Here’s the thing about many forms of bondage: unless you’re restraining a person to, for example, the corners of a bed, you’re gaining immobilization but losing availability to their fun bits.
Now this isn’t a problem, per se, but if you do like to mix your bondage with sex it can be a bit of a logistical challenge. Unless, that is, there’s some secret device out there that allows near complete restraint while still granting erotic availability.
Good news: there is - and it’s called a spreader bar.
Spreaders Bars: Simple, Effective - and Fun!
A spreader bar is a bar connected to a pair of cuffs. How complicated it can be depends on the needs of the users - as well as their budget.
The simplest version could be just a thick wooden dowel, a pair of sturdy hooks and some way of connecting it to a pair of available ankle or wrist restraints. On the other end of the scale we’re talking master-crafted components running into the triple, or even quadruple, digits. In between, there are many safe and affordable options made of nylon, such as the Enchanted Spreader Bar from Sportsheets, which will cost you less than 20 bucks. In fact, inexpensive, safe spreader bars abound. So don't DIY this one unless you know exactly what you're doing. It's safer that way.
Spreader Bar Safety
Speaking of safety any form of bondage brings the possibility of serious injury. We’re talking nerve and tendon damage leading to permanent loss of mobility, or even just a nasty and painful sprain.
Then there’s the risk of something even more serious, like chest pains or a panic attack, that could be made 10 times worse because the person being restrained couldn’t get out of the bondage fast enough. With Velcro closures like those on the Enchanted Spreader Bar from Sportsheets, getting your partner out in a hurry won't be an issue. If you are using a different system, just be sure you work in a way to get your partner out ASAP.
As long as you're playing safely, spreader bars are a way to have your kinky cake and eat it too, of restraining someone in a way that gives you access to all their pleasure zones. Here are a few sex positions to try.
The Basic Y Position
The Basic Y is a great introduction to the kinky world of spreader bars. It's safe, sexy and packed full of all kinds of erotic possibilities. This position gives great sexual access while not putting any undue stress on the bondage subject’s back or hips.
Getting into it is easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy: the person being restrained lays on their back on a bed or a floor mat, spreads their legs, being cautious not to torque any joints. Then, the bar is connected and the fun begins!
The Advanced X Position
What’s better than one spreader bar? Two, of course! If you liked The Basic Y just amp up the restraint by adding another spreader bar to your partner's wrists.
To get into this position, just take The Basic Y and then have the subject place their hands a comfortable distance over their head and apart and then connect another spreader bar, being cautious again to make sure no undue stress is being put on wrists, ankles, hips or shoulders.
The Inverted X Position
Want to have the same level of bondage fun but also have the bondage bottom’s … well, bottom there for spanking, flogging, paddling, or caning? Then just flip the script by flipping them over onto their chests.
This is just like the Advanced X, only inverted. Have the subject lay face-down on a bed or a comfy floor mat, spread their legs for the first bar and then their wrists for the second. A pillow or support might be a good idea to prevent neck strain, but it all depends on what works best for the person being restrained.
Product Recommendations: Expand Spreader and Cuff Set
Four Points, One Bar Position
Stepping up the restraint game, here’s a position that can almost completely immobilize a person while still leaving them deliciously exposed.
For beginners, it’s probably best to first tackle this position facing upwards. To begin, spread your partner's legs and attach the bar to each ankle. Got that? Now the subject should reach down and grab hold of the spreader bar: if comfortable this is the optimal position to then attach their wrists to the bar.
For facing downwards, begin the same way but have the subject place their hands behind their backs and then attach them to the bar. But do be careful when you do this as this position can often put a lot of strain on the shoulders.
Facing down can also be done with the subject’s hands going under and between their legs instead of over, with their ass raised high up, which is great for impact play!
Product Recommendations: Spread the Love Bar
The Standing Bar Position
Standing sex positions are athletic, powerful and super-hot! Not only is this position visually lovely but it opens up the whole body for play.
Because this involves standing you should take some precautions. Make sure there's nothing in the immediate space that could cause injury if the person being restrained takes a tumble. You should also stay in constant contact to make sure the person being restrained is comfortable and safe!
To get into this position have the subject stand comfortably with legs as far apart as possible and - as this can cause some to get wobbly - have them hold onto something for support. Finally, connect the spreader bar to the cuffs on their ankles.
Product Recommendations: Expand Spreader and Cuff Set
Here's another great standing position; it's just the thing if you like to have access to the upper torso and the lower body. It’s also a great position to restrain a partner in a way that allows them to still walk around.
This is also a position that requires some precautions so make sure there are no sharp corners nearby. It’s also crucial to have a way to get out of the spreader bar the moment the subject has any concerns or discomfort!
To get into it, just have the person stand with their arms raised to shoulder height and pulled back. Then attach one end of the bar to one wrist and then the other. It’s optional to also use ropes to connect it to the upper chest (and never around the throat) but only if you have a good deal of experience with them - and have an immediate way of getting out of them if something should go wrong.
The Vertical X Position
Here’s a way to totally restrain someone and have all the glorious erotic access you could ever want. What’s great about this position is that you already know how to get into one part of it, as the Vertical X is the Standing Bar coupled with another bar from wrist to wrist, or even behind the back, as in the position above!
Begin by using a spreader bar to connect wrist to wrist and then to a fixed point on the ceiling, either through a link at the center of the bar or from both wrists to a secure point.
By the way, be sure to attach your spreader bar to a ceiling beam or stud: one thing you never want is for the chain to unexpectedly come loose.
The Standing Four Points, One Bar Position
Remember the Four Points, One Bar position? Well, this is just as restrictive but adds the extra spice of having the bondage subject standing rather than spread out on their back or front. This way they are just as restrained but - you guessed it - with a lot more access!
This is one where having a pole, or just having the subject lean back against a wall, is really important as very few people can maintain a good balance in this position. Once they are supported by a wall, have them bend over and either touch their toes or grab their ankles. This will give a good idea of their range of movement and flexibility. Once this is worked out, attach the spreader bar, ankle to ankle, and then each wrist to the bar itself.
Spreader Bars: Making Bondage Even Better
Bondage can be erotic, but it sometimes gets in the way of actual sex. But, by restraining while spreading, you can have the best of both worlds: immobility as well as all kinds of sexy access.
We hope that our guide to the these awesome sex positions will inspire you to try out a spreader bar for yourself - and discover all the fascinating ways you can be erotically free while being delightfully bound!