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Dear Heather: A Knotty Problem

February 5, 2014 by Heather Cole

Hi Heather,

I just recently stumbled across y’all site and really appreciate the humor and candor y’all bring to the conversation about sex. To give you a bit of background I am a 20 year old virgin who’s never been in a serious relationship and has been increasingly curious about both sex in general (of the vanilla variety) and, in particular, rope bondage. I found pictures of women tied up or suspended online and found it to be, well, beautiful. Could you tell me more about rope bondage in general? Is there a safe way for me to explore being tied up by someone? How can I find someone trustworthy enough to know they wont leave me hanging (both literally and figuratively)?

Thanks so much,

Fit To Be Tied

Dear Fit:

Rope bondage is a fetish near and dear to my heart. In fact, those of us who get creamy (or hard, depending on your equipment) at the prospect of being tied are called “rope bunnies.” I started like you. I fell in love with rope fetish photography, black and white in particular, and from the first image that loaded on my Tumblr, I knew that I wanted to be that girl.

I’m lucky to have a sir who loves to tie me up and a good friend who is a nationally recognized rigger (the men and women who specialize in rope bondage). My first rope scene was one of the most powerful I’ve ever experienced, and there was no sex at all. However, most of my rope scenes have been with the shibari style of rope bondage. Natural fibers are my fave, but people can use (and do use) a variety of materials to tie.

I’ve been suspended once in a rope class that I attended with sir, and I had mixed feelings about it. You can read about it here. Rope suspension is a different ballgame. There’s a giant laundry list of safety concerns, but the results can be amazing. Also keep in mind that sometimes what’s represented in photos isn’t how it works in real life. Supporting ropes can be photoshopped out, and sometimes models aren’t in the air longer than the time it takes to snap the photo.

Rope, in my humble opinion, is about energy. It’s the physical representation of sexual energy between you and partner, and it can enhance a scene like nothing else. I find joy in the process of being bound, my limbs rendered useless or as leverage to pin me into position. The feel of the rope sliding across my skin, the smell of the fibers and the heat from his hands moving me where he wants… It’s a form of intimacy, and between my sir and me, it’s about love and desire and domination.

Even with the best of intentions, rope can also be unwieldy, unruly and a pain in the ass for everyone including experienced riggers. Like anything else in BDSM, it’s good to take your time to gain experience because although we love the thrill and the rush, we want to do it safely. No pinched nerves or cut off circulation, please.

Finding a person to tie you up won’t be hard. If you check out a fetish website like Fetlife, you’ll find ALL sorts of people who are into rope, and a bunch of them would love to get their hands on you. But you want to find someone you can trust who will make your safety a priority, someone who will respect your boundaries and limits. Rope doesn’t have to include sex, but if it does you want to make doubly sure that you’re playing with someone that you respect and trust. So how do you find this person?

The first step is for you to know something about rope bondage. Education is the key to empowerment and making your rope fantasies come true, and you need to make make good, informed choices to do so. I’m not saying that you need a Master’s Degree, but you should attend some basic rope classes. You won’t need a partner to attend, but it’s great moral support if you can find a friend to go with you. If you search Fetlife for groups in your area, you’ll be sure to find one in your city or the closest one to your location. Another good resource would be to find your local munch. Make friends with leaders in your local kink community, and they can point you in the direction of knowledgeable rope people. Once you know a little more about rope then you’ll know better what you’re looking for in a rope partner. Classes will also give you the chance to get tied up in a public place with an experienced teacher watching over you. DON’T believe someone’s line about having a “private dungeon” where they insist on tying you alone.

The bottom line is that the more you know about rope and your own desires, the more you’ll be able to ascertain what it is that you want for your own personal rope experience. Keep in mind that all of us are on a journey, and your thoughts and ideas about rope will change as you gain experience. Be kind to yourself as you discover your path, and be smart. Don’t go with the first person who tosses a hank of rope in your direction.

Hugs in hemp,

Heather

P.S. Here’s a pic of me in a shibari tie for my next book cover.

Edwardian2 (1)


4 Comments »

  1. Dale Ealey says:

    Beautiful cover picture Heather, really!

    And thank you for the links! I would like to try some simple stuff with the Mrs, and she said she’d be up for it. I’ve seen most of the natural fiber ropes mentioned, but do you know where one might find LINEN rope? Don’t think I’ve ever seen it, and it would seem to me to be softer than the other types.
    Thanks again for the post! Always informative.

    • Heather Cole says:

      Dale, I don’t know about linen, but sir has a lot of cotton that is soft. And there are a ton of different synthetics that would feel soft. We use local vendors, but I know that there are websites that sell rope for bondage. I’ll send you some info. :-) And thank you for the photo compliment. <3

  2. Kayla Lords says:

    I’ve become more interested in bondage because of my Daddy, but I find it to be VERY sensual…I know the rope can only be so tight, but I love that squeezy feeling. /shivers Is it hot in here??

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