Ultimate Guide To Bondage Rope [UPDATED 2019]

Get Tied Up

Starting with ropes

You might have seen these amazing Japanese knots –  or it just that your boyfriend’s allergic to metal, and you have to use hump ropes to tie him down?

Following years of experience as a rope master in Wisconsin’s BDSM scene, I’m here to share some of my wisdom, and help you with your first BDSM rope ties.

What kind of rope do you need?

In general, good quality rope can be costly – but this is one of those things where you don’t want to go cheap.

Looking around at your local hardware store, you will find that there are some sturdy options that won’t break the bank.

First, start off with a little rather than a lot.

It’s better to have to reorder more rope because you like it than to be stuck with a bunch of rope you don’t want to use.

Most beginners don’t know if rope is something they’ll like, so they go to the hardware store and buy a pack or two of cotton or nylon rope.

This rope is good for a beginner, but long term a rigger will want to upgrade their kit.

For one, it has no grip, so many of the twists and turns that are made while tying slip and move around.

This rope holds knots well –  but a little too well.

Cotton and nylon tend to compress and the knots tighten rather than allowing the rigger (ie. the person tying the ropes) to put the correct tension on.

The best place to buy rope is from a vendor on the web. The important thing is to find one with a good reputation that people recommend.

I like to have rope in both 6mm and 8mm thickness.

It just depends on what ties you use or who your subject is.

Different Ropes For Different Folks

I think 6mm looks less than ideal in most ties – but a lot of people on Fetlife use it for pretty photos when tying very small rope bottoms.

Make sure you have various lengths on hand too (just make sure you know it… you never cut a rope unless it is an emergency situation).

I don’t really like joining two sections and rope that is too long can be cumbersome.

Too short and you can’t complete the tie or will have to join rope.

The perfect lengths also depend on the rope bottom as well.

Obviously bigger bottoms will require longer ropes.

Choosing rope is a very personal decision so it’s important that you think about your needs and wants and choose appropriately as your rope will become the tool of your trade.

Once you’ve found the rope you want to use you will be anxious to wrap it around someone.

But first you need to become familiar with the rope and how to use it safely (next writing on this) and effectively. But right now we will focus on becoming familiar with the history.

Lets geek out on some history

Most rope bondage done in kink today is Japanese in origin. You might have heard the terms Shibari or Kinbaku, but for me those are too much.

In my mind the bondage we do in the West is more plain and simple then those fine arts.

Here’s a good story.

During the feudal Edo era in Japanese history, samurai used rope in combat and to restrain prisoners of war with a brutal art called hojojutsu that has nothing to do with the fun-loving-erotic thing we enjoy today.

At the time, official laws used knots to torture and extort confessions from captives, and to display alleged criminals to the public.

Public punishment specifically fit the crime, so the tie used to administer it created a legible, symbolic admonition for crowds of onlookers.

The samurai (being both honorable and practical) tied their captives as restrictively, but also as ornately as possible.

The more ornate and complicated the tie, the more respect was shown, so they got VERY complicated.

Safety, Safety, Safety

Safety is not sexy, but neither are accidents.

Rope bondage can be a dangerous activity.

Neither the human body nor ropes are completely predictable and as such, the combination of the two comes with certain inherent risks that are never completely avoidable.

You don’t want your bottom to get hurt – even a tiny bit – and you especially don’t want to put their life at risk!

What may be entirely safe with one person may cause injury in someone else, and in no way do I suggest that bondage will be safe even if you follow all the guidelines set forth in this article.

Rules To Live By

Don’t do it if you’re not sure what you are doing.

Know what you are doing and don’t go too fast.

Train on everything before you do it for real.

Going step by step is slow and boring but it is a real necessity.
Make sure you always have scissors, knife, EMT shears, or something similar on hand.

Don’t wait for the leg to become blue or your subject to faint. If you’re in doubt, cut the rope.

Know what you know and don’t try to do more.

It is probably a bad idea to some amazing pictures and think that you can do the same.

Practice Makes Perfect

Do the groundwork first.

Remember the finger rule – any tie should be loose enough you can slip a finger between the rope and skin.

Talk to your bottom. Make sure you know about any medical issues, fears, etc.
Know your ropes, your hooks, your round steel rings and your D rings.

Make sure they are all maintained and in good condition.
Don’t make quick decisions.

Plan it all in advance.

True, it is not sexy but it is a must.
Your bottom is the main attraction.

Talk to him/her.

Make sure to warn her/him before you are doing anything special, anything that will require him to do some effort.

If he/she said that something is wrong then something is wrong.

Stop and check.

In Conclusion

You are responsible for your own actions so use your head and when necessary, get medical advice.