Pop quiz: Let's say we have a selection of kinky toys: a cane, a flogger, a paddle and a length of rope. Now, which one has the most potential for causing serious injury? Sure, if you use a cane incorrectly, you can hurt someone (and not in a good way). The same is true with the flogger and the paddle.

But the rope is the thing on this list you really need to be careful with.

Unfortunately, when most people think of bondage, they think of rope. Personally, I believe this is because there are some truly amazing shibari (the art of Japanese rope bondage) practitioners out there, so they get a lot of attention.

But here's the thing: Rope isn't something a beginner to bondage should be using.

While BDSM can be an amazingly pleasurable practice, safety is key, and that starts with education. Part of this crucial education is knowing the risks involved - and what to do if anything goes wrong. It also means knowing and understanding the alternatives to more dangerous practices. Here we'll take a look at a safer, less expensive alternative to bondage rope - vet wrap.

What's the problem with bondage rope?

The human body can be remarkably fragile, especially around wrists, ankles, knees and elbows. Put the wrong kind of pressure on any of them and you risk cutting off circulation (of you are lucky) or suffering permanent nerve damage (if you are not).

For the untrained, rope can be disastrously unpredictable: it can bind, slip, become tangled, or spontaneously knot up - and in the time it takes to remove it, the damage could already be done.

The same is true of scarves or pantyhose - in short, do not use them for bondage. The same is doubly true for handcuffs: they might look cool, but they can be dangerous as BDSM toys. The injuries that can be done with handcuffs, even with a submissive only lightly resisting them, can be debilitating.

Safety First, Always

Before going into what you should be using for your first explorations into bondage, I want to note two extremely important safety thoughts.

The first is not to put someone into anything that you can’t get them out of in a few seconds: release should always be on your mind.

The second is a must-have tool: a pair of safety shears. Designed for emergency medical technicians, they allow you to cut clothing (and more) from a person without piercing their skin. You can get them anywhere, but be sure and get the pair that jives with the kind of bondage you are doing. Ideally, you should be able to use them to get someone out of any form of bondage in one quick, easy movement.

Vet Wrap - Your Inexpensive Alternative to Rope

So, after all this doom and gloom and frowning at the idea of using rope, what should people be using for their early tries at restraint?

My answer is cheap, easy, fun, and - best of all - safe. OK, you’ve probably figured it out from the title, but let me have my moment of drama.

Ready? Really ready? Here it comes: vet wrap.

Also called, among other things, self-adhesive bandages, you can find them at just about every drugstore and pharmacy - and, for stylish kinky folks, you can also get them in a wide variety of colors.

Vet wrap is perfect because you don’t have to tie any knots (but you can if you want - more on that in a bit), they never bind too tight, they are somewhat porous, they are flexible, and you can cut them - or tear them - off in a heartbeat.

Most importantly, they are perfect for things like four-point bondage: being restrained by each wrist and both ankles. Not to disrespect rope, but when you tie someone that way all it can take is a muscle spasm, a moment of panic, or a myriad of other things for the person being restrained to pull too hard, leading to pain and potential injury.

Then, there’s releasing someone from four-point bondage. Cutting rope is easy with a good set of safety shears, but you have to run around the bed several times to do it! Meanwhile the submissive could be in serious crisis.

While vet wrap can be remarkably strong, it also be torn or cut in a moment. If something goes wrong, and here’s to hoping nothing will, a pair of safety shears will free whomever you’ve restrained quickly. Vet wrap is also wonderfully flexible: the person being tied up can stretch it if they are feeling uncomfortable.

How to Use Vet Wrap for Bondage

As for using it, putting vet wrap on can take a bit of time, but it still usually takes less time when compared to rope. All you need to do is start a roll and then wind it two or three or four times around your subject’s wrist or ankle; each wind will adhere to the one before. Then, just trail off a length and attach that end to whatever you want.

Here's where vet wrap meets rope (I told you I’d get back to it): if you take that length of vet wrap and carefully twist it you can create a nice bit of pseudo-rope, which can then be tied to, again, whatever you want.

You can also vet wrap hands to hands, ankles to ankles, or even wrists to ankles. Just be sure to use a good length of it and not twist and “cord it” around the person you are tying up. That's just like tying someone up with rope, and it presents the same risks.

Vet Wrap Can Be Used for Beginner and Advanced Bondage Techniques

What I also love about vet wrap is that it’s an excellent and, most of all, safe portal to more advanced forms of bondage. If you are interested in bondage, rope and other means can be confusing, daunting and expensive.

To use vet wrap you still need some basic safety training, and should never do bondage without it, but you can be up and running in a short time and only spend a few bucks. Then, if you like that, you can graduate to cuffs, shackles, and even rope.

In the end, if you like rope then by all means you should use rope (safely) to your heart’s content - as long as you do a lot of research, watch a ton of videos, and take lots of classes.

If you are curious about bondage, you still should do all that: and then give vet wrap a shot. It may not be as stylish as rope but it’s a lot easier and safer. That can be sexy too!