Rope Bondage 101 by Mz Suzanne SxySadist
Rope Bondage is an amazing artform and delicious
play element, but like so many of the things we love to do
with it requires some training in safety and skill and lots
of practice to do it safely. I hope you find this article
interesting and informative. best wishes Suzanne SxySadist
What you will need:
- Rope & EMT shears or safety scissors (very
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 climbing
rope.) You can get good basic rope pretty easily at any hardware
store but for example Home Depot, carries 3/8" MFP, Mo
del: #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.
- 150 ft or so is a great beginner bondage kit
and will allow you to do just about any basic bondage tie.
What lengths to cut depend a great deal on the types of ties
you will be doing and on the frame of your bottom but I would
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
- 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 that your 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
very expensive (a dollar or more per foot) and I would never
suggest that a beginning bondage top go and make that kind
of investment to start with. Get some inexpensive nylon rope
and work your way up from there if you choose to.
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 solvents.
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 whatever extent possible. Some polypropylene
will degrade when exposed to Ultra-Violet light. Be cautious
with synthetic ropes because are 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 its strength,
get new rope or do a different type of scene!
The principal danger associated with bondage
is cutting off 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 immediately 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
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 quick! 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 and
conscientious & educated one. To err on the side of safety
& cautiousness 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
- 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 & "whip
- 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. 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 rope.
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 instill trust in your skills with
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. <
grin > 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 do 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
- 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
- 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
- Ask your bottom about his / her health &
medical history as it could relate to your scene. Ask questions
Have you had any back, neck shoulder injuries
or surgeries? Do you have a heart condition? Etc. 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 avoid.
- 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
- You don't need to be a boy scout to do good
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: http://www.mistral.co.uk/42brghtn/knots/42ktmenu.html
- 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 but please
do not attempt suspension for the first time without a knowledgeable
& experienced mentor. Mo re on suspension later.
- The most exhaustive resource for rope bondage
tutorials I have found on the web can be found at: http://www.massachusettsbondage.com/tutorials/freeTutorials.html
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)
- Two Column Tie – (useful for binding
wrists or ankles together or for binding a limb to a stationary
object like the bed post.) http://www.japanrope.com/galleries/tutorial1.rose/index.htm
- 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 but would be glad to demonstrate.
- Chest Harness / Shinju - (a good upper body
harness can incorporate the arms / breasts or not depending
on intended function & mood ) http://www.rainbowrope.com/howto/breast_harness.html
- Crotch Rope - Useful on both men & women
for lower body bondage. The designs can easily incorporate
the genitals for added stimulation or discomfort. http://www.bdsm-chicago.com/cram/TUTS_crotchharness.html
- Body Harness / Rope Dress / Karada –
(visually striking and can come in handy to bind a submissive
to a piece of equipment) http://www.japanrope.com/tutorial7/tutorial7-t.html
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. < smile
> 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, b e 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.
Suspension & partial suspension bondage
This article 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 topic.
- 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,
d on'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
rope. < smile >
- 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
- 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 negative experience.
That's about all for now!! Play safe & enjoy!
Yours in rope .. Suzanne SxySadist
Links & On - line Resources:
- Excellent hard copy books:
The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage Midori
, Craig Mo rey
Jay Wiseman's Erotic Bondage Handbook Jay Wiseman
- Places to buy rope online:
- Rope bondage tutorials :
- Great bondage photo sites: (many are member sites)
Article written & links complied by Suzanne
“Sensual Sadism is an artform … the body &
soul is My canvas”
Photography by Neil Shadow
Main site: www.SxySadist.com
Medical Play: www.NurseNasty.net
Rope Bondage Site: www.ShibariLover.com
Informational Site: www.SMAntics.com
This article took me quite some time & effort
to prepare and is protected under copy right laws. Please
do not duplicate, copy, repost or otherwise “rip it
off” without my permission. For permission to link to
it please write me: Mistress@SxySadist.com