(elbows, wrists, knees, ankles)
The joints are only rarely areas of play, and only then in specialised forms. The bones, blood vessels and nerves are far too close to the surface and unprotected for them to be used in CP and they must be treated carefully during bondage. Nevertheless, with care they do have their uses.
- A sub's wrists and ankles are often cuffed, both for decoration and to provide quick and easy attachment for bondage. They can be fastened together or to static points and should be in little danger of damage provided good quality cuffs are used.
Poor quality metal, leather or plastic cuffs often chafe or cut the skin. Cheap plastic or metal cuffs can even break and pose a serious threat of piercing veins or arteries. When securing wrists or ankles together or to a fixed point you should ensure that they will not be bent in an unnatural direction and that the helpless sub cannot fall and injure themselves.
- Because major blood vessels are quite close to the surface at the joints and pass over bones, there is the danger of cutting off circulation if bondage is applied too tightly at the joints. This is particularly a danger if plastic ties of the self-locking variety are used. Plastic ties provide an easy and quick to apply form of bondage but they are self tightening, almost impossible to release and very tough to cut. If circulation is stopped for more than 20 minutes the tissue beyond that point can be damaged, gangrene may set in and the limb may be lost. In severe cases, where tissue is crushed and decay sets in, when the binding is released toxins can flood into the blood causing kidney failure and death!
For preference use good quality properly adjusted cuffs to fasten wrists and ankles. If rope or other bondage is used, regularly and often check the circulation to parts further from the heart than the tie to ensure that good circulation is still present. If the hands or feet are very cold or numb release the bondage IMMEDIATELY. Avoid the use of plastic ties and always have paramedic shears, or other safe and proven cutters, readily to hand in case it is difficult to untie knots.
- Suspending a sub can add a whole new dimension to the possibilities of play! The joints are not designed to stand stretching in this way though, so the sub must be supported in some other way.
If the sub is going to be suspended by the wrist they should have a bar to grip so that they can take their weight on the muscles of their arm rather than stretching the wrist or elbow joints. Properly designed suspension cuffs that avoid pressure on the nerves, ligaments and blood vessels in the wrist should be used. If the sub is suspended upside down they should be SECURELY fastened into a suspension boot or in ropes that take the weight on the calf and thigh muscles.
- Although the joints should NEVER be struck they can be subjected to other forms of stimulation. A vibrator or TENS type device applied over the joints can give a very 'different' sensation. A sub's discipline and obedience can be tested by having them kneel, as near motionless as possible on a hard, rough or otherwise uncomfortable surface until the Dom/me allows them to move. Wax, no hotter than used in other areas of the body, can be dripped onto the backs of knees or inside of wrists or elbows, without posing any special threat.
Avoid electric shocks to the joints and do not use the 'exercise' type muscle contractors on them. Do not keep a sub kneeling longer than about half an hour, particularly on a hard surface, as you are stopping circulation to the skin at that point. As always, if you are using molten wax check on yourself to make sure that it won't cause burns
Have fun and play safe!