FROM THE FETTERS FILES
A VOICE FROM THE WILDERNESS (November'93)
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!
SPORTS EQUIPMENT AS BONDAGE (February'90)
... 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
A POTTED HISTORY
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
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
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.
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.
THE HELPING HAND
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!):
COLLECTED RUBBER STORIES
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)
FURTHER ADVENTURES OF A MOTORCYCLE MESSENGER
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!!
Will phone you during the weekend.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
For myself, your letter has opened up two or three new avenues for further
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
BONDAGE, SAFETY & HEALTH
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
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.
SUFFOCATION & HANGING
BONDAGE FOR THE UNFIT
SUFFOCATION AND HANGING:
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
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".
BONDAGE FOR THE UNFIT:
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
CATHETERS & DILDOES
ELECTRICAL SCENES & STUN GUNS?
VIBRATORS, MUSCLE STIMULANTS
DRINKING PISS (OWN) + RECYCLING
FORCED DRINKING SCENES
PSYCHOLOGICAL CIRCUMSTANCES AFFECTING PHYSICAL STATE
ISOLATION & SENSORY DEPRIVATION GAMES
ACTUAL PHYSICAL ABUSE =
effects on nervous system of continual pain, beatings, humiliation?
RUBBER BONDAGE FANTASY
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
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
"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
STORY OF A LIFE
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
To FETTERS In NEW YORK Feb'94
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,
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.
THE MISSING LINK
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
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
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,
... 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
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
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
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