The practice of rope bondage has changed drastically over time. Different inspirations, different styles, and different approaches have set the table for the wide variety in today’s creativity. Rope has a rich history that we can dig into and learn from. Knowing where we come from allows for a deeper understanding of the craft.

The past is not all romance. Violence, unsafe practices, and lack of consent are just some of the darker aspects of bondage history. We can learn from both the greatest innovations and the mistakes from the past. Because of bondage’s unconventional nature, a lot of the historical knowledge is not secured, and there are more and more people trying to assemble information and recording from our history to preserve what we have. It’s an interesting subject to revisit over and over as new information keeps popping up.

The goal of this week is to get a better understanding of rope bondage history and to discover new sources of inspiration in the rope from the past.

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Day 274: Farmers and Sailors – Rope was first invented for its practical uses. Many of our ancestors were using it in their daily life and came up with a variety of techniques. Look into different common usage of rope and explore to find ideas that can be integrated into your rope play. Make a lasso out of a rope, try different methods used to set up a sail or anchor a boat or a goat, etc.

Inspirations and Resources

Day 275: Military and Police – The potential for restriction and torture of rope was used by the forces of order and the criminals alike. Look at the different techniques used to capture and torture. Take the time to reflect on the ethic of tying and its violent history. For example, the use of rope in the slave trade or the torture of Edo to interrogate prisoners used by the Japan military. We’ll dive deeper into some aspects of Japanese martial art used by the military in Prisoner Ties.

Day 276: Theater and Art – The fantasy of being tied up has inspired many stories. The representation in movies, theatres and other forms of art has transformed the method of tying people as the goals are different. It becomes acceptable for the tie to be escapable, it doesn’t need to cause pain. The aesthetic, safety and emotions created by the tie are much more important. Look at the usage of rope restrictions in different arts (movie, theatre, books, etc) and try some of the ties you will find. How were they modified from their original inspiration? What do you like the most about these ties?

Inspirations and Resources

Day 277: Pioneers – At what point of history did rope restraint become an erotic art? Let’s look at the people from the past who started tying others for pleasure and inspired others in their craft.

Let’s look into Itoh Seiu (1882-1961), John Willie (1902-1962), and Charles-François Jeandel (1859-1942) who were among the first in their respective culture to create painting, drawing and photography of erotic bondage. Look into their work, how their culture influenced what they created, what inspired them.

From there you can look into others who brought something unique to the craft that you find inspiring.

Pick an image and try to recreate the tie or some aspect of it. What was the context of the picture (ex: photoshoot, play, performance)? Where does the tie start? How do you need to adapt it to the person tied up? Do you need to make safety adjustments to fit your risk profile?

Day 278: Modern Creators – Who are the people active today that inspire you with this work? Social media makes it much easier to learn about new artists and look at the evolution of their styles.

Pick an artist you like and analyze one of their ties. What do you like about this tie? What was the intent behind it? What are the building blocks used to create it? Who inspired this artist in their creation. Can you try to make your own version of this tie?

Day 279: Genealogy – Pick a tie or a pattern, climb the genealogical tree. Who did you learn it from, who did they learn it from, and how did it change over time? What was the original inspiration? Was there a particular meaning to the tie?

Day 280: Transformation – We all add a little bit of ourselves in the ties we create. We have different goals and preferences, our body prefers different sensations and poses. Pick a tie you like and add your own twist to it. Will you make it more restrictive, or more sustainable? Will you preserve the aesthetic or change it completely? What element of your own culture can you add to your practice to transform your ties?

One of the most important changes we can notice in the story of a tie is how it evolved to become safer. With each new injury comes learnings that influence how we tie. Pick a tie you like, analyze the possible injury and create a variation of your own to make it safer? Take the time to reflect on your own risk profile and how it changed with time.


Inspirations and Resources

Or return to Winter for more options.

Credit: Books P: Ebi McKnotty