There are plenty of ways to learn the prettiest knots and the most intricate ties, but that’s not what excites me about rope. When I teach rope bondage, I spend as much time as I can focusing on the how and the why of it, because my favorite part of rope bondage is the intimacy it creates.
If you just want someone to be restrained, that’s easy to accomplish. From handcuffs to velcro straps, getting a partner fixed in position isn’t a challenge. For me, the reason to use rope is that it’s an infinitely flexible tool for exploring your fantasies and desires. And those desires can include keeping all of your clothes on. Because intimacy isn’t just about sex. It’s about a whole world of feelings, sensations, and forms of connection that make people feel secure and satisfied in their relationships.
When I ask rope bottoms what they love about being tied, one of the most common answers is that they enjoy feeling like the center of attention. They crave having their partner’s focus on them for an extended period of time. And they appreciate the almost worshipful attention to detail required when executing elaborate ties. That kind of focus and attention can be more difficult to achieve than simply having sex. And that makes rope a valuable tool for couples looking to build more intimacy.
When I’m working with couples in my sex coaching practice, I often suggest exploring rope bondage as homework for clients — even if they don’t identify as kinky. Because rope bondage provides a roadmap for where to touch the body, while providing an excuse for hands to linger. Let’s take a basic chest harness as an example: your hands pass around the other person’s torso at least four times, and if you’re adding shoulder straps you’ve got another reason to extend your reach, perhaps pressing your chest into their back as you do so.
Each pass of the rope can be made with intention. Is this a platonic partnership where you’re learning a skill together? A chance to explore sensuality through new experiences and sensations? An exercise in power exchange, where the rope is an extension of control? This is what I mean by rope being infinitely flexible. As a tool, the rope is completely inert until you put your intention into it.
And it’s not only romantic partners who can benefit from the intimacy building rope can offer. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had teaching rope was when I was invited to a women’s co-working space for their monthly skill-building event. Someone had proposed rope and while most of the members were unfamiliar with kink or bondage, they decided to go along with it. By the end of the evening this group of friends and colleagues were full of delighted laughter as they practiced tying each other up, realizing what they could achieve with only two hours of instruction. At that event, the rope provided a way for the women to bond and connect that was far more valuable than any small talk or ice breaker exercise could have been.
Playing with rope can facilitate non-sexual intimacy and deepen connection. That makes it a valuable tool in contexts ranging from couples coaching to team building. And I hear some people even like combining rope bondage with sex.