Extensive jail work or an elaborate dungeon is not necessary to keep a man prisoner. It can be done quite effectively with a sturdy chain, a couple of padlocks and a good, solid post to which to attach it. The article that appears below, “Keeping a Prisoner,” is from the archives of Dungeon Master magazine (issue 42), and it is posted here with permission. Comments from the original editor — Zerotaf, also known as “TAF” — are in parentheses.
Keeping a Prisoner
By Eric Blake
It can be quiet a chore to keep someone as an involuntary prisoner. Yet the rewards for both parties, in terms of forced discipline and physical and psychological dependence, can make such a scene interesting. Despite being quite a chore, it is quite possible, even easy, to do if just a little thought is put into it execution.
A well-known wit once remarked, “Tops exist to serve bottoms.” In the dungeon, this is quite true – as the Top is at the very least obliged to release his charge if the charge becomes too frightened or upset to continue. Also if an injury threatens, release and S/M first aid may become a necessity. When keeping a prisoner, the important point is to prolong the scene safely. Several steps towards this safety are not restraining the prisoner in a way that might threaten injury, and reducing the instances of frightening or upsetting the prisoner by healthy doses of “take-charge” motivational psychology, coaches’ attitude, drill sergeant attitude. These might cause the prisoner to become too frightened or upset to continue. He will be frightened and upset because you’ll remind him that if he doesn’t continue, he won’t eat, sleep or rest. Activity which is dangerous and/or stressful is avoided in favor of male physical domination and control which might be less obviously erotic but can be exciting to both parties over the long run.
First, let’s define some terms. By involuntary, I mean the at the parties have agreed ahead of time that even if the bottom tires of things, the scene must go on. The bottom is mature and has thought things through – which already eliminates all but one in a thousand – and knows he is signing on for the duration. The involuntary part comes during the scene but then only for the keeping of a disciplined prison part of the scene. Any sex or bondage or other distraction are part of the few hours’ entertainment each day – as opposed to the 16, 20, or 23 and a half the prisoner will usually spend alone in his area – are not covered by the sentence agreed to and must be separately negotiated.
By prisoner, I am referring only to the care and feeding of your charge while preventing him from escape. The times you play and types of play are not covered, just as long as the Top is willing and able to maintain control and throw the prisoner back into his cell when play time is over, and not cuddle in bed or go out for pizza and beer. The Top can do these things, but it should be with his boy friend not the prisoner. Being locked up while the boss is out having fun is further psychological torture for our prisoner, but I’m not trying to tell you how to have a good time – only how to enhance it by keeping another guy imprisoned while you do it. The details are described below.
By security I mean the inability of the prisoner to escape or to halt the scene once it has commenced. This includes all aspects of security from the fact that no one can hear the prisoner if he yells, to the fact that he cannot play escape artist and be released from his restraints due to his cleverness, the faults of design or using the restraints, especially if devices are used which are not suited to the scene but which are used for erotic look or appeal. Pleasing “hot pictures” are often not commensurate with security. The security imposed should be minimal consistent with being escape proof. A cell with bars will work. But so can something as easy as a piece of chain, two padlocks, an ankle and a post in your basement. A large, solidly built shipping case of suitable dimensions may also work. One 6 X 6 X 4 feet is probably minimum size. (During the Vietnamese conflict, American military confinement authorities used Conex containers as solitary confinement and punishment cell. These are steel shipping containers somewhat larger than those described in this article. —TAF) A basement or isolated tract of land is desirable, but it might be done in a loft space, especially if every time the prisoner started yelling, a sensor kicked on the stereo extra loud for a few hours and the neighbor had gotten used to the crazy artist in 3 East.
Insure that the prisoner can’t get his hands on anything in – or near – his space. Take into account he may stick his hands out of the cell, even use something to try and snag objects out of his reach. Make sure if the guy is attached to something solid by a chain around his ankle that he can’t lie down and stretch himself out far enough to reach for something. However, don’t over-restrain the guy. He has to have enough room to stand, sit, stretch, lie down and so on. The restraint should be sufficient to keep the prisoner from leaving but not so much that it cannot be sustained over a reasonably long period of time without hurting him.
When planning your prison, consider that the charge might be loud, obnoxious, horny, abusive and fatigued all at once. In short, hysterical after one or two days. You’ll need to consider a basement, soundproofing or a rural setting. Because the goal is keep the prisoner intact for the whole term of his sentence, not having him fall over with pneumonia, adequate consideration has to be given to temperature or climate. Basements can be cold. Getting wet, even in warm weather, can lead to chilling. In hot weather it leads to rot and fungus. The prisoner’s space should be at least large enough for him to lie down. It should contain no furniture or fixtures at all. A bucket to piss and one for fresh water can be provided, and blankets can be issued for when the prisoner is allowed to sleep. (A wooden sleeping platform, which can be placed against the wall unusable except during periods assigned for sleeping, provides a useful means of keeping the prisoner healthy and off cold concrete. At the same time it can be a source of frustration during the periods when he can see it and touch it, but can’t use it. —TAF)
By severity, we are talking about things that cannot be endured but for a short time. You can exist in a cell, or leg-ironed to the wall indefinitely, so long as you are brought your gruel and water. But it is another thing to stand spread-eagle for more than an hour or so. You can wear handcuffs for days if they are not set too tight, but you can’t put pressure on them for any length of time at all. (Hiatts are strongly recommended for long-term bondage. —TAF)
You’ll need to issue some kind of uniform or clothing. Nude is hot looking, but prolonged cold can cause problems. Lace-up army or factory boots, nine laces or so tall, are the only kind to wear with leg irons or when one is chained by ankle. The irons will stop the prisoner from getting away, and the boots prevent a gash in the prisoner’s ankle if he tires to get away as you are beating him up for attempted escape, or he’s been left alone in the dark long enough and tries to pull himself free. Unless you are a very warm area in which to keep the prisoner, you’ll need to keep him clothed. Just because you get the air temperature up to 80 degrees, the floor may still be 58, and you’ll need to issue a blanket and / or floor mat when sleeping is allowed. Nudity is fine aesthetically, and there can be times for it. But for the long haul of doing time and knocking off those hours and days from your sentence, some kind of coveralls or sweats are appropriate. A jacket may also be necessary in a cool basement, even during the days. Cold and damp conditions can make a reasonable punishment for a few hours but is potentially dangerous and can lead to hypothermia if not closely and continuously monitored. Remember, there isn’t going to be any romp in the king-sized bed, warm shower, hugs or going out for pizza after the punishment – all warming-up activities. Instead you go back to your cell or cage, and are left alone to do your time. So out of all the ways to warm the guy back up, being left alone with a warm jacket would probably be one of the most effective and most boring – perfect prisoner activity. A few calisthenics and push-ups can warm things up, too, as can a paddle or belt on the ass. But along with these fun things, give the poor slob a jacket.
Sentence means if the prisoner volunteers to do there, five or eight days, he does the time. By keeping the prisoner secure without any prolonged severe treatment, you’ll assure he’ll makes it. The prisoner should know what he’s getting into, but so should the Top. The Top must be able to walk away from tears and threats screams or pleadings. The Top knows the prisoner is only bored. He’s healthy, having worked up a sweat on his activities today, fed and watered (delicious rice this morning for breakfast and dinner – part of that batch made up three days ago and have been keeping in the fridge and feeding him until it’s used up), has his blanket, jacket, and is locked in his cage. He can’t get out, won’t get cramps, hurt himself or hurt you. So turn out the light, close the door, go upstairs and get some rest. Your prisoner will still be there in the morning, and later you can handle any hooliganism.
Just because the prisoner is no longer having fun is no reason to stop the activities. Indeed, it is the whole reason for the scene. But a lot of Tops, not being confident in themselves, their restraints, their area, or willing to let the prisoner fail, can’t keep their cool and know all is secure without being dangerous. A lot of Tops cannot walk away. But now that you’ve walked away, stay away for a while. Nothing will unnerve a prisoner more than know that no one is coming when he hollers for attention. In social scenes, “dungeon” scenes, and heavy pain scenes, the bottom needs some communication with the Top to head off emergencies. Aside from the effects of extended periods of time in isolation, though, this is not a heavy scene that requires constant feedback, or lots of attention or monitoring. The prisoner is safe and secure – make him deal with it. After all, we are not out just to have voluntary compliance from the bottom, but to break the prisoner where his Spartan living for the time in jail is something he can be proud of accomplishing when he is finished, because he’s a tough dude who did it, and it makes you from of him.
Feeding, Watering and Sanitation
Feeding, watering and sanitation must be planned for. Depending on the activity, one gallon of water should be provided daily. More if he is working at all. (This may be more than is needed in a sedentary situation in a relatively cool confinement area. Too much water can have as many adverse effects as too little. You should be able to judge how much is adequate for your prisoner under different conditions by experience and by your own needs at the time. If he is working at hard labor, he will need more than the guard. If he’s locked in a cell, he’ll need less. —TAF) Unless you are leaving the guy totally in isolation, and need to leave him several jugs, you might want to serve it up in equally divided portions, whether the prisoner is thirsty or not. First wakeup, breakfast, midday, before dinner, dinner, after dinner, and at bedtime. As for feeding, give wholesome but bland food, and make sure he gets a multi-vitamin. For hard labor, you need a protein supplement, and several unappetizing varieties are available. Sample foods are dry cereal, oatmeal, rice and pasta. Dry cereal can get pretty old after three days in a row, especially something high fiber and high nutrition.
To be continued …
(This article is copyright © 1991, 2011 and 2014 by Dungeon Master. Reprinted with permission.)