How to Use Handcuffs During Sex: Bondage Play 101

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How to Use Handcuffs During Sex: Bondage Play 101

If you're new to using handcuffs and want to understand how to use them safely and effectively, you're in the right place.

I will explain how to use them in various positions, cover safety tips, and much more..

If you already own a pair, jump straight into the step-by-step on how to use them — if not, keep reading. There's a lot to know about cuffs, and you want to ensure you pick the right one.

In this article, we'll cover:

  • An explanation of each type of handcuffs
  • How to use handcuffs during sex
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them

Understanding Handcuffs

Handcuffs come in different types, each suited for different situations. Knowing the differences helps you choose the right pair for your needs.

  • Metal Handcuffs: Metal handcuffs are strong and secure. They are often used by police but are also popular in the bedroom. The metal keeps them in place, but they can be uncomfortable if worn for long.
  • Leather Handcuffs: Leather handcuffs are softer and more comfortable than metal ones. They are great for those who want a gentler experience. Leather cuffs usually have buckles or snaps and can be adjusted.
  • Velcro Handcuffs: Velcro handcuffs are the easiest to use and adjust. They are ideal for quick and temporary restraint. This means that if you're new to cuffs, you might prefer these. They also come in various colors and fabrics, making them a good gift idea for your next date night, Valentine's Day, or another special occasion. 

Using Handcuffs: Step-By-Step

Handcuffs are usually perfectly safe in the bedroom. There's never been a time when my partner or I felt unsure about them, and for most of my clients, it's the same sentiment... that is if you follow the 9 steps outlined below.

Step 1: Check Handcuffs

First, look at the handcuffs to ensure no defects or damage. Look for rust or any broken parts.

Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with the Locking Mechanism

Learn how the handcuffs lock and unlock. Practice this a few times so you can do it easily if your partner uses her safe word.

Step 3: Ensure the Lock Functions Correctly

Check that the lock works every time. Lock and unlock the cuffs multiple times to be sure. You don't want to end up in a sticky situation where your partner is unable to free themselves in an emergency.

Step 4: Position Your Partner

Ask your partner what positions she wants to try first. I have a few suggestions for you in the next section if you need some inspiration for your first time. After that, make sure she's comfortable. Get the pillows ready and positioned as she likes them. 

Step 5: Place one Cuff on Your Partner's Wrist

Put one cuff on one of your partner’s wrists. Ensure it’s snug but not too tight, with the lock facing out for easy access if she uses her safe word.

Step 6: Secure the Second Cuff on The Other Wrist

Attach the second cuff to the other wrist, making sure it matches the first cuff in fit and position.

Step 7: Check for Comfortability

Talking with your cuffed partner and moving her hands and fingers slightly to make sure circulation is good is a must here! Forget sliding knots and other more advanced techniques with ropes, if you haven't gotten this step down yet. Handcuffs can be dangerous. Ones that are too tight can cut off blood flow, causing numbness, tingling, or even nerve damage.


Step 8: Double-Check Security

Give the cuffs a gentle pull to confirm they are locked properly and will hold securely. 

You know what comes next.. the fun part.

Best Sex Positions When Using Handcuffs

In step 4, we went over picking different positions. There are a few, such as Missionary, Doggy Style, Cowgirl, or Cavemen, that will give you the excitement you and her crave! 

For an added bonus, I'll show you how to use handcuffs in the shower.

I. Missionary

In the missionary position, handcuffs can be applied to the wrists and then secured to the headboard while the receiving partner lies on the bed. If you're up for it, you can pin her hands above her head and hold them there.

Being slightly restrained in a familiar position makes every touch feel more intense and focuses attention on the sensations.

Eye contact and closeness add excitement and a personal touch. Not being able to move freely can also build more anticipation.



II. Doggy Style

For doggy style, handcuffs can be used to bind the wrists behind the back while you hold on to them or allow them to rest naturally on her back.

Doggy Style is already a pretty dominant position. With the added touch of having her hands restrained behind her back, she will feel even more submissive and at your mercy. The sensation of being held down can be incredibly exciting and intense.



III. Cowgirl

In the cowgirl position, handcuffs can either be attached behind the back, in front of her chest, or even to something above, like a headboard on the bed, if sitting against it.

Cowgirl is many women's favorite position because when she can control the movements, it's more likely to hit her spots and erogenous zones just as she likes it.

Now, with handcuffs, she can release some of that complete control by letting you pull her down toward your face with the cuffs.



IV. Caveman

In the caveman position, where one partner is typically more dominant, handcuffs can be used on the wrists, with hands either in front or behind, depending on her choice.

Women usually like the primal, dominant nature of the Caveman position. The unpredictability added by handcuffs, along with direct stimulation and firm handling, can excitingly heighten her arousal.



V. Shower Sex

During shower sex, handcuffs can be fastened to one wrist with the other free or both secured depending on safety and balance.

There are special cuffs you can use in the shower called suction cuffs. They attach to the wall or glass. I highly recommend grabbing a pair and adding them to your box of sex toys.

Your partner might enjoy the mix of water, handcuffs, and being in the shower because it feels different than the standard Sunday morning routine.

It can also bring an extra level of excitement since the water's sensation can add another stimulation to the play.



VI. Eating Her Out

When using handcuffs during oral sex, they can be secured to keep hands either behind the back or attached to her ankles to completely limit movement.

Handcuffs focus all attention on receiving pleasure without any distractions during oral play. The feeling of helplessness and vulnerability, paired with the trust involved, can deepen emotional connections.



Common Mistakes To Avoid

It's easy for first-timers to make mistakes that can lead to discomfort or other problems. I've heard a fair share of horror stories involving cuffs.

Although handcuffs and other restraints are safe, they are only safe when both partners are fully present and understand the risks.

Here's more on how to avoid making these mistakes so you can get back to having better sex

Mistake #1 - Overly Tight or Loose Restraints

Using restraints that are too tight can block circulation and cause injuries, while too loose restraints might not be effective and could lead to accidental release.


  • Check the tightness regularly
  • Adjust as needed
  • Use adjustable restraints for better control over tightness
  • Educate yourself about the proper way to apply and secure restraints

Mistake #2 - Not Having Emergency Release Mechanisms in Place

You need a way to quickly and safely remove restraints in case of an emergency. When you don't, your partner might panic, and that panic might result in injuries.  Not only that, but from experience, panic is a serious mood killer.


  • Always have safety scissors within easy reach
  • Use restraints with quick-release features.
  • Practice releasing the restraints quickly so you can do it in an emergency
  • Let her know where the safety tools are so she knows they're there
  • Have a safeword to signal when you might need to release your partner

Mistake #3 - Leaving The Restraint Partner Alone

Leaving a restrained partner alone can cause them to feel anxious, vulnerable, and panic.


  • Always stay in the same room as your partner
  • Talk to her and get feedback
  • Check the restraints by touching the area to see if circulation is still good 
  • Reassure your partner by staying visible and attentive.

Mistake #4 - No Aftercare & Debriefing

Neglecting aftercare and debriefing can lead to unresolved feelings and discomfort after any sexual activity, let alone a new one.


  • Provide physical comfort and emotional support immediately after the session
  • Discuss each other’s feelings and experiences to address any concerns
  • Use aftercare to reconnect and ensure emotional stability
  • Make debriefing a routine part of your activities to strengthen trust and communication

Andrew's Expert Tips For Mitigating Discomfort & Panic

When trying something new in a close relationship, it's important that everyone feels safe and comfortable.

I've worked with a lot of men over the years who shared experiences in which their partners freaked out during bondage or restraint play.

And I get it, handling new experiences can be tricky, but the right steps can help cut down on discomfort and prevent any freakouts.

Let's go over some strategies to make things more comfortable and build trust. 

I. Communicate

In any relationship, especially when trying new things, it’s really important to talk clearly and honestly. Discuss what you both expect and want and agree on safe words to use if things get too intense.

Easy Safewords:

  • Red: Stop and discuss
  • Yellow: Slow down
  • Green: Keep going, it's great!

Easy Safeactions:

  • Double tap: Stop and discuss
  • Single tap: Slow down
  • Firm head shake: Stop and discuss

II. Set Realistic Expectations

Trying new things can feel difficult at first. It’s normal to feel unsure, so start with easy goals. Take your time to get used to each new thing, building up slowly so you don’t feel overwhelmed. This way, both of you can explore without too much stress and feel more confident as you go.

III. Sensual Touch & Affection

If you or your partner feel uncomfortable or anxious, gentle touches and showing affection can really help. These actions make your partner feel cared for and closer to you. Simple things like soft touches or hugs can calm nerves and make you both feel safer and more connected.

IV. Reassurance

Regularly tell your partner that you care about her. Share your feelings, give compliments, and let her know you care about her well-being. This not only boosts her confidence but also calms any worries, making sure she feels safe and loved.

V. Breathe Together

To reduce stress and anxiety, focus on breathing together. Practice taking deep breaths to sync up your feelings and physical state. Slow, deep breaths together keep both of you relaxed and focused, setting a good mood to begin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ropes, handcuffs, and spreader bars—I've tried them all. Here are a few of the hot questions that might be on your mind, along with answers. 

Are there other restraints I can use instead of handcuffs?

Yes, besides handcuffs, you can use things like spreader bars, ropes, silk ties, and leather straps. Each type offers a different experience. If you're up for it, adding a blindfold to your sex life is also a good choice. The combination of restraints and a blindfold is ten out of ten!

How do I clean handcuffs after sex?

To clean handcuffs, wipe them with a damp cloth to remove any dirt. Then, use a disinfectant spray or wipe. Dry them well before you put them away to avoid rust or mold.

How do I introduce the idea of using handcuffs to my partner?

To bring up using handcuffs, you can talk about it during a moment when you two are connected and alone like during a date. 

What do I do if my partner is hesitant about using handcuffs?

If your partner isn't sure about handcuffs, suggest trying something lighter, like just new positions at first. Later, suggest tying one hand. Focus on building trust and try the idea again if needed.

Can I use handcuffs in public settings?

Using handcuffs in public can get you into legal trouble. For example, think of being charged with public indecency. In addition, you run the risk of bystanders thinking the cuffed partner is being held against her will, which (as you can imagine) will lead to several misunderstandings and potential trouble for you.

Why does she want to be handcuffed?

For some women, being handcuffed is a way to let go of control and trust their partner completely. The handcuffed person becomes totally submissive, letting the other person take the lead. This can make their bond stronger and the experience more intense.

Ready to take your skills to the next level? Join our exclusive online course “Squirting Triggers” and gain in-depth knowledge with expert guidance, easy-to-follow step-by-step explanations, live demonstrations, and two female perspectives. Don’t just read about it – master it! Enroll today and start transforming your life. Get started Now!

Andrew Mioch

Andrew Mioch is one of the world’s leading sex coaches and best-selling author after spending 10 years learning from experts all over the world.

Currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Sexology, Andrew has personally coached over 5,000 men. His expertise is regularly sought in publications such as Men's Health, Medium, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

These days, Andy spends most of his time coaching clients privately and also through SQL’s online Mastery Academy.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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