Handkerchiefs, socks, men's ties, or scarves are good for spontaneous surprise scenes. Silk scarf knots can be impossible to untie; leave 6" tails when knotting off and release will be easier.
Tear an old bedsheet into long strips that are 6" wide. They're comfortable, knot well and untie easily.
A knotted sheetstrip also provides support for standing positions. Fold the strip, tie a half-knot in it, set it over the door and shut the door securely, with the knot in the other room. Tie other strips through the resulting loop that hangs down from the door.
Start with a cool room; the captive's body temperature is going to increase.
1. Apply skin protection: disposable clothing, hosiery, sheets, skin lotion, or plastic-wrap. (Warning regarding plastic-wrap: Don't apply more layers than necessary or the captive's body temperature will reach the danger level.)
2. Add duct tape, PVC electrician's tape, or medical tape.
Keep scissors handy for fast release.
Leather cuffs -- So comfortable and so easy! Good ones will cost you, but they usually last forever and are worth the investment. Test the cuffs and tug hard on them before you buy.
Handcuffs -- Nice evening wear for dinner, but don't use them in a struggle or if the captive will be lying down. Nerve damage is too easy with handcuffs.
Don't buy handcuffs with cloverleaf keys; their "double-lock" mechanism is a junky sliding lever that can get nudged off and on by mistake, and they're cheaply made, so they can jam at the wrong moment!
Buy the fancier handcuffs, which have thin keys with pin-point tops. After applying the cuffs, use the pin-point to pop in the "double-lock" hole on the cuffs. This option keeps the handcuffs from overtightening.
Usually, a large captive enjoys the feel of thick rope (3/8" or more) and a small captive enjoys thinner rope (1/4" or less).
Twisted nylon rope is soft and attractive. Braided nylon rope is a favorite in the Scene because of the snake-skin appearance and smooth sensation; it's less likely to unravel than the twisted style.
Cotton rope is favored by those who like a basement/burglar ambiance. Buy a bit of cheap clothesline, experiment, and determine your own preferences before your second purchase. Make sure you don't buy the clothesline with the sinewy plastic cord center -- it'll eventually work out both ends and poke you.
When cutting rope into lengths, secure the ends to prevent fraying. Wrapping duct tape tightly around the end works well. "Whipping" ends takes time (consult a book on knots or sailing) but looks nice. Nylon ends can also be sealed by burning, but this makes a hard, scratchy tip.
For organized tying, lay out ropes from short to long, then tie on the shortest rope first, progressing to longer pieces. Example: 10' wrists... 10' ankles... 20' crotchrope... 30' chest harness.
"What's the most comfortable rope I can buy?"
Opinions differ on what's "comfortable" and what's not. I prefer non-twist, squeezable cotton clothesline. Other people I know claim that braided shiny nylon rope is more comfortable.
"What length of rope do you recommend for securing ankles and wrists (together) and what thickness? We want to make the sub as comfortable as possible."
Length and thickness depends on the size of your captive. Let them tell you what feels best for them.
Generally, the length is 10 to 20 feet, and the thickness is 1/4" to 3/8". Be sure to double-wrap (at least!) -- these figures are not for single-wrap bondage.
"I was wondering if you ever tried using a strait-jacket? My girlfriend wants to try one out, but before she gets into it she wants me to find out what can be done with it."
Straitjackets are great fun. I've played around with them several times. The one thing I'd warn against is staying in it too long. There is an illusion of comfort because the arms are in front. However, the position of the arms is slightly unnatural for the shoulders. Let her out of the jacket after an hour of play, even if she says she feels fine. Otherwise, hours later and the next day she'll have a shoulder-ache that she just won't believe!
"I saw a picture of you with your wrists tied above to ceiling hooks. How strong do these need to be, especially if I set them up for suspension? And then how do I make these seem 'normal' when non-playing friends drop by?"
They need to be very strong!!! I'm not a carpenter, but as I understand it, the best way to install these ceiling hooks is to get the instructions for installing a hanging chair.
Hanging chairs come in different forms, such as porch swings, hanging macrame chairs, net chairs, basket chairs, etc. But they all have instructions about how to put the bolts into the ceiling. You can buy such bolts separately from hanging chairs. You might even be able to get these instructions if you go to a hardware store and tell them you own an old hanging chair and want to re-install it.
To make everything look "normal," hang a plant from the hook, or hang a mobile, or other chimes, or other decoration from the hook.
"The picture that really caught my eye was your toe/thumb stocks. Was it secure? I find that most women's thumbs don't vary dramatically in diameter, making it hard to use a thumb-tie or thumb-cuff."
There is a slight size difference between the thumb-knuckle and the lower thumb. However, the difference is so minute that the bondage has to be exactly the right tightness: too loose and she can worm free, too tight and the circulation goes, necessitating release.