The Day I Trusted My Husband to Tie Me Up

Being tied up by a partner is a fantasy many have, but not nearly as many actually put this fantasy in motion. In order to let someone tie you up– even the person you’re madly in love with, you have to trust them whole-heartedly. They literally hold the reigns, tying you up in any way, constricting you, keeping you from control.
It can be hard to let someone have that much physical control over you, especially if that’s something you have an issue with. You might feel the urge to regain some control and direct them, but what if you fought that urge? What if you let go completely, and let your body give the feedback? 
Putting all of your trust in your partner may surprise you in a way you never thought possible. Sex Coach Pam Costa shares her first experience letting go and letting her husband tie her up in her Down to There blog…

We sat on the judo mats in a small studio in downtown San Francisco surrounded by 20 other strangers in yoga clothes. Over the last few months, my husband and I had been exploring different ways of connecting physically and this class in Shibari, an ancient Japanese form of rope bondage, seemed full of possibilities.

After we settled in, the couple leading the class began with a short demonstration of him tying her arms together behind her back. It turns out there are certain places one might not want rope burn, so he emphasized the importance of pulling the rope slowly.  He also talked about holding it with intention as rope under tension has better energy. The couple was the absolute picture of harmony with her receiving his adoration with all of her being, and him doling out his love in measured and deliberate motions.

Then it was our turn. With some seductive music floating through the studio, I sat with my legs crossed as my husband began the process of learning how to tie a hitch knot. I’m not going to sugar-coat this kiddos… we were NOT the picture of harmony. I tried to provide helpful feedback, “pull the rope more slowly here” or “hold it less taut there”, but the more direction I gave, the more frazzled he became.

It may be clear at this point in the story that trust in others is not one of my strengths. My default state is to plan, organize and direct in a very detailed way. I write down the exact brand and fat percentage of the ground turkey that I put on my grocery list. The concept of giving control to others or sitting back and receiving is not comfortable territory for me. Yet that was what I was being asked to do.

Fortunately for my frazzled husband, the instructors ended the exercise, telling us it was time for another demonstration.  This was a free-form exploration where he worked rope after rope around her body, binding together various limbs with her torso. After she was fully bound, he reversed the process, with the same measured movements, slowly and beautifully unbinding her from her colorful cocoon.

Again, it was our turn to practice. This time, I tried to keep my mouth shut and trust that my partner could learn this new skill without my verbal feedback. Unexpectedly, it turned into a meditative experience for me. Since I was no longer talking, I was able to shut down the thinking part of my brain and tune into the music and the physical connection between myself, the rope and my husband.

Along the way, as I began to place trust in his actions, my husband seemed to be able to tune into my body and adjust accordingly. For instance, a small squirm from unpleasant tightness in the rope would result in loosening. A purr would result in a pleasant tightening. It felt counter-intuitive that by trusting him and providing less direct feedback that I was actually providing even better feedback, yet there we were.

In the months since our Shibari lesson, I’ve been able to notice when my control-freak self is getting in the way of some otherwise tantalizing scenes and can pause in that moment and ask myself “What if I were to let him continue on exactly the way he is right now?” And though I’m still demanding as ever in my grocery list, sometimes it now has things on it like 20 feet of red rope.


To learn more about Pam’s journey, try out some of her sexual exercises or even sign up for one-on-one coaching, you can visit her website


After a decade and a half at Apple and Facebook, Pam left her career in high tech to found Down To There to share her real-life stories of challenges and successes around sexuality in her marriage. She believes that speaking openly about sex can help individuals and couples find new ways to renew and deepen desire and intimacy in their own relationships. She also believes in the healing power of sharing and recently launched Down To There Circles, free, peer-led discussion groups, to help friends support and inspire each other around sex and relationships.
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