An over-arm position is a posture in which a person's arms are extended over their shoulders or behind their head. This may take place, for example, during work or a sporting activity, and is used in stretching exercises or during meditation besides other activities. In wrestling, for example, nelson holds are over-arm holds, in a contest for physical dominance. In cricket, over-arm bowling is the norm. Also, in law enforcement the raising of the arms above or behind the head is a gesture of surrender or submission, as it is in a military situation.
An over-arm tie is a bondage position in which a person's wrists are fastened behind the person's head using some form of physical restraints, such as rope or cuffs to which is attached a length of rope, chain or strap the other end of which is attached to a belt at the waist or other anchoring point. A simple over-arm tie is sometimes used in tickling games to prevent the tied person protecting their ticklish spots, such as the under-arm or the ribs, or otherwise interfering with the tickle.
An over-arm position or tie can also be used during sexual play, with the sex partner who assumes an over-arm position or agrees to be tied in the position generally being regarded as the passive or submissive partner. Many people regard seeing or putting a partner in a submissive over-arm position or tie to be erotic and a turn-on in itself.
People who practice rope bondage for its aesthetics may use the over-arm tie as a part of more complicated bondage. For example, the back rope can be passed between the legs and fastened in front, forming a crotch rope. The wrists may be tied to the upper arms with any desired tension, from a loose tie to a strict tie where the wrists are almost touching the upper arms. The over-arm tie can be combined with other techniques which restrict the subject's mobility further, such as hogtie bondage, frogtie or the shrimp tie for the legs, or by securing the tied wrists to a fixed frame, like a door frame. In this position, the elbows stick out on each side, level with the head, with the hands tied behind the head.
- Two Knotty Boys, "Showing you the ropes : a step-by-step, illustrated guide to tying sensual and decorative rope bondage", Green Candy Press, ISBN 978-1-931160-49-0: pp. 50–51
- Chanta Rose, "Bondage for Sex: Volume 1", Scb Distributors, 2006, ISBN 0-9777238-0-1: pp. 96–103
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