Rope Bondage: My Introduction

Earlier this year, I fell in love with rope bondage.

I quickly became obsessed with the act of tying; the feel of the rope against my skin coupled with a tactile thing to do with my hands and something with lots of details for my brain to focus on is basically the perfect mixture of things to make me want more. Muscle memory and the feeling of the ropes, detail-oriented work and easily-tracked progress combine to make an activity that I find relaxing, satisfying, and mentally calming.

And so I was hooked; my anxiety loves projects like this.

Look how pretty the e-stim rope is!

I was never particularly interested in rope before this point – I loved it for the sake of art but was indifferent about doing it or using it during sex/kink itself. Then I discovered that Twisted Monk has e-stim compatible rope – meaning you can touch a violet wand to the rope and the electricity travels all over it, zapping every spot that the rope touches. Ummmmmmmmm yeah, yeah this is a thing that I want. I saw that product and immediately needed it, and needed to know how to use it properly.

So I bought 10 feet of this rope and started practicing some ties, quickly realizing that although “ten feet of rope” sounds like plenty, it isn’t enough to do much with it, even on my frame – but the e-stim rope looks very pretty in the sections that I can tie with it!

I reached out to Twisted Monk, who is basically the gold-standard of bondage rope, and they agreed to send me their Extra Robust Kit in a very pretty green as well as their rope care pack so that I can properly clean and condition my rope, and in exchange, I get to start writing regular posts about my progress learning rope bondage!

In my first six or so months of learning rope, I’ve gathered the following lessons that I wish I learned sooner than I had:

  1. Some sites/learning sources seem more reputable than others. Sometimes you learn a tie one way and then see it other ways through different sources. This does not mean that you learned the incorrect thing, it means there are multiple ways of doing things. 1

    It means that there isn’t one “true” method of rope.

    I learned three different types of double column ties, for example. All of them work, all of them are real, safe ties. They all look similar, though there are obviously differences between them.

    There are many variations of ties out there. As long as the tie is safe, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter if I use the Lark’s Head Double Column that I learned on the Duchy, the basic two column tie that Twisted Monk shows, or the one that my friend showed me. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if the one I learned from my friend was “wrong”, if it was a “real tie” or not, trying to pick which was the “best” out of the three…in the end, it really doesn’t matter. All three of these ties work as a two column tie. They’re all safe. It’s dealer’s choice which one I want to use based on aesthetics and how the tie is put together, and any choice is a valid choice.

    Speaking of how there is no wrong way…

  2. You can adapt ties to suit your needs.

    Twisted Monk, top (tie in progress), mine, bottom

    For example, Twisted Monk has a tutorial for a basic chest harness. It’s pretty nice and works well for people who have a chest, but I’ve found that with my flat chest, the upper chest strap just slips down over my nipples, no matter how tightly I try and bind it.

    So I modified the tie very slightly in order to lock the upper wrap in place, as you can see in the pictures.

    In other words – if something doesn’t work for your body for whatever reason, you can change it.

    The modification that I made (putting one of the shoulder straps under and one over the top chest wrap instead of both under) is small enough that it doesn’t jeopardize the tie’s safety in any way, but big enough to help the whole harness stay in place properly on me.

  3. Almost everything that I’ve learned, I’ve learned off of online tutorials. A few things I picked up from friends, and a few things I guessed at from looking at images of rope.

    Through using multiple methods of learning, I quickly noticed that (just like any other skill):

    everyone learns rope differently.

    My friend showed me how to join two pieces of rope together a couple dozen times and it still made no sense to me. I listened to him talk me through it, I watched him do it, I did it myself. But it wouldn’t stick. Then I watched a youtube tutorial and it suddenly clicked. I haven’t forgotten since!

    Same thing with various ties; some I can learn from photos, others I need a video tutorial, still more require me to be walked through it by a person who is watching what I’m doing.

    Why am I repeating all of this? Because I spent way too much time trying to learn in ways that didn’t work for me, with varying degrees of success. I felt as though I wasn’t getting it because I just needed to practice more or because I wasn’t good enough, and took a while for me to learn that I could just pick another learning method.

    Some sites like The Duchy have a great number of free tutorials, both photo and video, and I’ve found them very helpful – I prefer image tutorials to video ones, when possible, but the photos aren’t always enough for me and I need to watch a video instead. This is fine! It’s not a fault of mine if I’m not understanding through one method, I can use another.

As 90% of my tying is done by me on me, I haven’t been able to practice some of the ties that appeal to me most, as they require both arms tied behind my back, but there are so many other things to do in the meantime, when I don’t have someone else to tie.

Rope is something that I feel very personally attached to, and felt that way very early on. My first couple months tying, my phone was bursting with rope photos; I took pictures of every tie I attempted; of everything I got wrong or right, anything I could think of in order to track my progress and to use as a reference point going forward when I wanted to replicate something that I did previously. I have interest in tying other people, but for the most part, rope feels like a thing for me. I enjoy tying other people for the practice, to learn the differences between our frames and how to apply rope to them. I enjoy it for the sake of tying them, yes. I absolutely do get pleasure from that. But I mostly want – like with most of my kinks – to push my body and my mind further. To see how far I can push, and see how that changes with time as my skill increases.

Even I was amazed by how quickly I went from having very little interest in rope (tying or being tied) to practicing every day and feeling off when I missed a day, but there it was. Sometimes all it takes is the right combination of kinks to make you realize that you’re into something you weren’t before, and even though I’ve yet to use my original rope with any electricity, it certainly did the trick for me!

I will continue talking about my journey in rope in future posts! Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you want to hear about; ties, safety, how tos, anything! What are your favourite things about rope bondage as a bottom, as a rigger, or as someone watching?

Note: if you get the “Getting Started” DVDs from Twisted Monk, know that the order is a little bit odd. It starts with tutorials for two column ties, single limb, and a chest harness, and from there goes into rope handling and storage, choosing the correct width and length, and then back to tutorials. The very end of the second DVD shows you how to add and extend rope, and choosing the proper rope (for partners who are larger or broader). There is a list on the product page that tells you what tutorials are on what DVDs, but not on the DVD case itself, so you may find yourself jumping around a bunch trying to find what you’re looking for. You can also find a lot of the tutorials on their site for free (though there are some that are exclusive to the DVDs).


Thanks to Twisted Monk for sending me the rope in exchange for an article!

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Notes:

  1. Obviously exceptions do apply, as with everything else in life