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by Rick Umbaugh

She lays in front of you on her belly. You take each delicate wrist and encircle it with a gleaming brass chain. The links lay flat against her wrists. You do the same with her ankles, locking the chain to her with little brass locks. A small bar with rings at either end attaches the two chains making the classic hog-tie position. She struggles, trying to slip the chains surrounding her wrists, but nothing happens, the chains won't roll off, no matter what she tries. In the end she can only lay there and wait for what comes next.

Locks and Chains are easier to manipulate than rope, they are inherently safer and less prone to dangerous situations. They are also harder for the prisoner to defeat. The problems with chain are its lack of availability and that when it does fail the failure can be very embarrassing without the fail safe device which is both clumsy and expensive.

Like rope, chain is a flexible strand which can attach to body parts then attach body parts to other body parts or to inanimate objects. Unlike rope you can leave the attachment points accessible to your prisoner since without access to the keys the attachments are unbreakable. Houdini's escapes were more a triumph of the pickpocket's art than that of the picklock. Unlike rope chains will not bind when used properly or tighten, but unlike rope they can make loops for attaching only in quantum increments . The size of the links limit how loose are tight the attachments are. This means that chains with smaller links, taking into account the strength of the individual links and the size of the lock which is going to go through the link, are inherently more useful than chains with larger links no matter how much more intimidating the heavier chain looks.

For our purposes there are two types of chain. The normal type of chain is that in which the links meet each other to form a 90o degree angle. This is a fine chain for securing a bicycle, but not very good for confining a person. The 90o angle means that the chain effectively has a circular cross section so an escape artist can simply roll the chain off his or her wrists. It is impractical and ugly to have multiple strands of chain, the way one has multiple strands of rope, so the solution is to use a different kind of chain. This chain has what is called flattened links. What this means is that the links are twisted 45o or so. With the twist the links lay flat against the skin thus creating an effectively ovoid cross section which is harder to roll than the circular one. In this vein also, the links on the chain should be as small as you can acquire since this will increase the amount of area holding the confined joint, reducing again the chance of the prisoner slipping the chain.

The same rules of bondage apply to the chain as to the rope. You should be able to get a finger between the skin and the chain or it's on too tight. In reality you can put a chain on a little tighter than a rope since there are gaps in the chains compression of the flesh but if the point of compression is a join or a blood vessel then the damage could be worse. When testing this you finger should slide under a joint between links, rather than under a link.

I use three sizes of chain, one with 3/4" links, one with 5/8" links and one with 1/2" links. Any thing smaller than 1/2" requires a very small gage wire to construct and so is both insecure and not very attractive. Smaller links tend to not be closed, i.e. the link is twisted into shape but the ends are not welded. This leaves the possibility that the chain can cause a scratch. My 1/2" chain doesn't have closed links, but the gage of the wire is so large that it won't gouge anyone's arm.

You should buy your locks and chains in the same store so you can tell if they work together. The shanks of the locks should fit through the links of the chain and two links of the chain should fit inside the shanks of the lock. You should also, as much as is possible, get locks that are single keyed. This way you will only have one key per lock size to find if you have to get the person out quickly. With the smaller locks this is easy since they are generally shipped with only one or two key patterns per box. With the larger locks you'll have to special order them. All my smaller locks are single keyed because I use them for attaching wrists and ankles, so I can get people out of them quickly. I use the larger locks to attach chain to chain and so it is less likely I will need to get them undone as quickly so I have simply marked them.

Quick Links are also useful. These are normally shaped chain links with one long side having an opening which can be closed with a long hexagonal bolt. I have three sizes, one, two and three inch long links but they make intermediate sizes. I use them primarily to attach leather cuffs to other things, but they can also be used to attach chain to chain and the smaller ones link to link. The hexbolt can be tightened enough that fingers can't open them. Lastly snap hooks and panic hooks can be used but they must be kept away from prying fingers. Some people advocate placing a snap hook in a centralized place where the chains become ineffective by releasing the snap hook. I personally don't to the kind of chaining that would need to avail itself of such a technique and I find it a little counter productive. A struggling person is best left in bondage until they calm down and can be quietly released (for your safety and your prisoners). Once the person is released in this fashion they still have chain on or surrounding their body, which, if they keep struggling will just become entangled, causing an equally dangerous situation.

The fail safe for all this equipment is the Bolt Cutter. This is a huge wire cutter. I've seen them in two sizes, 18" and 24". They should only be used is a lock fails or is someone becomes hopelessly entangled in the chain. If a lock fails then cut the lock's shank. Any lock that jams is automatically considered unreliable, no matter whether it opens later. You are going to throw it out anyway. If you can't get to the lock then you'll have to cut the chain. Make sure that no one looks at, or is even around when a piece of chain is being cut. The person doing the cutting should wear something covering his or her eye since the cut shank or chain link may go flying.

Now for the fun part, using chain to tie your honey up. The first step is to choose a suitable extremity, loop the chain once around it, taking suitable precautions, and lock it closed. Attach the other end of the chain to a suitable extremity, other sub or inanimate object and have fun. I try to have the attachment point of the chain, when chaining a wrist, on the top of the wrist, rather than the bottom, as the top of the wrist. The shank of the lock forms a 90o angle with the chain and thus could put pressure on sensitive veins, nerves and tendons. I also prefer to have the palms of my prisoner's hands available to me. The chain used for attaching a person's wrists should be the one with the smallest links you have. The quantum effect of links means that sometimes you will have to attach the chain looser than you feel is secure (because making the connection one link tighter would be too tight) and this limits the effect of erring on the side of safety.

By attaching the wrists with a 3 foot chain which runs behind his or her back then setting the person to serving at table you have created a classic and beautiful scenario for a scene. You will have to have some patience with him or her at first but many servants, with practice can perform the tasks every elegantly.

I use my medium sized links on the ankles as it is harder to slip them due to the nature of the joint and except for the Achilles tendon there aren't as many things which can be hurt at the ankle. You don't have to make the ankle loop as tight as you do at the wrists since the ankle loop can only be slipped by pointing to toes and moving it over the heel.

I use my heaviest chain for attaching to the neck and waist. The waist, particularly on the large slave, has almost no place where the tightness of the chain is a problem, so the chain can be attached rather tightly. You have to worry about tightness around the neck, but you don't have to make a neck chain too tight since getting it over the chin is almost impossible. Additionally you don't have to worry about the chain tightening so as long as you don't jerk too hard, hard enough to hurt the vertebra bones in the back of the neck you are okay. You do have to worry about pulling on the chain if it is attached so that it runs down the back rather than the front of the slave. In this situation you can never jerk the chain, but if the chain is attached to the elbows or the wrists, which are at full extension or attached to some other part of the body so that they can't move up or down, then running the chain across the front of the neck is okay. This is again because the chain will never tighten and the elbows or the wrists, properly restrained, only pull out to escape, not down.

One of my first introductions to the beauties of bondage was a picture in my Latin book of a slave with a chain around his waist then attached to an ankle chain. It is an easy arrangement to reproduce. First you attach the ankles with a medium sized chain, the attach a larger chain to it. The ankle chain should run completely through the shank of the waist chain to reduce the chances of the slave stumbling as he or she walks. This should always be done with the captive facing away from you to reduce the danger of kicking. Once restrained this way (a kick will either not be very effective or will pull both feet from under the creature) you turn the person around and attach the larger chain to his or her waist. I consider this a punishment tie in as much as it can be used to restrict your servant without him or her being restricted from performing their duties. If you want to make this a trust tie all you have to do is attach the submissive's wrists with a short chain, the attach the chain to the waist chain as well. The same lock used to attach the waist chain should be used to attach the wrist chain, placing the shank of the lock through a link, unless the lock on the waist chain is on the opposite side of the body from where you want the slave's wrists.

I am also quite fond of the Gorean sirik. In this chaining arrangement the chain is either attached to the slave's collar or looped around her neck. The chain then runs down the front of the body (only down the back if attached to a well padded collar) and down to the ankle chains. The wrists are attached at the height of the slave's belly button. This is a particularly devious chaining when the wench is in heat as you don't have to attend to her and she can't attend to herself.

I have not said anything about handcuffs here as I consider them of limited usage. With chains and locks you are relatively free to handle and manipulate the submissive without worrying about hurting anything since the chain will give while the shackles of the hand and ankle cuffs can press against sensitive areas and not give. I also consider handcuffs less reliable and less able to be opened with a bolt cutter. The mechanism is more complex on ordinary handcuffs and thus more prone to failure. Oiling and cleaning will reduce this but I still consider it a problem. Locks and chain, on the other hand, use a simpler locking mechanism and the shanks and links are easy to cut with the bolt cutter if the need arises. If you keep them clean and oiled they will last a long time.

Losing a key in the heat of the moment is also a problem. You should keep your keeps on a belt loop key chain and a spare set somewhere you can get at it easily. If there is a way of placing a snap hook on a particular chaining scheme so that you can quickly release the captive, but they cannot reach it, you have a wonderful so close but yet so far conundrum for your prisoner to solve. Chaining can be as intricate or simple short chaining someone wrist to the opposite ankle is a quick, easy and frustrating way to confine a prisoner. He or she cannot rise to walk without having to bend over deeply, and thus being all out of balance. By chaining both ankles to both opposing wrists with long chains you have created a wonderful costume for the dance, and one of Cecil B. DeMille's most favorite images. What greater invitation is there then a woman simpy chained to your bed by the neck to the bedposts?

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