"HARNESS" column - November 2005
Topping Amateur Escape Artists - Part 1
It can be humiliating to find that the wide-eyed submissive you've just spent forty minutes tying up has managed to escape from bondage in the two minutes that your back was turned. As an amateur escape artist, I also know how much fun it can be when you find a Top who really knows how to tie you up properly.
Fortunately there are some easy steps you can take to make sure your submissive remains restrained for as long as you desire. Here are a few suggestions:
- Tie the ends of any ropes out of reach of hands or teeth.
It's a good idea to have ropes of several different lengths at your disposal. If you want, you can identify the different lengths by wrapping different coloured tape around the ends. If you need a six-foot-long rope to attach someone's wrists to a headboard, then take a nine-foot rope instead and tie the ends out of reach.
- Make sure the submissive has exhaled before tying restraints around their torso.
It's very easy for someone to expand their rib cage and hold it locked while you tie them into a rope harness or straitjacket. Then as soon as your back is turned they exhale and the restraints loosen. Tickling is an option for encouraging a person to relax their ribcage. So is rubbing a knuckle over one or two of their ribs until they breathe out!
- Blindfold the submissive.
If you don't have a blindfold to hand, shove an empty pillowcase over their head. That stops them from knowing when you're looking in their direction, or being able to misdirect your attention with eye contact or facial expressions.
- Don't leave them unattended.
I'd always recommend that you don't leave someone in bondage unattended for safety reasons. However, sometimes the submissive does a very good job of asking for a drink of water from the kitchen - and by the time you get back they're out of the restraints. Better to have everything to hand that you might need: water, bandage scissors, towels, lube, tissues etc. right from the start.
- Put them on a floating surface.
I've often used friction to help get out of tight situations, by rubbing against an immovable surface. If you tie someone into a floating bondage table (suspended from chains), or a sling, then you reduce the submissive's ability to use friction as an aid to escaping.
- Check their body for keys.
If the person you're playing with is wearing clothes make sure you check pockets, inside leather vests, inside boots, around the waistband of jockstraps etc. If they're naked then check they haven't palmed a key, tucked it inside their mouth or stuck it to their body with tape.
- Lock handcuffs with the keyhole pointing towards their shoulders.
If the keyhole is pointing towards their fingers it's possible to undo the lock with a key or piece of wire. If the keyhole is pointing towards their shoulders it's much harder to undo - even with a key. You can put the key in your mouth but then it's difficult to turn your hands enough to trip the mechanism.
- Tighten Allen keys all the way.
If you leave bolts a little bit loose they can be persuaded to open without the key ... And make sure you store all metal bondage in the locked position, so that you have to unlock it before you use it each time. That way you know you have the correct key and it still works.
- Revisit ropes and restraints regularly to check that they are still tight.
It often looks like the ropes just fell off in one go, when actually the submissive has been working on them for a while without you noticing. Check your previous work regularly so that you don't get a nasty surprise.
- The simplest trick of all: TELL them not to escape!
Many SM scenes involve a punishment for the submissive if they disobey the Top. So why not make escaping a punishable offence? Then it doesn't matter how easy it would be to escape, the fear of the consequences for them if they do will be enough to keep them in place.
Click here to read part 2 of this column.
Have fun, look after yourselves and the people you play with.
International Mr Leather 2003