Playful Bondage in a Christian Marriage

Disclaimer!

Playing with the idea of bondage can be a huge turn on for some people… and a huge turn off for others. If you know this isn’t something you would be comfortable with, stop reading! Don’t let anything or anyone pressure you into feeling like you have to try it.

We’re only going to talk about light bondage. No one should be getting hurt. Both parties should consent, be enthusiastic about playing this way, and feel safe.

Introduction

It’s natural to be curious about bondange, discipline and sexual power dynamics. Many people wonder if these things could play a role in a healthy, loving sexual relationship. Recently, books and movies (such as the wildly popular 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James) have popularized the sexual genre of BDSM, bringing to light even more questions for couples. 

BDSM stands for bondange, discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism (as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary). This includes a wide variety of sexual acts and fantasies. Sadism (which means deriving sexual pleasure from causing pain) or masochism (taking sexual pleasure from being hurt) have no place in a loving marriage. If you experience these sensations, you may want to consider consulting a mental health professional. 

However, some couples do find things like playful bondage, spanking, and some “dark energy” role plays actually can help add fun, spice, and closeness to their sexual relationship. Strong, healthy relationships may find this form of play rewarding because it requires a high level of trust and good communication to play in this way.

What Does Playful Bondage Mean?

Many couples wonder if any sort of BDSM belongs in a Christian marriage. Although some forms of BDSM are pretty extreme (like masochism and sadism mentioned above), many faithful Christian couples have enjoyed lighter forms of playful bondage, discipline, and dominance roleplay. Listed below are some examples for this kind of sexual play. 

  • Bondage doesn’t have to include roleplay if that makes you uncomfortable! You can pitch it like a game, “I am going to tie up my hands and give you 10 minutes to please me, and then we’ll switch”
  • Come up with a scenario  that is less aggressive. For example, pretend to be a doctor doing research on arousal. Tell your spouse that, for scientific integrity, you must restrain them and experiment on their body. This won’t feel as predatory and leaves channels of communication open!
  • On the other hand, some people may enjoy pretending to be resistant. If you already have a safe word in place (more on this below), it can be fun to be the pursuer or pursue-ee. Common scenarios are the “Bad Boy seducing the Innocent Virgin” or “Teacher and Student”. Find more suggestions at the end of this article!
  • Some people like to include spanking, (light) scratching, hair pulling, or other “domineering” tactics. As long as no one is actually getting hurt, and you have a safe word in place, you can play with these too!
  • Use the Intimately Us app to type out and share your fantasies with your spouse. This can be a safe way to approach the subject if you feel too embarrassed to say it out loud at first. 
  • If you don’t feel comfortable “acting out” a fantasy, you could try telling a sexy story. This means walking your partner through a sex scenario without actually doing it. If you want to learn how, listen to our podcast episode How To Talk Dirty Without Feeling Dirty .

Reminder: What is “okay” in a sexual relationship is determined by the couple. Talk with your spouse about what you both feel comfortable with and what experiences will help build intimacy in your relationship. (Note, if you have trouble deciding what is “okay” in your relationship, check out our blog post on what is okay and not okay)

Potential Benefits of Playful Bondage 

#1 Releasing Pressure 

Letting go and willingly submitting to a sexual expeirence can help a person more fully enjoy it. Often, we carry a lot of responsibilities and wear many hats. These stressors come with us to the bedroom and can make it hard to be fully present during sex. In addition, a lot of people feel pressure to meet certain expectations during sex. All of this pressure dampens sexual desire and lessens arousal. Light bondage can be a signal to our brains to let go of that pressure. Instead of feeling like we need to put on a performance, bondage gives one partner full permission to relax into the sensations they feel with no pressure to return the favor. 

#2 Explore Trust

Both parties in a relationship can use bondage as a way to explore the depth of trust in their relationship. Trust is a big part of intimacy. Imagining, talking about, and trying out bondage can be a great opportunity to explore that concept.  It can be exhilarating and comforting to put your body in your partner’s hands (literally and physically) as the “bond-e”. It can also feel like the ultimate expression of trust and love to your partner when you allow them full access to your body.

Please keep in mind, no one should ever be guilted into bondage. If your spouse does not feel comfortable, don’t add guilt by saying things like, “why don’t you trust me?”. There are so many reasons a person may not want to try bondage, and that is okay! Be empathetic and in tune with your spouse’s needs. It should be an enthusiastic “YES” from both parties if you choose to play. 

#3 Destress

Playful bondage can relieve pressure to perform and it can act as a destressor in all areas of life. Many people discover that bondage allows them to completely let go of all the busy-ness of life and focus solely on the sensations of being pleasured. Author G. S. Youngblood talks about the concept of embodiment. It is his observation that we too often only listen to our analytical minds in our day to day life, and this stops us from listening to our whole self. Bondage is a great opportunity to let go of our analytical mind (the part that wants to know what comes next and be in charge of everything that happens) in order to get in touch with the more sensations-based parts of ourselves.

#4 Exploring Fantasy

Playful bondage is fun! Many people do find themselves turned on by fantasies of being a little aggressive or a little passive sexually (or both!). Others find the idea of being “taken” and ravished very erotic. A loving, intimate relationship (with the consent of both parties) is the perfect place to let yourself have fun with these fantasies! There is no reason to feel guilty for these thoughts, and if your spouse is on board, acting them out can bring the two of you closer together. And you can have a lot of fun trying to act out these fantasies, even if you feel awkward or silly about it at first.

How To Use Playful Bondage

Are you ready to get started? The format of playful bondage is as easy as C, B, A. (Note: some ideas are draw from the Webmd definition of BDSM)

Consent

Consent is always an important part of a sexual encounter, and with bondage is it absoultely vital to get specific and enthusastic consent before and during the act. Talk with your spouse beforehand about your fantasies. Plan out exactly what you are going to be doing, as well as an “exit strategy” if one of you starts to feel uncomfortable. Let them know their comfort is very important to you, and don’t ever try to pressure or manipulate someone into a situation they aren’t sure about.

 Plan a “safe word” or signal to use that will let your partner know you want them to stop whatever they are doing. These signals can be a word, a gesture, or a squeeze in a certain place. Choose something that will be accessible during the whole experience and will be clearly different from other words/touching you may be doing. Some couples like to come up with 3 different signals; green, yellow, and red. A “red” signal is a word or gesture that tells your spouse to stop immediately. A “yellow” signal tells them to slow down as the sensation may be too much or you are becoming uncomfortable. A “green” signal is a way to tell your spouse you are loving everything that’s going on. This way, even if you are pretending to be resistant, your spouse can know you are enjoying what they are doing. 

Helpful Tip!
Discuss in detail ahead of time what both of you plan to do. Many couples that engage in light bondage play say they spend twice the amount of time talking about what they’re going to do than actually doing it. Rehearsing ahead of time and discussing boundaries and comfort levels make for a good experience for both.

Be Aware

In the moment, be very aware of your feelings and your spouse’s. It can be incredibly difficult, but try to let your sensations lead while being aware of indicators of how your spouse is feeling. As the “giver” in a scenario, do not get so lost in the act that you forget your purpose. Your purpose in any sexual act should be to build intimacy with your partner. Consent is key! Someone who agreed to something beforehand may change their mind in the moment. That’s why prearranging a safe word or signal is so important. As the “receiver”, you have more room to just let go and feel. However, still try to stay intune with your spouse. What sort of energy do you feel? You can typically tell how “into” this your spouse is by the energy they give off; positive, neutral, or negative. The best sexual encounters occur when we are so insync with our partner that we experience their pleasure as our own. 

After Care

After a bondage scenario, it can be very beneficial to snuggle, tell your partner you love them, and ask how they felt during the process. Bringing back the softer, more tender emotions can help you reconnect to reality. Basking in the afterglow together is a great way to solidify the closeness we feel when having sex togther. Processing what happened can help ensure both parties enjoyed the scenario and can give you an idea of what to try in the future. 

Ideas for Scenarios

If you keep to these three principles, playful bondage can be an erotic, exciting part of your sexual relationship. Let your creativity flow! Here are a few ideas to help you get started. If you want more help getting your creativity flowing, check out our podcast episode on role play

  • “Experienced Senior tempting the Naive Freshman”
  • “Princess (or Prince) kidnapped by a Villain”
  • “Bad Teacher and Student”
  • “Spy Interrogation”
  • “Research Doctor and Participant”
  • “Bad Guy/Girl seducing Naive Virgin” 

P.S. Would you like some help learning how to tie the right knot? We found a few youtube videos that may be helpful for you! 

Double Column Tie

Joining and Attaching Rope

Written by Amanda Severson with Get Your Marriage On!

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<h3>Amanda Severson</h3>

Amanda Severson

Hi, I'm Amanda! I'm a grad student on her way to becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist. I'm a wife and a sex enthusiast. I am a psychology nerd whose life goal is to help every couple find the absolute joy of sharing your life with someone else.

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