Learning Rope Bondage
Each person’s journey with bondage is unique. My story started on a Japanese website where I was captivated by the images of bound women in hotel rooms. I wanted to experience the beautiful helplessness in the pictures, but I was also intrigued by the construction of the rope patterns.
It took me a while to get started. Eventually, I learned that with just a few knots and techniques, I could do a lot. When you break it down into individual building blocks, rope bondage can be quite simple:
- A single column tie as a starting point
- Frictions and hitches to tie with the middle of the rope
- A lark’s head to extend rope and keep on tying
A more profound realization was that rope really wasn’t about the object itself, and more like a tool to connect our bodies, our desires, and our emotions. From there, each session can have its own meaning.
During the following years, I explored a large spectrum of ways to interact with rope: from physically challenging self-bondage, to sensual partnership with some detours in exploring my own creativity with different aesthetics. I have come to learn more about what I like and uncovered my own style by trying a lot of new things.
In 2013, a dare from a partner transformed into a challenge to tie every day for 365 days. It was a transformative experience. Constantly practicing and exploring completely changed my relationship with rope. I was also very privileged to travel a lot that year, learning from people who completely changed the way I tie.
I realized that most of my important learnings were a deeper understanding of the body, how it’s made, how it moves, how we can keep it safe, physically, mentally and emotionally. And that this was just as important for tying or being tied.
Three keys helped me grow my rope practice. Learning from the best sources, practicing regularly, and exploring to discover my own style and preferences. A way for rope, and many other things in life.
For most people, the best way to learn is in person with great teachers. Going to activities in your local community will help you find knowledgeable people to learn from. Rope bondage conferences are also good places to learn from a variety of sources, and be inspired by the diversity of the attendees. Participating in an intensive or private classes with a teacher who matches your preferred style will take you even further.
Books, videos, and the internet are great to get new ideas and remembering patterns. There are many little details that can’t be taught in the written form, but it is good to have different tools. Rope bondage is a lot like yoga or martial arts on that matter: the most important aspects can be felt rather than seen, yet there is a lot of great technical knowledge that can be shared through those mediums.
Sometimes, we attend a class or read a book to learn something specific, but the magic really happens when we learn something unexpected. Always keep an open mind!
The goal of Rope365 is to be a compendium of techniques and resources; to be a companion in your learning journey.
Once you have learned something well, practicing will help you master the details. Muscle memory will allow you to tie without thinking, to process the feelings of rope in the body, allowing you to focus on intentions more than technique. Practice can be achieved with different mindsets. Working in lab mode, doing a session with a focus on a new technique you want to improve, practicing by yourself, on a dummy, or even visualizing a rope before going to sleep.
A common pitfall is practicing inefficient or dangerous techniques, which will create bad habits that are hard to break. This is why learning from a good source is essential before going into practice mode.
The goal of Rope365 is to help you find the motivation to practice regularly by approaching the rope from different angles so it feels fresh every time.
Once you have absorbed some good knowledge, it is wise to take time to think and explore. Try new and unusual stuff, discover what your styles and preferences are. What is your biggest realization from your recent practice? What did you and your partner learn from the last session? What do you enjoy the most? What do you want to learn next?
Before exploring the deeper unknown, take some time to learn and practice. This will open your mind to be more conscious of new discoveries, and help make your rope practices safer.
The goal of Rope365 is to give you a variety of starting points for exploration and ideas to step out of your comfort zone.
The most fascinating thing with rope is certainly how such a simple object can be used to develop an infinite variety of creations. People from around the world keep on innovating and expanding the craft. When looking at someone’s work, I love to dig into a better understanding of their intentions. What was their goal? Who are their inspirations? Why are they doing things a certain way?
The internet has completely changed the landscape of rope. From difficult to find books and communities, we now have video channels, social media and countless accessible resources. This abundance also comes with some pitfalls, seeing pictures without seeing their process may lead to unrealistic expectations of what rope can be or should be. Society’s biases filter through rope representation, but rope is an adaptable medium that can be for people of any age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, weight, etc. If one has the desire to be tied, there is always a way to create rope that can work out for them. This is a team effort that requires communication, patience and vulnerability.
Even if rope can be anything, it is still important to remember that its use for restraint comes from a dark and violent past. That bondage as a craft has a deep sexual foundation and consent wasn’t always a common practice during its infancy. Rope doesn’t have to be violent nor sexual, yet its history remain present and influences what we do.
Finding your Voice
Rope is quite versatile. It can be used for restraint, visual art, sensation play, etc. It also gives the ability to create feelings and emotions. A bound person becoming like a string instrument.
As you try different things, you will learn about your own desire and intentions and should build your practice around what you enjoy. It can be a form of self expression for both the person tied and the person tying. The surprises are the best part of the journey, and it takes some vulnerability to open ourselves to it.
With a good understanding of the body, communication, safety, some patience and just a few rope tricks, your rope journey can be fun and infinitely creative. Take your time, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
How to Use Rope365
Rope365 is here to be your companion, so you can easily find ideas to learn, practice, and explore. Each week is dedicated to a subject with seven activities to help provide a deeper understanding of the topic.
The goal is not to follow a step-by-step guide for everything, but rather to understand the building blocks in order to be able to create your own version of different concepts. There is always more than one way to do anything with different pros and cons.
If you are just starting your rope journey, you can follow the exercises in order to ensure you learn the different parts before assembling them. Some exploration ideas may feel difficult and it’s perfectly fine to come back to it later.
If you’re a seasoned bondage lover, you can skim through to find the topics you wish to explore. The search feature on the site is great to find references on specific topics. Activities dedicated to building blocks will help you polish the basics, which generally results in improving your overall skills.
The day and week structure are there to help you create your own program and challenge yourself. Regular practice is the best, but binges are also great! Each journey is unique; skip an activity if you are not comfortable or interested in the topic. You may also want to note your favourite activities to try them again or challenge your friends.
The ideas found in Rope365 are coming from years of research, looking at what ideas are recurring from one rope community to another. Whenever we could attribute an idea or an innovation to a specific person, we credit them and we invite you to look at their work. Do let us know if we are missing anyone. It is important to know where ideas come from if we want to get deeper into each of them. We tried adding as many references as possible on rope365.com so you can get inspired by the great diversity of the rope world. Don’t hesitate to share your own in the comment section of each page!
The 52 weeks are divided into four seasons. The first two weeks of activities contain the majority of building blocks that you will need in order to explore the rest. From there, you can pick the chapter that fits your mood!
Spring aims to explore all the essential building blocks and the most classic ties to build a solid foundation. The different activities will guide you toward building good technique, collaborating with your partner, and (re)discover why some classics are loved by so many.
Summer is all about a variety of ties and body positions. Discover the many ways the body can be restrained to keep challenging the body in new ways..
Fall is where we look at expanding the toolbox with more techniques, challenging yourself to improve your skills, and thinking more creatively about tying.
Winter is the season to explore and try more complex topics with a higher risk profiles as we explore further with sex and pain. We also dive into history, aesthetic and expand into adding more objects and people into the mix.
The four seasons explore bondage on the floor only. Lifting the body with rope includes risks that are not covered here. That said, the knowledge and techniques explored in the 365 days are part of a solid foundation that will be useful when learning suspension. The different activities can also be adapted to be included in the suspension practice of those with more experience and training.
Or skip directly to Spring to get hands-on with tying.
Or return to Getting Started for more options.
Credit: M: Miss Soffia R: Ebi McKnotty P: AmberDoll