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"The first piece of bondage equipment I ever used was a tree in the Wilson's front yard. Like most children we used to play cowboys and Indians or Romans and Christians. "

Make It Yourself Bondage Equipment
by Jack Rinella

The first piece of bondage equipment I ever used was a tree in the Wilson's front yard. Like most children we used to play cowboys and Indians or Romans and Christians. It was years later that I graduated to using a brass bed for more adult, if not more serious, games.

Beds, of course, are a natural site for bondage. They have sufficient appendages for securing ropes and chains, are sturdy enough to hold out against the best struggle, and offer suitable comfort so that the bondee can remain in that state for a satisfactory length of time. In addition, they offer something that the tree of my youth didn't: privacy in which to perform all sorts of nastily nice things on my partner's securely stationary body.

There are those, I am sure, who think a tree might be preferable, but out of doors sex is another discussion. Besides, I prefer both climate control and insect free environments.

For my first adult foray into bondage, I used strips of an old sheet. Later, as my sophistication grew, I acquired leather restraints and chains. Though they make more noise than I like, chains are usually my preferred bondage tool as they are easy to clip on and off.

The next advance came several (actually many) years later.

I was living in an apartment that consisted of two rooms and a small bath. I was anxious to try some bondage with my partner held vertically, so as to be able to have access to both sides of his body. The only way to achieve that was by using the door frame between the bedroom and bathroom.

Bondage can be either a means or an end. It is delightful as an experience itself. The immobility it enforces can bring about significant relaxation, pleasure, and altered states. There are many whose primary SM scene is to tie up or be tied up. There's much to be said about control and lack thereof, about isolation and sensory deprivation, and the inner journeys that good bondage can elicit.

On the other hand, bondage is very often a means to achieve another end. It is restraint that makes the application of pain or pleasure both possible and safer. Whipping, paddling, tickling, stroking, feeling, pinching, licking, sucking, and even fucking are sometimes easier to accomplish when the one on the receiving end can neither resist nor flee.

I wanted an inexpensive, unobtrusive, and portable way to restrain my partner while I took control of and enjoyed his body. The additional requirement was that I had to be able to install it without doing any damage to the apartment itself. No holes in the walls, no hooks in the ceiling, no bolts in the floor.

When opened, the bathroom door exposed two metal jambs and a lintel. I bought three pieces of two by fours and several bolts long enough to pass through two thicknesses of wood and the jamb. Cut to fit the door exactly, I sandwiched the studs on each side of the jambs, connecting them with a cross piece along the lintel. When the bolts were tightened, the pieces stayed in place quite well. I then put a large number of eye bolts and hooks along the timbers. Once I had the requisite lengths of rope, the contraption was perfect for holding my man exactly where I wanted him. His butt was exposed to my paddle, his back to my whip, his chest to my clothes pins, his cock for whatever I wanted.

The one drawback was that I would either have to be content with one side of him at a time, or make sure that I could slip between the door frame, him and the ropes to get to the other side. Luckily both Steve, my slave at the time, and I were thin enough that this was readily accomplished.

Several years later I purchased my own home which afforded me the luxury of a basement with a very secluded vegetable cellar. Needless to say, I converted it to a first rate dungeon. Now bondage equipment could be built without care for holes. I drilled into the brick walls and inserted anchors and eye bolts. I attached four by four posts from ceiling to floor. Hooks in the ceiling held chains, a sling, and whomever I could entice into my den. Eventually, the dungeon poured out into the adjacent area where I built two crosses and a stock.

I won't go into details about the construction of the crosses, except to reiterate some of the general principles I use in all toy-building:

1. Over build. Use stronger lumber, bigger bolts, better screws. Remember that partners can weigh more than you estimate and a person who is struggling is stronger than you think.

2. Take care to plan for quality. Sand, plane, paint, and sand again. Be sure that porous surfaces can be easily cleaned, that splinters aren't possible, and that chafing and scraping won't be a worry.

3. Test, test, test. Jump on it, hit it, push and pull it with all your strength. The last thing you want is for the thing to collapse while in use.

4. Give yourself, and your equipment, more room than necessary. You'll want to be able to navigate around the thing. Often enough one has to stand a distance from his or her partner in order to wield a whip or paddle properly. Besides there's something to be said for just standing back and taking in the big picture.

And 5. Make the damn thing comfortable. Plan for smooth edges, padding, even upholstery. I like to use rabbit fur covered with leather. Build it so that you inflict the pain, not the equipment.

Not all bondage equipment has to be large. One day, as I cruised a Wal-Mart for new furniture for the dungeon, I found a metal pedestal used for installing seats in a motor boat. About 24 inches tall, it was sturdy and stood solidly on the floor. I cut a 12 inch square piece of half inch plywood for the seat. Before I attached it though, I screwed a four inch dowel, cut from the end of a broom handle into the center of the board. Voila, I had a "peg seat".

In order to maintain good hygiene, I always put a condom on the broom handle before my bottom slides his ass onto the seat. I then restrain his ankles across the back of the pedestal and tie his wrists, either behind his back or to eye hooks placed strategically on the sides of the plywood.

The nice thing about this contraption is that when my partner is seated on it, he's just at the right height for sucking my cock. That, of course, is a big advantage over his being tied in the doorway.

Copyright 1999 by Jack Rinella. This material may not be copied in any manner. For permission to reproduce this essay, contact

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