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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 important)

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 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 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!

Bondage Safety:

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 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 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 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 & "whip ends":

- 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 your bottom.

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 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 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 fun!

Basic Knots:

- 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:

- 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.

Basic Ties:

- The most exhaustive resource for rope bondage tutorials I have found on the web can be found at: 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.)

- 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 ) &

- Crotch Rope - Useful on both men & women for lower body bondage. The designs can easily incorporate the genitals for added stimulation or discomfort.

- 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. < 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 notes:

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 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 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 SxySadist
“Sensual Sadism is an artform … the body & soul is My canvas”

Photography by Neil Shadow

My websites:
Main site:
Medical Play:
Rope Bondage Site:
Informational Site:

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