Bottoms need to learn how to triage sensations in their body and communicate it efficiently, much like a nurse in the ER knows to ignore the screaming baby and bring the man with half his face drooping first…not because he’s loud but because he’s having a stroke and it needs to be prioritized.
Some questions to ask about a new tie:
- Where am I going to feel pressure from the tie?
- What is the load placement and body position of the tie?
- Does it restrict breathing?
Pain management techniques
- Box breathing
- Shifting weight to alter loading of harness
- Distract yourself (do hand checks, talk to your top etc)
- Acceptance or surrender to the pain.
One thing bottoms are often asked is “How long do you have in this tie/position?” The timer exercise helps us determine how long we actually have. Tops should tie the bottom in a challenging position (perhaps a hogtie or ebi) and start a timer.
Bottoms give an estimate of how long they can be in the position and what they think is going to cause them to “time out”. As they sit in the position they can give feedback to the top about what aspects are the most challenging.
Giving Feedback in bondage
When giving feedback it’s helpful to frame it’s urgency for the Top:
- I need this changed now. I feel dizzy.
- When you have a moment I’d like my chest line dressed soon.
- I might need to have my ankle lowered later.
If you just want to get tied up that’s possible regardless of your level of physical fitness, but if you want to regularly bottom for suspension bondage it’s worth putting some time and energy into strength training. Suspension in many ways is similar to aerial arts (lyra, pole, silks etc), you need to have a strong core, shoulders and good body awareness. (If you’re topping suspension bondage it’s definitely worth doing strength training, so bring your top with you to the gym).
Empower Physiotherapy has a great youtube channel with rope bottoming strengthening exercises. If you’re in Seattle they are a great queer and kink friendly physical therapist who can help you with your individual needs.