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Spreadeagle (position)

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The spreadeagle or spread-eagle is the position in which a person has arms outstretched and legs apart, figuratively resembling an eagle with wings spread.

Law enforcement Edit

It can refer to a technique used by law enforcement as a way to safely search a person prior to binding them into custody, or in convict handling. The person may be made to lie spread-eagle on the ground, stand spread-eagle against a wall, or lean spread-eagle over an object such as the hood of a vehicle.

Human sexual behavior Edit

It can refer to the sex position in which one partner is supine or (less commonly) prone in a spreadeagle. It is a classic ingredient in sexual roleplay, especially roleplay involving spanking and/or a uniformed top. It can also refer to a bondage position in which the person's wrists and ankles are tied to the four corner-posts of a bed.

Being relatively simple, a spreadeagle tie can be improvised using household items and little experience. Improvising further, additional household items can be used, such as a common padlock for use as a ball lock being careful not to get skin caught in the mechanism, which will add surprise to a male subject.

In an upright spreadeagle, the person's wrists and ankles are instead bound to anchoring points on a wall or restraining equipment like a Saint Andrew's Cross. This position is favored for some BDSM games, because it leaves the person open for various activities such as impact play.


  • Jay Wiseman's Erotic Bondage Handbook, Jay Wiseman, Greenery Press, 2000, ISBN 1-890159-13-1: Pages 193-204
  • SM 101, Jay Wiseman, Greenery Press, Second Edition, ISBN 0-9639763-8-9: Pages 139-141
  • Bondage for Sex, Chanta Rose, BDSM Press, ISBN 0-9777238-0-1: Pages 24-33

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