Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Hump Day shows you the ropes

All you need to know for safe, erotic domination with bondage
Photo courtesy of Flickr user doug88888

As an integral part of the BDSM scene, rope bondage can be a highly erotic act. For both the partner tying and the one being tied up, restriction can create quite the sensation.

Pleasure for Both Partners

The person being tied up may enjoy the feeling of romantic helplessness that accompanies bondage. Complete trust is required to relinquish control, and the results are often rewarding. The sensation of the ropes on flesh, or even the pain of chafing, might also arouse a bound partner. Bound people may even enter an altered state of meditative consciousness. Whether the bound partner thrashes against the ropes or relaxes into them, the physicality of rope bondage can provide cathartic comfort.

The person tying their partner up may take pleasure in the feeling of dominance, the action of tying or the appearance of ropes against skin. Role playing is easily incorporated into rope bondage. And certain rope ties and bondage positions touch or rub against erogenous zones — hello, pleasure.


Risk-Aware Consensual Kink

Rope bondage is a varsity-level kinky act that requires extensive discussion of boundaries beforehand. Consent separates rough sex from violence. So it is essential to receive clear, freely given, enthusiastic and informed consent from someone before tying them up. If you would like to be tied up, introduce the idea to a trusted partner outside of sexy time. Some people unfamiliar with rope bondage may worry about hurting their partner. In order to comfort them, explain to them why it is such a pleasurable turn on.

If your partner is uncomfortable with rope bondage, suggest similar forms of restraint such as handcuffs, or work up to it (perhaps begin with a partner holding the other down). Of course, bondage is not for everyone. Plenty of people feel uncomfortable with restraint, and that is perfectly normal. If you would like to tie up your partner, suggest the idea to them outside of the bedroom so that there is no pressure to perform immediately. Discuss limits with them and conform to their boundaries. Consider factors such as limits, roles (top/bottom), ties used, risks, role play, triggers and aftercare.

Any sex act carries its risks, and rope bondage is no different. Although temporary injuries may occur (rope burn, pinching, etc.), following a few simple rules can avoid long-lasting damage and accidents:

1. Use a safe word. It should be something other than “no” or “stop” and unrelated to the scene. Using a stoplight system can be helpful (“green”=go, “yellow”=slow down, “red”=stop). If a partner is gagged somehow, designate a safe “motion” such as ringing a bell or dropping a ball.

2. Never leave a bound person alone.

3. Avoid positions or restraints that may induce postural asphyxia or block circulation. Check hands and feet for numbness.

4. Have EMT scissors nearby in case of immediate need for release.

5. Eat a meal beforehand.

6. Do not tie around the neck, on joints, in the groin or on the outside of the upper arm.

The Rope

Basic rope can be purchased at a hardware store, but some kinksters prefer higher-quality (and more expensive) materials meant for bondage. Kink stores sell polyblend rope meant for bondage, and boating stores sell nylon boating line that does not chafe as much as normal rope (although some people enjoy the chafing). Climbing stores sell nylon tubular webbing and accessory cord useful for bondage. If you really want a magical evening, magician’s rope is made of 100% cotton.

Rope is made of synthetic fibers that are smooth on the skin, last a long time and loosen easily. But you might find it harder to get knots to stick. Natural fibers look and feel rougher, are pliant and knot tightly, though this might make it more difficult to untie someone. Nylon rope — easy to find in lots of hardware stores — is comfortable but can stretch out and loosen. Twisted rope can leave interesting patterns on skin. Some (especially Japanese style enthusiasts) prefer hemp rope for its rough texture and grassy smell.

Whichever rope you choose, cut it into pieces ranging from 10 to 30 feet. Shorter lengths of rope are good for tying ankles and wrists, while longer lengths work well for harnesses. The thicker the rope, the less likely circulation problems are to occur. When tying, distribute tension over a wide area by using several wraps of rope spread evenly without overlap. You should always be able to fit two fingers between the rope and skin. Don’t have any rope lying around? Scarves make a perfectly good restraint tool, especially for two-column ties.

There are endless ways to tie someone up, but the simplest tie is meant for one column or limb. The one-column tie can be used to tie a partner to something (or someone).

1. Use about an arm’s length of rope folded end-to-end and drape it over the column to be tied.

2. Wrap the running end of the rope (the one with the bight, or fold) around the limb several times (three to six).

3. Cross the running end over the wraps.

4. Pull the running end underneath all the wraps (between the rope and the limb). Then tie the running and standing ends (the one without the bight) together. There are several methods, but the simplest is to create a loop in the long end of the rope (the standing end) by twisting in toward the wraps.

5. Pull the bight through and tighten. Pull the tie to check; bondage ties should never tighten when pulled down.

Ties can be complicated, but the Internet has a wealth of instructional resources on all sorts of ties. Once the basic ties are down, you can explore plenty of intricate harnesses and knots!

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *