (February 2019). Ranker.

From Freud to America: A short history of sadomasochism. (October 2004). The Harvard Crimson.

What is Kama Sutra?. (2020). WebMD.