Once you have a good grasp of the main safety points and communication concepts, you’ll need a rope and a little bit of vocabulary to get ready to learn your first tie.

Your First Rope

To get started, many types of rope will do! Most tutorials on this site were made with 8m jute ropes of 6mm diameter. Different types of ropes have different characteristics, hemp, jute, nylon or cotton ropes of 7-10m length with a 5-7mm diameter are all great choices for bondage. Week 7 contains tons of activities to help you discover the best rope for you, but it can be difficult to know your preferences prior to learning a few ties. To start, 8m long cotton rope with 6mm diameter is recommended. It is cheap, easy to wash, and available in most hardware stores.

If you want to expand your shopping research, check out the Rope Shopping guide in the Resource section.

Anatomy of a Rope

Let’s look at the rope and a few words we will use to describe the different parts of a rope.

About Words and History

Rope has been around for a while, from sailing to bondage with a detour via macrame, this creates a huge legacy on the vocabulary. The more foundational concepts tend to have acquired many names, and sometimes the same word can have different meanings from one community to another. For the sake of simplicity, we try to stick to one term per concept while mentioning alternate names. Which one was chosen is often a subjective choice and is a reflection of the period of time these texts were written. Language is fluid and continues to evolve. The vocabulary section will aim to capture some of this complexity in the long run.

Rope bondage has complex origins that we have to be mindful of when practicing this craft. Some of it is rooted in violent practices, with questionable ethics, unsafe practices and absence of consent. Many of the ties and techniques popular today emerged in the Japanese culture while others come from an American background. It is important to understand where things come from to respect their origins. We’ll aim to capture some of the history of ties as we learn with a deeper dive in Week 50.

Credit: R/P: Ebi McKnotty


Or return to Getting Started for more options.

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