Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 631–654

Sexual bondage: A review and unobtrusive investigation

  • Kurt E. Ernulf
  • Sune M. Innala

DOI: 10.1007/BF01542185

Cite this article as:
Ernulf, K.E. & Innala, S.M. Arch Sex Behav (1995) 24: 631. doi:10.1007/BF01542185


To investigate unobtrusively how individuals experience sexual bondage, we analyzed all messages about sexual bondage (N =514) mailed to an international computerized discussion group on sexual bondage in 1990. The most frequent individual experience reported (n =60) was playful use of bondage to explore new areas of sexual pleasure. Other frequent experiences were the exchange of power, intensified sexual pleasure, and tactile stimulation and bodily sensations. Preference for the dominant-initiator role was expressed in 71% of the messages by male heterosexuals, 11% of the messages by heterosexual females, and 12% of the messages by homosexual males. Preference for the submissive-recipient role was expressed in 29% of the messages by heterosexual males, 89% by heterosexual females, and 88% by homosexual males. In 33% of messages subjects stated that sexual bondage occurred simultaneously with sadomasochism or was perceived as part of it.

Key words

sexual bondageparaphiliasexual attractionsadomasochism

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt E. Ernulf
    • 1
  • Sune M. Innala
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden