Rope Bondage Tutorial 101

So you want to use some bindings to help with your bonding? We can help with that.

Like with most elaborate and risky kinks we are going to talk about safety before we move forward to techniques. There are two general categories of safety for bondage; Personal and Medical. Let’s start with personal.

Personal:

  • Monitoring and communication is of foremost importance in bondage, like it is with many more elaborate activities. Get used to communication with your partner. They can feel where the ropes are and what they are doing better than you. They will know if something is slipped or is about to slip. Communicating to stop or prevent such a thing can be the difference between a safe session or possibly permanent injury which will be discussed more in the next section.
  • Wriggly little partners are a thing. Sometimes they are writhing in excitement, and sometimes they are trying to get comfortable. Then again, sometimes they are taking your bondage efforts as a challenge to try to escape from.  Whatever the case may be use this as a learning experience. Study their movements so you can figure out what you can do to restrict them better next time. You should also make it a point to watch for dangerous positioning of both your partner and the ropes they are working with. Be very aware of weight distribution and joints. If it’s looking dangerous or that it could very soon become dangerous be ready to call it off. Don’t let your pride in your rope work become comparable to your partner’s health and safety.
  • Minor injuries from ropes are to be expected but they are also to be learned from and mitigated.  The first, and least dangerous is compression marks. Aside from the area feeling funny for a little bit there is no risk to compression marks. These are the same marks you get if you lay your face on a wrinkled pillow case or sleep on a bunched up sheet. In most cases these will be gone within just a few minutes. The only way to mitigate this is to put less body weight on the ropes. Rope burns is the second type of expected. Robe burn is caused by friction from the rope being dragged to hard or to fast over the skin. There are a couple ways to reduce this. The first is to select a different rope material, likely one with less friction. Another way is to simply draw the rope more slowly and steadily. The third is to try to pull the rope away from the skin when the rope needs to be drawn across an area. A third type of common minor injury is pinch marks. This is most often a results of two lengths of rope being near each other but not firmly against each other. As a results when pressure or weight is applied they can be forced closer together with some skin caught in between. The best way to fix this is anytime you are putting a length of rope near another slide your finger under one of them while pushing it towards the other. This will bring them flush together without any pesky fragile skin getting in between them. A fourth expected minor injury is referred to as knot bruising.  The cause of this is when a knot is placed in an area that is expected to bear weight. The solution to this is learn in time to better plan your bindings so that knots do not end up under your partner where they will bear the weight.

Medical:

  • Seek professional help immediately if anything more than a few minutes of numbness occurs. While it may be humiliating to go into a hospital explaining that your injury occurred during experimental sex, think of how humiliating it will be to spend the rest of your life saying that from a wheel chair because you lost a leg due to not seeking help. The human body is both surprisingly durable, and surprisingly fragile. Somebody could get up from a three story fall, or lose a leg due to a leg cramp if it’s ignored. So don’t panic at the first sign of discomfort but please if your discomfort lasts or persists then get it checked out.
  • Circulation is a lovely thing we all enjoy. Poorly placed bindings can  deprive your partner of that circulation. Joints are the place where this is most likely to occur. Shoulders, elbows, wrists, helps, knees and ankles are the joints at greatest risks. Avoid placing bindings on both the insides and outsides of these joints. Think of that pins and needles feeling you sometimes get in your feet when sitting in place for too long. Frustrating sensation isn’t it? Now imagine how frustrating that would be while tied up so you can’t freely respond to it. That’s what happens when your foot or leg has had circulation cut off or nerves pinched then is suddenly getting it’s feeling back all at once. Near joints where there is less muscle tissue we can find nerves, veins and arteries in a much more vulnerable location. A damaged vein or artery can be fixed by a professional. A nerve may not be so easy to fix. No matter which is damaged it does run the risk of the limb never being quite the same again. Let’s avoid finding out just how bad that can be. It is important to restore circulation as quickly as possible. As stated earlier a couple minutes of numbness is not a problem but the longer it lasts the more dangerous it can become.
  • Asphyxiation is an ever present danger people are worried about, and for good reason. But there is something people don’t typically consider. Sure the obvious solution to avoiding asphyxiation is to keep ropes from the front of the neck and that’s absolutely true, please do that.  But there is another problem to consider which is positional asphyxiation. If your partner is in a difficult situation such as hunched over or turned in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to take a full deep breath that position can lead to asphyxiation if maintained for too long. In this situation gags can make it worse since that leads to it taking more effort to inhale. Gags also restrict communication.
  • Be ever aware of medical conditions for both yourself and your partner. Bondage play can be many combinations of stressful and exciting. Stress and excitement are powerful triggers for medical conditions like asthma or circulation issues related to diabetes and arthritic joints. Have a good idea if a health problem exists ahead of time so a reaction doesn’t lead to confusing and panic. This is not limited to current medical issues however. Old injuries, even those that have been corrected by surgeries, can lead to some serious discomfort. Bondage play is going to expose the average person to sustained positions they are not normally exposed to in daily life. So surgeries and injuries that are years or decades old could be a source of discomfort now.

Equipment for safety

As you may have guessed already bondage is rather difficult to undo in a rush. So many knots, so many loops, and so many bindings. If your partner is having a rough time they may be struggling and you may be trying to untie them. These two things are not very cooperative especially if your partner is in pain. This process can lead to injury in a bad way. A broken bone on someone that’s struggling could cut up  arteries and nerve causing permanent damage even a surgeon can’t fix. So we need an easy out, right? Here are some options.

  • Safety scissors are easy to get ahold of universally. Almost any department store or pharmacy store. But just having these scissors is not enough. You need to test them on your rope while you are preparing for each session. You need to make sure these scissors are sharp enough to get  through your rope on the first try. Safety scissors have a flat blunted tip on the lower blade to keep them from injuring your patient when you are trying to get under their cloths or bandages to cut them off so this will help getting under your ropes safely too. But that’s not really going to help you much if you are using dull scissors  trying to gnaw through a piece of rope while your partner is struggling in what is likely to grow into a panic.
  • A Safety Hook is another tool to consider. This is a slightly intimidating looking tool but it’s primary purpose is to cut  things like straps or seatbelts in the event of an emergency where an EMT needs to get someone out of a car in a hurry. It only seems fitting you might use one to get someone out of your ropes in a hurry. One again always make sure this tool remains sharp. Unlike the scissors this depends on putting the hook around the rope, then tugging on it. Few things can permanently ruin the mood quite like yanking on the ropes while you are trying to free your partner because your tool is to dull.
  • Traditional knives are a dangerous option here. Sure your knife may be able to cut the rope but can you insure the rope is the only thing you will cut?  Traditional knives often have a long razor edge that’s fully exposed and a sharp point on the end. Two things that don’t usually go well when  trying to cut the rope off someone that may be doing anything but sitting still.
  • Consider other binding assistance such as cuffs or tools of your choice. Rope is the traditional method of bondage but it’s not required. Just make sure whatever alternatives you use also have a way of being removed quickly and safely.

You may notice those suggestions involve damaging and destroying your rope. We are not at all sorry about that. We would rather join you in mourning for your loss of a beloved rope than the loss of a beloved partner.

Own your environment

  • Maintaining your environment is more than just cleaning up between sessions. It also means insuring the session itself is safe. There is going to be wriggling and struggling, ropes are going to be in motion. If you have drinks, handles or other fragile objects sitting around mind where your ropes are flailing about at. If you have your tools, especially your escape tools, sitting out make sure they are not going to get knocked out of reach. But there is one far more dangerous, and far more unpredictable element that could come into play. Nothing is going to quite change the mood of you drawing a rope up your partner’s thigh either teasing them or trying to tie your next knot when suddenly they are screaming at the top of their lungs because they have several cat claws lodged deep within the skin of their crotch. Oh, sure, you might think it’s funny later. Hell you may have trouble breathing in a moment when you finally figured out what happened. But right now they want to kill your cat violently and repeatedly. In fact if you don’t have they tied down they might try exactly that.
  • Considerations should also be given to the furniture used. If you are deep into this hobby is it likely you may have purpose built furniture to work with. If you are not deep into this hobby, or can’t afford these custom objects then you are likely to work with what you have. That’s nothing to be ashamed of but it does beg you put a little more care into your choices.  Pick items that you are certain can bear the weight of your partner even if they are moving and jerking about. To that point also make sure the items you are using will not be prone to tipping over even if your partner suddenly shifts their weight in any direction.
  • Careful consideration of binding points is also important. While the classic idea of novice bondage is tying a person to the bed posts that may not suit all partners. Some people get into bondage for the idea of being immobilized, others however may wish to see it as a contest or a challenge where they try to get out of your work. This second type of partner will be disheartened by the added difficulty being attached to fixed points present. If you are opting for vertical bondage such as binding your partner up against a wall this can become even more of a problem if the hook or point on the wall you are binding them to actually can support their weight. If you have a partner that is prone to fainting this may create a situation where their entire weight may be on their shoulders. This can cause joint damage if it happens suddenly. Additionally you may not be able to safely remove them from the wall if you can’t handle their entire body weight unassisted. If you are forced to cut the ropes you may end up dropping them on the floor.

Handling your rope, and not

  • This is another one of those case where what you learned back and middle or high school about the science of weight distribution can play a big part here. When you consider how to handle your knots and ties, consider spreading the distribution over a wider space. Insure your ties won’t tighten when your partner is moving about and use multiple wraps where possible. This will use up more of your rope but it will make your experience much safer.  Your wraps should be consistent as well. If you do add additional wraps it does little good if some of them are tighter while others are slack. You should also be aware of how your rope behaves under different conditions. Some ropes will behave different when exposed to different types of abuse. If you have a cheaper rope that has differing layers it may snag even on itself causing kinks, uneven draws or it may even behave oddly around corners . The outer layer may snag while the inner layer continues to tighten or give slack. This do things differently than it looks like it is.  Rope may also contract or expand when it gets wet from water, sweat, or any other fluids that may be in play. You should also make sure your rope remains, relatively speaking, straight. If your rope is twisting or winding can increase the chances of pinching or kinking.
  • Rope blindfolds are often more dangerous than they are worth. While sensory deprivation  is not a typical part of bondage it’s tempting enough. Very few people will have a facial structure that will make it safe to run ropes directly over the eyes. It doesn’t take much pressure, especially sustained, to damage the eyes. If you want your partner blindfolded stick to something more to that purpose like a traditional blindfold.
  • Segmented bondage is much easier than trying to do it all in one continuous run. This holds especially true if you and your partner have not worked together extensively. If you have a 150 foot roll of rope you want to use it will be easier, and often safer if you are working with it in 10 or 20 foot segments If you are a hundred foot into your rope and something 60 foot back slips it’s going to be a lot of work to try and make that adjustment needed to fix this. Even if all you need to do is take one inch of slack out of the rope it could take half an hour to work 60 feet of rope one inch to get everything snug again. Don’t let this discouraging you from getting in depth with your bondage however. You can tie your new piece of rope to the first thus continuing your work. Working in segments like this can also make it easier to plan safe ways for a quick release. When something goes wrong you very well may need to cut a rope to get your partner free. This is easier if your ropes are shorter so you can target the specific problem piece.

Advancing your bondage

Taking your bondage to the next level is a bit different than some other kink groups. When discussing domination or BDSM most of your stress is considered mental. Bondage is less psychological so the mental stress is reduced but the physical stress is raised. That is unless of course you are mixing your bondage and BDSM but that’s another issue for another day. So here are a few things to consider when planning your sessions, and to consider during A session in play.

  • Duration is a key issue to think about. The typical bondage experience may only be a couple hours but even that can lead to some interesting cramping experience. Try this on for a moment. Extend your arm straight out ahead of you and hold it as still as you can. Do that for ten minutes. That sensation you are feeling is the results of muscles being  immobilized.  That’s a little more intense than the ideal bondage situation will be in its first ten minutes but also consider the person in bondage is likely to be immobilized for hours. Not only should you consider duration of a session but you should also consider the cramps muscles and joints are going to develop when a session comes to an end. You should consider learning some massage techniques to compensate for this both during and after a session.
  • Tight or difficult bondage is something some enjoy. This is more likely to spring up if you or your partner like to see bondage as a challenge. This is not a problem so long as you keep an eye on issues such as the nerve and circulation risks.
  • If you lack a partner you may resort of self-bondage.  There are many ways you can go about this but always remember to have some way to get help if something goes wrong. The lack of a partner inherently means a lack of a second set of hands to get you out.

Introducing, your rope, to you

  • Rope materials are a big deal and very important to consider. Rope can be made from a wide range of materials. There are three overarching groups to consider. These are plant fibers, plastics, and metal. Yes metal. A steel cable is technically a rope after all but let’s not use those here since they do not stand up well to being repeatedly bent nor do they cooperate with knotting very well. It will just be a bad experience completely.  Material is much more important than just the life of your rope however. Some other things to consider with your hopes is their elasticity, how easy they are to cut, how fragile the ends are after being cut, and how easy they are to clean. But that’s just the rope itself. You also will need to consider how your rope interacts with your partner. You may have a partner that is allergic to nylon, or has plant allergies which can certainly create a problem as well. After you consider all of that, you may wish consider how course the material is or the color if you are interested in appearances. Some materials you can buy some materials already in certain colors, other materials you may have to dye yourself. Be mindful of which material dye easily and what the dyes may do to your material. Additionally there are some ropes that come to you in just such a condition that they need worked before being used. You should study your materials in more detail especially if bondage is going to be an ongoing hobby.

 

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