A lack of privacy and dedicated play space can really put a kink in your … well, kinks. But as the saying goes “When the Cat’s away the mice will play”. Whether you live in a shared household, host guests often or have children, it may be tricky to keep kink under wraps, especially if your kinks require more than a bit of rope and a handful of toys. Renting a commercial dungeon or visiting kinky Bed and Breakfasts might not be available to you locally or fit into a family budget. Another factor that can put a damper on your dreams of swinging from the rafters can be limitations on remodeling or decorating. If you are renting housing or living with extended family you may not be able to make major modifications like installing hard points for suspension, install a concealed door to a converted storage room or other fanciful ways to build a home dungeon.
I wanted to share a few tips and ideas that have worked for me in the past, since I’ve had to change up my own living spaces a few times through out the years to suite the ever shifting need for a little discretion with my lifestyle. I have had the luxury of being open about my lifestyle for a handful of years, but I have also lived in a variety of settings where I couldn’t be so forthcoming with my proclivities, including living at home with parents, renting rooms in households of essential strangers, openly kinky and queer shared households and a few cramped apartments and being a nearly full time parent for the past two years.
Don’t Look Behind The Curtain:
A set of drapes can add a splash of color in a dull rental and create a convenient hiding place for hanging your gear up without much fuss. Depending on how you mount the curtain rod (I mounted a rod on a 2×4 instead of directly into my wall to create more space behind the drapes in my dungeon) you can install additional hanging rods, or simple hooks to hang your implements without worrying about creasing leather or figuring what you want out a tangled mess of gear a trunk you’ve already dug through in one scene.
Places accent drapes will look fabulous without being disturbed include behind headboards or stand-alone low dressers, and behind accent tables, vanity tables or sideboards that you might arrange along a wall. If you live in an apartment this can add a challenge to furniture arranging since every spare inch can be precious. If you are concerned about what can be seen behind your decorative hiding spot from the side, opaque window scarves can add a luxurious, completed feel to the accent drapes while covering the gap.
Childproofing magnetic locks are an easy and inexpensive way keep curious guests or family out of your dedicated toy drawer or cabinet without drawing attention to the fact that it’s off limits. If you are DIY inclined it can be fairly easy to find a variety of tutorials on how to install a homemade hidden lock for a drawer or cabinet.
Trunks and Storage Ottomans:
Really, it’s a no-brainer on how to use these for sex and kink, but just in case you’re new to the subject, I’m throwing this one in. Storage ottomans are a great 2 in one deal but it can be difficult to find one that can be locked, so you may want one deep or wide enough to accommodate locking boxes if you intend it to pull double duty as your toy chest. Do be on the lookout for a sturdy build, not all ottomans can handle an Eiffel Tower of fuck.
Concealed compartments, Transforming and Fold-Out Furnishings:
You could get lost down a research hole on YouTube alone when it comes to building dual-purpose furniture, concealed compartments and collapsible frames like crosses and bishop’s chairs that can be easily assembled and broken down to slide under beds or tucked in closets. One particular site I’ve found interesting is foxyfurniture.com, with their incognito bondage furnishing designs which are available for free and easy to embellish to your own tastes.
I often recommend this piece of furniture for a variety of reasons:
- You have to work with small spaces
- You want an innocuous furnishing that can hide in plain sight
- The receptive partner may not be able to stand or kneel for extended periods or have difficulty maintaining some positions
- You are petite in stature and want to bring your bottom’s bottom down to a comfortable level for manual or strap on play
When I had my dungeon I found massage chairs useful for a more relaxed and sensual flogging experience where the bottom can feel fully supported by the chair and focus on sensation without having to worry about their posture. Before I ordered my workhorse Chaise, my massage chair saw a variety of uses for classic sensory play such as impact play, wax, pinwheels and textured toys. The one drawback was not being able to turn your receptive partner over to have full access to the front of their body without, intentionally or unintentionally, creating a precarious position to maintain.
There are a wide variety of massage chairs available online, my favorite and most sturdy chair came from Golden Ratio Woodworks, a company that provides professional grade massage and spa tables and chairs. You can find great bargains on used professional grade chairs in your local Facebook sale and barter groups or classified ad venues like Craigslist.
Sometimes I feel like I can’t stop singing the praises of my Liberator Black Label Chaise, but it really is an indispensable furnishing for me, in and out of my dungeon. At home, I keep it in a simple nylon cover in my living room and not a single person who wasn’t already aware of my proclivities has even guessed it’s intended purpose. The same goes for my wedges.
I’m not a big fan of under the bed/mattress restraints or over-the-door wrist restraints because they can be hit and miss in novelty stores or a hassle to rig yourself (I don’t like moving mattresses, can you tell?) or possibly dangerous if your door is not strong enough to handle your weight if you find you cannot hold yourself up. You could also run the risk of pulling muscles, dislocating a joint or worse.
Some things to consider when collecting or repurposing furnishings for kink:
Can the furnishings you want to experiment with be cleaned and/or disinfected to be either shared with other partners(if applicable) or ready to return to everyday use? Can your furnishings be damaged by using restraints, toys, massage oils or lubricants? For example, your cherry wood coffee table might not be the best platform for pegging depending on the finish. It may be worth investing in some sort of protective sheeting for upholstered furnishings as well. There are a variety of options from the classic towel or utilitarian vinyl drop cloths and mattress covers to luxuriously practical barriers like Liberator throw blankets.
Can your furnishing take the strain of play? Is your bed frame actually strong enough for struggling against your bonds and wall thumping sex or is your headboard going to be snapped like a twig? You may want to consider wall mounting furniture that may slide, tip or rock around if you have your heart set on plowing or playing on it. While it can be hot to think about playing or fucking so hard you broke your bed, the reality is much less so, especially if you are injured from broken or shifting furniture.
While the above ideas can be helpful, for those of you with family at home, do not underestimate the investigative nature of children and youth. Use your best judgment and follow childproofing guidelines for items that may be hazardous or contain small mobile parts. Also of note, well-meaning (and let’s be honest, sometimes ill-intentioned) friends and family can drop by unannounced or decide to “help out” around the house. Keep this in mind when choosing where and how you store your gear if you have a friend or family member that can be a little too “helpful”. It may be necessary to purchase lock boxes or install a keyed lock on a closet to keep the especially nosey at bay.