Sensual self-bondage - In sensual self-bondage, escape from restraints is simple and available immediately, if desired. For example, the keys might be within reach or the knots loosely tied. The chief aim is the sensation of immobility and of constrained movement.
Strict self-bondage - Strict self-bondage requires that the means of escape be unavailable until the lapse of time before the release mechanism activates itself. This feature of strict self-bondage makes it potentially more hazardous, but some practice it for the greater sense of helplessness it creates.
A compromise position between safety and strictness allows for a backup release mechanism that is available immediately, but carries with it some penalty or cost with its use. For example, keys could be placed in a bucket of paint. The person in self-bondage can escape quickly if necessary, such as a fire breaking out, or excessive numbness of limbs. However, the annoyance of cleaning up the paint afterwards would coerce the person into waiting for the main release mechanism to come into effect if they were merely bored or uncomfortable. Another penalty may be the need to contact somebody, with the penalty being having to explain what has happened.
Well you have to get free sometime - right!
Many release mechanisms are used in self-bondage to allow the practitioner to escape the restraints after a period of time. There are various trade-offs to be made between ease of use, reliability, precision of timing, cost, and so forth. There should be several mechanisms available, thus ensuring redundancy and safety.
Ice cubes - these are commonly used as a release mechanism. For example, a key can be placed in water which is then frozen. The key will not be available until the ice melts. Advantages include simplicity and reliability. The disadvantage is that it can be difficult to gauge precisely how long a scenario will last, although some enjoy the uncertainty.
Make SURE the ice will MELT... This is something so simple it could be easily overlooked. This is especially true if you're living in a cold climate.
Ice locks - self-bondage preparations with an ice lock as release mechanism
Ice locks are frozen together and do not move until the ice has melted down. These can be used alone (to lock a person to a stationary object) or in combination with tightening devices (to keep the tension for a certain period of time).
"Salt locks" - salt, sugar or any other safe water soluble substance blocks parts of a lock. It needs to be dissolved in order to release the mechanism. Just make sure the lock is rust proof or you may get stuck after time.
Combination locks - these can be used as a release mechanism. These can rely on the time needed to try every possibility for an unknown combination, or they can rely on light in order to see to enter the known combination correctly.
Try not to rely on something which might not happen, i.e. if the power goes off and you're stuck in a room with no window fiddling with a combination lock you can't see, you're stuck! This might also happen if the bulb in your light goes, you can combat that a little by using two lights of different types. Don't forget to set the timers (Of course you'd be using two lights and two timers!) when you're using this method! Don't forget about using the sun for this, it won't blow out like a light bulb any time soon.
- Unknown combination - The idea is that the lock is reset to an unknown combination, then used to lock the bondage in place. The person must find the correct combination by trial and error. A three digit combination lock contains a thousand possibilities. At a second per attempt, this would take approximately 15 minutes. For a four-digit lock, it is nearer two hours. Disadvantages include the fact that it may be distracting to actively "crack" the lock.
- In darkness - even if the number is known, for many locks, it is not possible to enter the combination without being able to see the faces of the dials. This release mechanism relies on darkness. The light can be provided either by the morning sunlight, or, preferably, through a light on a time switch. The advantages include a large amount of control over how long the bondage lasts (with a timer), and a backup of the onset of daylight. The disadvantages are only being able to use the technique at night, and having to perform the bondage in the dark.
Electromagnets - these can be used to release keys after a delay. If combined with electronics or a computer, a large amount of control is possible over the timing, and the mechanism is somewhat "fail-safe" — if power fails, the key will fall early. Disadvantages include complexity and cost. The powerful electromagnets used in door locks can also be adapted for use directly as restraints. One other disadvantage could be the possibility of the keys becoming magnetised and sticking to the metal surface after the power has ended.
Knives or other sharp implements - useful for cutting rope and zipties, especially in an emergency or quick release situation. Care should be taken with sharp edges especially if cutting rope behind and out of sight. Scissors must be sharp and you should try cutting the rope beforehand to see how easy it is to cut and how long it will take you whist you are still free and then at least triple the time for when bound.
Keys - another useful method to getting free from locks and handcuffs. One favorite is to spread the keys throughout your home and going from room to room to find the right keys. Another is to have a lot of keys, which only one or two will free you, it'll take some time to work through the keys.
Emergency backup - There are also a number of release mechanisms designed to be emergency backups. The idea behind these release mechanisms is that triggering them will cause something undesirable to happen, and thus are only used in situations where death or serious injury could occur otherwise.
- Paint tin - A backup key is stored in a tin of paint, ink or motor oil in such a way that recovering the key will cause the contents of the container to spill, causing costly damage to a carpet or other possessions. This mechanism can be used for extremely quick release in an emergency such as a fire.
- Unpleasant drink - An unpleasant liquid, such as urine is stored in a container. The key is only released when the contents of the container has been drunk (it should be designed so that the contents can not be spilled). The idea is to make the drink so unpleasant that it will only be considered as a last resort. Make sure you don't use anything poisonous!
- Rescue - A friend or relative is notified to come over at a certain time (that time being after the bondage session is planned to end). The friend may or may not be aware of the bondage, and thus the rescue may be embarrassing. An alternative is to position a phone somewhere that is accessible during the bondage, so that a friend or the emergency services may be called if the planned release mechanisms fail.
As with all methods TEST IT - TEST IT - TEST IT