Apparently nobody is going to do the work of spitballing ideas for nonsexual non-D/s weird intimacy for me (insert sarcastic self-aware mumbling about my very niche interests not being catered to), so, here, I’m going to try and manage a little on my own.
May contain food, bondage, role play, sensation play, roughhousing, and nonhumanity ingredients.
One: collaboration puzzles.
ex. if both participants are sighted, one wears a light blindfold that is easy to remove. The other wears a rope armbinder or is otherwise restricted (rope shears should be kept nearby ofc). Before the scene, a table is laid out with small bowls of various snack foods (like strawberries, cashews, M&Ms, raisins, whatever) and maybe also some undesirable foods (tofu, coleslaw, etc.). The point is for the Bound play partner (who can see but cannot use their hands) to help the Blindfolded play partner (who can use their hands but cannot see) locate and feed them both with the snacks they want. If the Bound partner gets mischievous (like, say, claiming a bowl of sour skittles is a bowl of M&Ms), then the rule is that they have to trade places.
Alternatively, for a scene with more of a challenge, the goal could be something more complex, like building a house of cards or completing a jigsaw puzzle.
Two: if I were more big and brawny, I think it would be really fun to tie someone up and then carry them, letting them issue directions for where to go and verbally steer me like a ship. Part of the fun in that would be in scrambling submission/vulnerability, with the vulnerable person (tied and probably small enough to be easily carried) being the one being submitted to and giving orders. And also I just like carrying living things. I haven’t thought this one out as much, though, since it’s not as realistic for me.
Three: a sensory play & role play scenario.
One participant takes the role of an “alien” or member of a recently-discovered sentient species. The other takes the role of a researcher investigating this species on behalf of humanity. Alien has volunteered to undergo an ethical examination, under certain conditions — and if Alien decides Researcher has violated those conditions, all it takes is a negative report on them to incite controversy and cut off Researcher’s funding. Consequently, Researcher needs to be closely examining their reactions for more reason than just taking notes. Researcher examines Alien carefully with light finger-touches first, like this is a kind of being they’ve never seen before, and then employs a variety of feathery cat toys and strange textures to test their sensitivity.
Four: the idea of “the climax is when someone safewords” made me think of my MMA class in college, where “tapping out” (basically a nonverbal safeword) happened all the time, basically as a way to convey “yeah I think you’re doing that move right.” And I miss that stuff. So practicing MMA wrestling — going back and forth on who does what move and who gets pinned and taps out — and then cuddling after, sounds really nice.
Also, like. Just look at this stuff (SFW …kinda). It’s so physically intimate. What the heck. I could watch this all day. (I actually got distracted and watched like eight of these over the course of writing this.)
And yeah, you could tell me to just sign up for MMA classes again, but. MMA groundfighting is the kind of thing that requires a lot of body contact and frequently resembles the beginning of something sexual (and can be really awkward because of that), so it’d be cool to mix that in a relationship where cuddling and close contact were actually wanted.
Five: person on a rope, at a kink party or some other event where that would be acceptable.
I think a lot of people associate bondage with control and domination, which, obviously, it’s effective for, but like with whips and riding crops, it’s just not intuitive to me as an equestrian to treat that like its only conceivable function.
Like… to try and put this into words… when I “catch” my horse with a halter and leadrope, a lot of the time, I don’t really have to “catch” her. She sees what I have, stands there, and even helps me put it on her sometimes. And when her halter is on and a leadrope is connected to it, she seems to understand that that means now is Follow Time. When it’s not Follow Time she’ll wander around wherever, but during Follow Time she stays in close proximity to me, walking at my side, speeding up when I speed up, stopping when I stop, and, barring external factors, I don’t usually have to pull or hold tight to the rope. It’s there as more of a sign to tell her what behavior is expected. Because she’s an animal, it does have an important element of control, but I also think of it as a tool of communication — communication that now is Follow Time and we should stick together and I’ll show her where to go.
So in a consensual replication of this between people, where animal treatment doesn’t come into play, I’m interested in a use of rope (as cuffs with a lead line or strung through a collar ring) where rope conveys connection, not control, especially where slipknots are involved. To make sense of this: imagine someone of a vulnerable demographic or with social anxiety holding the end of the rope, and someone big and strong, influential, or well-connected being led by it. The idea is for the rope to serve as a physical manifestation of connection and a sign of security that the Bound person, who is more powerful in some way, will stay with the Holder throughout the event. It’s not a transfer of power from one party to the other (or isn’t supposed to be), but an act to bring the less-secure party under the umbrella of power, extending that same standing through association. So, this is somewhere in the vicinity of handholding and “If lost, return to [Name]” shirts, but with a larger radius than the former and more physicality than the latter.