I am going to start with the joke that isn’t funny (above). Do not ever restrain your partner and then leave them, unless this is a pre-arranged situation and they have an abandonment fetish. Even then, you need to be close by to monitor the situation in case there is a fire, the house is broken into, a swam of bees gets in the house, etc…
Seriously, it’s not funny to handcuff your partner to the bed and then leave. I see this all the time in TV/movies/cartoons/culture presented as a hilarious joke, but it’s really not amusing, okay?
BDSM motto: “Safe, sane, and consensual.”
Now again, every vanilla person has handcuffed a sexual partner at some point. So like all things, there is a gradient of kink here. Handcuffs really aren’t very kinky, because kink is about sexual taboo, and about things outside of the normal.
So what else is there?
Well first, I recommend anyone even considering cuffs use leather instead of metal. This is because they won’t cause permanent damage to a submissive or the furniture. It’s just a better way to go.
You can use a series of leather cuffs to bind a person, and it is a quick and easy way to ensure that they are unable to move. Wrist and ankle cuffs are the most common, but obviously you can get them in various sizes, and with various lengths of chain/straps to connect them.
This isn’t necessarily an elegant way to bind someone, but it is easy to get in and out of, and it doesn’t require a significant commitment of time or effort.
Probably the most beautiful and elegant way to bind someone is shibari, or Japanese rope bondage. This is a skill that takes practice, and it is definitely fancy enough to be considered an art form.
Because any kind of rope bondage can be dangerous (cutting off circulation to limbs can cause permanent damage) I recommend learning from people who really know what they are doing. Both the Knotty Boys and Twisted Monk offer wonderful video tutorials.
People who become very skilled in this art will sometimes also do rope suspensions from hard points in the ceiling. However, again, this takes a lot of practice and is not for beginners.
One way to learn things like Shibari and suspensions is through your community, so make sure to check your local resources. Some cities have awesome public dungeons that you can visit like the CSPC (which contains a learning annex), and even small towns have members on Fetlife.com who can help you find a workshop to go to.
Remember, don’t be shy. Use the local resources in your community to learn about BDSM safely! I know that at first you might feel nervous about it, but do it anyway.
If you would rather, there are body suits you can buy for bondage. Some are leather, and some are latex. Both are very popular, and indeed, some people have fetishes just based around the wearing of leather/latex.
However, if the material doesn’t matter to you, then you can simulate the same kind of thing with plastic wrap. It is cheap, but very restrictive. I would ask that you be careful to ensure that your submissive has plenty of circulation to all body parts, and also that you make sure to have a cutting tool on hand.
As long as you keep those things in mind, it’s a fun option for full-body bondage.
There is all kinds of furniture designed for bondage. Above is a spanking bench, but there are also stockades, spanking poles, and all kinds of other options.
Making your own is typically cheaper, as it is rare that you can find such things for purchase, and when you do the price is typically steep.
So, you might want to take a basic carpentry class is furniture is your thing. It will save you money/effort in the long run, and carpentry is an easy and fun hobby.
Perhaps also in the category of furniture is cages. You can typically find these for purchase because cages are used for dogs, and also for larger animals in zoos. Specialty pet stores will often have fancy options, and also your basic kennels available.
However, you can also weld your own, or purchase some that are specifically intended for kink. My friend Steve Haworth happens to do this, and makes very cool round cages that come in two parts which fit together.
In any case, cages are another form of bondage that you may be interested in.
There are several kinds of gags. I am going to go ahead and say that ball gags are only for looks. They are way too easy for a bratty sub to spit out. If you like the look, I won’t fault you.
However, if you actually want to gag someone and have them stay gagged, I recommend a spider gag. They also look cool, and no sub is spitting those out!
This all seems very elaborate, and maybe some people feel that such elaborate apparatus are going “over the top.” I would remind you that all these things can be fun if you are willing to give them a try, but that it’s perfectly fine if you are lazy like me and typically just bind someone with gear ties. (Yes, I really do.) Bondage can be fancy and it is often beautiful when it is. But of course, it doesn’t have to be.
Remember there are often a thousand ways to do something, and they can all be fun.
Your kink is not my kink, and that’s okay!