Rope Bondage For Beginners

Ropes. I’m not even kidding, this is seriously one of the most exciting ways to achieve incredibly intimacy with your partner. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Starting out with ropes can feel daunting. I mean, it’s rope, right?

But here’s the thing, rope is a thing of power, beauty, and elegance. It’s delicate too, in its shapes and how it binds you psychologically to your lover. You know that as a sub, you can experience an altered state of consciousness?(1) Exactly, I love being tied up in knots – it makes me heady.

You can experience that too. Let me explain how…

Bondage for beginners - all the ideas you'll ever need!

Japanese rope bondage or some might lovingly refer to it as Shibari can be a type of BDSM play. It’s where you use thin rope to connect two columns. “What the hell’s a column?” Yep, I thought you’d wonder…

A “column” refers to the part of the body you’re tying.

So each part of the body that you tie is a column: your torso, each of your wrists, arms, ankles, legs.

Please never think of the neck as a column, purely for the reason of safety and needing to stay alive during rope restraint fun!

Sexy BDSM

Of course, you don’t want your home sex room to be functional and comfortable, you also want to make it sexy.

Before we get started, I need to point out that a “bottom” is the person being tied up and the “top” is the tier!

How to do basic BDSM Knots...

OK, before I go into detail, let me explain a couple more things…

In the Sibari world, you’ll hear of a “single column tie” and of “double column ties”. A single tie is where you bind a single column of the body, so it might be an upper arm or one of the legs. Double ties are where you tie two columns together, so this might be tying the arms together or a wrist and ankle.

In terms of the gorgeous piece of equipment that helps us to go to work, the Shibari rope, you need to know:

Time to get loopy, eh?! 😉

Now, learning how to create amazing restraints starting at the beginning (the basic knots) sets you up for years of intimacy. How? Well, immediately you get a wide variety of options to explore. There are a huge number of fun ways to tie up your guy or gal with just two or three knots.

Pretty much any piece of furniture in your house can become eroticised. That’s my kind of sex equipment!

It’s useful to watch videos on how knots are formed. I’ll share some good ones with you as we go along.

The Single-Column Tie

So, this is like the mother of all ties. The basic knot you need to know. From here you can develop your rope play and head towards the advanced bondage knots. We’ll start with the Burlington Bowline technique…

  • Find the bight in the rope. Ensure you keep about 5″ of rope free below the bight.
 
  • Wrap the rope twice around the column (i.e. lower arm) leaving enough space to slip two fingers between the rope and skin.
 
  • Cross the bight over the working ends
 
  • Tuck the bight underneath the ropes and pull the bight through (don’t push, it can disfigure the rope twist).
 
  • Make a loop with the working ends and pull the bight through the loop to create a knot.
 
  • Use the working ends to make another loop and pull the bight through again.

Hey, presto! This is your basic single-column tie. At this point, there should still be a gap between the skin and rope large enough to slip a finger or two through. This gap is essential in keeping Shibari adventure safe.

It also keeps the tension comfortable for the bottom. Watch how to make a single-column tie here.

Double-column ties

So, if you wanted to restrain both ankles together, you’d need a double column tie. This is because you’re restraining two columns of the body (for example, the ankles) together. Here’s how you do it:

  • Find the bight in the rope.
 
  • Wrap the rope around two columns (i.e. both of your wrists) twice making sure you’ve left quite a bit of rope to play with beneath the bight.
 
  • Cross the bight over the working ends, both sets of rope, and between both wrists.
 
  • Pull the bight out under both wrists so that it is now back to the front of the wrists.
  •  

Watch a video demo by the Twisted Monk!

How to Tie the Handcuff Knot...

Darlings, I had to give you a litte treat to start your knot lessons off with.

The handcuff knot is simple and beautiful.

With a bit of practice you’ll soon be able to do it quickly and have your bottom’s arms stretched above their head and tied to a bar, headboard, a D-ring… (you’ve got it, the choices are endless)!

This is what you do:

How to Tie the Handcuff Knot...
  • Create two loops in the center of the rope (cross them both behind from the right hand so they face the same direction).
 
  • You now have two opposing loops in front of you.
 
  • Move the loops towards each other so that they cross in the middle.
 
  • Pull these middle parts of the loops out to the side so that they form a knot in the middle.
 
  • This creates two adjustable loops to thread wrists or feet through.
  •  

See a video demonstration here.

Best Ropes to Use to Knot-Up like a pro!

Overload alert! There are so many ropes on the market it can drive you crazy trying to figure out which to buy.

Basically, you want to buy the best rope for bdsm from a brand you can trust and who are reputable.

The big brands like Liberator and Lovehoney are particularly good as they ensure their products pass safety regulations.

My lover and I have been having fun with ropes for ages.

I thought a little about which ones are easy to knot and feel good on your skin.

The top two ropes here are also excellent if you’re new to restraints and Shibari in particular.

Rope Bondage Positions for Beginners

Wanna know what’s better in bed than doggy? Having each wrist and ankle tied up by a partner so that each knot forces you into doggy.

At this point, you’re at your lover’s disposal. It’s the sexiest thing ever!

How do you want to be tied?

Liberate yourselves, my lovelies! This is a time where you can feel free to practice your ultimate desires.

Yes, it takes a little patience, learning, and of course trust in your partner, but a bit of rope play introduces a totally new dynamic to your relationship. And guess what?

It’s beautiful.

This is a time to decorate your lover’s body. Find the knots and shapes that accentuate their lines and curves.

It’s important the bottom has a say in this too. Communicate. Check out Instagram for gorgeous Shibari images and ideas.

Rope For Bondage On Budget

Remember: if you’re restraining the wrists, make sure the rope isn’t right next to the hand. This can put too much pressure on the wrist and cause nerve damage

Top tips For Bondage Beginners

Wooooah, hold your horses! Time for some patience. Don’t rush in trying to recreate a binding you see online. As well as learning basic knots before you start, read up a little on anatomy and circulation too.

You want your rope tying skills to reach a place where you’re quick and the knots effective. You want your partner’s body looking erotic, right? What you need is the following:

  • Knot and bind with a partner you know and trust.
 
  • Master single column ties and double column ties on each column of the body.
 
  • (Do this over and over, until you can do it with your eyes closed, so to speak!)
 
  • Remember, at times it might feel a little physically uncomfortable as you get used to the feeling of being tied up in rope. You might have to get used to some new positions and remaining in them for some time (yoga is a great help for this practice btw). After a little while you’ll start to build muscle memory. It gets easier. Also some of the tying ropes are quite rough and firm. You’ll get used to that too.
 
  • Safety! Safety! Safety! You need a safe word and also want a pair of safety shears to hand, just in case anything goes wrong.
  •  

Remember, rope bondage should never be painful! If you’d like to learn from a person, there are workshops in cities and online which guide you through the building blocks of all things Shibari.

Extra ideas to make your rope play more intense

Oh you kinky minx, as if all this rope talk wasn’t enough! OK, so you want to make things even more delicious? Introduce some sensory play.

Blindfolding enhances all the feelings.

When you blindfold your lover you might also feel more confident in exploring without their eyes to watch you with!

Another tip is to become a master of teasing. Get your lover hot, wet, and begging.

Edging is also incredible during rope play and gives you more intense orgasms.

Finally, you can switch positions. Have the bottom become the top to change the dynamics!

Best Rated Bondage

Final thoughts...

Bondage for beginners should be approached with an open mind. As with anything in your erotic life, you want to explore this type of pleasure with honesty and open communication. Your relationship and intimacy totally improves.

And your sex-life? SKY ROCKETS!

It’s well worth exploring, so find the rope you fancy and get practicing!

Rope Bondage FAQs

What if your partner is a bondage pro but you're a newbie?

You don’t want to nose dive in if you’re brand new to Shibari. Remember, always; baby steps! Keep in mind that you have a safe word. The most commonly used safewords according to Lovehoney tend to be a color or fruit, such as red, or pineapple.(2) Choose a word you wouldn’t normally say in an erotic setting.

It’s really important you open up the conversation about all things bondage.

For beginners this means asking the experienced one what they’ve done before. Ask them what they want to try and tell them what you’d like to experience.

Check out our BDSM checklist and negotiate things you’re up for trying.

What are the hottest sex toys for bondage newbies?

Well, the list goes on. Let’s be honest! You’ll definitely want the best bondage set to suit your tastes. Here are some more saucy treats:

  • The ElectroShock E-Stim Pinwheel. Yep, you’ve got it. This pinwheel has electrical currents which means more stimulation over your nips!
 
  • The Black Label Hipster Wedge is amazing for comfortable doggy positioning while knots keep you firmly in place.
 
  • Bondage Boutique’s Seduce Me Lover bondage kit is the cutest all rounder for newbies.
 
  • The Pipedream Fetish Fantasy Breathable Ball Gag is the HOTTEST. It makes you dribble like a b*tch!
 
  • Lovehoney’s Swell Yeah Auto-Suction Nipple Pumps. Amazing if you want heightened sensitivity.
 
  • To be honest, any of the bondage gear over at Liberator will cover all the things you need for a saucy Shibari sesh. (Tip: check out the Dragontailz flogger and our article on best handcuff recommendations!)
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By the way, there are other options to rope…. You ever thought about trying the best bondage love swing?

Why bondage rope is used during BDSM...

Rope is used in the kink world because it offers the ultimate tool for power play while emphasizing the erotic. It’s a form of restraint that enhances the intimacy between two people in a relationship. It’s also often viewed as an art form.

What rope is my ultimate fave?

Ahhhh, well now you’re asking. It fluctuates really. Sometimes I’m really sensitive and prefer softer ropes, but as a general rule I actually prefer a firm rope. My personal favorite is the DeGiotto Rope. I love that it’s a natural fiber and the color of it against my skin.