First of the home-produced (un-illustrated) compilations of correspondence between Fetters customers and Jim Stewart. No betrayal of confidentiality here; all contributors agreed to publication and, in some cases, expanded what they had originally written or discussed.

This collection of "questions and answers, ideas and problems, fantasies and realities" clarified a lot of points for a lot of people in those pre-Internet days.

The range of topics discussed is still widely thought-provoking. Perhaps time for it to be augmented, re-edited and illustrated (Offers of editorial help would be welcomed).


by Jim Stewart

Don't expect a string of titillating descriptions of an explicitly sexual nature ..... or a how-to-do-it-by-numbers guide to S&M games. The different bondage scenarios discussed here are included because they illustrate the diversity of interests, and the general need to exchange ideas.

Don't expect great literature. When it comes to writing down a rush of ideas .....; when it comes to an enthusiasm .....; when it comes to a flow of alternatives - - to hell with grammar and structure: dots, dashes, colons, semicolons and double question marks may not be true punctuation - but they indicate a personality. To gossip onto paper can be a great release. I encourage people to use their own 'voice' as they write to me, not keep stopping to tidy up the text. That sort of impetus is very necessary if total strangers are going to expose their innermost secrets in cold print.

My correspondence with FETTERS customers inevitably takes on a wildly un-businesslike intimacy. Details of their likes and dislikes, experiences and fantasies pour through my letter box - and as promptly as time will allow I'm delighted to respond. Tactful and tentative first letters from total strangers often blossom into elaborate surveys of their most personal hopes and wildest dreams.

For many years in both the theatre and FETTERS I've been involved in turning fantasies into some sort of reality ... but ... in the emotional / physical minefield of SM & bondage game playing, a sound basis of know-how is necessary. Access to reliable information on the subject has always been dangerously limited. Knowing what other people do and how they do it can be a revelation. Discovering that one's own ever-so special guilty secret is, in fact, rather commonplace in the cannon of SM fetishes can be something of a shock. But hearing about what other people do / like / achieve / fail to achieve can be very liberating.

So, this small volume contains actual letters to and from FETTERS. There is no betrayal of trust here. All letters are reproduced with the full consent of the writers In fact in some cases the writers have expanded or summarised their original correspondence specially for this publication. All letters were chosen because they contain information. They also illustrate the diversity of preferences within the field too loosely called 'Bondage'.

Enjoy what you enjoy



Edited by Jim Stewart

Written before the Internet opened up the Information Highway, this home desk-top published book explores a wide variety of bondage / SM questions and answers, ideas and problems, fantasies and realities. These are discussed informally in letters between Jim Stewart and various kinkheads around the world. (All letters are reproduced with the full consent of the contributors.)

Subject matter includes:
A VOICE FROM THE WILDERNESS Typical letter from an experienced self-applied bondage player with no previous contact with the outside world. The author discusses intuitive knowledge and privately arrived at instinctive fantasies which turn out to be textbook clichés.

SPORTS EQUIPMENT AS BONDAGE Ex-navy technician turned-on by diving, skiing and other restrictive sports gear describes how he has played intensely private self-applied restraint-games since early childhood.

HAVE DUNGEON, WILL TRAVEL Bondage enthusiast with ex-army ambulance equipped for indoor and outdoor games seeks male and female playmates.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON BONDAGE A few in-depth thoughs from Germany

BONDAGE PSYCHOLOGY Complex and obscure thoughts on distinctions between specifically SM activities and bondage-as-an-end-in-itself from a German Thinker.

SM CLUBHOUSE WANTED A group of regular game-players advertise for isolated rural premises or secure urban 'Industrial space' suitable for a wide range of SM and bondage group activities.

MEDICAL INSIGHT Cautionary notes from a senior doctor (also an experienced SM/bondage/Leatherman) detail the dangers of some popular SM practices, as he tries to separate often-repeated fiction from harsh reality.

RUBBER BONDAGE FANTASY Vivid descriptions of self-bondage in sports kit

Long-time FETTERS correspondent summarises his gradual coming-to-terms with suppressed instincts. This intensely honest story shows how unfocused frustration for years screwed up his career, marriage and self-esteem. A fascinating insight into a problem more common than most people realise.


(Complete text)

Dear Jim/Maurice (& the gang),
It feels quite strange to be writing to you. Like, I suspect, many people interested in 'Restrictive Practices', I'm extremely paranoid. While I've never felt guilty about liking this sort of thing, I've always been very worried about being 'found out. I've therefore been wary about committing anything to paper lest it get into the hands of a potential blackmailer - or worse, the Law. The nature of my Profession (I'm a doctor - albeit a recently qualified one) means that being charged in connection with 'obscene practices' could potentially lead to my losing my source of income. As a result I tend to feel vulnerable even signing my name on a cheque to FETTERS, and I can't deny that sending this letter will cause me considerable anxiety.
So why am I writing it? Well, to be honest, I'm not sure ... but the new 'European edition' has spurred me to take the risk. You invited reactions to the publication: well it's difficult to know where to start; if the previous FETTERS catalogue was a major milestone in my life, the new one was nothing short of a Godsend!
The most obvious thing is how damn sexy it all is ...
... anyway, despite the gorgeous photos, it was the text that was most satisfying for me - and something of an eye-opener. I've always been aware that fetishism and Restrictive Practices are much more common in the general public than is widely admitted; even so, it's still a pleasant surprise to find that other people not only share your intimate interests so exactly, but have thought out the issues concerned so clearly. If like me, you're 'out in the wilderness', it's quite exhilarating to read something that strikes so many cords.
Your 'Twelve Talking Points' (see page 54 for availability) rang true on many counts. On the rare occasions when I've read about someones childhood sexual fascination for restraints, I'm struck by how closely they echo my own. I too, feel that I've got as far as I've got completely 'under my own steam'. My preferences have been crystallising over many years to the point where they're now quite distinct. As long as I can remember, I've been vaguely curious about what it'd feel like if I couldn't move my arms and legs . I was instigating 'tying up games' since age six (is this a significant age?!) and recall being preoccupied with the waterproof pushchair covers in the Mothercare book (how did the toddler feel, with its' arms and legs trapped under the plastic and only its face visible?) In Primary Five, I surprised my teacher (and parents) by writing a 'What I Want To Be When I Grow Up' essay about Escapology (I had recently seen Alan Alan escape from a strait-jacket on some circus show on telly!) I remember vividly my first conscious orgasm at the age of twelve, when I pushed both my legs into the same trouser-leg of a pair of ski salopettes and managed to pinion my arms with a too-small padded body warmer.
These are only some of the incidents I remember. The list could on. My point is, I agree with your general assertion that an interest in Erotic Bondage is instinctive in some people, and probably something that they 'feel' their way towards from a fairly early age. Where it springs from in the first place is unclear; most of the aetiological theories I've read are fairly ropey, and I certainly was never spanked or restrained or whatever as a child. There's evidence now that there are genes for certain aspects of personality but they are mult-factorial and very complicated, and when it comes to Restrictive Practices, Medicine and Psychology can't even agree on the definitions! As you say, it all boils down to 'This is how I am', and I certainly don't want to be 'cured'!
I think a tentative interest in Erotic Bondage is present in a greater percentage of the population than you suggest, especially if considered on a continuum - with leather fetishism. Biker jackets and other leather clothing still provoke an ambiguous reaction from a lot of people, and I think a very large proportion of the population choose their mode of dress on the basis of subtle sexual frisson:. Zips, belts, straps, fasteners, lacing or tightfitting clothes, boots ... maybe I'm labouring the point here.
If you approach the subject from another angle; the preponderance of 'restrictive scenes' in the media and literature indicate a wide popularity. When, as an adolescent, I spent hours in John Menzies flicking through thrillers to find the 'tying-up scenes' (as I recall, Alistair McLean and Dick Francis weren't bad), I'd occasionally wonder if anyone else did the same. Many people read the Conan novels. John Norman's Gor cycle is permanently out on loan from the public library. Why has John Fowles' The Magus become a modern classic? Why are people interested in escape artists? How many get a thrill from the Mad Max films, or the bondage scenes in Nine To Five
I'm convinced there's a whole host of mainstream cultural references out there; and I'd be fascinated to know whether other people have been influenced by the same pointers as me.
The single biggest stumbling-block for people like myself (and one you touched upon in your 'Talking Points') is the feeling of isolation. This has been altered slightly by the recent popularisation of fetish fashions: Skin Two might seem glossy and insubstantial now, but I'll never forget the feeling of excitement on receiving my first copy - here were people like me! More importantly, it led the way to FETTERS and my realisation that I wasn't alone. Publications like yours offer hope to the solitary enthusiast but still represent a kind of inaccessible Nirvana to those of us who are frustrated by a lack of willing co-participants. After all, there is little point in lusting after an Arms-down straitjacket if there's no-one to strap you into it ...
In my case, I've been collecting bits & pieces of appropriate equipment for the past year or so (as you know) and I've assembled a modest (secret) wardrobe of leather clothing. I find auto-bondage unsatisfying on the whole and (although it's something of a large step from experimenting in private) I feel I've reached the point where I'd like to try out some of my fantasies with other games-players. I face a number of problems. My home-town has a decidedly small-town mentality and any enquiries regarding fetish contacts, however discrete, would be decidedly dangerous. So I have to look further afield. I tentatively joined Der Putsch last year, with a view to perhaps travelling down to London for one of their parties. Realistically, this is unlikely as I have a healthy fear and distrust of strangers.
I suppose the ideal solution would be to introduce a partner I know pretty well to what I enjoy. But here there are difficulties too. Although I'm getting better at recognising signs in people, I've yet to meet anyone who has gone through the same gradual focusing process as myself. This interest is the most dominant ingredient of my sexuality: I'm otherwise attracted to both sexes (although the Leather-Master type features more heavily in my fantasies than the dominatrix) but I find vanilla sex uninteresting - more than one relationship has drifted because I've had to fantasise to maintain excitement. My current relationship is more promising than usual: she finds the idea of being restrained attractive but has never tried it (I'm hoping the new saddle leather cuffs won't scare her off!).
Also, I know my submissive streak is more powerful than the dominant, and in my (admittedly slight) experience, men appear to be more genuinely into the types of bondage I fantasise about ...
My apologies for the rambling nature of this letter. I realise you don't really have the time to reply, but just writing to someone who won't be shocked is quite cathartic (in a weirdly confessional way!) I look forward to the order and, if I don't hear from you before, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay!
Yours faithfully,


... as you suggested I've summarised ... and put the information into three sections; what I have done, what I would like to do, and where help could be forth coming. I hope that you find it interesting and not too basic. I would imagine it has been said before and probably better.
My interest in rubber and bondage goes back as far in my memory as I can recall. What caused it, or how it came about I do not know. And to be quite honest I do not really care. In my case the tying up phase came first and then the realisation that rubber in the form of suits, straps and masks could be an aid. Only for the interest to reverse so that the rubber became more important than the rope. And now as I sit here typing this I am quite content to be wearing a wet suit with a boxers groin guard on under it and a gum shield in my mouth and waiting until I am finished this tale before reaching for the straps and other toys.
I was about eighteen when I bought the first item specifically intended as an aid to my obsession. It was a very second hand divers wetsuit with hood attached, vest, socks, jacket and trousers. There was only one problem; as soon as I put it on I came. It took some time for me to think of a solution, eventually it dawned while watching a sports programme on TV. As you will probably have guessed it was boxers sparring, and watching them with the gloves, head-guards and groin-guards I realised the alternative use I could put them to.
Then came the more difficult part. Finding where to buy the kit. I eventually found out about Lonsdale in London and managed to visit. Sparring gloves, bandages, head and groin guard all were as good as expected, and an additional aid had been found, the gum-shield, what a great thing to chew upon at night.
From then on it was a matter of small improvements on the kit. Then an Avon neck entry dry suit was added to the collection. Then a couple of gas masks; other types of wetsuit and boxing gloves followed and it is still going on. The latest version of the boxers kit is all in plastic, can be worn next to skin and easily washed and is by far the most effective from my point of view of the lot.
My most recent ideas have taken me into snow skiing equipment and gravity inversion boots, With the practice I have had the groin guard is an impediment to ejaculation but not a preventer. However, upside down is a different matter and I am yet to achieve an orgasm up-side down.
The problem is that working single handed there always has to be a way out planned for but ignored until one has had enough. The idea of dying on the job at my age does not appeal in the slightest and having a friend or assistant to tighten the last strap, and wait for the plea for release would make a big difference and allow all sorts of experiments to take place.
At the present I have two main ways of playing which I think could be described as 'The bag' and 'The straps'.
THE BAG: Having got a hold of a neck entry Avon dry suit I quickly found that it was possible to both put it on and remove it without help; it is merely a matter of technique. I then set my mind to ways of using the dry bag as a different sort of bag to restrain the limbs. Attempts to put both legs in one leg of the suit or to double up the arms all seemed doomed to failure. The friction between the canvas lining with its rubber tapes and the skin or other clothing made forcing the limbs in to the required position impossible. In a moment of adventure I tried to turn the suit inside out and eventually managed it; rubber on the inside. Then with the help of some soap all sorts of things now became a reality. The tactile feel of the soaped rubber loose on the body if the suit is worn normally is greatly intensified. But the real advantage was that the restrictive uses were now practical.
With the aid of a good bit of soap both legs could now be forced into one leg of the suit and the arms bent double slipped into the sleeves. As usual the problem was that what went in easily would also come out, all be it with a bit of a struggle. How much more a struggle it would be if the soap was washed out of the suit once it had been put on. I hesitate to say inescapable but it would not be far from it. Again but for a helping hand!
THE STRAPS: these are a nylon woven strap with a self-holding cam buckle they are very strong and can be tightened by pulling on the free end. A hole in the free end and a hook in the wall achieves this. Release is only possible by depressing a lever on the buckle. Over the years I experimented with different configurations of restraint using these straps and I believe that now I have what for me is near perfection as I may get. I invariably include the boxing gloves and other bits and pieces and usually a wet suit of some kind. I have five different types of wetsuit to swap around with, and yes, I suppose it is an obsession. Sometime I'll either write the self-strapping process step-by-step or maybe set up the camcorder and send you the video.

Part Two

What I would love to try would be total self-applied rubber bondage with the addition of a pair of snow skiing boots and ski bindings screwed to the floor in the middle of the room by clipping the feet into the bindings and lying back on the floor a difficult position to escape from would be created. Indeed I am not sure how escape could be achieved.
I think what I would be looking for would be someone willing to tighten the last strap, or wash away the soap. And equally important slacken off the strap and replenish the soap once I was finished playing my games. Ideally someone with a similar interest in rubber, and maybe other ideas or equipment so that I could learn and experience different methods of rubber bondage. In return I would offer the same services as a strap tightener or safety help-line and also share my thoughts and ideas with them. While I quite often climax while playing. A sexual relationship, with a male, would not be wanted or really appreciated ...

18th March'90.
Dear B.J.,
It's Sunday evening and I decided to start writing something to you - not sure what yet - it'll have to develop as it goes along. I'm keen to launch some sort of on-going correspondence with you because of your experiments with sports gear - and explore further a few of the very interesting topics you've opened up.
Getting it down on paper
Your letter was a great start. It elaborated on information I already got from you in your original guarded enquiry and during your visit. Very useful to have it written down in front of me - so I can respond to it point by point.
Paragraph headings are very useful when checking off ideas and responding - often it's possible to return a Xerox of someones' letter with just yes/no/maybe scribbled against each question/suggestion - or to number each paragraph when the reply is written on a separate piece of paper. Main thing is keeping the flow of ideas going.
In the past I've kept up a lot of on-going exchanges of letters, but even with a Word Processor to store paragraphs and blocks of notes on specific topic - most people are too busy to spend a lot of time on elaborate exchanges of ideas on paper. So, it's essential to develop a sort of shorthand format.
Delighted you're already into Word Processors, because a couple of my regular correspondents have just bought them at my recommendation - and they HATE ME. They've decided it's a new form of Sadism to persuade somebody to get involved with computers. However, I do think once you find your way around one, 'Thinking onto paper' becomes second nature, especially if you aren't too bothered about turning out great literature - just strings of ideas/comments/questions.
I sit and prattle away for hours. It's just like a long expensive telephone call - except that there is a tangible record at the end of it - the ideas are there in black and white to expand on - argue over - look back on.
That's how most of the FETTERS Information Sheets came into existence. They're culled from correspondence with various customers - and get added to. Incidentally there are four new ones need writing and the original eight are in desperate need of revision. Do you have any free time?!!
Writing things down can also help to clarify ideas. I can't always see the wood for the trees with so much rattling about in my head. So, having elaborated at length around a particular idea on paper it's easier for me to edit it down and tidy it up. Occasionally I then send copies to a few other like-minded people so they can agree/disagree with, add to or challenge. Naturally, the identity of the original correspondents is hidden if I send the results on to other regular correspondents.
How easy or difficult was your letter to write?
Of your three sections the first was very detailed - but I guess by the time you got around to parts two and three you were too busy enjoying your self-inflicted bondage scene.
I very much enjoyed the image of you sitting there at your Word Processor trapped inside self-imposed rubber restraint. That sort of self-determined discipline can create good games - and is a great turn-on image for me to visualise. Maybe I should try subjecting myself to something similar when writing to you - but if I did, the time it would take me to complete this missive would increase ten fold. I'd be too distracted by being turned on! - or as I got hotter and sweatier, resisting the temptation to allow myself out before the end of the time I'd planned to keep it on for.
Sometime in the near future I would like you to describe the techniques you've devised for putting yourself into the rubber layering. The idea of latex full body suit under a wet suit INSIDE a dry suit is a blast. I guess I have a black oilskin foul weather suit which might just fit over the top of all that. That could be the beginning of a situation particularly to your taste - from what you told me when we were together.
I'm keen to know HOW you play rather than WHY you play. As you say, that isn't a matter of concern to you so why should it worry anybody else. For me, finding ways to get to play more often / get more out of playing / play more safely: these are the important things.
Defining the territory
Your 'Potted History' was interesting - but more details would be appreciated. The type of early solo games, any shared experiences; any sort of relevant experiences or opportunities during school, collage, service life?
You describe 'a switch from bondage games into rubber games' - but most of the rubber games you've described involve restriction and total encasement. Seems to me you just identified a specific area of the much wider field - and followed your natural instincts. Nobody is into everything. I know people only turned on by canvas bags and sacks. To some people 'bondage' means only metal shackles and chains. Others are into simulated torture, whilst an awful lot seem to be exclusively into psychological bondage through humiliation and master/slave role playing.
Your preference for using sports equipment, wet and dry suits, ski boots and boxing gear and so forth is perhaps not as unusual as you think. This sort of equipment is high on a lot of people's list of people's turn-ons. Personally, I'd add to it government surplus and motorcycle leather and waterproofs. Bulk, weight and heat-producing properties are where my interests started as a kid (in spite of my FETTERS connection), there's still something exciting about modifying some 'real life' piece of equipment to give it an extra function as a restraint.
You say "You'd like to have somebody around to close the final strap": The Bondage Buddy who is not necessarily sex partner situation is something to explore. You say you're looking for a specifically non-sexual relationship - that is something quite unusual I think. Or at least shall we say - not many people admit they'd like to play but prefer to look after the sexual end of it in their own way. I guess in most gay SM circles if you keep the action completely non-sexual there's something kinky about you!
Anyway, for the moment it's no problem for us. There's a lot of territory to cover on paper before we meet up again, living so far apart. If / when we do get together I have a voyeuristic streak a mile wide. I get off on watching people sweat and struggle. And, certainly, I often get-off better privately after a Scene is over and finished.
We'll talk about my voyeuristic tendencies some other time!
More questions arising from your letter
It would be useful to learn more about the mental approach you take to setting up a session of self-restraint . Obviously, you have gone to the trouble and expense of acquiring certain gear - I know you have explored it's restrictive potential systematically, modifying where necessary to enable you to get into and (hopefully) out of it without help. (Details of techniques you've evolved will be interesting - a video would be terrific!). Without, I hope sounding either too analytical or nosy, I really would like more information about your mental approach to your sessions. The sort of question for example
1) How often do you permit yourself or commit yourself to a session? -
Is it on a regular basis or something you plan toward, waiting for suitable time-slot to be available or on the spur of the moment when the mood is on you?
2) Do you dictate to yourself in advance how long and how extreme a session will be? -
Once you get home from work if you have the time - do you treat yourself to a session by just getting togged up to intensify a jerk-off OR is the main objective to luxuriate in the rubber and restrictiveness. If so, are you imposing a discipline upon yourself by committing yourself to a pre-determined period of physically challenging intensity.
Maybe you've never thought about it consciously - but I'm interested in the mental approach you take.
The fact that you chose to get kitted out in rubber to sit and write to me sounds like an assignment you imposed on yourself. Was being inside restrictive gear for punishment, an endurance test or to prevent yourself from getting-off while thinking about what to type?
3) If you set a fixed duration for a 'game', -
How often do you then welch on the deal having shot your load?
4) Does cash/time you invest in 'self-indulgences' produce a guilt trip -
Or can you justify it as a hobby/sport?
5) Once restrained or into physical situation you've imposed upon yourself do you imagine it has been forced on you by somebody else?
This brings us to the next heading. I'll try and cut down the direct questions - but cover the ground I'm interested to eventually explore with you in more detail ...
You gave me a lot of information about the type of gear that appeals to you, and your descriptions of self-applied bondage give a very clear picture - but what sorts of things do you fantasise about whilst self-restrained? Do you imagine encounters with certain types of people during self-applied bondage - if so, what type of environment and characters feature in your 'scenes'?
How does your home environment affect this? Do you use blindfold or a hood to block out your actual physical surroundings - and where do you imagine you are? You told me that you were often frustrated because you could not place yourself in inescapable bondage situations. Are you turned-on by the idea of being restrained to a point where you actually want to get out but can't?
Given outside assistance for final strap tightening as per your letter, can you jot down the type of scenario which would appeal most to you - at least for starters. I'm assuming that, as trust grew, you might take a few more risks - and perhaps allow yourself to experience things that at present you don't even admit to yourself that you might like to experience ... that is, if there was no alternative but to take what was coming at you.
For example - could you risk choosing a fixed time to be stuck in a situation knowing you would then not be allowed to change your mind? Even with somebody you trusted who was doing only what you asked them to do - how would you know how long to opt for in a given situation before you'd physically tried it?
How do you feel about a chance element to determine parameters (within previously agreed limits). The flip of a coin, turn of a card immediately before a scene starts is often a good way to decide precisely what you are to experience/endure for how long .
Another factor:- in your imagination do you have a preferred visual character image of the person doing the service of closing the final straps, monitoring your condition or determining duration of a 'scene'. What sort of clothing and attitude.
Also, how precise an interpretation of your fantasy scenarios do you think you would expect? Would it make you feel happier or might it frustrate you if you got only and exactly what you asked for - nothing more and nothing less.
Getting into more dangerous territory - do you, being scrupulously honest, think there are areas of your fantasies which you prefer not to openly admit ... even to yourself? Personally I think I have always been attracted to bondage games because this way I can create situations in which I get things done to me which I don't actually ask for. On the other hand, one of the reasons I don't particularly like 'leading' a scene is because I don't welcome the responsibility of dealing with other people's double-think and double-bluff attempts to get more than they're willing to ask for.
Frankly, once I know who I'm playing with, the best of all games are with people who will not take no for an answer and I can curse and plead all I like, confident in the knowledge that they won't take a blind bit of notice. May sound extreme - and dangerous - and I personally have to have had a lot of previous experience with that person before I can risk laying myself open to the unexpected.
Guess that's about enough for this session. It's already stretched into the early morning.
Before I close - I promised you some 'Inspirational' reading. Not sure how you'll react to some of it, you being such an innocent (Hah!):
These are from various TOY and MISTER SM magazines from Sweden. Activities described may widen your horizons - or turn your stomach. Ignore the gay-male sexual side and think of the characters as members of your rugby club (Who are, I'm sure, as secretly kinky as you if they only dare admit it!) Keep fantasising your own original scenarios. I like the idea of you having found your own direction without any prompting from stereotype homo-erotic fiction!!! ... but as part of your education I think you should read these. (Available only from REVOLT PRESS)
by John Strickland
This is a short sequel to a longer story 'WEEKEND IN THE LIFE OF A MOTORCYCLE MESSENGER'. I'm sending it because the author's preferences exactly match mine - and maybe yours - I.E. multi-layered restrictive clothes - particularly oilskins (see page 57 for availability).
Incidentally, keep your eyes open in your working trips around costal areas. I'm still on the lookout for a black naval foul weather suit - so I can line the one I already have with oilskin facing inwards!! Perverted!
Will phone you during the weekend.


Dear Maurice,
Thanks for the straps and stuff - all now riveted into position and ready for some heavy action. You've managed to fulfil all my wishes on this Project so far - so how about finding me a PHYSICALLY FIT & ACTIVE FEMALE, PREFERABLY EX-ARMY / NAVY / RAF, WHO WAS (IDEALLY) MILITARY POLICE OR MEDICAL STAFF - WILLING TO APPLY HER SKILLS ON A TROUBLESOME ARMY NUT-CASE. Just kidding, but what's the point in having a fully refurbished army ambulance if I don't have the necessary tough cookie to make sure it gets used frequently and imaginative. Where do I advertise for suitable playmates (either sex - I'm getting progressively less fussy because I WANT TO PLAY!).
There's still a lot I'd like to do to the old bus, but it's certainly no longer the wreck you saw last year. I've completely overhauled the engine, re-covered front cabin seats with authentic olive drill , so from outside it looks like a first class restoration job. To be honest, seat belts aren't 'period' but had to be installed to meet today's requirement and get me through the M.O.T. I got away with a curious double torso strap I'd devised for the passenger. I didn't add the locking device for the belts, or the two leg-straps for the passenger seat until later! Shades of WE LOVE S&M book. (See page 54 for details).
Inside the business end of the ambulance things aren't quite so authentic - but look suitably ex-WD; one metal bunk welded into place, two canvas stretchers, one full wire mesh immobilisation cot and a mansize metal locker box are all neatly stashed, hung or hinged into position and ready for any emergency. There's even an ex-navy canvas hammock which I'm sure you could invent interesting uses for. I've always wanted to fool around with a full netting hammock - have you ever tried one?
All those terribly useful original metal attachment points around the walls, roof and floor have had their fixing bolts changed (don't want anything coming adrift), and the whole inside is now lined with an internal skin of sound and thermal insulation sheeting (including over the windows) - SO "Have Dungeon Will Travel".
The bitch does guzzle petrol but is built like a brick shit house.! I was taking it to a Militaria weekend sale a couple of Sundays ago - and outside Reading was flagged down by two motorcycle cops. I was dressed in full combat gear and perhaps guilty of 'impersonating an army corporal'. I thought 'Oh Fuck, if they tell me to open up the back - what incriminating evidence is on show?' But they were both very polite and asked if I could help them pull a car out of a ditch with my tow bar. Well, all mates together, I helped them out. They accepted that I was on the way to a Military Car Boot Sale and admired my veteran vehicle. We chatted quite a while. I would have liked to have got one of the motorcycle cops numbers - I think he'd already got mine.
What else do I have to tell you? Oh, the air situation inside the ambulance will perhaps need a little attention - I was so busy getting it soundproofed, I forgot about air inlets! Any ideas on air vents that let air in without letting too much noise out? Oh, one totally non-authentic self-indulgence: There's stereo music and variable lighting (Well, it is a Fuck Truck!) and the sound system was salvaged from an old banger I was breaking up.
Cash is, as usual, desperately short but I still need to add to the collection of 'soft' restraints - so, anything I can be useful doing around your workshop I'll happily do in exchange for a little more of your time and expertise. The two old canvas strait-jackets and khaki mailsack you modified for me look very much at home. The new khaki webbing straps are just the job on the stretchers and bunk (thank God for the Odds-and-Sods department at Anchor Surplus). What other refinements can your perverted mind dream up for a late-fifties medical battle-wagon?
The solid lock-on headbox/helmet you helped me make out of that old pilot's helmet now clips rigidly to either the fixed bunk or the back of the passenger seat. With the head clamped into that and the face cover snapped closed, with virtually no other restraints you ain't going nowhere - believe me I know from experience. Testing it out for efficiency, with the helmet clamped onto the bunk, one afternoon on my Tod I got myself seriously stuck in it; I'd put myself into a padded tank suit and boots, strapped my ankles and knees to the bunk before putting on thick leather mitts (using my teeth to tighten wrist straps on them). Then, snuggling down, eased my head up into the helmet that was already clamped to the bunk; flipped closed the face-cover and with a little effort closed the single metal lever strap-clip on the collar. Well, it was a great feeling even with hands mobile. I regretted not having fixed the waist strap but tucked my hands behind my back and enjoyed the sensation for a while.
HOWEVER, when it came time to get on with my life - in trying to swipe open the collar clip (which holds the face cover locked closed) the heavy leather strap on the mitts ripped the metal lever off, leaving the face cover still jammed shut (poxy government surplus junk). Not being able to use my teeth to re-open the mitts, it took a hell of a lot of fiddling and sweating before I got one of the mitts off. Another case of the unplanned for bondage session. Lucky the van was in the workshop not parked in a lay-by at night. Another reason to find more playmates.
What ideas do you have about splints? You showed me the neat little canvas and cane ones that go inside ordinary jacket sleeves (in fact you tried them on me and wouldn't take them off for an hour - I think it was the first time I visited you). Did you ever see a type of rescue stretcher which was canvas with bamboo canes in pockets down the length of it? I should think it was very body-hugging. To be practical for a moment, I guess I need a pair of arm and a pair of leg splints - plus a suitably ex-WD issue looking surgical neck-brace. Also, I'm on the lookout for 1950s issue waterproof ground sheet poncho (khaki rubberised as in your 'INITIATIVE TEST' story) and pre-nylon air/sea rescue exposure suits etc., because I expect some of my future games to happen in very very dirty weather! - and it's a Fifties vehicle - so let's get things in the right period for God's sake - you can help with that, having been there!
But that brings me back to the main topic - where are all those highly trained, physically competent ex-service women with skills just going to waste bring up babies or bossing men around in offices. Perhaps you should turn my situation into a story - or preferably a video - and I'll star in it. But even then, we'd have to find the RIGHT PERSONNEL.
Get working on it, Stewart. S.M.


I don't encourage too much soul-searching but when somebody tries to work how the WHY behind their needs, letting it flow out onto paper is often healthy - and "It's better out than in", as my old Granny used to say. I invited this letter from K.J. early in his journey.
I don't know where my feelings towards bondage came from. I do know that they were not originally put there by the influence of someone else. I think they were always there within me. I can remember wanting to be tied from a very early age although I didn't realise of course that it was a sexual desire. I think it was, perhaps, a desire to be dominated even then.
I'm not sure if I go along with the theories that we turn out as we are because of the things that happen in childhood but like all people who have turned out like myself, I do question 'why' and the only thing I can think of really, and I'm saying this from the point of view that I like to be dominated mainly, is that I did not like my father and because I didn't like him I could not accept discipline from him and I think as I grew up, I was looking for, not necessarily a father figure, but someone who could dominate me, who could force their will on to me but at the same time to be someone that I respected. I think it left this need in me, not having felt it towards my father, I needed it from another man.
It's very hard to put my finger on what it is that actually attracts me to bondage. Certainly, one of the things that I like very much about it is the fact that once you are in a position of absolute helplessness you can wave good-bye to your responsibilities, sort of the world can just go on without you, and of course from a sexual point of view (I'm not talking about pain, because I'm not really in to that) you can accept more stimulation when you are completely helpless than you can when free.
Bondage certainly makes me feel better when I'm unhappy. When something has upset me or when some disaster has occurred in my life, that is what I want to do, that is my refuge. I want to retreat from the world. When I feel like this, after a period of severe restraint and probably quite a lot of sexual attention I certainly do feel more like myself and more ready to face the world.
One of the first sexual experiences I can ever remember was when I discovered in our shed at home my father's long cycling cape. It was one of those canvas ones with a rubber lining. I think I felt this was wrong but I used to go into the shed and lock the door so that no one knew I was in there and stand under this cape which was hanging up on a peg above. Once I had the cape hanging down, almost completely over me I would turn round and round while the cape was still attached to the peg above so that eventually the whole thing tightened up on me and I found it difficult to breathe and all I was breathing in was the smell of this lovely rubbery canvas - a beautiful smell. You see I did that without anyone ever doing it to me or getting me interested - I just did it.
I can remember in any games with school friends (the usual sort of cowboys and indians games) I used to long to be tied up and got great thrills watching any TV programmes where there was anyone tied for whatever reason (or handcuffed).
The first time I saw a straitjacket in a TV play I nearly flipped and I really wanted to be in one, to see how it felt and to know that it was impossible to get out of.
In my early teens I had no one to experiment with. I used to do a few things to myself. I can recall nights when I would tie myself in bed in various ways and this went on for a number of years. I really did think that I was the only person like this even though that sounds terribly naive.
We used to have a friend of the family come over to the house. He was a very big chap, about 29. I suppose, looking back he was the first person I really fancied. I was about 11 or 12. I used to taunt him and we'd have a wrestle and I used to enjoy that a lot. I didn't realise I was being turned-on by it at the time.
I can remember getting him on the subject of tying-up and bet him that he couldn't tie me so that I couldn't escape. He said of course he could and I carried on taunting him until he did - and I couldn't! That was terrific and I wanted him to do it again.
When I met my first partner I kept these desires hidden, I think because I thought they were rather peculiar. I was 16. We never lived together and for years I just carried on doing things to myself when I had the chance.
One day when I was about 25 he came home with a Gay magazine that he'd found at work and there was an advertisement in it for a company that was selling things like harnesses, hoods, handcuffs, etc. and I couldn't believe my eyes. The relief that I felt was absolutely tremendous because I still thought it was just me. I told my partner all about my desires. He never did understand. Over the next two or three years he did his best to satisfy me and would occasionally tie me while we had sex but I think it was only ever done to humour me and what upset me was that he also thought it was rather funny which hurt my feelings.
Eventually, I think it was what broke us apart. I tried to meet other people during the next three years who had interests like myself. I met one or two people who had slight interests in the subject but no one who was deeply into it.
Then I was lucky. I met my partner when I took up a new job when I was 29 and we started going out together casually. One day he asked me if I'd ever been tied up. From that moment on I knew that we were right for each other. We explored together. We are both mainly passive. He is very good at satisfying me but he does not have such a strong sexual drive as myself but never minds making me happy.
We started living together in 1982 when I was 32 and over the years we've built up a pretty good collection of some of the more exotic bondage equipment that can now be bought. We have different kinds of hoods, handcuffs, straitjackets and a sleepsack. We've also improvised equipment such as a wonderful garden chair which we've adapted and a scaffolding plank which the victim can be securely bound to.
My idea of a lovely way to spend a day, or part of it, is to be dressed in something hot (a plastic one piece at the moment, but rubber soon) and then go into the sleepsack and be strapped from top to bottom and be hooded- possibly with earplugs so that I'm fairly well sensorily deprived. Sometimes I'll be left like this for long periods. Other times get quite a lot of attention such as cock play, cock and ball binding, periods of being masturbated almost to the brink of coming, sometimes with a vibrator, being given poppers, having something like 'Deep Heat' used on my private parts, so that the session can continue for many hours.
As I've said I'm not really into pain although I don't mind stimulation of quite a strong degree (actually Deep Heat is no joke).
I found myself in a situation with one of our other partners that was very exciting and can recall it in great detail. I was placed naked on a board on top of a large table. The board had a network of hooks that went all round the outline of a human body. My whole body was roped to this board. The ropes were criss-crossed up both of my legs, both of my arms and right up my body.
The person doing this to me placed candles all round the board and lit them. This was wonderful. I think it gave us both the feeling that we were carrying out a strange ritual. I didn't see it for too long. He took great care to attend to my head. He'd made a wooden box which fitted to the top of the board and this was put into place but not until he'd put an inflatable hood over my head with an inflatable gag which had a breathing tube through it.
Once this hood was safely on my head, my head was laid inside the box. Inside the box was foam padding so that even without inflating the hood the head was held pretty firmly. (A leather hood had also been put on over the rubber hood to increase pressure when the hood inflated). A lid came down over my face with just a hole for the breathing tube. By now I was pretty helpless. He inflated the hood and as it inflated the pressure on my head was tremendous and just as I was about to say I couldn't take any more the gag was inflated and that was it. I couldn't see, talk or move my head.
He placed a cock and ball strap on me which I think buckled all the way up the cock. It was very tight and made it almost impossible to lose my erection. Then he worked on me, occasionally tightening all the ropes and occasionally giving me poppers through the breathing tube. Because of the gag I couldn't smell the poppers so I didn't know when it was coming but just drifted off each time.
We worked in my cock for a long time. At one point he brought a rubber sheet and laid it across me, then pulled it in different directions over me so that it pulled against all the hairs on my body and against my cock. Then he'd lift it up and let it flop down on me to give me a thrill as I felt the rubber cover my body each time. At one point the rubber sheet was securely tied down over me as well. I think all this went on for about three hours before I was finally brought off. The climax was explosive. I don't think I've ever felt so tired in my life when we'd finished, but very happy.
I've now reached a point with my partner where he's beginning to believe that I can spend long periods in bondage without attention as long as I'm comfortable. Lately I've spent some nights either in a straitjacket or in the sleepsack and been perfectly alright until morning.
One of the biggest turn-ons about doing this for the night is that if you are lucky enough to fall asleep while you're tied it's a tremendous thrill to wake up a couple of hours later, now knowing where you are and why you can't move for a start, and then realise that you're still helpless and completely unable to get free. It's a terrific feeling to know you're someone else's prisoner!
I've rambled on for a long time yet have only scratched the surface. Hopefully I've said something useful regarding what makes me and people like me, do what we do. K.J.


After meeting 'BB' from Oberhausen several times at SM events in London, Hamburg and Los Angeles I got him to put some of his extremely detailed thoughts on the philosophical side of Bondage as distinct from S&M onto paper. His English is certainly better than my German - but it all reads much better in a German accent.

July '86
Dear Maurice (Jim?),
After being at home for quite a long time already, I finally find time to write you. First, I want to cheer you for the fine mask you have made for me.
You asked me to send you some written considerations about what bondage means to me. I suppose that you are not interested in a psychological evaluation on possible factors that caused me to thrill on bondage; if you are, I'll go into that later.
For me, BONDAGE is a very sophisticated form of sensual encounter. When I'm bound and through bondage reduced to a mere helpless creature, I no longer exist as a personality that can utter thoughts, words or in other ways can express command over other persons, and I only exist in that small space that the actual bondage permits. On the other hand all my senses are very eager and awakened: I feel (within the confines of my bondage) more intensely, and all the other senses send me more signals - or I encounter them more intensely than under 'normal' conditions - so that not the restrictive side of bondage alone gets to me, but the mind-opening side of it as well.
We talked about the differences between BONDAGE and SM games. I think the difference consist mainly of the goal of those forms: SM has the goal of getting pleasure through pain (or humiliation?), and in BONDAGE the goal is gaining pleasure through restriction of movement or the other senses (hearing, seeing ..... speaking?). And although BONDAGE can become painful that's not the intention (goal?) of it. This pain is different from 'SM-pain'.
Next point; I have always encountered the experience that in BONDAGE the age of my partner is only of very peripheral importance: while engaged in some other forms of 'gay entertainment' I always looked out for someone in the range of my own age (plus or minus 10 years). In BONDAGE that is totally unimportant, neither is the question of education, physical build etc. important (although I have only met highly educated and sophisticated people to be seriously involved in BONDAGE). That is quite interesting to me. Almost all of them were quite active in some kind of arts. This to me another indicator of the highly sensitive and sensual nature of BONDAGE.
Another interesting observation was that, when I surrender myself to someone not so strong or intellectually educated as myself, it was a distraction in a normal S-M scene (and I had always to readjust my perceptiveness to not notice the fact), in BONDAGE willingly giving in to someone whom I could easily master mentally or physically is of no importance for me. I know what I do and know I am as much a part of what happens as is the 'active'. I am, although seemingly passive, as much an active participant of the BONDAGE-scene as is my partner. How to put that more clearly?:- he is active in giving, I in receiving his administrations; he is passive insofar as I set the limits of what can be done and I am passive inasmuch as he renders me immobile. Therefore I would prefer not to speak of S or M in this scene, but about the S as the donator and of the M as the receptor of what mutually interests and turns them on. BONDAGE as BONDAGE plays on a totally different level than SM, although it can easily be mixed up (Ask him does this mean - can be combined - or be mistaken for? - or overlap? Ed.)
There are - without doubt - some games that occur either in BONDAGE or in SM (i.e. verbal abuse, fucking, shaving, caning, tit-torture etc.). I think, that of the before-mentioned, verbal abuse is the most alien form to BONDAGE: all others have in them something, that can be looked at as reminder or heightener of the sensual feeling of BONDAGE. E.G. A shaved skin is more susceptive to the feeling of leather, rubber, restrictive clothing - so then the goal of the shaving was to heighten that feeling, not to dominate or subject somebody . Same with tit-play or ass-play or any such assault on the senses, in a bondage situation this is often just to remind the bound person that they are unable to resist or protest. I suppose caning, belting etc. are also sensual experiences. Here the distinction between B-D and S-M become more blurred. Maybe it is all a matter of intention.
But to me BONDAGE is the purest and most subtle form of sensuality (and therefore something for the quite sophisticated). For me the emotional side is much more elaborated (Complicated? Ed.) in bondage than in SM. Also the question of reliability (Trust? Ed.) is more important. If an SM scene becomes too heavy for me I can stop it at any point (if the S is halfways normal and reliable). In BONDAGE (if it is really total BONDAGE), I have totally to rely on the active partner or donator, since very often I cannot give him signals (because that is the main part of the scene) and therefore I would only submit to BONDAGE to somebody who I already trust (not only I can trust, but I really have to trust him) and whom I know to be emotionally on a level with me. I can make that clear by example: with JKM Berlin I'm ready to give up each and every control of what happens to me. With DB
Munich it's not the same: I always try not to reach the point of giving up all control of the scene. That's not to say that DB is not reliable or could not be trusted, but that the emotional side or disposition of myself is totally different with each: both like to apply BONDAGE, both are interested in a safe and sane BONDAGE, but there is some difference; and that difference is the quality of LOVE or however you will name it. I hope that doesn't sound tacky to you, but it's the most simple way for me to tell you the emotional difference. (Dear Maurice, I hope that you get the point of what I mean; but I slightly fear that the last part was a little bit confuse).
So BONDAGE has also a part in it that is connected to acquaintance. I can have a hot scene with a relatively unknown SM-master, but not so with BONDAGE: there needs to be more: at least it needs a lot of experience and experiment before to risk a full BONDAGE experience is possible.
One last comment: I think that the fact of my being ill with polio when I was five years of age (I remember all those dreary days of being treated with needles, feeling pain while the doctors tried everything to help me back on my feet, and being unable to walk or even to move arms or legs at all) plays a main role in my being into BONDAGE. I don't think that any question of guilt could be important because I know to the fullest extent that my giving in to being bound doesn't take away from me the responsibility of what happens to me: I give myself to be bound and fucked etc. (AND I LIKE IT!!!). From my very first fantasies in puberty - those dreams were always connected with BONDAGE, masks, gags, heavy steel restraint, leather, rubber...? I like it very much and don't think I have to understand everything to its fullest extent. The experience lies in the heightened sensuality. Over the last few years - I have also gained access to other sides of my humanity and emotionality and am willing to admit and to express my feelings. All those things have broadened my personality and I think that BONDAGE played no small part in that process.
So, Maurice, I think that (here) are enough confessions for today. I don't know if my considerations have been clear enough. Feel free to leave it aside and give it to the litter bin. My English teacher once went so far as to ask me never to tell anyone that he was my English teacher. When I first visited England he even proposed me to wear a collar (no, not a bondage collar), one with the advertisement 'deaf and dumb'.
If something in the above is too confused or un-understandable - I shall not be surprised - occasionally I also succeed in not being understood in German. For now all the best - BOUND TO BONDAGE - not yet, but again in some hours.

REPLY to BB September '86.
Dear B.B.,
Hello at long last. I started writing this letter two weeks ago but ... the usual excuses ...
Many thanks for writing. It was very interesting to read your thoughts. I had no problems understanding your ideas, which were very well put together. Sometime soon, with your permission, I would like to share your letter with other people so they can read and respond to your observations. Certainly my friend and representative in the USA Richard Hunter will be interested in many of the points you make. So will Bob Wingate who founded the New York Bondage Club and edits their Newsletter (Since then has become editor of 'BOUND & GAGGED' magazine. M.J.S. '94). He's written a piece about whether or not there are fundamental differences between S&M and Bondage - and the responses from members have been revealing.
For myself, your letter has opened up two or three new avenues for further speculation.
I will go through your letter point by point ...
You said you would not go into the psychological roots of your attraction to bondage - but then outlined your history of polio and experience of being manipulated even at such a very early age, and struggling against lack of bodily movement. Such a legacy might leave different people with different emotional marks - and I think it adds an interesting footnote to your story.
I agree about not needing to understand the roots of the impulses. There's enough to do, learning to live comfortably with them.
Returning to the beginnings of your letter: The reduction of ability to command or influence other people (or even respond) does remove a weight of responsibility, doesn't it. But you are the first to point out to me just how great is the responsibility of having surrendered responsibility.
I'm not too sure I agree with you about sophistication: Many people with an enthusiasm for 'Erotic Bondage without too much SM' do seem to be connected with the Liberal Arts. I hadn't noticed that - it may be a dangerous generalisation. In a way I hope you're wrong because I particularly enjoy meeting anyone with a more raw and non-artistic approach to life who can discover sensual subtleties of bondage for it's own sake but still keep a healthy sense of reality - and sense of lusty fun. (I think humour is seriously lacking in most SM games. In EB there can be wry humour and, on many occasions, laughter). I guess sophistication in terms of subtlety of approach and ingenious originality - yes, you have a point.
The Mind Opening effect, I had experienced. In a situation when so many familiar sensual aspects have been closed, others do begin to open - or do we just have more time to become more aware of other senses ... and other emotional/psychological avenues to explore?
Your point about the goal and intentions of B/D vs S/M is a very subtle one but very important. I shall need to think about it further.
The age/intellectual matching of bondage partners as opposed to general gay encounters is a key to many of our games. I see many of my casual encounters which involve bondage as a shift of power or change of the usual balance of my life. Whether I am reducing the physical ability of someone stronger than me or someone is changing my age/authority status, the variety of different results can be unpredictable and very stimulating. There is a mental as well as physical competition going on throughout any game. Even when totally subdued and immobilised (and silenced) I often feel that by surviving and not capitulating I am still winning. However, sometimes the winning is in effect losing. Perhaps I'd really like to be reduced to admitting defeat or pleading or whatever - but my general personality can not easily admit this possibility - or even imagine how I would deal with it if driven to this point (I almost said reduced to that level - but I decided that it could equally be seen as being taken to a new height).
The trust element is very important. How relaxing it is to have total trust that someone will do what is right for you - even if it is painful or challenging (physically or mentally) unwelcome at the time. This trust seems to produce an almost tangible warmth, doesn't it.
The imposition of additional elements such as verbal abuse, shaving, fucking during bondage games does, for me complicate the subject - but inevitably anything which intensifies the defenceless state of the immobilised person does heighten the scene. Certainly a writhing 'victim' excites me more than a comfortable or even stoic one. However, whether the assaults on the senses of the bound person are physical or mental the degree of pleasure or pain which can result must be in tune with the general parameters of trust. How do you judge or predetermine the extent and style of these? As a Top this is something I think I'm not good at guessing. Particularly as one is often double-guessing - because some of the things I would like to experience, I am not at present able to admit - and particularly not actually ask for. If asked I would say I'm totally against the use of drugs - fist-fucking, piss drinking or electro torture - but if in a scene with someone I trusted something of this nature was suddenly happening I would like to be able to complain vehemently - but if this resulted in it stopping I might (secretly) wish my ability to control the
situation had not been successful. I would then have to survive the situation - and, in retrospect, might discover that it is an experience I could use in future fantasies. Complicated, isn't it! But even that question concerns the bondage situation rather than the actual SM games.
Another point is - when somebody is totally bound and coping with his situation - when does outside interference become a distraction? Some people need to be left alone. Judging this and not feeling that you're neglecting somebody who's in bondage is another of those instances when sensitivity to the situation (or sophistication ) is essential.
I very much appreciated your point that in an SM scene the victim is usually in a position to stop the scene at any moment. To risk allowing a situation in which such ability to choose is removed demands trust and sophistication..... and, as you say, experience. Glad to hear that JKM Berlin... is someone to whom you will surrender totally. A matching of emotional disposition is something one only explores through experience with the person. Most good bondage relationships develop only gradually. Personally, I like to have a de-briefing session after any encounter. That brings areas worth further exploration into focus and makes sure that un-pleasurable elements are identified - even if these are then used as threats or persuaders during future encounters.
Well, I think that's enough from me in one morning. I shall have to go back and re-read it for obvious typing errors - and confused thought processes - but, generally speaking, I shall leave it in it's ungrammatical purity. Your English is, perhaps, better than mine.
Well - "That's all folks" as Bugs Bunny used to say. M.J.S.A.


Dear Maurice,
Thanks for copies of the four BONDAGE READER stories. As you guessed, games played by the two brothers in TOP RIDGE FARM pressed all my buttons. Mucky, muddy wet-weather gear and down-to-earth Mansex is what I lust after.
Now - can you help? Among the Fetters files who do you know who lives in the wilds or has access to some raw space, either country or industrial? We're looking for somewhere where six to ten likely lads can occasionally go and let-rip and racket around. Our games aren't to everybody's taste but I guess if the owner of the space wanted to join in we would do our damnedest to accommodate him (or her?). If not, we would try to be discreet and unobtrusive.
Problems is, in most country areas there's an amazing Jungle Telegraph. However remote the location, first sign of strangers, and the locals all just happen to cycle by or stroll casually past walking the dog - or get the binoculars out to go bird watching. Our experiences of trying to spend a quiet afternoon playing our games in an apparently uninhabited country area, deserted mine, disused gravel pit or abandoned War Department site have been amazing. The moment a couple of cars or four bike are parked - the locals appear from nowhere - just passing by.
So, who do you know who owns a deserted lighthouse, mine, quarry, pig farm or swamp; alternatively an industrial wasteland? I'm sure you have such people on your books.
We, as a group, have members who would be particularly happy to pitch in and 'muck out' a suitable cowshed or pig pen. We would be prepared to put in time, energy and a little cash to make-good the odd roof , floor or shutters of a suitably out-of-the-way disused building. Our aim is a Club House where members could schedule occasional group events or as individuals bring willing (or willingly-unwilling) personal guests. The stories you told me about 'The Training Centre' , 'The Stockade' , 'The Academy' and 'The Mountain' in the USA - all sound too good to be true. The souvenir booklet about Chicago Hellfire Club annual 'Inferno' meetings you showed me have really got my imagination working.
Let me have your thoughts on any possibilities among your nefarious contacts, also the logistics of maintaining and equipping such a Club House on some sort of time-share basis. There isn't a vast amount of cash available for rent. To be really practical it should be in the midlands because our more regular members travel from all parts. A suitably isolated or insulated Club House in the wilds of Wrexham or the wastelands of Wellingborough would do nicely. Main thing is somewhere where the occasional group of Game Players could arrive and leave without attracting undue attention.
Give it some thought - or keep it in mind - I'm sure such places are out there - and somewhere the owner of such a place might welcome us with open arms? Are you sure the two brothers on whom you based TOP RIDGE FARM wouldn't like to give us the run of their place?
I'll phone you next week - just in case.
Yours hopefully, P.D.


Notes supplied by a doctor who is also a bondage and leather enthusiast.
This information is particularly valid in the light of action described in so many fantasy stories.

Maurice - as per our conversation here is a suggested INTRODUCTION for the new Info. Sheet. Give me a call.

One of the basic attractions of bondage is the sensation of restriction - the surrendering of freedom of movement. A person deprived of this freedom, however, is very vulnerable. Part of the enjoyment for the captive is the acceptance of this vulnerability; but a captive is vulnerable to more than just sexual and mental pleasures - he may be risking his life. Fetters has always aimed to increase their customers' enjoyment of restraint. Whilst bringing such frightening subjects as death and injury to your attention may detract from this enjoyment, serious discussion of safety and health for those practising bondage is long overdue.
This fact sheet deals with several topics, but the following two points will not be mentioned again. Safe sex in our modern times with AIDS must be accepted by all sane individuals. And health issues aside, anyone practising bondage with strangers risks robbery, bodily harm and even murder.
This fact sheet has been written with the help of a doctor and a pathologist (with their own keen personal interest in bondage!). They wrote it, with the serious and professional intention of saving you from harm. Our pathologist says 'If it saves one life, it has been worthwhile'. Please read it - The life it saves may be yours.


These two words may turn some of our readers on. But playing with freedom to breathe is literally dicing with death, particularly for the person experimenting by himself, or left alone by his captor, with breathing in jeopardy. Our pathologist comments that he, and most of his colleagues, in most towns and cities in the country, have been asked to conduct postmortems on men who have died as a result of such experiments. Case reports in police forensic and medical journals illustrate a great range of circumstances in which death occurred. We can assume that the unfortunate victims did not intend to die - but the most important point to grasp is that they did not expect to die as a result of their experiments.
Many of the lessons to be learnt from each of these sad deaths are all too obvious to the policeman or pathologist who is called to the scene; the rubber hood with only nose holes that became blocked when the hood slipped as the handcuffed man struggled; or the sliding noose that didn't loosen off as the man lapsed into unconsciousness, and his slumping body tightened the noose. The lessons may be obvious to some, but apparently had not occurred to those who died. We must learn from their mistakes - sooner or later, everyone who ties himself up, or who leaves a helpless captive alone, with some obstruction to breathing will come up against a situation he hasn't predicted; such as the victim vomiting against an obstruction gag or hood. It's difficult to produce guidelines that cover the remarkable range of behaviours that go on behind closed doors. Try to reflect on your own particular practise. In general we strongly advise against self-experimentation, or leaving someone alone when gags, hoods or nooses are involved.
Remember 3 general rules if you choose to continue -
1) NEVER rely on nose breathing alone - the nose frequently bungs up during a scene. Do not seal the mouth.
2) NEVER use nooses/belts/ tight collars around the neck.
3) ALWAYS anticipate vomiting (especially likely if poppers are combined with tight strapping on a full stomach).

Restraint in lots of layers of coverings, such as rubber suits, leathers, extra clothing and sleeping bags, can be great fun, as the gear is restricting in its own right, even before extra bondage is added. Whilst such 'heat scenes' can be exciting, there is very real danger of damage to the body, particularly the brain, by overheating. Struggling makes matters worse, as heat is generated but cannot be got rid of because sweat can't evaporate. Most heat is lost from the body through the head and hands, and if these are covered too it is very easy to produce sufficient heat to damage the body. This over-generation of heat in a covered body is thought to be the reason for the deaths of young naval recruits forced to run in dry suits, and the brain damage currently suffered by a naval officer forced to run in thick clothes on a hot day.
Signs that someone is overheating start with confusion, then unconsciousness with convulsions. If you think someone is overheating, uncover them quickly (starting with the head) and leave them to cool in moving air, dressed only in a single layer of their wet clothes, or draped in a wet sheet. If they are unconscious or fitting, turn them face down and check their airway stays clear, and get some help from a doctor if they don't recover immediately.

Whilst control of eating and drinking may be stimulating part of a scene, dehydration can lead to problems. It can be brought on faster by struggling against bondage in hot rooms or in thick clothes. The main danger comes from having no fluid left to make sweat with - this makes overheating worse.
The other danger is that it makes blood thicker and more likely to produce a thrombosis. This is a kind of blood clot, and these form especially in immobile legs - which may also be the case in bondage games. The obvious solution is to give captives plenty to drink - which can produce for the captive the equally stimulating but safer problem of what to do with his urine. And don't keep a captive tightly immobilised in one position for too long; reducing the restraint and changing the position before tightening it again can be more stimulating than constant confinement in one position.

We know of several customers who fantasise about bondage scenes involving anaesthetic equipment, and we have come across several stories in which such equipment is used to render helpless captives unconscious - they usually 'wake up' in the next chapter in different gear and new predicaments. It is our firm belief that these fantasies should remain just that: fantasy. It is dangerously unrealistic to imagine that untrained and ill equipped individuals can perform such skilled, complex and high-tech feats in their own playrooms.
Our pathologist comments 'The severe risks involved must be obvious to anyone who remembers the tragic anaesthetic deaths and accidents that occur every year in our finest hospitals, to patients in the hands of the best trained, best equipped anaesthetists'. Our doctor comments 'Definitely a fantasy that one should never attempt to realise. Beside the obvious dangers, when people wake up from an anaesthetic, sex is the last thing on their minds. Vomit, however, is frequently the first thing on their pillows'.
Before we leave the subject, a vital word on gas masks and tubing. Many people get off on wearing gas masks, and several heighten their pleasure by adding lengths of tubing to the end of the mask. But remember, the desperate breaths you can take only pull in about 4 litres of air into your lungs. If the tubing you have attached to the front of your face contains 4 litres of air within the length of tubes, when you breathe out and in again, you breathe straight back in the SAME AIR you just breathed out - you just move the same air backwards and forwards up and down the tube. And quite rapidly all the oxygen in this 4 litres of air gets used up and you suffocate. So remember - do NOT add extra tubing to your gas masks (at least not more than approx. 18cm MJS).
Similar problems apply to confinement in poorly ventilated boxes, chests and coffins. (ED. for the scientifically minded this concept is known as 'anatomical dead space' - dead being the word to remember).

We have heard of people who wish to experiment with Plaster of Paris casts on limbs, believing it to produce the most rigid and semi-permanent restraint and therefore the most excitement. And again we have copies of stories in which our hero is put in plaster casts for weeks, with all the normal happy endings such tales contain. Our doctor, however, brought the following points for our attention.
1) Absolute immobility for limbs, such as is produced by plaster casts, is a necessary evil, used in medicine to permit a broken bone to heal. As anyone who has had a fracture and a cast knows, when it is removed the limb is far from normal. There has been severe muscle wasting, loss of calcium from bones, and arthritis in the immobile joints, and it takes literally weeks and months of painful physiotherapy to bring the limb back to normal. These problems are especially severe if the hand or ankle are inside the case. Some older patients NEVER regain the range of movements they had before their fracture, purely as result of immobility in plaster. Total immobility for more than a few hours may be a pleasurable fantasy but it has disastrous effects on living tissues in reality.
2) Arthritis aside, Plaster of Paris is messy to apply, takes at least 24 hours to set, and decomposes in water, all of which make it extremely unsuitable for bondage scenes. Our advice is "Don't bother".

As any captive will tell you, (provided he's not gagged) struggling against severe restraint for more than a few minutes gets to be pretty exhausting. If you're the struggling type, a 2 hour session can be as hard on the body as a game of rugby or a heavy contest on the squash courts. If you are not quite at the peak of physical condition, if you are not as young as you used to be, if you suffer from any condition that effects your exercise tolerance, or if you take medicines or tablets on a regular basis, it is only sensible to ask your own doctor if strenuous exercise is OK for you. You don't have to tell him exactly what you plan to do - 'a game of rugby' or squash or whatever will give him the right idea. With your own doctors advice and that given by our doctor and pathologist here, you're well set up to enjoy safe and healthy bondage from now on.

OTHER TOPICS TO COVER?? ... (invite further correspondence )
CIRCULATION & CRAMPS = interruption of, pins & needles, cramp attacks?
effects on nervous system of continual pain, beatings, humiliation?


The anonymous writer of this piece of 'wishful thinking' about sports equipment, subsequently became a regular player, and long-time mate

It was a quiet evening at home, he lived on his own and as is sometimes the case had found an alternative to the normal sexual relationship. His alternative is self applied rubber bondage. Now bondage on your own might sound like a little bit of a taxing test, but he was happy. Over the years he had been playing this game, he had developed a number of routines and scenarios which kept him happy and usually safe. It had started years ago and he no longer even cared about the why or why not's of it. It is his turn on. The road to where he was that evening was one with a gentle gradient and he was probably quite unaware that his alternative had become quite so extreme as it may seem to the outsider looking in the window.
Not that such a thing was likely to happen as all the windows where he might be seen from were carefully closed off with curtains, and his play area was in the basement of his house which had no external windows or doors. His equipment was for the most part bought solely for the games he played, but unless seen in the uses he would put it to was the type of kit that a fit sportsman with an interest in both martial arts and water sports would have about the house. He had in all innocence started boxing, and found other uses for the gloves and guards, never intended by the makers. The water sports on the other hand had been a cover at first, so that he could have the various types of rubber suits used by divers and wind-surfers and not raise any questions as to the reason why. Very important when living with parents, who definitely would not understand. His occasional games had gradually become a major interest both inside and outside the basement. But to our tale.
The basement was a haven of rubber and bondage for him. Down there there was only one master, himself, and the worries of his job and the life he leads for public consumption could be sponged away in his own warm quiet world. This day he was going to play one of his regular games and the preparations for it took some time. If you like, there were layers of control each aimed at a different part of the body, or a different sense. He knew that the picture was to an extent make-believe but only at the very last point, and it was in the preparations as much as arriving that he gained his pleasure.
He started naked in his play room, as a matter of practice he never took any ordinary clothing down so the room filled his view with the vision of his alternative world. The first item was a German made Boxers groin guard. Made of a plastic foam it was unaffected by sweat, tears or indeed
any other fluids and could be washed clean when finished with. He had made a small improvement to it by fitting a small plastic plate into the back, carefully moulded on a plaster model, it separated his cock and made it very difficult to stimulate it from outside.
The next layer was a specially made wet suit, from a small cottage industry in Devon. Most wet suits are made from a layer of foam neoprene rubber with a stretch nylon cloth bonded to both sides. This firm, which only made to measure had developed what they considered to be the warmest suit in the world. Instead of just one thickness of neoprene. they would select several different types and bond them together. to produce a thicker suit. The one he had bought, just a few days before was their latest design. The inside of the suit was a second layer of a tear resistant smooth rubber material which left the inside of the suit absolutely smooth with no seams or lumps. the outside once finished had been sprayed with a plastic seal to make it absolutely water tight and so as to shed water from the suit. His was in two pieces and he had specified it without zips. The trousers or as they are known in the trade a long john extended to the shoulders with arm slits and broad straps over the shoulders. He had specified high arms and broad straps as well as attached socks and found it difficult to get the trousers on even with the soap solution he had damped his body with to ease entry. The maker had warned him that it might be hard to take off, but that was for later. The jacket again made from the same material, had an attached hood with the smallest of face openings and was of the pull over type. By the time he had it on and the crotch strap clipped up, the sweat was already beginning to trickle down his back. Not that it would puddle; the suit fitted as promised like a second skin.
The next item to be limited was his hearing, for this he used soft wax ear plugs which dampened his hearing to a point where he could hardly hear the telephone bell. In the room next to the play room was his multi gym. It was his usual practice to 'warm up' with a set of exercises and he began to go through them. The new suit was, however, a factor of magnification he had not anticipated and after a few seconds on the cycle he was sweating more than ever before. He stopped and went back to the games room and the next item on his list for restriction.
The racing ski boots had four clips on them and went half way up his legs, size 13 they were a comfortable fit over the wetsuit legs and feet. Clipped up, the foot was held flat and rigid to an extent no other binding could hope to copy. The ankle was held in a bent condition at about 10 degrees of lean and again locked rigid. As he stood up from fastening the last clip again it came home to him how much thicker and more restricting his new suit was from the old tried and trusted suit he had used for years.
He clumped his way over to a bench with the rest of the days play things laid out on it. The ski boots made movement difficult and with the ear plugs and wetsuit hood up all he could hear was his own heart and breathing. On the bench were a number of items which he had acquired from various sources. First on the list for attention were his hands. The boxers bandages went on over a thin rubber glove wrapping round the wrist and separating the fingers with more turns round the hand. By the time he had finished he could hardly move his fingers and they were compressed in to a half open fist. The time spent learning how to box had not been wasted! Into his mouth went an Australian designed double gum shield or mouth piece. Made by a dentist in Australia it comprised of two ordinary shields moulded over the upper and lower teeth, then separated by blocks of plastic bonded to both so as to hold the moth partially open. He had persuaded the dentist to make two of these for him. One he had modified with a rubber plug so that it made the best gag he had experienced.
That left only three items on his bench. A pair of American 18 ounce boxing gloves, a webbing strap with a ring on it and his pride and joy; A special diving mask designed for the oil industry so that a diver could weld underwater without the use of a welding shield in front of mask. It was a clever design, the face mask glass was a form of liquid crystal unit. A switch on the front of the mask could turn the visor black, or as near as made little difference. The mask was heavy and he had removed the breathing regulator from it, replacing it with a home made set of sound filters which were very effective. Without the gag his loudest shouts were little more than a murmur, with the gag there was so little sound it could be said to be totally effective. He put the mask on an did the straps up.
He opened a draw in the bench and checked that the divers knife was lying there ready for use and slid it shut again. It was his insurance and being a careful man he always checked. The boxing gloves were next and as he pulled them over his hand the sweat was gently trickling down his nose. Without thinking he raised a hand to wipe the drop away. It stopped short and his muffled laugh was heard by no one other than himself. The gloves had been laced back to front with the tails in the palm. He had a Fixlock clamp over the lace ends the same as were used on sleeping bags and other climbing gear and to tension them a clever piece of engineering; On the bench was a plate with a deep 'V' notch. Under it was a bar on a rail, held up by a spring and connected to a treadle. He positioned the glove and its lace clamp above the plate. The lace ends, already tied together, dropped round the bar. With a quick press on the treadle the laces were tight and with the gloves and bandages there was no way he could free the clamp or pull the glove off his hand.
At this point his preparations were almost complete. He was quite proud of the fact he had reached this point without shooting his load. The heat inside the suit was incredible and he realised that the game would last for about an hour at the most before he had to free himself. His body was now wet with sweat all over and as he moved he could feel the sweat move around the suit, trickling over the bottom of the face opening in the hood and building up in the mask. He was well pleased, speech was impossible and even the grunts he could make, seriously muffled. His hearing had been reduced by around 90 % and his sense of touch had been almost completely removed by the suit and gloves. A flick of a switch would remove his vision. All that was left was his freedom to move about, and that would be handled in the next few minutes.
First the hands and arms. The webbing strap had come from a chandlers, about 2.5 meters long and fitted with a friction clamp. He had melted a small hole in the free end. At it's maximum extension it was looped through a figure of eight ring making three equal loops. He picked it up (the gloves making manual dexterity very difficult) and slipped one loop over each arm leaving the buckle end hanging between his legs. He walked over to the wall and reaching between his legs pulled up the free end of the strap. On the wall was a cup hook and to this he fitted the end of strap. Stepping back gently the strap was pulled into a loop between his groin and the wall. Now came the difficult part; he looped one hand through the strap getting a turn round his wrist, reached up with his other to flick the switch on the mask plunging himself into an internal darkness. The second hand now followed the first. By gentle pressure on his arms and moving away from the wall he increased the strap tension until he could no longer remove his hands from the loops of the strap. A flick of the waist and hips freed the end of the strap from the cup hook. He knew that by pressing the clamp against the door frame he could slacken the strap and start the process of freeing himself.
Blind as he now was he shuffled back to the wall and with his shoulder against it moved slowly towards the corner of the room. Arriving there he now knew his precise position and feeling behind him with his foot he touched the ski bindings screwed to the floor. Like everything else he had gathered together they were of the best quality. The force required to break them open could be adjusted from a little tug to a point where no force would move them. He had set them so that they were firm enough to hold his legs under most of the jerks and pulls he would apply. But when he wanted out, by leaning forward until his head was against the wall and jerking with all his strength, he could break out. This was his escape from self bondage and he frequently checked and adjusted the tension of the bindings to have them at just the correct setting.
Clipping his feet into the bindings he had now achieved his favourite bondage position. Behind him mounted on a sturdy frame was a rally car bucket type seat. If he grew tired but was not yet ready to free himself he could sit down for a while and with difficulty stand up again. The seat was fitted with a full rally harness but he had never worked out how to utilise it in his games.
Careful as he was, in his excitement to get his new suit on and play, he had forgotten one important check before going down to his play room. He had not locked the door to his house! Excusable really as he lived in a lodge house which had belonged to a big house, now gone. His nearest neighbour was more than a mile away. As he happily struggled to free his hands bouncing on his legs twisting and jerking at his legs totally away in his own world all he could hear was his breathing and his heart which was beginning to speed up. He did not hear the car drawing up at the drive, nor the knocking on his door. As he could see nothing he did not see the door to the playroom open or one of his closest friends look in at his suited, strapped and generally helpless figure. It was a friend he had got to know since moving into the area, used the same gym, and had expressed similar interests, boxing, water-skiing and diving. What he did not know was that his friend had one other thing in common with him; he too had a craving for rubber bondage.
His friend stood for a while looking at him, breathing deeply to get his own emotions under control and looking at all the equipment lying around the play room. He then moved forward on silent feet and looked closely at the way his pal had bound himself, noting the blacked out mask, straps, suit and the chair behind him. At that moment the first man decided he had had enough standing (it is quite tiring on the legs) and settled back cautiously onto the edge of the bucket seat. His breath was coming quickly from with the mask and he was shaking slightly from his efforts. Quick as a flash his friend moved forward, speedily but very expertly arranging the straps of the rally harness. When all was ready he pushed his friend back further into the seat, closed the straps round his waist, over his shoulders and up between his legs clamping them all into the quick release buckle and taking up the slack.
The effect on his victim was electrifying. Imagine if you can, yourself in that position: A carefully developed scheme to give you the feel of full bondage, probably an imaginary scenario where someone else has left you there helpless. Knowing in your heart it is just a game and suddenly, a hand pushing you back, totally taking over control. You can see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing; straps you know you can not free being passed over your body and the faint sound of the clips slamming home. He started to jerk and thrash at the bonds but there was little he could do to move. His design was perfect and he could not even move his shoulders or lift his bottom from the seat. His legs were locked solid as were his hands, all that he could do was move his head and that was restricted by the wings and head rest of the bucket seat.
"It's all right John." said the friend, "it's me Iain. You're amongst friends." John continues to thrash about and Iain, smiling to himself repeated his statement only louder. Still no effect. Laughing out loud Iain stepped round the quivering body in the chair, bent forward to look at the mask and flicked the switch to clear the face piece. The look in Johns eyes was one of combined mortification and relief. Iain, never one to hold back, collapsed into total hysterics. Then, pulling himself together he stood up and looked at John who was still jerking at his bonds and looking at him now part angry, part pleading. Miming with his hands Iain said "Earplugs" exaggerating the lip movements. Giving up his futile struggle John nodded his head at the same time making a few grunting noises that Iain could hardly hear. "And a Gag?" Iain looked at John with some respect. Again the grunting noises and a nod of the head from John.
Iain stepped across the room, picked up a stool and came back sitting down in side Johns sight area. He bent forward and pulling the hood back removed one ear plug before pulling the hood forward again. "Don't want you to get cold do we!?" he said. John bumped up and down in the seat and again grunted at Iain. "Can you hear me now ?" Iain asked. John nodded. "Is it hot in there?" Again the nod. "Now think carefully," said Iain "I will let you free any time, but isn't this more fun than doing it on your own?" A pause and then a hesitant nod. "I'm not going to interfere with you sexually, or kill you - but now you can make a choice. Either I undo the seat belt and leave switching the mask back to black, or, we play together for the rest of tonight and the weekend ahead. Well? Which is it to be? Do you want me to go?" As he looked in the mask at Johns eyes he could see the indecision. He said nothing else, just smiling gently at him. After a few moments John shook his head.
"Good!" said Iain, "Now think well about this. That is a heavy suit you are wearing. If it gets too hot for you three sharp grunts and we will pause for a while to cool you off. In the burn outside! OK?" Again a long pause. John's eyes looked worried. "Don't worry! I'll make sure no one sees you!" John nods. "Good, Now don't go away, I am just off home for a few bits and pieces. Shorts and a tee shirt seem a little under-dressed. Apart from which I will never keep control of this" he said, flicking the bulge in his shorts. Iain reaches forward to John, pulls back the hood and replaces the ear plug, pauses and pulls the plug out again "How about you, is it boxed in?" looking down at Johns groin. John nods again. "Hard box or soft?" John grunts,. "Sorry forgot about that". He reaches between Johns legs and punches him in the groin. John flinches but shows no pain in his eyes. "Hard?" A nod. "Good, its better that way. You're in for some experience! Are you comfortable just now?" A nod. "Fine, back ..... sometime soon". The ear plug goes in and the switch flicks, blacking out the mask. END


Real life is never like the movies - and the following text, although it started out five years ago as a very woolly intimate correspondence - came together when the man we shall call DON, having found a lot of his own solutions, sent me a well-thought through compilation. I would love to publish more of the original correspondence which includes letters from and to some of his contacts ... but for the moment this is his story told in his own words.
To Jim Stewart

Hey Jim - me at last. Well, here it is for better or for worse as promised and agreed. Not everything I'd like it to be but that's life (well, my life!).
Your call last November did the trick and started me going. I won't bore you with details of current carryings-on although I know you like to hear all the sordid details. Truth is life's more settled than it's ever been - and here I am practising on this new Word Processor. You were right about me getting to grips with one instead of the typewriter ... and you pretend you're not a Sadist. Well, I've mastered the bitch. I can rattle away like I was talking - and it's easier than talking - and I've stopped going back on myself and changing what I've written because that just gets confusing and what I've written stops sounding like me talking. I just think of it now like talking to you - and that's got much easier since we first started exchanging letters - and because we've never met and there's not much likelihood of that because I don't see you getting to ??????? and sure as hell I won't be visiting New York (or London for God's sake!).
It's been interesting thinking it all through and trying to get it into shape so that other people might read it and learn something from my experiences. Not much hope of that - but, you know me, I'm willing to take a shot at anything - and fuck the risk ... or get fucked - whichever.
So, I won't "prattle on" as you call it. I'd appreciate it if you'd tidy up the spelling (though this machine has got a speller checker - when I can work the damn thing!). Do what the hell you want with it - that is if you want to do anything with it except wipe your ass on it.
Your 'complicated' long-distance buddy - Don.

I'm a man who has always played rough games. That includes rough sex - and I mean really rough. Got me into a lot of trouble in the early days. Word soon got around the neighbourhood. Most girls never went out with me twice. Now, 25 years later I am typical middle American working man except that I get to play rough games with other men ... including some sex. Don't switch off because you disapprove or can't relate to that. We're talking sexual stereotypes and the damage done when you can't identify yourself comfortably with any of them. My 'MISSING LINK' title comes from lack of role models I could relate to when I was growing up. I spent too many fucked-up years trying to fit in.
So-called 'normal' men who get a kick out of rough-housing with other men are, generally speaking, a recognisable breed. The fact that such horseplay sometimes produces complicated semi-erotic reactions is something that not often gets talked about - but for me it's always been an uncomfortable fact of life. I think an awful lot of players of violent body contact-sports and those real life 'Action Men' who get their kicks from competing or suffering hardship secretly get-off on it. Discomfort, pain or danger at either work or play seems to attract a breed of man and these are (in fiction at least) hero archetypes (If that's the term I'm looking for). For many of them the role also demands regular demonstration of their sexual power over women. All too often, ultra rough sex and offhand treatment of female partners is a necessary part of their self-image.
Since developments in the Women's Movement brought popular admired ideas about the macho male chauvinist super-stud into question, perhaps it's time for me to push my 'MISSING LINK' theory - that there's this gap in the gallery of American sexual role models.
In the Sixties when I was 15 my favourite jack-off literature was the REAL MEN type adventure fiction where macho types risked everything for buddies in mountains and jungles and behind 'enemy lines'. If there were women in the stories they were usually the cause of the trouble in the first place or the prize when the challenges had all been overcome. My life at that time was just starting out on the college jock, army grunt, red-neck work and play route which any red-blooded Colorado boy was expected to follow in my neck-of-the-woods. The good-old bad-old boy of middle America.
Early sexplay experiments with backwoods buddies was plain old manly horseplay because the girls too often wouldn't put out - and if they did, we weren't sure enough of the finer points of the game - so we needed to practice (You know that old excuse!). In ordinary locker room grab-ass horseplay ... humiliation, pain and sexual harassment was the penalty for losing out - usually against unequal odds. My well-developed macho ego didn't allow me to go down without a struggle - but memories of times I got jumped and roundly 'degraded' disturbed me enough to stay with me as something to beat off on later. Same applied to those fraternity party nights which ended in hot rough-and-tumble crude sexual horseplay. The 'Oh God, I was so drunk I don't remember what happened' morning-after excuses were a necessary defence on a lot of occasions.
Bondage and S/M weren't part of my everyday vocabulary then (not like now - I've got an electronic one) - but from way back before my teens, Cowboys and Indians and Jungle Warfare games for me had always included tying up, capture and torture scenarios. Through High School wrestling team days the grab and restrain (and tease) impulse was strong - and sometimes embarrassing because they made me very horny. Even in the military, on training exercises, I think I unconsciously looked to get myself into some physical disadvantage situation as early as possible. But, however stiff my dick got in the heat of the inevitable grappling, no way did I think of myself as being in any way Queer. I screwed around with girls just like all the would-be studs. Good buddies compared notes, swapped 'good lays' and kept score. Many's the gal I left aching and sore - sometimes it worried me more than it did them - but other times there were complaints - and word soon gets around in a small community. 'Neanderthal Man' ; 'The Hulk'; 'The Missing Link' ...!
Along with my reputation for being too rough, I certainly developed my sexual kinks. Being thought of as being kinky was kind of acceptable among the people I hung out with. Both rope and handcuffs turned me on - and for some gals it was a safety defence. A couple of early relationships lasted only because those ladies learned to tie me down real well. When I could struggle and swear and get angry without actually hurting them and being forced to make-nice before I could get loose. I really got off on it in a big way. Problem was ending a session like that - this vicious streak in me always drove me to take some sort of revenge - even if it hid behind good humour.
Transfer to the Military Police soon after being drafted in the late Sixties was like getting into heaven early. I found it easy to become a regular sadistic bastard - and I screwed myself into psychological knots for a year denying the inevitable. Admitting to myself that I was definitely weird (= sadistic) was a start - and being openly 'Kind of kinky' was almost natural in the circumstances. Among army buddies my perverted sense of humour was much appreciated - and the opportunities were all there to indulge it. Faggot-baiting was a common sport - and the easiest way to degrade any man was to accuse him of being a homosexual and treat him accordingly. The idea that I enjoyed fucking men ... no way. I guess we've arrived at the main point ... At that time no homosexual role model existed to even allow that possibility in my mind.
When some 'faggot-bitch' came on to me I would play with them like a cat with a mouse. Then usually screw them rigid before working off my disgust with them and myself through some kind of unfocused violence. No way could I admit my enjoyment. It was only later when I realised something strange: all through my life I'd liked to have a woman to go down on my cock and give me a good blow-job, but I would force a man to go down on me as a sign of my contempt for him. Was I also unconsciously degrading every woman I ever went with? Life at that time was full of uncomfortable questions that I rigorously refused to face up to.
An early marriage solved nothing except to give me a smoke-screen to hide behind. I was like any regular guy wasn't I - with two kids to prove it. She and they paid the price for my lack of self-image - and I'm still paying the price in hard cash and conscience. In the run-up to our divorce even a shrink could not offer any solutions. Seems like he knew as little as I did at that point in time. People were beginning to talk about closet doors - but even in the late Seventies the nearest role model I could relate to was a stereotype fucked-up rough-neck with a drink problem and an almost irresistible tendency to beat up on women.
OK, I admit I bought a few copies of DRUMMER early on. The men in it were at least masculine and well muscled - but all that leather and shit. The stories sometimes took hold of me for a while - but sucking and kissing and masters and slaves - forget it - but I couldn't and bought more although there was too little in them for me to relate to - and a lot that honestly turned my stomach - and I admit it still does. SOLDIER OF FORTUNE magazine now - the art of survival after World War Three - me and a few buddies - but no sex with them of course - that is, unless we got desperate and if there were no women available .... is that different?
I won't bore you with my 'Coming Out'. It took more than one man to teach me that even without role models you can override a life-long conditioning; that too many natural instinctive gut feelings are systematically ground out of us by parents, teachers and The Church . Family expectations and peer group pressures frogmarch us along paths that our instincts tell us are not the way for us. But I guess most people are born to conform, fit in. Even after I'd admitted to myself that I wasn't 'normal' - no way was I able to identify myself with images of SM/leather lifestyles I saw in magazines in the early-Seventies ... although they were still useful jack-off material ... because I used to dream up what I'd do to some of those San Fancisco butch faggots.
In spite of all the denial, eventually, I slowly began making contact with other men with similar needs, drives and insecurities. The process was agonisingly gradual - and dangerous - but somehow inevitable. You may not accept inevitable - but I do. In looking back I can clearly see all the signs - and have compared my experiences with other men who independently found their own way out. My first real advance was to accept that rather than keep on resisting inclinations - I should explore them deliberately.
Allowing myself to go along with these instincts took me through some painful times. Painful for some of the men I met, too. When they brought out things in me that I'd been struggling to deny for so long, my anger at me I took out on them. It was easy to convince myself that punishment was what they enjoyed and was asking for. Slapping men around had always come naturally to me - getting slapped in return had always followed like day after night since I was a boy. Looking back, I realised that for years I'd been picking fights with men capable of beating the shit out of me. But most of all I enjoyed a good even contest. Now it's obvious to me that I've wasted a hell of a lot of wonderful opportunities. Fights I've had with guys who were probably on exactly the same wavelength as me. With me I just wouldn't recognise what was driving me - or didn't know how to communicate. Until quite recent I've missed out on living my life more fully in good company - but at last I am getting somewhere. Getting this all down on paper is proof of that. 'Thinking' onto the old typewriter was how I first started sorting out my tangled mind. I have you to thank for that - and I hope I'm not boring the shit out of you!
To put it politely, I'm still fucking isolated in a world where the people I can relate to are not only few and far between; they're dangerously difficult to spot. From what I'm setting down here - I may seem comfortably out of the closet. But, unlike a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I haven't reached the point where I can stand up in public and announce with pride that I AM GAY. That's because not many people would know exactly what I mean by that, because ... what I am, does not fit with any of the sexual male images known to the general public at large ..... not in Denver anyway. If the world suddenly learned that Indiana Jones and Crocodile Dundee occasionally liked to fuck and get fucked by another guy: If Clint Eastwood, Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis in their younger days screwed with other men of equal machismo - we might be getting close to the missing 'socio-erotic archetype' (how's that for jargon!). I live in a small suburban community that could not accept me for what I am - and I don't want to move out. This man wants to retain a footing in the world he grew up in rather than move over permanently into foreign territory - but I sure as hell enjoy some of the lifestyle available in that foreign land (remember my letter about the trip to San Francisco!). To some degree I manage to enjoy the best of both worlds - but only by splitting myself in half. Of course a lot of people lead double lives so they can hide their sexual preferences, but, having found my own level for living, I find that I can no longer fit comfortably into either world I inhabit. Again - lack of acceptable social identity (is that the phrase?).
Seems most so-called Gay men are unwilling to accept being anything less than a full time, card carrying homosexual. Somebody who won't declare himself to the world and to hell with the consequences seems to get dismissed as a Closet Case or something worse. For a time I reassured myself by thinking of myself as bisexual - but this dumb new-found honestly I've developed has forced me to face it that I no longer get pleasure from having sex with women. I still find that hard to write ... I even said it to a buddy a couple of months ago ... but I think it's been true for longer than I like to admit.
So, I choose to live a lie. The private person I have succeeded in hammering out of myself allows me to fulfil all my needs. My own self image of myself is better now than it's been all my life - but no way am I ever going to disrupt my life by standing up and being counted as a homosexual. In a GAY PRIDE parade there is too much I can't relate to, to associate myself comfortably. I'm not being critical of other people. Every man and woman should be more free to grow and develop in their own direction according to their own needs - but are they? - even the more sexually liberated publications (straight or gay) still keep building barriers.
For example, DRUMMER magazine often says it's policy is based on Thoreau's words "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away". But too much of what I've read in the Gay Press has convinced me that what I must do to be truly liberated would totally separate me from my familiar lifestyle. In social terms the cost of coming out would be too high. As a mature man who has lived in the same neighbourhood for 35 years, I'm used to playing poker with guys I've know since grade school. I want to be able to take my newly married son and his wife to a ball game without them being embarrassed. I prefer to hold my own in the construction site office where I work - not face the inevitable battles that coming out publicly would invite. OK - so I'm still a closet case. That's not because I'm ashamed of what I do or what turns me on - but being realistic, why do something that would separate me from people and places I enjoy being welcome at. To tell the world-and-his-wife that I'm 'Gay' would not mean the same to them as it means to me. Even I still have trouble with 'Gay' when I look at the men I fuck with ... so people around here would have no pigeonhole to put me in: ... I get horny when wrestling into submission a man who can give as good as I can ... I like to tie and get tied ... sweat my balls of struggling to get free when wrapped head to foot in rubber or canvas, caked in mud or lashed to a tree in pouring rain ...? That isn't 'Gay', even 'Queer' doesn't cover it. I lost too much time trying to find a slot suitable for me - and I welcomed the suggestion this might get published so other people could read it, because I know for certain now that I'm not alone in my likes and dislikes.
So, you may ask (that is if you're still reading) ... exactly how do I manage to stay in the closet and yet still fulfil my needs? I live alone. Oh, incidentally Jim, a great question for you ... Why is it that a divorced man is an acceptable neighbour but a man who never married is immediately suspect?) For a divorced man living alone to have guys round to the house on a regular basis to play poker or drink or watch sport on TV is natural enough. Whether the guys who gather at my house play poker or more physical games till four in the morning gives no problem to my neighbours. They don't think twice about the cop in uniform, fresh off duty who may stay at my place till three a.m. or through till morning (if I decide not to let him loose). A guy from the local Fire House keeps an extra rubber Turnout coat and hip boots along with mine in my cellar/playroom. I'm discrete. My visitors respect my 'cover'.
How I make contact with new people and details of the games I like to play would double the length of this article - and are not the focus of my 'lack of role model' argument ... but, briefly, a lot of my initial contacts were made through Contact Ads in both straight and gay publications. Learning what to say and what not to say has been a matter of trial and error. It also started me putting in more toil improving my word-power and ability to express my thoughts on paper. Fantasising, even at my old typewriter, has helped me to sort out my mind - writing to potential playmates and preparing the ground for 'scenes'. Having brainstormed by correspondence with somebody - when you meet you can often pitch right in with the action without too much eyeball to eyeball discussion.
I've also learned a lot about reading the signs in public. By trial and error I've learned how to give out signs without taking too many risks - steering conversations and leaving openings for a man to show a little more of his hand. It's often a gamble - some you lose some you win - some you get part-way into a game and decide it's not the right game for you. There are risks - there are failures - for me there have been more than enough successes to make it all worth while.
You asked me to describe in more detail the types of games I like to play. Well, here goes:
... mainly competitive, physical challenge situations ... specially endurance, survival ... perhaps military-type scenarios either out doors or in my basement which is a practical workshop cum rumpus-room (rather than some phoney dungeon). I like the term 'Restraint' rather than 'Bondage'.
... my equipment comes from local hardware and surplus stores rather than sex toy catalogues (I admitted that when I first wrote to FETTERS).
... Master/slave-type SM action isn't for me but the macho stereotypes from DRUMMER turn me on if they act right as well as look right.
... fighting for control ... once gained, exercising control of another man imaginatively ... and risking suddenly becoming the one being controlled.
... wrapping, strapping, sweating, struggling, roping, teasing, testing, goading.
... inventing surprises and being able to deal with surprises dreamed up by men perhaps with special training like police, loggers, paramedics
... guys more ingenious or with a sense of humour more diabolical than mine.
Experimental joint enterprises like two men of equal strength and physical ability agreeing to a strenuous wrestling bout each with a fat dildo strapped up the ass, plus padded athletic crotch protectors imprisoning heavily taped up cock and balls. First man to achieve a submission gets to do whatever he decides to do for an agreed period or whatever time is available.
Being forced to work up a sweat encased head to foot in a heavy rubber divers suit with the heating turned full up may be the price paid for losing a hand at cards or at the toss of a coin.
Taking a camping trip with two or more good buddies each prepared to test their hunting skills, physical endurance and determination to come out on top. This may not sound to you the stuff your erotic dreams are made of. Maybe you should let me know, Jim! (See my response in SO I LIKE TO GET TIED UP - SO WHAT? Details on page 55**)
Back to my list of games:
... Dildoes, vibrators, electro-massagers imaginatively applied
... Tit-clamps, clothes pins by the dozen all over then made to squirm
... improvised chastity devises locked on under jogging clothes or work clothes in public places; on the back of a motor cycle in leather and boots (You were right ... nobody can see the plugged butt and the gag under the crash hat, but on a bumpy country lane it's quite a trip. Thanks for the suggestion.)
So now, can you describe the men who can invent and survive such games queers or faggots? They may be masochistic, kinky perverted bastards or just plain nutcases but ... I guess you're right I'm just a pathetic Closet Case. OK, so the fact that they will fuck given adequate protection, will suck (perhaps only when forced), does technically make them (me) homosexual. And the tactile sensuality and the erotic appeal of some of our wham-bang games may be off-the-wall ... but believe me some of the most violent orgasms I've ever had have been when I've been powerless to resist, avoid or control the action. Most of the guys who've achieved these results admit they're turned on by the erotic side of these violent games we work out together. Would you describe them as Gay ? Am I splitting hairs to call them homo-sensual rather than homosexual.
My main point is - is there any established category in either straight or gay culture where such men comfortably fit? Believe me, after seven years of correspondence and game-playing I can tell you there are a lot of us out there. Unfortunately, too many good men will hesitate for ever - never allow themselves to be what they naturally are ... never finding soul-mates or playmates ... maybe trapped into unfulfilled conventional relationships. Luck for me - I found my own way - and stick to my own path.
You asked about the risks of leading a double life. Of course there are risks - and one day the shit may hit the fan. Somebody, out of spite or because they've been tempted and chickened out, may blow the whistle on me to neighbours, workmates or family. I'll deal with that when it happens. Until then, a very private grapevine quite regularly brings me new playmates, often with new and way-out games they like to play. By phone, modem and good old US mail we exchange ideas. You'd be surprised how far some guys will travel - and I cover a lot of territory to indulge in games which we invent for ourselves (and sometimes lift from the pages of fiction .... specially the stuff you've sent me).
Today I still read the strictly macho male homosexual magazines where, although the Editorials state that they try to cater for all tastes ... I still wonder how strongly they influence the tastes of people who fail to find their ideal role models there. Recently a few stories by writers such as Victor Terry and in BOUND & GAGED ring bells for me. Now I know where I'm at - I can disregard the inevitable master/slave role playing and the interminable slurp and suck action in most fiction and Gay male videos. What I used to think of as my limitations, I now recognise as preferences. Most importantly, I am no longer intimidated by the implied message that unless you're willing to publicly commit yourself to a DRUMMER lifestyle you fail to qualify for full membership. A lot of very private people know that being Gay need not be an all or nothing deal. There must be thousands of men like me who have too much to loose to Come Out publicly. The gay Media fails to recognise that - so a lot of potentially available hot men who enjoy Mansex steer clear of the whole Gay Scene.
Maybe as a matter of Gay Politics I should let it all hang out - but maybe the gay political activists have, in their public relations exercises, failed men like me. The image of the homosexual male is still too narrow - or maybe too extreme. I disagree with much written by Marshall Kirk & Hunter Madson in their book 'AFTER THE BALL' but there is some logic behind the argument that low profile homosexuality is, for a lot of people, easier to live with. I almost titled this article 'COMING OUT or STAYING HOME?'. A tough choice. I prefer not to declare myself at the
expense of so much that I'm used to and happy with. I don't want to freak-out my neighbours by stomping in and out of my house in Bar Leathers, rubber or sequins. OK, that's my problem but also my prerogative. I certainly don't want to subject my kids or my friends to the trauma of what to them would be so difficult to get their minds around. I guess they could handle it - but why should I hit them with it unnecessarily? Many Gay Men would condemn me for making this choice of keeping one foot firmly in the closet. Maybe they have more commitment to The Cause than me, but perhaps they also have less broadly based social lives. I am the missing link in the gallery of sexual iconography (as you put it) - but I'm not as rare a breed as I at first thought. I've already met lots more of my own kind - and I suspect that there are many, many more waiting until a few more barriers are lowered. How can this happen?
Maybe in the fetish oriented hetero magazines, more personal case histories of a men with suppressed homosexual fantasies could be explored. Maybe some bi-men would be exclusively gay if they could handle better the social and psychological problems involved. That takes us back to appropriate Role Models or even a descriptive name, for God's sake! I know from experience that suppressed sexual drives can take you over in socially unacceptable ways - ask my ex-wife. It took me a lot of unhappy years to get to where I'm at - and a source of relevant information and suitable buddy-fucking role models would have helped me make some of the connections it took me too long to discover for myself. Women reading what I've written here may react with resentment, or sense a challenge that they could deal with me in a way I'd respond to sexually. Maybe so. I still have women friends, but I make no concessions when it comes to the sort of sexual horseplay I most enjoy. Maybe there are also a lot of women who after social expectations have funnelled them into the narrow passage of inevitable marriage, mortgage and kids to chore for ... decide that they don't even like men as permanent live-in liabilities. Maybe, like me, they may someday wake up to the fact that they've been conned by Middle America and that, in spite of all the sexual indoctrination they absorbed unconsciously, they don't even particularly like what they've been told is 'normal' sex. In recent years I've socialised with several divorced or separated women who are not only NOT looking for a new man, they're no longer looking for sex. Sometimes that's sad because they can't face considering the possible alternative - sex with their own kind. That they could find more sexual fulfilment with a woman rather than a man is sometimes an idea blocked only by social conditioning. On the other hand ... some basically hetero magazines (even quite raunchy ones) find lesbian scenarios more acceptable than ones about men with erotic fantasies about other men.
Why is that, I wonder? END

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