A Beginners Guide to Rope Bondage

March 16, 2023 5 min read

ROPE BONDAGE from Eden's Temple Fetish Wear & BDSM Gear and Sex Toys Ireland

 

Whether you're one of the worlds greatest riggers (a person who applies functional or artistic rope bondage to another person's body) or you struggle to tie your shoe laces, one thing we can all agree on is that rope bondage is visually and aesthetically mesmerising. The sight of a rope bunny (A person who enjoys being tied up with rope) restrained and bounded with various knots and ties while suspended from a rig is (when done right) nothing short of a work of art. But where did this ancient art form originate? And where does one start when looking to enter the world of Shibari? To answer, we need to go all the way back to 1400's Japan. 

 

History

In Japanese, the word 'Shibari' simply means 'to tie' but it is also used to describe an ancient artistic Japanese form of rope bondage. Shibari originated from Hojo-jutsu, a method used to bind and torture captives of war, before evolving into a more erotic type of bondage which was named 'Kinbaku' (which translates in literary terms as ‚Äúthe beauty of tight binding‚ÄĚ). It is in the Japanese Edo period (1600s to mid 1800s) that sexual rope bondage is first noted. Seito Ito is often credited as the ‚Äėfather of Kinbaku‚Äô, being a painter who was researching hojojustu and thus created some of the earliest depictions of erotic bondage in Japanese art. The eroticisation of hojojutsu led to rope being depicted more and more frequently in shunga (traditional Japanese erotic art) and in the theatre art of kabuki.¬†

In the early 20th century, the use of rope in kabuki theatre led to the development of rope bondage being implemented in a more stylistic manner.Throughout the 1950s, kinbaku became widely popular in Japan, with the publication of the first naked bondage photographs appearing in magazines and it is from here on that we see the use of the term ‚ÄėNawashi‚Äô (rope master).

One of the main principles of this art is creating patterns that harmonise and emphasise the beauty of the human body. The beauty lies in contrast: soft skin against tough rope, safety against vulnerability, a sense of calm against the edge of risk.

 

Where is the best place to start?

Let's start with the basics. Firstly, one of the most important things to note is what parts of the body NOT to tie. These are called No Rope Zones. These parts of the body are particularly dangerous to tie and the wrong amount of pressure around any of these body parts can lead to dangerous circumstances. So if you're new to rigging, this is a great place to start. See the diagram below and get to know your No Rope Zones. 

 

Rope bondage, no rope zones. Eden's Temple, BDSM Gear & Sex Toys Ireland.

 

Once you're familiar with these zones and know how to practice in a safe manner, you'll need some rope. There are some different textures to choose from and different factors to take into consideration when choosing the right rope;

 

HEMP ROPE

Hemp rope would be considered a 'traditional' Shibari rope and is very popular amongst rope enthusiasts. It's fibres have a great grip which makes it easy to tie with and it's combination be being flexible while having a rough texture creates that juxtaposition we mentioned earlier. Hemp rope also has a unique smell. Purchase it here in 5m 10m & 20m lengths. 

 

COTTON ROPE

Cotton rope is much softer than hemp and also a lot more flexible. It has a soft texture, creates very little friction and is the perfect rope for beginners looking to create their first ties at home. Cotton rope is not recommended for suspension with the exception of higher quality cotton rope with a rated breaking strength of 400 lbs. Purchase 10m cotton rope in various colours here.

 

SILK ROPE

Similar in characteristic to cotton rope but with a more luxurious feel, silk rope is both soft and durable, perfect for anyone looking for a more lavish Shibari experience. It creates low friction and is less stretchy than cotton rope. 10m silk rope is available here in black and red.

 

YOUR FIRST TIE

The first tie that anyone should learn is called a single column tie. The single column tie is the building block for all Shibari & Kinbaku. It is a very common starting point for many ties that you will put on your partner and is a popular first step in many rope harnesses and leg ties. A step-by-step set of instructions can be found right here on the Rope Connections website.

 

YOUR SECOND TIE

Up next should be the two column tie, which is regarded as one of the most useful ties there is as it allows you to tie one limb to another (wrist to thigh, wrist to wrist etc.). It is also useful for tying people legs to chair legs, wrists to chair arms and any other creative ways you see fit. 

A step-by-step set of instructions can also be found right here on the Rope Connections website.

After that, here are some more good basic knots to get you well on your way.

Basic knots include:

  • Overhand
  • Square Knot
  • Lark's head knot

.

Resources

The internet is a treasure trove for resources on Shibari Rope Bondage and it's never been an easier time to learn the craft. We've compiled a list of websites, books and Youtube channels dedicated to this ancient art. 

 

Shibari You Can Use by Lee Harrington

shibari you can use, rope bondage paperback book

 

If you're looking for authentic Shibari without any western influence, Shibari You Can Use : Japanese Rope Bondage and Erotic Macramé is where to start. The book includes instruction on creating Shinju (chest harnesses), Gyaku Ebi (Asian-style hogtie), Ebi or Kuri (shrimp or ball ties), rope corsets, strap-on harnesses and crotch ropes, and much more. Once you've studied everything in this, check out the follow up More Shibari You Can Use: Passionate Rope Bondage and Intimate Connection.

Buy it here

 

Two Knotty Boys, Showing You The Ropes

 

two knotty boys showing you the ropes, rope bondage book

 

One of the most well known and best reviewed resources for getting started on your craft, Two Knotty Boys has something for curious newcomers and seasoned riggers alike. Featuring over 750 photos from world-renowned photographer Larry Utley, this book features step by step instructions on how to turn great knots into great bondage that is safe, sensual, attractive, and effective. It's sequel is simply called Two Knotty Boys Back on the Ropes.

Buy it here

 

Netknots

Netknots have been teaching the world to tie knots since 1993. While the site isn't aimed specifically at rope bondage, the information provided here is invaluable and their detailed diagrams on how to tie specific knots are great for those looking to learn. 

https://www.netknots.com/

 

The Duchy

A fantastic resource for all things rope bondage. Excellent tutorials and lots of other great information and resources thrown in for good measure.

https://www.theduchy.com/tutorials/

 

Youtube 

Youtube is a fantastic resource for learning Shibari. There are some really great teachers giving step by step, guided instructional videos and the best thing about YouTube is that it's a free resource! No matter what stage of your rope bondage journey you are on, there's something for you on YouTube. We've already outlined some of the basic ties you should be practicing as a beginner so try searching for them on YouTube. We've also compiled a short list of some great Shibari Teachers on there to save you some time. 

 

Haven Kink - Shibari Fundamentals Playlist

Rory's Brainworks - Shibari Tutorials

Rope by X

 

 


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