"The 10 Commandments of Steel Bondage"
by T.A. Feldwebel (Harold Cox)
adapted by david stein
Original version published in the June 1982 GMSMA News; revised version published in the Winter 1989-90 GMSMA NewsLink. Copyright ©1982 by Harold Cox; copyright ©1990 by Harold Cox and david stein; all rights reserved. Please contact the authors (Harold Cox, firstname.lastname@example.org; david stein, email@example.com) if you wish to repost or reprint this material.
For those who like realism in bondage, there is no substitute
for steel -- handcuffs and leg irons. Leather and rope can both be
cut, not made secure and dangerously tight. Unfortunately, many tops
who use handcuffs are not familiar with their tools. This can cause
damage to their prisoners. If followed, the rules below will allow
tops and bottoms to enjoy their scenes more.
- DON’T BUY CHEAP HANDCUFFS.
Most cheap cuffs can be easily broken or forced open. A good pair of
handcuffs bought in a police-supply store or ordered from a reputable
specialty supplier will cost little mere than junk cuffs sold by porn
shops. For modern-style U.S.-made cuffs, look for those from
Peerless, Smith & Wesson, Jay-Pee, or the American Handcuff Co. The
best old-style (non-swing-through) cuffs are Hiatts (made in England).
- DON’T GET TAKEN BY RIP-OFF STORES.
Smith & Wesson high-security cuffs cost a bit more, as do specialty
models such as hinged cuffs.
- DON’T BUY CUFFS WITHOUT A DOUBLE-LOCK MECHANISM.
Usually, the set-look is closed by inserting the pointed tip of the
handcuff key into a small hole on the top of the lock ease of the
cuffs; the setlock is opened by turning the key backward in the normal
keyhole. Don’t buy cuffs with lever-operated set-locks, which are
typical of cheap manufacture. Lever-operated set-locks can easily
open unintentionally and become loose and unreliable after a period of
- ALWAYS DOUBLE-LOCK CUFFS AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN APPLIED.
Cuffs that have not been double-locked can tighten on the wrists if
the prisoner struggles or changes position and thereby cause damage to
- DON’T MAKE CUFFS TOO TIGHT.
The point of steel bondage is that it doesn’t have to be tight to be
secure. Don’t tighten cuffs more than necessary; as long as the cuff
won’t slip off, it’s tight enough. It should still be easy to move the
cuff on your prisoner’s wrist after it is locked and set; assuming no
tension is applied to the fastening point, the cuff bows should not
press into the skin at any point.
- NEVER SUSPEND YOUR PRISONER BY STEEL RESTRAINTS
OR MAKE THE PRISONER LIE ON HIS/HER CUFFED WRISTS.
This can cause serious nerve damage. Suspending the arms above the
head with steel cuffs, even with feet or body firmly planted on the
floor, can cause damage if the tension is great or the position held
for more than a few minutes.
- DON’T APPLY HANDCUFFS BY SWINGING THEM
TOWARD THE WRISTS FROM A DISTANCE.
You can break someone’s wrist or arm that way. The outer edge of the
cuff should just touch the wrist as you apply it; a short downward
snap will swing the bow up through the locking part of the cuff and
then back down and around the wrist. Practice snapping cuffs onto
yourself until you get the technique down right. If it hurts you, it’s
going to hurt your prisoner.
- CUFF THE HANDS BEHIND THE BACK.
Unless secured otherwise, cuffs attached in front can be a dangerous
weapon. For s/m scenes where the highest security is less important
than minimizing unnecessary danger to the bottom, it is better to
fasten handcuffs behind the back so the palms are facing each other,
making any tension on the cuffs affect only the less-vulnerable outer
sides of the wrists. Palms-out behind the back offers better security
(that’s why cops are trained to do it that way) but is riskier and
- DON’T TIGHTEN LEG IRONS.
Leg irons don’t have to be tight to stay on. If they are, the bottom
won’t be able to walk, and the pressure could damage the Achilles
tendons or bruise the ankles. Leg irons over boots are best if the
prisoner will have to move around in them.
- KEEP EXTRA KEYS HANDY.
Nothing can ruin a scene quicker than trying to remove the bottom’s
restraints (or those you’ve put on yourself) and finding that you
can’t locate the keys.