BDSM on a Budget: Starting Out

Oct 31st, 2011 | By | Category: BDSM Ideas, Contributors, How To, Indigo Marr

shirt and necktie

It looks better on the headboard

If you look at the fetish models and the bondage sites, BDSM looks expensive. All that leather, all that stainless steel, all that furniture… How can anyone afford to be kinky? The answer is a lot closer than you think–as close as your local hardware store or garage sale.

This is a topic that could fill a full series of posts (and may), but for this article, we’ll stick to some simple basics. The first thing to understand that BDSM is not about the toys, it’s about the activities. While it’s always fun to have the really nice toys, you can find just as much enjoyment with the inexpensive alternatives.

Bondage

One of the first ways people try out BDSM is with a little bondage. It’s almost a cliche from the movies, where someone goes to the closet or dresser and pulls out a couple neckties or a pair of stockings. The thing is… this actually is a perfect, inexpensive place to start. Everyone has a few out-of-style neckties or stocking with runs in them. Instead of throwing them away, pull them out for a bit of low-budget bondage. It doesn’t matter if they’re ugly, no one’s going to be seeing them except you.

If you’re willing to spend a couple dollars, your local hardware store is full of rope. Different materials have different properties. For beginners, soft nylon rope is often the best. It’s softer on the skin and easier to untie. Thicker rope is better for beginners. It has a larger “footprint” on the body, making it less likely to pinch or press into the skin. 5/8″ to 3/4″ is a good place to start. Once you become more comfortable with using the rope, you can find some that better fits your needs.

A Cub-Scout handbook, sailing book, or stagecraft book will show you some simple knots and hitches to use. Make sure you practice them before using them on a person, and always have a scissors nearby to cut through them if you need to.

Paddles and Floggers

Yes, there are some very pretty, very exciting floggers out there. They’re also very expensive (at least for the quality ones). For the budget-conscious beginners, however, there are plenty of options.

One of the best paddles available is both free and easy to find: it’s at the end of your arm. Open-handed spanking is not only cheap and easy, it’s fun. You don’t need any special equipment, just a good swing. For beginners, bare-handed spanking has another advantage: instant feedback. One of the skills involved with paddling and flogging is being able to understand how hard you’re hitting and how that affects the person on the receiving end. With bare-handed spanking the spanker also feels the sting of the strike. If it’s too much for your hand (one of the toughest areas on the body), then it might be too much for the recipient.

If you’re ready to try something more solid, some of the simplest come from your kitchen–or, more appropriately, from the table of kitchen implements at a garage sale. It’s best to keep your sex toys and your breakfast foods separate. An all-plastic spatula or pancake turner makes for a great paddle. The same goes for frosting knives. For the more adventurous, wooden spoons might be an option. Almost all of these can be found at garage sales for a few pennies. Even if you buy them new, they’re only a couple dollars at most.

multi-tail flogger

It may not be pretty, but it's effective

If floggers are more what you’re looking for, simple ones can be made with common house-hold materials. A simple rope flogger can be made using lengths of rope tied together on one end. If you have leather straps (such as boot laces, or fringe from that 80’s jacket), you can make one that’s a bit sturdier. Essentially, choose any material that looks interesting, wrap the end to make a handle, and you’re set to go. If you’re a little more skilled at crafts, you can fasten your tails to a piece of dowel. It might not be pretty, but it’s inexpensive and effective.

The suggestions here are all the very basics. Later articles will go a bit more in-depth on what you can find in the hardware store, the super market, or Farm & Fleet. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not about the tools, it’s how you use them and who you use them with.

Tags: , , , , ,
Photo Credits:

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.