We are an online magazine, run by married BDSM lifestyle couple Hywel Phillips and Ariel Anderssen.
We feature romantic, elegant bondage storylines illustrated by photos and videos, as well as a community
of fetish photographers and fans. We provide tutorials to help you get started with bondage or with fetish
photography, too. We have been online
and serving the bondage and fetish photography community since 2001.
Which payment methods do you accept?
Due to regulations in the UK we are currently only able to accept payment by credit cards.
Do I need to renew my membership each month?
If you opt for monthly membership, it will automatically renew each month at the lower rate (unless you cancel). If you choose to join for a fixed term, non-recurring subscription, it will be up to you to renew your subscription at the end of that time.
How safe is my personal / credit card information?
When you enter the sign up page, you will notice a padlock motif appear on your browser. This signifies that the page is secure. Your information is encrypted to prevent fraud and your information is stored on secured servers.
Can I join by PayPal?
Unfortunately not. Several years ago PayPal changed their terms and conditions and
stopped accepting website signups via their service. They even closed my business account
down to make sure.
This is purely for credit card verification purposes. You can rest assured that neither Restrained Elegance nor any third party will be using this information to bombard you with junk mail or, indeed, send you any physical correspondence at all.
Why do you ask for my email address when I sign up?
We will email your account or purchase details when you sign up or make a purchase from the store. We will not send you any junk email or reveal your email to any third party. We will only email you again with administrative emails (eg notification of account expiry). If you opt in to our mailing list, we will email you with occasional news and previews of what's happening on the site. This is free, and you can unsubscribe at any time- follow the links at the bottom of any email from the mailing list.
How will the payment be displayed on my statement?
Your card will be billed as Surfnet.
Who do I contact if I have queries relating to billing?
Why is my credit card rejected when I try to sign up?
We don't have control over the credit card sign-ups: this is all done by secure transactions
at the bank. The most common reasons for decline are:
Our (US-based) bank may not accept credit cards from your country. This one is out of our control, sorry.
Your card may have had disputed payments with adult websites in the past. If a card has been used
for what the bank terms "high risk" transactions (like online ones where the card holder isn't present)
and those transactions have been disputed, the bank may not accept such payments on that card again.
There may be some mismatch between your address and the country you appear to be signing up from.
Banks are twitchy about out-of-country use of card; you may have more luck with a card issued in the
country you are currently in.
Why can't I log in?
The most common reasons:
You need to have cookies active for the site. You may need to turn your security or privacy settings down a notch to make sure cookies from www.restrainedelegance.com are allowed on your PC.
You might be having browser issues. Restart your browser and try again. If that still isn't working, try installing Firefox and try accessing the site with that.
Tor browser- browsing via Tor is a bit slower, but very secure.
Your membership has expired. You should have received an email if this is the case. You can check by emailing email@example.com if you are not sure.
You've mixed up UPPER case and lower case letters. Usernames and passwords are CaSe SenSiTiVE!
We have security scripts to protect against hackers and password traders. Sometimes these
scripts can block legitimate users (eg if you've accessed the site from several different computers
recently, or have had too many failed login attempts). Sorry for the inconvenience: please open a support ticket.
I try to log in but get bounced back to the login screen
Your account has either expired or been suspended by our security scripts, see above.
What is the photo/video store and the eStore?
The store allows you to purchase Restrained Elegance stories individually, without having to join the site. There are two of them because
the eStore has a nicer interface, but we don't have the person-power to add 15 years of content to it! So the older content stays on the Classic Cart store.
Are all the stories on the Photo/Video store cart available to members?
No. You can see all the sets currently available to members on the updates page. The reason we cannot make all the sets
available to members at once is down to bandwidth usage. When you download a set from the site,
our web host charges for the bandwidth you've used. That works out around $1 per GB you download.
Since a one-month membership costs $29.95, I try to keep the material on the site at one time down to about
30 GB. Any more, and someone could join the site, download everything, and I'd actually end up losing money.
Every website has some sort of limitation placed on the amount you can download, even if they don't say
so up-front. They have to to stay in business. This is often done by a cap
on downloads per day or per month, or by limiting the speed of your connection, or by making the older material so hard to access that it discourages people from downloading everything they might want.
I've always thought you should be able to download everything as fast as your connection can handle, so I decided instead to keep the site fresh by adding new stuff every day, taking the oldest stuff off, and bringing the sets back in the archive. So that's why not all the sets on the shopping cart are on the members' area. If you join and you
want to see some specific sets in the archives, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll schedule some for you as soon as I can.
Why do you need my address?
We use the address for credit card verification purposes only. We will not send you anything in the mail, ever.
How are my purchases delivered?
When you check out, you will receive a link to download ZIP files of your chosen sets or videos. Download these to your hard drive and extract the files.
I'm interested in a set on the members' area. When will it be up on the Photo/Video Store?
Generally sets are uploaded to the store six to nine months after they appear on the members' area. Why the delay? This is subcontracted out and we've always been about that far behind. If you want to see the set right now, you can always join and see it right now- and download hundreds of other great sets as well.
What data format is the content on the site?
New videos are available in high definition MP4/: 4K (3840x2160p) and/or full HD 1920 x 1080p. Older videos are
in lower resolutions.
All images are JPEGs but each set is also downloadable as a ZIP file.
How do I open zip files?
Many operating systems will allow you to open zip files by selecting or right clicking the zip and selecting the relevant command to extract the files. If your OS does not support this, you can download programs like WinZip.
My ZIP file is corrupted
This is usually a sign of an incomplete download. Try downloading the file again.
What are the video file sizes?
The newest full HD videos are at 10 kB/s.
What are the image file sizes?
We are well known for the quality of our photography. To adapt to growing monitors, our latest jpegs are
1600 x 1200 pixels, 400 kB or so in size. You may also choose to download the poster-sized versions at up to
42 megapixels. You can select which version to view by going into any photo gallery and choosing from the drop down
menu at the top right. Your browser will remember this selection for you. Or just choose to download the whole
set in normal size or full sized ZIP file format.
How do I watch the videos?
Download to your computer (right click and choose save linked file as...). You should then be able to
double click the MP4 file you have downloaded to play. If it doesn't work, try installing a media player like
How do I download videos to my iPod/iPhone?
In theory, you should be able to download direct from the site to your iPhone. Some users have
reported issues with the Safari browser thinking the videos are text files. If you save the file to
your local storage instead of downloading it, then play from there, it should work. I find downloading
via iTunes works the best. Download the video to your PC/Mac hard drive. Then drag to the iTunes window or
choose "Add file". The next time you synchronise your iPod it should transfer the video for you.
What browser settings do you recommend?
If you are having trouble viewing the site, make sure you have cookies switched on and allowed for the site.
Who do I contact if I experience technical difficulties?
If you have problems with your access to the site, please open a support ticket:
Why aren't all the sets on the shopping cart on the members' area?
It is a question of balancing download costs against membership price. See here for an explanation of why we do it this way.
I want to see a set from the cart on the members' archives
I'm happy to schedule sets in the archives- email me and I'll try to fit it in for you. I usually schedule a month or so in advance so please be patient.
What information do you collect?
Only the information we need to sign you up to the site, verify your credit card details and process your payment. The site
security system uses a cookie to manage your login, and we collect anonymous usage statistics on the website so we know how
much bandwdith, storage space, etc. the site is using. We do not hold any additional information and we will never give any of
your details to any third party under any circumstances.