My early obsession with wrapping and strapping
remembered in an article in Checkmate magazine some time
The first simulated
strait-jacket experience I ever had was when I wriggled myself into
my older brother's leather bomber jacket with it's arms pulled inside.
I zipped it up with difficulty and tried to imagine not being able to
get out. Instinctively, I next tried to put it on backwards with arms
folded inside but failed to get the zip fully closed in-back. The jacket
also felt good with the leather inside but it looked stupid - and the
visual has always been important to me.
The bomber jacket
when pulled on back-to-front but with my arms in the sleeves made it
tight up around my neck even without the zip right up. Crossing my arms
in front, the bulk and tightness felt good - it remained for me to invent
ways of fixing my arms. I found ways (Footnote: Since those early
days I've often used a standard motorcycle jacket backwards on others
as the basis of an improvised strait-jacket introduction. With a novice
it's less threatening than the real thing and can be just as efficient.
For technical details of improvising an SJ from a bike jacket see link
from 'Locked-on Clothes' page).
surplus anorak modified as SJ:
The first strait-jacket I owned was when I adapted a tough naval flight
deck smock. Bought cheap in a surplus store it was heavy-duty rip-proof,
wind-proof fabric well sewn together and the arms were already quite
long. Being the type you pull on over your head it had neither back
or front opening. There was also a snug-fitting hood which, when fully
closed with a draw-string, only eyes were showing. This particularly
appealed to me because in addition it had external tough mouth and collar
flaps that could be tightened satisfyingly around the lower face and
neck. All that was missing to satisfy me was closed-end sleeves (and
perhaps some sort of strappery).
In those days of
secret self-applied bondage, making-do was the name of the game. A pair
of army ski mitts and a few webbing straps bought from the same source
allowed me to improvise myself into some sort of strait-jacketed effect.
The same jacket when pulled on back-to-front so the hood was over my
face intensified the experience. I could just about close a couple of
webbing straps between my wrists while wearing mitts before the air
started to run out. Dangerous days. A metal eyelet kit from a tent store
allowed me to add a couple of breathing holes in the back of the hood
so I could enjoy the situation for longer.
However, the jacket
still lacked closed-end sleeves. My first experience of sewing tough
fabric was hand stitching the anorak sleeve ends and the leather ski-mitts
together. This resulted in some sore fingers but was worth the effort.
I could now climb into and sleep in this rugged if somewhat baggy jacket
and hood with wrists strapped together strait-jacket fashion - and live
to extricate myself in the morning (Cautionary notes about self-applied
bondage appear frequently in my writings).
taught me that attaching wrist-to-wrist in strait-jacket fashion is
not the same as the hands being linked mitt-end to mitt-end. I needed
to learn to add rivets - which would strengthen all my strappery and
reinforce my hand-sewing.
When I found a solid
black oilskin ex-Navy anorak complete with matching pants I further
improved my DIY skills. The anorak was the same shape as the previous
one but also had a waist belt. Buying a second pair of pants allowed
me to cut these up and add double thickness simple tubes of oilskin
to lengthen the sleeves beyond finger-ends. Carried away by my improving
skills, the extra fabric also became a through-crotch flap which could
be laced tight between my oilskin clad legs (if a chose to wear the
pants) otherwise between my naked thighs. Even a pair of crude oilskin
foot covers were attempted to complete the ensemble. However, strapped
in the heavy and sticky black anorak in strait-jacket mode while wearing
the oilskin trousers and rubber boots confirmed my preference for total
encasement in industrial-weight gear and simulated restraint.
(A descriptive and illustrated extension of this scenario has resulted
in a story Fantasy and Fact in PVC. Recently added
to the 'Storylines' list on the Home Page).
Attempts to add
back straps to tighten the body of the baggy jacket around my chest
and waist before crossing the arms were not strictly necessary as there
was no back or front opening, but the strappery made it feel more like
I imagined a strait-jacket should feel.
In those early days I always visualised a strait-jacket with
crossed arms. The image of a restraint jacket with arms straight down
the sides of the body came later.
surplus jacket bodies were hip length, ending at wrist level. With sleeves
pulled inside the jacket and my arms loose inside the hooded tube of
heavy oilskin, I could roll myself until the tough fabric tightened
around me. I also found that with hands threaded down inside the waist
of the oilskin trousers I could, by rolling on a tarpaulin, get somewhere
close to the total immobilisation sensation I was eager to try if only
I could find anybody in the world willing to lend me a hand.
The arms-down, strapped
and wrapped situation seemed, in my imagination, to be totally different
from wriggling around in a strait-jacket - but the alternative body
position had it's own appeal. I also tried to spread-eagle myself while
wearing the oilskin suit or fabric jacket plus heavy canvas work pants
and boots, or with legs encased inside an army kit bag tightly cinched
over the waist of the jacket and with legs strapped together. Many hours
of self-applied restraint had taught me how to get myself into and (hopefully)
out of various configurations of straps or rope: Spread-eagle, hog-tie,
arms down, crossed arms
I enjoyed the differences.
Making from scratch my first closed-end-sleeve jacket with
a leg-sack attached was the next logical step in strait-jacket design.
By this time I had bought an old industrial-weight sewing machine and
figured out the complexities of home dress-making patterns. A pyjama
pattern provided the basis for a back-opening jacket with attached leg
sack. A second-hand army tent offered suitably rugged lived-in canvas.
Having discovered spring-close slider buckles to use with ex-army webbing
straps, I was able to tighten a range of straps around legs, waist,
chest and biceps of my full-body strait-jacket/bag before tightening
a strap between the closed sleeve-end around my waist. Using a hook
in the wall I learned how to not only cross my arms in front but wrap
the extra-long mitt-straps (now firmly riveted and hand-sewn to mitt-ends)
once around my waist before closing the buckle at the front. This not
only took the buckle further out of reach, the strap also cinched my
waist satisfyingly tight.
this particular configuration soon enabled me for the first time to
experiment with arms crossed behind my back instead of in front, before
cinching the mitt strap. The arms-in-back strait-jacket forced the chest
forward and left the stomach and groin deliciously accessible.
Soon I could achieve
this arms-in-back position in all my jackets. It felt different - but
good. Standing or lying in front of a mirror peering through eye-slits
I'd made in all the over-face hoods, it was easy to imagine having been
put into this position by somebody who now had total power over me
to keep me restrained for however long they chose and do with me what
This is not the place to record my first opportunities to
share both my hard-earned knowledge and, by now, quite efficient pieces
of gear. But, the existence of the equipment certainly helped to entice
several first-time bondage assistants. Houdini was the key to persuading
various people to help me with my 'experiments'. It's an old story and
one I often hear from others who arrived instinctively and unaided at
an enthusiasm for physical-restraint games.
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