Bondage,

A Case History of Elizabeth

 

" ...he could even invite one of his friends over to enjoy me and I couldn't do anything about it. ...[Since I'm blindfolded] I wouldn't even know who was having sex with me, and I wouldn't want to know. I guess that way I wouldn't be embarrassed when he recognized me afterwards, and I couldn't feel guilty about the sex, like I should have stopped it.

Although it's scary and maybe even perverse, it also excites me to think about... "

-Elizabeth

 

Bondage is considered an "outside the norm" sexual behavior.

At the same time, a significant number of men and women have fantasies about bondage.

Many act them out in some way. 

Bondage has been described as "a bridge to take a person some place they want to go."

 Although this definition may seem curious, that "some place else" seems clearly illustrated with the case of Elizabeth.

Obviously, the people involved in bondage must totally trust each other.

Couples must know where to draw the line, while at the same time leave the door open for unexpected elements. (You will recall that studies have shown that "unexpected surprises" enhance sexual pleasure.)

Depending on the activity, most couples agree on a "safety word" that the person submitting to any kind of submissive behavior can say that will bring any activity to a quick stop.

This means that the submissive person has ultimate control of the situation.

Failing to heed the safety word should bring a permanent end to any future activity with the dominant person.

One woman said that when she was tied up and blindfolded, anticipating what might happen created a real rush. She said, "My husband tries to keep me guessing."
 

Bondage Case Study: Elizabeth

One woman  -  we'll call her Elizabeth  -  described the progression of the various levels of exhibitionism and bondage through which she and her husband progressed over a period of several years.

We'll also provide an analysis of the roots of the subject's bondage/exhibitionist behaviors. 

Elizabeth started out by sunbathing nude on the patio deck of their condo.

She defended her actions by saying that other women did the same thing.  The condo was apparently full of young couples  -- both married and single.

Before long, she casually mentioned to some of the people at her condo complex that she  sunbathed nude on her patio, knowing that if they made the effort they could see her.

She said that it excited her thinking that a man could be looking.

Sometimes, after her husband checked to see that no one was around, Elizabeth would dash to hallway mailboxes at night wearing only her husband's open shirt.

She seemed to like to think that if this happened she would be helpless to do anything, and that she would just have to stand there and let him gaze at her body.

The thought both disturbed and excited her.

Later, when they were vacationing in another country, Elizabeth insisted that they go to a nude beach so she could experience what it would be like to have men to see her naked.

Although at first she said she was nervous, she spent hours there until she could boldly walk around without clothes.

This represented some sort of personal victory.

Elizabeth, who had married early, had only known her husband sexually. She knew that in the condo complex sexual liaisons were common and a major topic of conversation.  

The women regularly compared their experiences with different men.

This not only made Elizabeth an "outsider" to these conversations, but it peaked her curiosity about what sex with other men would be like. 

Being a reasonably attractive woman in her mid - 20s, the men around the complex sometimes flirted with her.

However, when the conversation became the least bit sexual, Elizabeth tended to freeze and immediately try to escape the situation.

This is an important clue into the nature of her fantasies.

Her solution, which combined her exhibitionist streak and need to crash through what she saw as her sexual inhibitions, was to fantasize about being in a position where she would not be able to stop a sexual experience.

To Elizabeth it was important that her husband was the catalyst in suggesting things. Apparently, this would assuage her guilt over this type of sexual experience.

She shared her fantasies with her husband, and eventually talked him into being cooperative. The actual influence or motivation of her husband is not known.

Eventually, over many months, her fantasies progressed to the following, which she recounted in some detail.

Late at night, her husband would tie her spread-eagled onto the top of the bed.bondage photo

She would be on her back nude and unable to move for about an hour each time.

Although the bedroom light was off, he would then open the blinds of their second floor condo and go in the other room and let her imagine that men living in adjacent condos were peering out their windows at her.

The possibility was remote, but it apparently existed. The thought of a man seeing her that way sexually excited her.

Elizabeth said, "I don't mind a bit of discomfort, so I like to have my husband tie my legs so wide that it begins to hurt, and so I can imagine that a man would be able to see everything he wanted to see."

As things progressed, her husband blindfolded her and would tease her by leaving the light on, or getting on the phone and pretending to tell a neighbor to look in.

Elizabeth regularly pushed her husband to "keep things exciting" by initiating new things....

Where at first she wanted to be bound in a dark corner of the bedroom, later she wanted the bed moved so that her open legs would be visible from the bedroom window.

Thinking of a man seeing her that way and that she couldn't do anything about it was exciting for her.

Since a bit of discomfort or pain heightens excitement, her husband tied her up in various ways.

Among the things he tried was tying her topless to a wooden rack in the basement and attaching mousetraps to her nipples.

To add to the discomfort and humiliation he took photos of her and threatened to send them to an old boyfriend.

After teasing her for two days with his finger on the "send" button, she finally said, "Go ahead, do it, I'm sure it will turn him on to see me like that!" Seeing that she was serious and being concerned about where the photos would end up, this caper was abandoned but not until it had its effect.

As she pushed her husband for even more excitement, he eventually suggested that he was going to invite specific men from the apartment complex into the bedroom.

In one case while she was tied blindfolded across the bed a man did stop by to talk to her husband in the living room. 

Elizabeth simply listened in the bedroom. He asked the man if he knew of any woman that liked bondage, and the two of them talked about that for some time.

Elizabeth said,

I just knew that he was going to tell him about me and invite him into the bedroom, and my heart was racing. But, he kept him there in the living room talking about bondage, just to make me wonder if he would invite the man into the bedroom to see me the way I was.

My husband had left the door to the bedroom open. And if the man wanted to use the bathroom, he would have had to walk right past the bedroom door.

It made my heart race imagining him seeing me naked and spread open that way. Of course, there was nothing I could have done.

Maybe it's perverse, but thinking about a man staring at me that way I gives me an incredible rush.

Although most women would be horrified at this scenario, Elizabeth said that she gets sexually excited thinking that it might be happening.

In a milder form, this type of exhibitionism is the motivation some women have for "accidentally" leaving the blinds open when they undress.

They secretly want to be seen, while at the same time, wanting it to appear like it wasn't intentional.

 Elizabeth said,

...I don't actually tell my husband to do anything specific; I don't want to know. I just tell him how much it turns me on to think that certain things could happen.

He'll come in the bedroom [when I'm tied up] and tell me he sees a guy with a telescope across the way, for example. And then I can feel the guy looking at me and I can envision what he's seeing. 

...Sometimes when I see a man in our complex I think that if this happened, he might have seen me naked on the bed and I wouldn't know it. Thinking about stuff like that makes me feel embarrassed, ashamed, and excited all at the same time.

... [As things progress] I guess he would get a guy to look at me through the window first, and then [my husband] would invite him over.

 ...I know that if a man came into the room I couldn't cover myself up, or even close my legs and the guy could just look at me like that as long as he wanted, getting really turned on seeing me.

I like to think that he would ask my husband if he could have sex with me, and the my husband would say, 'sure, enjoy her.'

. ..All of this sounds really bizarre, I know, and I'm not sure why I think such things, but, thinking about it really turns me on.

At first I didn't want to admit how much, but one night after my husband pointed out a wet spot on the bed, I could hardly deny it.

Elizabeth had told me that before her marriage she would often get close to a sexual experience and then at the last minute, be overcome by fear and flee from the prospect.

...In my wilder fantasies I think of it happening over and over again with different men until I get used to it and it becomes totally easy [for me]....

My husband knows about how I'm kind of obsessed with this. He was in an open relationship for a couple years with another women before he met me, so I know he could handle things, so I keep pushing him a bit harder each time to really follow through.

Each time when I'm lying there I think maybe this will be the time.... And if it doesn't happen, I push him a bit harder the next time.

...I'm really pushing him hard now...and the anticipation each time, wondering if this will be the time, creates a real rush.

... I think of my husband telling a man to mount me and that he can be rough with me if he wants. I think about him being rough and it hurting, but I wouldn't be scared, because I know [my husband] wouldn't let anything bad happen.

...And after a while, I wouldn't be tied down any more, but [my husband] would just send a man into the bedroom to have sex with me and he would just go in the living room and leave me.

And somehow it's important that the two of them agree that I would have to provide sex after that by just going to the man's apartment, and I wouldn't have any choice....

...Sometimes I think I must be totally crazy to think things like this, and then sometimes I want to happen the very next time so I'll know what it will feel like and get past it....

...It's like I want it to happen but, at the same time I'm scared it will.

Elizabeth said, I don't want to face the men who have sex with me -- I would be too embarrassed to see them around the complex, so I have this fantasy where my husband ties me so I can't see who is.

  This could involve a black men at the complex and he would be able to use me for his pleasure until he came in me. 

He would know who I was and probably see me every day, but I wouldn't know who he was.

Elizabeth seemed to think there was something seriously wrong with her and I had to assure her that among women fantasies involving submission were common.

It may be instinctual. With apologies to women's liberation, if there wasn't a certain amount of female submission when it comes to sex the human race would have probably died out.

And the same thing may have happened if men hadn't passed along the trait to subdue women for sex. 

I tried to explain these things to Elizabeth to relieve her mind about her fantasies. I told her that as long as these fantasies stayed within acceptable boundaries, meaning no one got hurt, including herself, there should be no problem.

Even so, Elizabeth's fantasies strained the boundaries of female submission. Generally, these things burn themselves out before anything bad happens.  

Elizabeth seemed to be fortunate having a husband that could cope with her fantasies. With him in the picture we assume he would be there to make sure things didn't go to far.

In a milder form, this type of exhibitionism is the motivation some women have for "accidentally" leaving the blinds open when they undress for bed.

While not admitting what they are actually doing, they are generally well aware that anyone who makes an effort can see them.

They secretly hope that they will be seen, while, at the same time, they want it to appear that they really didn't want it to happen.

Being tied and blindfolded, as Elizabeth was, is not an uncommon "game" among couples.

Often, a rape fantasy is involved, with the women blindfolded and struggling to get free, while imagining a man other than her husband trying to penetrate her.

And since we've brought up evolution, there seems to be a female attraction to "a different set of genes from those of a mate, which can also strengthen the gene pool.


    Also see Elizabeth II for another view on how the desire for bondage develops.


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