New email address

Hi Everyone

Over the years my work email address (webmaster @ restrainedelegance.com) has got more and more unreliable, with more and more emails not getting through to me. I believe this is because of shadowbanning with some mail routers just swallowing any emails to “porny” domains. It’s annoying to say the least, and came to a head this morning when MY OWN WIFE couldn’t send me an email of her appearance on Irish TV to my work address and had to resend to my personal one.

It’s clearly got out of hand, so I have set up a new secure email system using protonmail and a custom domain.
So from now on if you need to email me, please send to webmaster@restrainedelegance.help.

Hopefully that will prove more reliable!

The old email address will still work as well or as badly as it is right now, and it’ll take me a while to change all the “contact us” links and so forth. But hopefully the new address will be more reliable.

Hywel

Bamboo Silk Rope

I have been selfish in keeping this to myself. But OMG bamboo silk rope! I’ve been buying from Reborn Ropes on Etsy. The rope has a bit of bite (less than hemp, more than nylon) and does have quite a bit of elasticity, so not for suspension. But the colours! And it is so soft!

I find it an absolute pleasure to tie with. Even with tied rather than whipped ends and having to hide the tassels. I may get around to whipping all the ends someday (yeh, right). It’s displaced nylon in every colour I own it in. Hemp’s only staying for load bearing purposes.

I’ve just put in an order for another four standard Hywel sets in the few remaining common colours that I didn’t have. So once I’ve selfishly got that order you can all bombard them with sales
It’s honestly the nicest stuff to tie with I’ve tried in 25+ years of rigging.

If you wonder what a standard Hywel set is, it comes from measuring and cutting ropes in “Hywel arm spans”, which turn out to be 1.3m. We use 2’ers (=2.6 m) for wrists and ankles, 3’ers for frogties, 4’ers for chest & crotchropes, 6’ers for decorative stuff/ropes to ceiling etc.. Their standard length is 8m, which is just exactly wrong for that – it cuts down to 4m (not quite a 3’er) and 2m (definitely too short for a 2’er). But they kindly made me custom 10m lengths, which cut down into a 2’er and a slightly over-length 4’er (which is fine) or 2x3ers.

So 7 x 10 m lengths make 4 x 2 ers, 2 x 3 ers, 4 x 4 ers, 2 x 6’ers, with the longer lengths running a tiny bit long rather than short (which was REALLY ANNOYING cutting down the 8m ropes).
It’s not cheap but I’ve absolutely fallen in love with tying with it.

I may have a go at whipping ends or maybe dipping or taping. It’s not the knots I mind so much as the tassels, which can spoil the look of a really neat rope rig a bit. So I might try taping past the knots and see how that works. Trouble is with 12 ropes in each standard set, 2 ends per rope, and 20 or so colours, we get up to 500 or so rope ends needing treatment! So I’ll have to be sure I’m doing the right thing because it’ll probably take me a full work day to do them all.

Restrained Elegance is 21 today!

Wow, it feels like a huge achievement. My little website that I launched to help pay for fun bondage photoshoots is 21 years old today.

No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke!

I wouldn’t have chosen April 1st as a launch date – in fact the site was supposed to launch on April 4th. But when I checked how the site set-up was doing, from next to the swimming pool in a Los Angeles motel whilst waiting for Stacy Burke to arrive for what would have been something like my tenth photoshoot, I discovered not only had the site and the billing gone live, but the site already had its first member. So 1st April 2001 it was, a few days early.

I’d spin you a long tale about the adventures we’ve had in those years, from hobby to hobby-covering-costs to second job to making more money than being a physicist to making TWICE as much money as being a physicist. Quitting my academic career and going full-time. Getting a photo studio. Getting rid of the photo studio at the very earliest opportunity. Finding a new partner, running the business together. The friends and colleagues made along the way, location trips and bondage and spanking and BDSM and bastinado and all manner of kinky good things. Government crack-downs, billing company woes, PayPal blocking my business account, ATVOD, credit card company rules, the rise of social media… it’s been quite a ride and it shows no signs of stopping yet.

But I don’t have time to go in to all of that, because I’m backing up everything we shot on a two-day shoot with Lauren Louise and I’m getting ready for a marathon cosplay D&D BDSM shoot next week which I’m SUPER EXCITED about because Zoe posted one of her character/costume creations on Twitter last night and it looks bloody awesome.

So I’ll leave you to look through today’s bumper crop of archives which tell a bit of the story of Restrained Elegance. If you’ve missed out on any of our updates from the last few years, I’m running a 50% off sale on our eStore this weekend only. I’ll run a discount on the Classic store for older sets later on this month.

Thank you all for your help and support and enthusiasm. You’ve made all of this possible, and your continued support is what lets us tie up hot girls and film them for you for a living to this day!

Hywel

A quick taste of 2022… and we’re on TV again!

Hi Everyone

With the COVID situation here being much improved because of the vaccines, we’ve been powering through trying to shoot as much of next year’s content as we can in the last month or so. Here are a few quick tasters plucked from the back of the camera to hint at some of the awesome bondage videos and photosets you’ll be able to enjoy as a Restrained Elegance member in 2022.

As always, thank you for your continuing support. For the last 20 years we’ve been able to build a dream and a place to share that dream – the only reason we can do it is your kind support.

Ariel and I are in the very fortunate position that we are both professional BDSM performers and producers, we don’t have kids in school or day jobs and our friends and families are very liberal and supportive. So when the call comes around to represent the BDSM community in various TV shows and so forth, my feeling is “If not us, then who?” (Ariel’s feeling is “Pick meeeeeeeeee! I want to be famous!” of course!)

Which means we’re on TV again tonight: “Sex Actually” with Alice Levine, UK channel 4, 10 pm. It’ll doubtless be available on-demand too. You may have to use a VPN to pretend to be in the UK to stream it from other countries. I’m going to be peeking out at the TV from behind the sofa, hoping the program makers have been kind to us… and I dare say Ariel will be live-tweeting along to it. Join us!

Cheers, Hywel