Rope Bondage 101 by Mz Suzanne SxySadist
you will need: -
Rope & EMT shears or safety scissors (very important)
Most of the bondage tops I have met will tell you they have NEVER
HAD to use them but they ALWAYS keep them handy anyway!
What kind and how much rope? -
For beginners a 3/8" (9.5mm) solid braid multifilament (MFP) is
great. Twisted strand ropes are ok also, but can be trickier to
work with for beginners. Rope with cores, or made out of plastic
are not as good to use since they are not as flexible or gentle
on the flesh and can be very difficult to work with. (This includes
You can get good basic rope pretty easily at any hardware store
but for example Home Depot, carries 3/8" MFP, Model: #BKSBP860,
SKU: #140193 1/4 inch (6.4mm) & 1/2 inch (12.7mm). Either thickness
is fine, but keep in mind that with the thinner rope I would suggest
more coils, and the 1/2 can be a little harder to tie knots into.
How much rope should I get?
150 ft or so is a great beginner bondage kit and will allow you
to do just about any basic and many advanced bondage ties.
Cut it up thus:
(one) 40 ft or 50 ft
(two) 20 - 25 ft
(three) 10 - 12 ft
(four) 3 - 4 ft.
Be sure to finish your ends so they do not unravel. This can be
accomplished several ways; taping, whipping, tool dipping etc.
A note on hemp: I have a personal preference for hemp rope mainly
because the smell of it has delicious associations for me. Some
people will tell you that it is scratchy, itchy and uncomfortable
but it really depends on the kind you buy and how it is treated.
I totally LOVE the way that the natural fibers feel on my skin and
for many of the types of bondage that I most enjoy, I prefer the
way that the hemp photographs. However, good hemp rope can be expensive
(a dollar or more per foot) and I would never suggest that a beginning
bondage top go and make that kind of investment.
Basic Rope Care & Maintenance: -
Inspect all ropes carefully before using them, making sure they
are free of unwanted twists & knots. Run the rope through your hands
inspecting for burs or splinters you may have picked up from equipment.
I also try to not let my ropes hit the floor as they can pick up
sand, grit and other undesirables that can weaken the fibers. Try
to avoid contamination from acids, oils, alkalis and any organic
If your ropes do get soiled, be sure to wash them thoroughly with
warm water & soap. Bleach can be used on heavily soiled nylon or
cotton ropes but it will eventually weaken your rope. Fabric softener
can make your ropes softer but can also shorten their life span.
Be sure to dry your rope completely before storing it.
Find a way to coil or store your rope that you are comfortable
with and can use consistently. Be careful how you coil twisted fiber
rope as it can easily become untwisted and cause the rope to get
complicated & messy. Keep all rope, including cords and threads,
out of direct sunlight to the extent possible. Some polypropylene
will degrade when exposed to Ultra-Violet light.
Be cautious with synthetic ropes because they are flammable. Try
to avoid long periods of friction as heat build up could melt or
weaken the rope.
If you are planning a full suspension or other scene which could
result in serious injury should the rope fail, and have any doubt
what so ever as to it's strength, get new rope or do a different
type of scene!
Brief Bondage Safety -
The principal danger associated with bondage is loss of blood circulation.
Lack of circulation in any part of the body, regardless of whether
it is located in the region of a major artery or capillary network,
can lead to severe tissue damage--including necrosis (tissue death),
bruising and permanent nerve damage. Nerve damage can occur in as
little as 3 to 5 minutes. Symptoms of circulatory trouble include
pain, numbness, a tingling sensation, lack of sensation, drop in
skin temperature, and a skin color change to pale white or blue.
If your bondage bottom experiences or shows any of these symptoms,
remove the restraint and begin massaging the area to promote blood
flow. There is also always a danger of hyper extending or spraining
of limbs. To avoid this do not put excessive pressure on a bound
limb or force or tie it into a position that it does not readily
go. Also, certain types of play, like electrical play for example,
will cause muscle spasms and if the limb is unable to respond then
it could put added pressure on it. Fortunately, none of these dangers
are inherent and all are preventable by practicing good technique
and common sense precautions.
Some common sense reminders that can help ensure the safety of
your bondage scene experience are:
Tighter is not necessarily better! Always make sure you can slip
at least two fingers between the bottom's skin & the rope. Be especially
cautious around joints (wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles) or the
neck -- anywhere that major arteries or veins are near the surface.
Learn a little basic anatomy & try to keep delicate places of the
body protected or at least not under too much strain. Do your best
to spread out the tension points over a wider area when ever possible.
Depending on the thickness of the rope, use as many coils as necessary
to not allow the rope to cut into the flesh deeply.
- Do go slow with novices and new partners. Be especially sensitive
to the bottom's emotional reactions, providing frequent gentle body
contact, spoken encouragement, and other reassurance. Watch out
for developing panic.
- Don't leave someone who's inescapably bound completely unattended
for long periods of time, and no more than a minute or two if they
are gagged or tied by the neck. Circulatory problems can get very
bad, very quickly! Also you never know what other medical emergencies
or accidents could happen like fainting or falling. If you do leave
the room, keep within earshot at least and look in on them frequently.
- Communicate with your bottom making sure s/he is comfortable
and ask for feedback from your bottoms during and / or after a scene
about what could make that experience even better for them. Each
body type will have a different range of motion and comfort zone
in bondage. Communicate to learn what works for them. Have her /
him report to you immediately if there is any tingling, numbness,
joint pain or other condition related to the bondage. You may choose
to let the scene go on for awhile, but you need to be aware of the
bottom's condition as best as possible at all times to make that
decision a conscientious & educated one. To err on the side of safety
& caution is usually a good idea.
- Don't gag a bondage partner unless you provide alternative methods
for them to communicate with you. Watch for these signals carefully
but do not count on them to know how the bottom is doing. A bottom
that is in serious distress or that has passed out for example might
not be able to use a safe word or signal.
- Check circulation visually (watching for color changes) and by
touching (checking limb temperature) at least every 10 minutes.
Numbness, color change or temperature drop = time to remove the
bondage. - Make sure you know how to undo restraints before you
put them on. Be prepared to cut difficult knots or bonds in an emergency.
Always keep your safety scissors handy!!
- For safety sake: Ask yourself "what if" questions such as; If
there was some sort of an emergency right now such as the bottom
did happen to faint or trip in this position what is the worse case
scenario and how can I minimize the risk? Again, always have your
safety shears close by! A few words on rope burns & end whips:
- Rope burns can be very painful and occur as you drag the rope
quickly over the skin. Note that nylon & synthetic ropes tend to
have a faster burn speed than natural fibers, which means that man
made fibers are more likely to cause rope burns faster than natural
Rope "end whips" are what happen when you have been pulling the
rope through a loop very quickly and when you get to the end it
pops up with enough speed and force to smack your bottom in the
face or other delicate anatomy part.
Neither of these are fun by products of a rope scene. Both are
extremely common among novice & even some intermediate rope tops
& can be easily avoided by being very aware of what you are doing
as you are doing it. Wanting to work quickly is not an excuse for
being less than present and aware of what is happening with your
Take a breath, slow down and keep your own fingers between the
rope and the bottoms flesh as you pull it through. As you get close
to the end of the rope, slow down again and don't let it snap up
& hit your bottom in the face. Remember that although neither of
these may sound like serious injuries both are definitely an indication
of carelessness and will not help to instil in your bottom a trust
of your skills.
Helpful Bondage Scene Creation Hints: -
First ask yourself: What is the purpose of the bondage in this
scene? It could be to make the bottom feel secure or to keep them
still cause I am really not so good with this cane yet and I don't
want them to move. You get the picture. Is the bondage intended
to be decorative or functional?
Plan accordingly! For example an elaborate crotch rope will most
likely need to be removed if you wish to have sex during your scene.
Then visualize the bondage you want to create in your mind.
- Once you decide on the purpose of the bondage, ask yourself what
flavor or feel you want your scene to have? Do you want it to be
a sensual and loving seduction into bondage or would you both enjoy
a rough grab and tie kidnapping scene? Keep that in mind as you
lay rope on your bottom.
- Remember that your bondage will get prettier with time and practice.
Do not be discouraged if you don't feel you are doing it "right".
No one becomes a good rope top instantly! Get comfortable with the
rope and the ties you want to perform by doing them over & over
again. As long as you are taking precautions by remembering to be
safe and communicating with your bottom with their welfare & relative
comfort in mind, there is no right & wrong bondage, only variations
on a theme. Be creative & experiment, try different things, let
the rope and your partner's body speak to you and you will be fine.
Before you share rope with a new partner in a scene: -
Negotiate the scene. As with any other scene, be sure to have full
informed consent before binding your bottom and discuss what their
limitations and boundaries are while bound.
- Ask your bottom about his / her health & medical history as it
could relate to your scene. Ask questions such as: Have you had
any back, neck shoulder injuries or surgeries? Do you have a heart
Do you have any difficulty with fainting, seizures, respiration,
or circulation? If female, do you have breast implants? Does s/he
have any past emotional issues that may be triggered by being bound
helplessly of which you should be made aware?
- Have your bottom stretch a bit. This will often help avoid injury
and may help prolong the scene. Watch them as they stretch as this
could give you a good indication of how flexible s/he is and may
even give you ideas on other ways to bind them and positions to
- Be sure that s/he has eaten but not too recently & you may want
to suggest that s/he make a bathroom stop.
- Then take a deep breath, relax & have fun!
Basic Knots: -
You don't need to be a boy scout to be good at bondage. All you
need to learn is a few basic knots and you are well on your way!
This link has exceptional knot tutorials complete with animated
illustrations to practice to: Boy
- Be sure to check out the: Bowline, Lark's Head & Reef or Square
knots especially to start with. I also find the "round turn with
two half hitches to be very helpful for full & partial suspensions.
I will write a bit more on suspension later.
Basic Ties: -
The most exhaustive resource for rope bondage tutorials I have
found on the web can be found at: Massachusetts
This site has just about every tie a beginning bondage lover could
ask for. I am also offering a few links below to very simple and
basic bondage ties that you will hopefully enjoy.
- Wrist / Ankle cuff - (pretty self explanatory) This is a great
lesson by CRAM
(Chicago Rope and Mummification) & and another by Knotty
- Two Column Tie - (useful for binding wrists or ankles together
or for binding a limb to a stationary object like the bed post.)
Frog Tie - (good femme bottom sex position)
- Hog Tie - (I find this one to be great visually but very limiting
scene wise) I couldn't find a good web tutorial if you come across
one please let me know.
- Chest Harness / Shinju - (a good upper body harness can incorporate
the arms / breasts or not depending on intended function & mood)
Rope & Tammad
- Crotch Rope - Useful on both men & women for lower body bondage.
The designs can easily incorporate the genitals for added stimulation
or discomfort. CRAM
- Body Harness / Rope Dress / Karada - (visually striking and can
come in handy to bind a submissive to a piece of equipment)
Bondage Scene After Care -
Aside from the usual; get him / her some water, wrap in a blanket
& keep warm, cuddle & show your appreciation to your bottom there
are a few after care things you should remember relative to bondage.
Chances are very good that if your bottom has been in bondage
for awhile, s/he will be very stiff and sore as you release her
/ him. Be very gentle! Try to make no sudden movements, watch for
rope burns & whips again and let the bottom move and lower any stiff
limbs themselves initially.
Also you can score major top after care points if you remember
to gently massage those areas that have carried the stress or have
become numb. You may also apply warmth if necessary to restore
circulation (use a heating pad or warm towels) If the bottom is
not overly "zoned" this may be a good time to ask for feedback.
It will show the bottom that you do care how they feel and it will
help you learn more about their body & preferences.
Also, be sure to admire your beautiful rope marks!
Finally, put your rope away properly, being sure to set one's aside
that may need special care or cleaning.
& partial suspension bondage notes -
This text is not intended to teach suspension of any kind but there
will always be those that want to experiment with the edgier side
of things and I would like to offer a few words of advice on the
- Never! I repeat NEVER, try this stuff at home alone until you
have a good working knowledge of what you are doing and how to do
it safely!! Please don't ever forget that you can kill or cripple
someone if you screw this up! Yes, I am trying to scare you. You
should be a little scared! People have died or ended up in wheel
chairs for life doing this! This is no joke!
- I honestly can not stress this enough. Please, don't attempt
suspension alone without proper training. I would always strongly
suggest that you have someone more experienced present the first
few times you try suspension yourself. It is also not a bad idea
to have another person available to help you get your bottom down
in case of emergency. You just never can know everything that might
go wrong and if you need to get someone out in a big hurry it might
be nice to have someone to help you catch them when you cut that
- Find out and be extremely aware of the maximum load capacity
of every item related to your scene. Your bondage is only as safe
as the weakest link in your system. Remember that a person struggling
can exert more than 4 times their own body weight. Double check
the bolts, hardware and construction of the rig that the person
will be tied to making sure that there are no signs of wear. How
many strands of rope are actually supporting the weight? What if
one failed, is there enough back up?
- Make sure that you have an understanding of what load is safe
to put on items such as eyebolts (use only welded closed loop eyebolts
for bearing weight) and anchor bolts & in what direction. For example
if an eyebolt is screwed into an overhead beam and you are applying
pressure straight down it has less chance of failure than if you
have that same eyebolt screwed into a wall and you are applying
pressure that could cause the shaft to snap or the wood to split
under the load. Again, this is very serious life threatening stuff
and you must take everything into consideration! If you don't know
what is safe, ask someone who does!
- Each & every time you pick up your rope to do a suspension, ask
yourself how you would feel if you killed or crippled someone you
care about? Even if you are an experienced rope rigger and have
done suspension 100 times or more, check in with yourself and see
where you are at today, in this moment. Are you well rested, alert
and in good enough physical shape to do this scene safely? (Suspension
can involve heavy lifting or having to support a bottom's weight
while you tie off the ropes.) Are you also attuned to your bottom's
physical & emotional needs well enough to do this scene beautifully?
(I think the most beautiful scenes I have seen are more about the
connection of the players than the top's skill with his / her knots
& toys) It is a far better decision to wait to do the scene another
day than to just stumble stubbornly or blindly ahead and have a
That's about all for now!! Play safe & enjoy!
Yours in rope.. Suzanne SxySadist