Spreader bars are simple, sexy and can make sex better than ever. These steamy positions are BOUND to get your motor revving.
Have you seen a spreader bar? Exactly what it sounds like, a "spreader bar" is a metal bar that goes between limbs to "spread" them apart. This bondage tool either has cuffs "built-in" or attachment points where you can clip in your own restraints. Not only does it spread the limbs apart, though, the bar stays between the limbs - which means that the limbs can't be closed once the spreader bar is inserted.
Spreader bars are most commonly attached to the ankles - to spread the legs apart - but they can be used on the wrists as well. (Some BDSM movies have definitely popularized the look of a secretary doing her daily tasks with her wrists outstretched from either side of her body!)
Once you start getting into niche bondage communities, you might start to see spreader bars used in more creative ways - like between a collar and wrist - or between a wrist and an ankle. Short spreader bars - for thigh-to-thigh spreading - even exist.
With a modular spreader bar (a bar with multiple tie points,) your imagination is the limit. What position do you want to achieve - and how can a spreader bar help enhance the feelings of bondage while pulling off that sex position?
I'm sure you can already see the erotic potential for spreader bars (since you're here for spreader bar sex positions!). Not only do they add feelings of bondage and vulnerability for the person wearing the spreader bar - but they also leave various areas "open for access" - like that area between the thighs where most people like to play.
Basic Spreader Bar Safety
In the world of BDSM, using spreader bars while laying down is actually a low-risk type of bondage activity - assuming you're using a pre-made set that's been designed for sex. (Some DIY versions out there might not carry the same safety seal of approval).
Like all types of bondage, basic safety rules apply. Ensure you know how to easily get your partner out of the spreader bar in case of an emergency. Panic attacks, difficulty breathing, or just plain leg cramps can all be reasons that you want your partner out of their bondage in a hurry. Ensure that you know exactly how your spreader bar works - and how to get them out instantly - in case something goes sideways. (Luckily, most spreader bars work with a clipping system, so getting a person out is generally as simple as unclipping a cuff - but you have to ensure that cuff isn’t under tension first!)
You also will want to discuss safe words with your partner before you begin. Since kink can regularly include roleplay and “I’m being forced into pleasure!” dynamics, safe words are odd, unrelated-to-sex words to signify that something is very wrong - and you aren't just roleplaying distress. While you might enjoy a “No, please don’t!” during your roleplay (when you don’t actually want them to stop!), saying “yellow banana!” can clearly mean something is up.
Read: What makes a good safe word?
If wearing a gag or otherwise impeding vocal communication is part of your bondage fun, use a safe gesture (holding coins or a set of key to drop or throw, for example) instead of a word.
Discuss safety with your partner - and ensure you’re both on the same page. Having a plan means both partners are on the same page with clear communication - and even with a safe word, you both should be checking in with one another regularly to ensure you’re doing great. Safe words aren’t a replacement for good communication - just an additional tool to ensure good communication is as clear as possible.
Particularly with spreader bars, you'll want to pay attention to the width between the person's limbs. In some cases, if you've stretched the person's limbs to their absolute limit, their limb will start to "press into" the bar to try to minimize the distance between the limbs. As a person's limbs get fatigued, this may happen as well - as the limbs feel more comfortable getting closer to a natural resting point. Your partner's comfort is mostly affected here; the edge of a spreader bar's round design isn't necessarily comfortable to rest weight on. Consider an adjustable spreader bar (if that's an option) to shrink the spread as the wearer's limbs get tired to reduce this discomfort.
If the person "wearing" the spreader bar is to be walking, unique safety concerns pop up. Most notably, ensure that you have a plan in case of falls. While a person walking around to serve your coffee with their hands bound in a spreader bar might sound hot, it also presents a unique challenge: if they fall, they have no way to brace themselves or protect themselves. Make sure you plan ahead for this - and do your very best to minimize this risk. (No heels, clean walkways, no vision-blocking additions, etc.)
Don't forget about fatigue as well. Especially if this spreader bar is being worn for more than sex, it's possible for limbs to get tired - or start to fall asleep as blood runs out of the limbs. Keep this in mind, keep open communication with your partner, and be open and willing to change positions as necessary to ensure you're both fully present - and not focused on how tingly the fingers feel.
Read: 5 Tips for Practicing Intentional Aftercare
Spreader Bar Sex Positions
Now you have all of the necessary safety under your belt. Let's get into the hot stuff you came here for - all of the erotic ways you can use a spreader bar in the bedroom.
The Basic Y Position
Almost everyone will recognize the Basic Y position as the first position they tried with their spreader bar. It's easy, it's comfortable, and it's a great way to really see what wearing a spreader bar feels like. (For a lot of people, this spreader bar sex position is also really great for self-bondage. Most people can reach their ankles to attach a spreader bar while solo.)
The Basic Y position is also an easy way to put on the spreader bar - and many people might get into the "Basic Y" to attach the spreader bar before laying back into the sex position shown in the header image of this article.
Just sit on down wherever is comfortable, stick those feeties out, and put the spreader bar and cuffs onto the ankles. That's it!
Try it with the Liberator Talea.
The Standing Bar Position
Nobody says all of your spreader bar play has to take place while the person is lying down! Insteading, the Standing Bar Position uses the spreader bar to spread the bound person's ankles wide. With an adjustable spreader bar, you can really vary the "spread" of the person's ankles, but if you have a spreader bar without adjustments, ensure that your partner's legs can spread as wide as the length of the bar. (Everyone's ability to spread is different based on height, flexibility, and strength!)
As mentioned in our safety blurb, however, make sure that you've accounted for any balance loss - especially if you're going to do anything to the bound person that might jostle their body around (like a spanking!) Letting the person lean forward and grip a sturdy object (like a countertop) to keep steady can help prevent any accidental falls.
Alternatively, if you're really into the look of your bound partner standing tall in their spreader bar bondage, consider doing this scene next to the bed with the activity's momentum in mind - where they can fall onto the soft, fluffy surface if something causes your captive to lose their balance.
This position can also be great for solo play as long as you keep those safety suggestions in mind. There can just be something really hot about masturbating in such a vulnerable position.
Try it with the Sportsheets Expandable Spreader Bar and Cuff Set.
Spreader bars don't just need to be used for ankles; in fact, a spreader bar can work great when used on the wrists as well. With the behind-the-back position, the wrists are held in a similar position as found in the "Server's Hand" rope bondage position - only without needing any rope! Run the spreader bar behind the person's back, have the person place their wrists next to their shoulders, and attach the cuffs to the wrists. This will hold the hands up by the shoulders - and prohibit the bound person from putting their hands down.
Especially for people with breasts, this position can feel very vulnerable. By pulling the wrists near the shoulders - especially if the person wants to alleviate the tension of the spreader bar pushing against their back, they will consequently push their chest forward. With the bar's placement on the back, this spreader bar prohibits almost all movement - which can feel very pleasurable for those who love this type of restriction.
In rope bondage, this position gets its name ("Server's Hand") from how closely this resembles the look of food service - with a tray kept upon the shoulder. Mixing some service submission with this Behind-the-Back Spreader Bar position can be a fun way to play with the position.
Keep in mind that this will be a limited time spreader bar position - at least if the person is sitting upright. Think about how quickly you get "pins and needles" sensations when your arms are pointed towards the sky - and that's about how long you have to enjoy what you're wanting to do before doing any repositioning. If you choose to modify this position by letting the bound person lay down on their chest, as long as you don't have too severe of an angle in the elbows, this will likely allow more blood flow to get to the hands. Keep in mind that laying down on the back may be uncomfortable for many because of the placement of the bar.
Remember our safety tips if you choose to have your partner walk around while in this bondage position. They will have no way to "catch" themselves - and you'll likely mess with their usual sense of balance as well - which makes it easier to fall. Plan ahead whenever you plan on taking your bondage mobile.
Try it with the Bound to You Spreader Bar.
The Vertical X Position
There's something about seeing a person's wrists helplessly bound above their head that does something to a lot of us - both bondage-wearers and bondage-viewers. The Vertical X Position takes advantage of that.
By suspending the spreader bar from any sturdy overhead point, you instantly have a simple way to restrain the wrists above the head. Not only can this feel very vulnerable since it leaves the entire body on display (with no way to "cover up". Since limbs are mostly out of the way, almost all sex activities can be done during the Vertical X Position - which is part of why it has such a large following in kink communities.
Like other above-the-head positions, make sure you know that the Vertical X Position has a limited lifespan. Most people's arms will get that pins and needles feeling from lack of blood flow from the positioning of the wrists.
Ensure that your spreader bar is designed to support weight before using it for a weight-bearing spreader bar position like this! When testing it for support, you might give it a "pass" during a test - but during use, when a person tends to fatigue from standing or activity - or even feels their knees start to buckle from pleasure - the bound person is going to lean forward. This puts a lot of weight onto the spreader bar to help support some of the bound person's weight.
To reduce some of this weight, have the person kneel as shown in the illustration above. This ensures that only their upper body weight can possibly tug on the spreader bar and that their legs will provide support and balance.
Don't forget about testing the suspension point as well. If the hook in the ceiling is rated for a potted plant - and you put a human being on it, it's likely to come down - and on top of the bound person's head (seriously, that's no fun). Ensure that any bondage point you use is correctly installed - and if you plan on doing bondage like this often, consider hiring a professional and tell them you need it for a "floating egg chair".
Try it with the Sportsheets Expandable Spreader Bar and Cuff Set
Four Points, One Bar Position
Some spreader bars have four bondage points built right into the bondage bar. This allows for four kinky restraints to be attached instead of the usual two - opening up more bondage possibilities. If you happen to own a specialized spreader bar that allows for this, you can easily achieve a hog-tie-like position with the Four Points, One Bar Position.
To get into the illustrated Four Points, One Bar Position, you'll want the bound person to lie down on their stomach. From there, clip both of the ankle cuffs into the spreader bar. After that, the bound person can reach their wrists back for inclusion into the spreader bar.
This position requires the bound person's flexibility to allow them to reach their wrists to the same plane that their ankles are on. For a lot of people, this may be a strain (at best) or just plain impossible. There's no reason you need to give up on the position, though! You can just add a separate spreader bar - one for the ankles, one for the wrists - and still enjoy the same position!