Friday, 12 April 2013


Ooh! Tie me up…tight…I can take it. Blindfold me; gag me. Show me to your friends as I sink passively into my humiliation. Tighter tighter. Blindfold me as well. Stuff my panties into my mouth so I can neither breathe nor speak. Then you can rescue me; untie me. By indulging me in this secret ritual, you show me that you love me.

Check out Aubrey Beardsley’s dirty picture. The woman is stuffed -- literally. She is being whipped; tormented by her master. Beardsley draws a degrading image; yet the woman does not struggle. She acquiesces. She is passive.

The passivity of women, portrayed in bondage images, struck me, as I put this piece together. It’s the contrast to the piece I put together a few weeks ago, on male bondage that I find intriguing. The men struggle furiously; violently against their tormentors. Their desperate cries can be heard through the canvases; they echo in the marble sculptures. The women do not cry out; they just take it.

If the old Masters are deliberately intending to arouse, is the sight of a strong man struggling, a turn on? And the sight of a docile woman, meekly succumbing to her fate, erotic? Traditionally, the answer has to be ‘yes’. The themes of struggling man and helpless woman, are reflected in contemporary pornography and old stories. Look at Laocoon fighting his adversaries; those muscles! The Sleeping Beauty, the most passive woman in our fairy stories, isn’t just surrendering to her fate, she is sleeping through it; until, of course she is rescued -- by a strong man.

But to get back to bondage; what’s going on? Why do folk want to tie each other up? Are they sexually strange? Is there such a thing as sexually strange? Or are the web sites coming up on the search engine, just tapping into a fetish that’s been going on for centuries, in those very old stories and paintings?

The bondage of Andromeda is a topic that has fascinated artists for centuries.

Edward Poynter paints Andromeda in 1869. She bows her head. She submits. Her hands are tied behind her. Her blue, silken robe, restrains her further.

Here is Andromeda’s story.

In Greek mythology, Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, king and queen of the kingdom Ethiopia.
Her mother Cassiopeia bragged that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus and often seen accompanying Poseidon. To punish the Queen for her arrogance, Poseidon, brother to Zeus and God of the Sea, sent the sea monster Cetus to ravage the coast of Ethiopia including the kingdom of the vain Queen. The desperate King consulted the Oracle of Zeus, who announced that no respite would be found until the king sacrificed his virgin daughter Andromeda to the monster. She was chained naked to a rock on the coast of Jaffa. Luckily, the hero, Perseus, was sailing by, fresh from slaying the Medusa. He fell in love with Andromeda and rescued her, just as she was about to be devoured by the sea monster.

Gustave Dore paints Andromeda, also, in 1869. Dore paints her delicately. You can count her tiny toes. Her skin is fragile; translucent. She is a helpless victim.

Rembrandt paints Andromeda in 1629. His Andromeda has a look of desperate fear on her face. Still, she does not struggle.

Tying up women is an ancient art, that is thriving today. You can read stories about it on the web; you can look at pictures. I got 715,000 hits just from typing in ‘female bondage’ to Google. Interestingly, I got twice as many hits for ‘male bondage.’ Why is that I wonder? But that’s maybe a topic for a different discussion. Although, any suggestions will be gratefully received!


  1. Bondage is a common sexual/power theme because men, whether consciously or subconsciously, want their women passive, and since most women are anything but, the idea is to make them passive thru artificial means. It is more a power thing than a sexual thing. Like rape, only a little more acceptable, since it normally requires a free submission by the female.

    Of course, men struggle because that's the way men are, and that's the way their women want them. It's why so many women like bad boys. More's the shame.

  2. I think it's about relinquishing power in a place of safety -- and bringing an element of play into the mix. Sex, and playing around with our sexual orientation gives us all a chance to think "what if". It's about fun, but fun edged with a little danger. But thanks for reading my post Hap, and for troubling to leave a comment. I'll tweet you a DM!

  3. You always post such interesting images! I didn't know there were that many paintings of Andromeda alone.

  4. I think that a submissive, regardless of gender, who allows themselves to be tied by a dominant, is expressing desire for the dominant. It's just another expression of lust, but it is only effective when the two people have equal and opposite desires (and my guess is there are many more submissive men than women). If you watch a pack of dogs, you will see a seniority system working - there is always a leader, and the others demonstrate overt submissiveness in order to be accepted. Thus too with people, especially for some in a sexual context