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Ann Summers' A-Z of Bondage

A-Z of Bondage

Everything you ever wanted to know about bondage, spanking and BDSM, but were just too afraid to ask. Still got some questions that your favourite books about billionaires can't answer? Ann Summers is here to help. Whether you're a sub, Dom, or somewhere in between, fill any gaps in your kinky knowledge below.

A is for... Anal Toys

Strap-On Dildo – The role-reversal and submission implied means that anal play can be a big part of BDSM. Strap-on dildos fit into a harness worn around the waist, with a ring for a dildo to be attached. Some will come with a dildo included, but some will just be the harness in case you have a favourite already. When used by a woman to anally penetrate a man, it's called "pegging". Lube up and bend over

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Butt Plug –Tapered for easy insertion, and usually with a wider base for safety – your muscles can draw things in, causing them to get stuck, so play safe. Butt plugs provide irresistible control over your sub's body, and getting fruity with the booty can be a real turn on for both of you. Take things further and experiment with anal beads…don't forget the lube and work your way up as the size increases. Just bead it.

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Prostate Massagers - Coming in a range of styles catered for both the beginner and the veteran, the prostate massager is an anal toy specifically designed to pleasure his P-Spot. Tempted to try the back door? This could be the toy for you!

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B is for... Bondage Tape

Ropes and chains can be so passé. Bondage tape sticks to itself, but isn't actually an adhesive – so wrap it tight and they'll be unable to escape, but without any damage to the skin that actual adhesive tapes will cause – they should NEVER be used for bondage. Bind, gag, blindfold and control quickly and easily, or wrap yourself up in do-it-yourself skin-tight fetish wear – you're in charge, after all.

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C is for... Collars

Collar – Nothing screams subservience, ownership and control like a kinky collar. Attach a lead to the O-ring for more direct control, or just mark your property. You're in charge now, honey.

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D is for... Dominance and Submission

Bondage play doesn't necessarily have to involve dominance and submission – you can enjoy being tied up and spanked in a far more sensual environment, without any particular power exchange going on. But the two often go hand in hand as central aspects of BDSM. One partner acts as the dominant, who calls the shots, administers the punishments, and reaps the rewards, but in many ways it's the submissive who calls the shots – the limits of how far they can be pushed will dictate what you can do. It's not a case of "what the dominant says, goes" at all. Always agree your limits and only ever indulge in what you want to do.

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E is for...Electro-Stim

Electrical Stimulation – Erotic electro-stimulation adds serious sparks to bondage play. Electrical stimulation can come from standard sex toys, or more directly through pads, straps or loops attached directly to the skin – perfect for getting their undivided attention. Electro-stim will take you from extreme pleasure to irresistible pain at the flick of a switch.

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F is for... Fetish Wear

To really inspire submission, you'll need to look the part. Dressing up can also help you get in character, boosting your confidence to lose your inhibitions and go with your sexual instincts. Gloves, bodystockings, jumpsuits, blindfolds, latex…whatever you're into, accessorize with restraints and an open mind.

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G is for... Gags

Gags are another way to exercise control over your subs, all you will hear is their moans of pleasure. A ball gag is the BDSM classic – a plastic or rubber ball that fills the mouth, with straps that are fastened behind the bed. Better work out some non-verbal safe words.

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H is for... Home Improvements

Sex Furniture – Hit every position you've ever dreamed of. Perfect for spanking and giving support while going for adventurous angles. Bondage is about breaking bad, not the bed.

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Door Jamb Restraint – Bondage restraints that slip over a door – once it's closed, there's no escape. Keep your sub on their toes for a stand-up time. These restraints are a great excuse to take things out of the bedroom – you've got doors all over the house, right?

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Underbed Bondage – No bed frame? No problem. Underbed ties slip under the mattress to keep subs in place, whatever you've got to work with. Hide them away during the day and whip them out when bedtime comes. Restrain and enjoy.

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I is for... Identity

Bondage and BDSM are all about dressing up – and not just in leather and latex. Trying on new identities, reversing roles, and being someone in the bedroom that you can't be in the outside world. Strap-on dildos and packers are a perfect way to turn the tables - strap-ons allow for penetrative anal play, whereas packers create a bulge and give you a masculine silhouette and feel wherever you want it.

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J is for...Japanese Rope Bondage

You can use rope as a normal restraint, but it's far more fun to take in some Japanese influence. The erotic art of Japanese rope bondage, otherwise known as Kinbaku or Shibari, involves intricate rope patterns coiling around a submissive's body to create harnesses that are strong, versatile and a real turn on. Not just any kind of rope will do, though – you could cause some seriously unsexy damage with a coarse cord from a DIY shop. Bondage rope is soft, skin safe and perfect for getting all tied up. Where you go from there is up to you.

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K is for... Kink

"Kink" is an umbrella term that is used to describe all sorts of fetishes, although BDSM often plays a large part. Making someone feel bad for the stuff they want to do is called "kinkshaming", and as long as their desires are safe, consensual and legal, we're dead against it, so keep an open mind, everyone's sexuality is individual.

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L is for...Leather

Is there a material more associated with bondage and BDSM than leather? Perfect for kinky boots, flogger tassels, wrist restraints… you know you want it.

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M is for...Masks

Blindfolds – Heighten the senses, you don't know where or what to expect next. It's the perfect way to experiment with sensations and bondage techniques. Surrender to your partner and see how your body responds to being touched and stimulated at their desire. Most of the time things are more thrilling when you can't see it coming…

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Masks – Decorative masks, rather than teasing blindfolds entered BDSM to ensure anonymity among the players, whereas now they just add a touch of glamour to proceedings. Don't let anyone tell you that bondage isn't high-class, darling.

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N is for... Nipple Clamps

Nipple Clamps – Heightened sensitivity, submissive willingness, burlesque-style sensuality, and that kinky mixture of pleasure and pain – nipple clamps may only really have one use, but there's oh-so-many ways of interpreting it. Available in different materials, with vibrating options, and can be connected to each other (or clit clips – see below) with chains.

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Clit Clip – Similar to a nipple clamp, a clit clip attaches to the clit (or the clitoral hood) for constant pleasure, and maybe even a little bit of pain too. Use clit clips carefully, but don't be put off experimenting with their clit-enlarging, sensitivity-increasing powers.

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O is for...Outdoor Play

Remote-Controlled Vibrator – Whether you're looking for some hands-free clit stimulation, or want to turn on your lover at the click of a button, an RC vibrator is where it's at. Perfect for kinky outdoor adventures – just try and keep your composure. Usually these come in the Love Egg style (see above), but there are other options available too.

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P is for... Pinwheels

Otherwise known as a Wartenberg wheel, pinwheels were designed as medical devices to test reactions, but now they're also popular as BDSM toys. The prickly sensations caused by its sharp points will leave your body tingling, whether it's part of a tease or part of a punishment.

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Q is for...Queening

Also known as facesitting, which we think is pretty self-explanatory. Take your throne…

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R is for...Restraints

Handcuffs – A bondage classic, and most people's first introduction to being all tied up. Two metal cuffs joined by a chain – just the thing for securing your hands behind your back, to a bedpost, to another person… Go for cute and comfy fluffy options, or harder, wrist-biting metal – the choice is yours.

Wrist Restraints – The classic restraint – as perfect for the bondage apprentice as they are for experienced D/s couples. Loop them round beds, banisters, chairs –don't be afraid to use your imagination, honey. Struggle all you like – wrist restraints will keep you under control.

Ankle Cuffs – Why stop with the wrists? For total control, keep them bound at the ankles too. Choose between the traditional policeman's handcuff style, or downright kinkier soft, black restraints with adjustable buckles.

Hog Ties – A hog tie is a distinctly kinky method of bondage, where the sub's arms and legs are bound together at the ankles and wrists while behind their back, resulting in an extremely submissive and vulnerable position for full exposure. It's hard to master with ropes, so lucky for you, there are simple restraint pieces available with cuffs, clips and rings – so there's less time spent tying, and more time spent teasing.

Spreader Bar – Keep those legs spread. Attached to the ankles, spreader bars keep subs vulnerable and exposed, letting you be daring and go deeper. Or go for the wrists, and keep them immobilised. Perfect for practicality or punishment, these bars go a long way when acting out your wildest fantasies. Spread the love.

Ties – A tie can serve many a purpose. Sexy in satin, they can be used as restraints, blindfolds – whatever your imagination can manage. They're subtle, too – perfect for travelling, or if you're worried about your hidden urges being discovered.

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S is for...Spanking

Crop – The riding crop – invented for horses, but just perfect for the bedroom, don't you think? A classic, powerfully dominant symbol that works for playful teasing or irresistible pain, crops have much smaller surface areas than paddles (see below), for much more focused spanking sensations. Giddy up.

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Flogger – A kind of whip with multiple strands, spreading over a wide surface area to deliver a less-focused kind of pain than a traditional whip, crop, or paddle. Floggers are made up of relatively wide strands (usually suede or leather) which can be dragged across the body to be gentle or flicked sharply to get their attention. Perfect for those experimenting with BDSM, or those who enjoy the anticipation of punishment but can't quite handle the pain, floggers deliver teasing taps and the beginnings of a sting that's still easy to handle.

Find floggers. Paddle – The classic spanking tool, perfect for all pain thresholds and experience levels. It all depends how you use it, bend your sub over for a real spanking scenario. Choose from suede, PU, leather or two ended paddles which offer a feather tickler on the opposite end so you can decide between being naughty or nice. Start out slow and experiment on different areas of the body. Badass. Find paddles.

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T is for...Tease and Denial

Ticklers – A real tease when fooling around – a tickler is a great tool for heightening the senses. As a fluffy ball on the end of a firm stick, go hard or go soft – it's perfect for those who prefer the tease and anticipation of BDSM to the pain.

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Cock Ring – Cock rings keep him harder for longer. They restrict bloodflow just enough to keep it where it's most needed, and it all means longer, better sex for you, and plenty of frustration for your sub. Stretchy and firmer variations are available, while vibrating options will have them begging for release.

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Cock Cage – Whether it's an Arab Strap – three rings connected by a leather strap – or a more all-encompassing enclosure, cock cages take cock rings that one step further, and they're perfect for when you're looking to tease.

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Double Penetration Extender – A double penetration dildo with something a not-so-little something extra: enhance your man with a penis extender. Fitting over his shaft, you'll get extra length, girth, and textured sensations, while he lasts longer thanks to reduced sensation.

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U is for... Underwear

Panty Vibes – Dare to wear a vibrator designed to fit in your knickers. Hand over the remote control and attempt to keep your composure. Perfect for date night, and the only legal way to start foreplay in a restaurant…CHEQUE!

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Lingerie – Bondage-wear doesn't have to be all black and shiny. Corsets, stockings, camis, gloves and nipple tassels are all BDSM staples, so dress to kill.

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V is for... Vanilla

"Vanilla" is the term used to describe anything that doesn't involve bondage, BDSM and kink. Even if you count yourself as a hardcore minx with a passion for a spanking, everyone needs hearts, flowers, spooning and love making sometimes. When you've had too much rum and raisin, a bit of vanilla never tasted so good.

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W is for... Whips

If there's anything a true submissive loves, it's being whipped into shape. Whips are probably the most serious punishment tool you'll find – and you'll need to do some practicing, because they can do some real damage if you hit the wrong spots. Work your way up and learn how to inflict that sting the right way. It's all in the wrist, girl.

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X is for... X-rated

Okay, we couldn't think of an 'X'. But if you've made it this far, we're pretty sure you won't be thinking in PG anymore.

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Y is for... You

The most important thing in BDSM and bondage play is you. And your play partner, of course. Your limits, your comfort, and your pleasure. Whether you're the submissive or the dominant, make sure you communicate with your partner, and tell them what you want and need from them.

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Z is for...Zelophilia

Alright, alright, we couldn't think of a 'Z' either. But Zelophilia is sexual arousal from jealousy, and we're sure you'll be feeling a little bit jealous by now if you're missing out on making your bondage fantasies come true. So what are you waiting for?

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