Rope Bondage 101
Dr. Jess     
There are several reasons why bondage can be a fun and thrilling addition to one's sex life.

Today, we're expanding our erotic arts and crafts toolkit to include the fine art of naughty knots: Rope Bondage.

There are several reasons why bondage can be a fun and thrilling addition to one's sex life. For some individuals, bondage is an exercise in trust, as the person being tied up is essentially at their partner's mercy; this might be for the purposes of teasing or (consensually) inflicting pain. BDSM allows us to experiment with power dynamics in our relationships; to feel what it is like to have control, and to relinquish it. Others may simply enjoy the aesthetic of bonds, as rope bondage can also be an art form (such as with the case of the "shibari" rope bondage style associated with Japan).

An awareness of safety precautions as well as an ability to communicate and set boundaries is critical in ensuring a positive first experience with all types of kink. Check out this comprehensive list of rope bondage tips and tricks from the folks at Venus Envy: 


Safety


A few reminders before we get to the fun stuff - ensure that knots don’t end up on pulse points, that you’re not using rope thinner than 1/4" in diameter and that someone is monitoring the circulation of the person being tied up. And most importantly, remember to talk about boundaries, come up with a safeword, and have a pair of crash scissors handy in case things go wrong. For more information, you may want to pick up our BDSM 101 pamphlet.


Definitions


Bight: a bend in the rope.

Working end: the end of the rope that you move to make the knot.

Standing end: the end of the rope that stays still while you move the working end around it.

Post: for the purposes of this pamphlet, we’re imagining that you’re tying someone to some kind of post, be it bed post or support post. But really, you can tie anyone to whatever you want.


Knots


[caption id="attachment_3096" align="alignnone" width="300"] Reef Knot[/caption]

Reef (Square)

  • Left over right and under
  • Right over left and under
[caption id="attachment_3101" align="alignnone" width="300"] Granny Knot[/caption]

Granny

  • Left over right and under
  • Left over right and under
[caption id="attachment_3102" align="alignnone" width="300"] Figure 8[/caption]

Figure 8

  • Bight the rope, with at least 6" on working end -take working end, pass it in front of standing end, then behind standing end, then through the loop
[caption id="attachment_3103" align="alignnone" width="300"] Larks Head Knot[/caption]

Larks Head

  • Bight the rope at the midpoint
  • Hang the bight over your finger
  • Pull loose ends through loop

How to use those knots in various combinations


Single Limb Bondage Wrap, Tie & Tuck

  • Wrap the rope around the limb at least three times to distribute the pressure
  • Tie a square or granny knot
  • To tuck: thread the ends in opposite directions under the wrapping turns on the limb

Tucked Larks Head

  • Drop a larks head over the limb to be bound
  • Tuck the ends as above
  • Finish with a square, granny or double figure 8

Split Larks Head

  • Drop a larks head around the limb to be bound -separate the tails and wrap them in opposite directions around the limb
  • Finish with a granny knot
  • Tuck the ends

Finishing Knots: Finishing Larks Head

  • Loop both working ends over the post
  • Bring the working ends around the standing ends -finish with square or granny knot

Draw Hitch

  • Bight the ends of your rope
  • Draw the bight behind the post
  • Bight the working end
  • Draw the second bight through the first, pull standing end to tighten
  • Bight the working end
  • Draw the third bight through the second bight and pull on the standing end to tighten

Double Limb Bondage Wrap, Turn & Tie

  • Wrap rope around both limbs, starting with the midpoint over the space between the limbs -bring the ends together between the limbs, twist them 90°
  • Run the ends in opposite directions around the wrapping turns
  • Finish with square or granny

Continuing Larks Head

  • Wrap larks head around limbs, with arch centered between limbs
  • Reverse direction of working ends and wrap them around the limbs until you have enough left for 1 more turn
  • Turn the working ends parallel to the limbs, and thread the ends through the loop made when you reversed the direction of the rope in step 2
  • Separate the ends and run them in opposite directions around the wrapping turns
  • Finish with square or granny



Sources This pamphlet has borrowed liberally from Jay Wiseman's fabulous Erotic Bondage Handbook. The pictures are taken from www.seacadets.co.uk/resources and www.troop7.org/Knots Resources 42nd Brighton (Saltdean) Scout Group, UK. Get Knotted! Animated Knots for Scouts. www.mistral.co.uk/42brghtn/knots/42ktmenu.html Last viewed 04 Jul 2003 Lorelei, Dean. Bondage University. www.bondageu.com Last viewed 04 July 2003. Midori. The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage. Emeryville, CA: Greenery Press, 2001. Miller, Philip and Molly Devon. Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns. Fairfield: Mystic Rose, 1995. Perry, Gordon. Knots: A Practical Step by Step Guide to Tying over 100 Knots. Vancouver: Whitecap, 2002. Wiseman, Jay. Jay Wisemans Erotic Bondage Handbook. Emeryville, CA: Greenery Press, 2000. Thanks to the team at Venus Envy for this valuable info! Venus Envy is an education oriented sex shop and bookstore. Our goal is to provide women and their partners a respectful (and fun!) place where they can find toys and tools to explore their gender and sexuality.

Dr. Jess

"An award-winning speaker, Jess has worked with thousands of couples from all corners of the globe to transform their relationships via her wildly successful Marriage As A Business program. From Prague and Istanbul to Albuquerque and New York City, her relationship retreats receive rave reviews from some of the most powerful couples in the world who are drawn to her enthusiastic, practical and no-nonsense approach to happily ever after. Jess's doctoral research focused on sexual health and relationship education and she is passionate about accessible, classroom-based education. When she isn't globetrotting for speaking engagements, she volunteers with students, teachers and social service organizations to empower young people to embrace healthy, happy relationships. As a global ambassador for several brands, Jess contributes regularly to the biggest names in international media. You'll find her advice weekly in the likes of Women's Health, Men's Fitness, Cosmopolitan, SELF, Showtime and The Movie Network. Her insights into couple' issues reaches millions of homes across America as the host of the hit reality series Swing, which just capped its fifth season on PlayboyTV. Canadian-born and Chinese-Jamaican and Irish by descent, Dr. Jess loves ultimate frisbee, crab, airplane turbulence, cheese and red wine. Makes perfect sense, right?"
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