I’m writing this with your best interests at heart: Get a rope. I’m not a big fan of the furry handcuffs version of bondage. Forget the wrists-to-the-headboard hogwash. Okay, it was good enough for Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers. It’s a place to start, but don’t stop there.
Why bother, you ask. Bondage is just fancy-boy foreplay, right? No. The thing is, sex has become obsessively egalitarian. How was it for you, honey? Did you come? Yes, did you? How many times? Everybody wants to play “share the cookies.” That’s fine, but painting by numbers gets tiresome after a while when, after all, everybody just wants to be taken for a ride. Here’s the not-so-secret appeal of bondage: When I’m strapped down, it’s all on my partner. I mean, I’m not going anywhere and someone’s having a little fun making me go crazy.
Then it’s my turn.
So here, in seven easy steps, is one Boy Scout’s manual on fun with rope:
1. Buy it by the yard and use it all. Two or three lengths of 20-30 foot rope will be plenty. Tie her arms behind her back. Tie up your boy’s junk and make him know the pleasures of an undersized thong. Lash his forearms together, tie his ankles to that and see what you find hanging out. You think your girl’s nipples are sensitive now? Try putting rope tight across her breasts.
2. Don’t use some dirty old dog leash. You can pick up soft nylon line at Home Depot for pennies per foot. Try not to chortle as the high-school boy is cutting it for you. Parachute cord, climbing rope, and jute rope work fine, too. Experiment. The thinner the rope, the sharper it feels and the more marks it leaves on the skin. But marks, you may discover, are your favorite part.
The Japanese “masters” and their many acolytes prefer hemp rope. It feels good, smells great, and leaves deep and lasting marks. In my opinion, it gives the most bang. It’s also about a buck per foot.
3. Safety first. Don’t put rope around anyone’s neck, ever, Jeffrey. Don’t cinch down hard on nerve centers like the elbows or knees. A good rule of thumb on tightness: If you can slide your finger under the rope, he’ll be fine. If his feet or hands get cold it’s time for a break. Just use your ears; your partner will tell you if something goes awry.
4. Keep it simple, sexy. If you can tie your shoes, you know enough to wrap someone up like a gift box. There are handy online tutorials (NSFW) around if you need them, but don’t get intimidated by the fetish crowd’s fancy poses and knot-work. Learn a two-column tie and a rope cuff, and you can make any body the 3-D canvas for your twisted imagination.
5. Get around. Austin is a rope-friendly town. There’s a local SIG and occasional bondage-themed parties in the BDSM scene. There are well-attended conferences if you want to get wrapped up in it.
6. Hardcore is optional. Bondage doesn’t have to be Bettie Page tableaus or kidnapping scenes out of 24 (not that there’s anything wrong with that… ). You can use rope to tie someone up just because it looks hot. Tie two people together – that’s fun. Craft a predicament for your friend, or friends, to escape from. Tie someone down for S&M games. If you want to go art house, there’s always rope suspension and getting people airborne. I recommend you get schooled at the cons or with local gurus for the advanced mojo.
7. Curb your inner geek. Believe it or not, this can be hard to avoid for a certain type of person. Bondage is about bodies – not the rope. And as fun as it is to learn every knot under the sun, rope is just the hardware.
I like to think of rope as an extension of my arms. Lots of things you can do with your arms, you can do with rope. Hold your partner tight, or loose. Grab a wrist and don’t let go. Put those legs right where you want them. Lay the ropes just so and they’ll do magic things you usually do with your fingers. And hey, look! Your fingers are still free.