Rope Bondage: Liberating the Mind Through a Bind

With complete and utter trust, I take a deep breath and let my mind surrender as I feel the itchy bite of hemp rope tighten around my wrist. The surface of the rope engages my senses and grounds me in my body. The act of submission frees my mind from any responsibility. In a moment of complete restriction, I am left feeling completely released.

The Art of Rope Bondage

Stemming from the Japanese art of Shibari. A form of rope bondage which evolved out of hojōjutsu, a martial art involving the restraint of individuals through rope. Rope bondage is the act of restricting a person’s movement or otherwise binding them using rope and is typically practiced among the BDSM community.

Rope bondage itself is a very diverse and varied practice which (if taken to advanced levels) can involve intricate patterns, practical harnesses, and even complete suspension of the body. But, for those who want to keep it simple, rope bondage can also be as straightforward and as intimate as taking the time to do a well-executed single-column tie.

What Is Involved?

Typically rope bondage includes at least two people (sometimes in a D/S relationship) but solo and group rope play can also be incredibly rewarding.

Different ties, rope materials, and intentions can entirely transform the intention and outcome of a rope bondage session and a wise individual will take the time and effort needed to know the difference between what’s available to explore.

Shibari, for example, involves lots of intricate knots which are made to be tight and restricting but also looks aesthetically outstanding. These ties are typically done with hemp, jute, or linen rope which is conventionally seven meters long and 6-to-8mm in width. When done correctly Shibari is an art form. capable of can engulfing the user’s entire body in beautifully knotted forms that stimulate the erogenous zones. This takes time, dedication, and trust as well as extensive practice and training.

Release Through Restriction

For some the idea of being bound in rope may seem like the most terrifying thing to imagine.

For some the idea of being bound in rope may seem like the most terrifying thing to imagineClick To Tweet

Certainly, it’s not received well in Western culture—where it’s most commonly associated with being taken against one’s will or exposed to a dangerous and potentially life threatening situation. But it is perhaps in this thrill that rope begins to take on its allure.

At the core of many BDSM practices is the action of submission and the incredible relief that can come from relinquishing control.

For the dominant it is the ability to provide this to someone which is both incredibly rewarding and extremely self-empowering. For the submissive the sheer release itself can be all that is desired from a session. This can certainly include situations that, when done in the wrong way, can be considered a threat but when willingly engaged in can be seen as confronting and letting go one’s own daily apprehensions.

Rope bondage is a very literal embodiment of this element of BDSM. The rope itself constrains its user while also providing tangible permission to let go and give in to the situation at hand. When restrained or restraining someone there is nothing of concern outside of the experience of the rope. It is, at its best, utterly immersive. It is through this immersion that the notion of rope meditation, or ‘rope space’ can be found.

The Zen of Rope Bondage

Anyone who has taken up knitting, crochet, or any other rhythmic crafting practice can testify to the immense relaxation that can be found in the relaxing qualities of creating something intricate and practical. In fact, such relaxation in craft was the topic of my last Kink Craft article.

Being a dominant and binding a person with rope can be equally entrancing, as focus and routine come together in harmony and becomes even more refined through practice.

Whilst engaging in rope binding it’s certainly not uncommon to get ‘in the zone’ and find a place of deep relaxation as you go about exploring your partner’s body. This is unique to rope bondage as opposed to other forms because the process of safely creating the right ties and knots takes considerably more time than, for example, strapping on some cuffs or clamping down a padlock. Rope bondage itself also actively encourages users to take their time and to turn the experience into a highly intimate ritual.

Mindfulness and Rope

Surprisingly being tied up shares a lot of qualities with the act of meditation.

Surprisingly being tied up shares a lot of qualities with the act of meditationClick To Tweet

When meditating it’s often expected that you will take deep, slow breaths, close your eyes, listen to what’s going on around you but with no need to engage with it, and simply let the mind wander where it wishes. Attention is often intermittently given to the physical qualities of the body as a method of grounding the individual in the here and now, and getting a sense of self remains consistently important.

This is exactly what ‘rope space’—the head space many submissives enter when being bound up with rope—provides. Typically while being bound a submissive will close their eyes and not only tune in to own breath but also that of their partner’s (if another person is involved). The action itself has an audible and tactile element to it, which keeps the submissive grounded in the body, while also allowing them to retreat inwards and just see where their mind takes them.

The reassuring elements of this can perhaps be linked back to such similarities, and to the link between ‘rope space’ and mindfulness. Often used now by cognitive behavioural therapists, mindfulness involves finding peace in the otherwise chaotic environment of modern living through the act of staying aware in the present moment.

Whether this be while doing a three-minute breathing pace exercise or while being intricately bound by a loving and diligent partner is neither here nor there. What matters is the sense of freedom and security that it provides.

Written by Emmeline Peaches

An adult product reviewer. Passionate about providing the honest reviews for a wide range of products. Check out her website, or follow her on twitter.

 

Illustrated by Amy Gardner

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