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'I Got Into BDSM During Lockdown And I'll Never Look Back'

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'I Got Into BDSM During Lockdown And I'll Never Look Back'

With lockdowns one, two and three rendering our social lives non-existent, people across the country picked up new hobbies to pass the time. There was the banana bread frenzy and TikTok dance routines... but some have gone a step further and dipped into bondage and BDSM.

It's not just couples who were looking for ways to add some extra spice to their bedroom antics, single women are trying bondage and BDSM too.

Amy Winship, 25, from London decided to try shibari - an intricate form of bondage originating in Japan - during the first lockdown last year and now says she'' never look back.

She previously dabbled in BDSM with an ex, but it wasn't until she stumbled across posts on Instagram last year that she decided then was the time delve deeper.

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Amy Winship is a 25-year-old scenic artist prop maker from London who decided to try shibari BDSM during Lockdown (Credit: Amy Winship/Instagram)
Amy Winship is a 25-year-old scenic artist prop maker from London who decided to try shibari BDSM during Lockdown (Credit: Amy Winship/Instagram)

Like many of us, lockdown gave Amy lots of time to think about the things she was truly interested in, leading to her signing up for online classes.

"As an adult you don't really get a lot of opportunities to learn something in a classroom environment," says Amy, explaining the appeal.

Bondage and BDSM are more mainstream now than ever before, thanks to the popular film and book franchise Fifty Shades of Grey and Netflix's smash hit erotic drama 365 DNI.

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Shibari is a form of BDSM Amy would recommend for beginners: "There are a lot of skills you can practice with self-tying, diamond harnesses and futos. Single-column ties are the first ties you start off with in every case on one part of your body and then you expand on that. With self-tying you can really hone on that as a skill."

The key is to not just jump straight into tying yourself or your partner up with any old rope around the house. Not only is finding good quality rope important but also relevant classes and communities to ensure you're safe - blood circulation is very important after all. "There's lots of online communities and lessons going in that way, you can learn about so much online."

Amy's not alone - a spokesperson from Shibari Study told Tyla the number of their UK based female users increased by nearly 300 percent between March and June 2020.

Since November, Amy has been in a relationship with Conor, 28, who she met on a dating app. They both have a keen interest in BDSM and even took part in a photoshoot together to show-off their tying skills.

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But don't let not having a partner put you off if you're keen to try: "It depends on who you are and how adventurous you are," Amy says on whether this can be tried solo. If you do happen to have a partner and want to try the key thing to remember is consent.

Checking on your partner throughout any BDSM sessions is very important, as is "planning your scene" as Amy calls it. "Talk through everything you want to do," she says. "Talk through your fantasies and have a safe word or use a traffic light system." The basis of the system is red means 'no' or 'stop - hard limit', amber means 'slow down' or 'nearing my line' and green means 'keep going.'

Amy ties her partner Conor (Credit: Amy Winship/@missannabones/@anatomiestudiolondon)
Amy ties her partner Conor (Credit: Amy Winship/@missannabones/@anatomiestudiolondon)

"Consent is really sexy and asking 'can I kiss you here' and 'can I touch you like that' whether you're engaging in anything from anal sex for the first time or heavier bondage, asking first and talking it through is good to see where your line is."

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Amy also suggests having a debrief at the end and talking to your partner about what you liked or disliked: "I do this with most of my sexual partners. You learn so much more about people and their bodies. Even though it feels a bit uncomfortable to ask these questions, it's better to ask so you know and then you can do it better or differently the next time because that's really hot."

Investing time in learning BDSM has taught Amy more about herself and has helped her become "attuned" to her body. "I'm not as flexible as I first thought I was! I've learned that things come with patience and time and on some days your body will do certain stuff and on other days you have to take it as it comes."

Featured Image Credit: Amy Winship/Instagram

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Life, Real Life

Gregory Robinson
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