rope bondage


The other night T. was playing with rope and decided to make a rope corset on me. We were at a friend’s house, so I didn’t have my good camera, but we took pictures with my cell phone (hence, the quality is less than good). Still, I thought it looked so nifty that I wanted to share.

Front:

Rope corset -- front

And back:

Rope corset -- back

They’re honestly very easy to do, and they look so damn cool. And you can do just the around-the-torso version; you don’t have to do the chest/shoulder harness part, like on mine. The harness part is more complex, and is actually a totally different tie. The corset part is seriously just a back-and-forth thing, with larksheads over and over. Google “rope corset” or “rope gauntlets” (a rope corset is the same pattern as a rope gauntlet, but on the torso instead of the arm).

Also fun at parties!

One thing to note, though, is that if the person wearing the corset needs out right away (claustrophobia, panic attack, gastrointestinal ick), the corset does NOT come off quickly. So if you know ahead of time that you might need to get out quickly (and obviously you can’t always know), then maybe skip the rope corset.

And if your rope bottom needs out quickly, just cut the damn rope. You can always get more.

And ALWAYS have safety shears close at hand (ideally, in a pocket) when you’re tying someone up.

T. and I went to a local BDSM group’s party for New Year’s Eve. It was a small group, but still ended up being a lot of fun. (Which is, I should say, uncommon for me; it’s been my track record that New Year’s Eve ends up sucking, or at least being disappointing. With all the hype, how could it *not* be at least a little disappointing? In the past 5 years, 2 of those New Year’s Eves I’ve just stayed home and been asleep before midnight, and I was perfectly happy. But this year’s was low-key kinky fun, with some sparkling wine and Dick Clark at midnight.)

For a change, I was the bottom this time, and T. busted out his Christmas gift from me (one of them) — Twisted Monk’s “White Linen” hemp rope (made from hemp, looks and feels linen-ish) — and, after I asked nicely, performed some face/head bondage (that picture is NOT of me; it’s just an illustration for anyone unfamiliar with face bondage).

The White Linen hemp is REALLY nice rope, folks. It’s soft like well-washed cotton line or magician’s rope (which is cotton), so it feels SO nice on skin, and doesn’t have any roughness. (Actually, I kind of like hemp’s small amount of roughness on my wrists, arms, legs, ankles, etc., but not on my face. I have sensitive skin, and I didn’t want to explain an intricate pattern of rope burn/rash on my face to my co-workers on January 2!)

It has virtually zero “burn” when it’s dragged at high speed across bare skin, which, again, is stellar for face bondage. And, because it actually IS hemp, it holds knots like all other hemp rope does (i.e., very well). It’s good stuff.

(No, I am in no way affiliated with Twisted Monk; I’m just a satisfied and rope-intoxicated customer.)

If you’ve never been the recipient of face/head bondage, I highly recommend it. It’s very intimate, as you might suspect, which leads to some amazing energy between the top and bottom; at least, it did with T. and me. I haven’t yet tried to perform face bondage, so I don’t know what it’s like from the top’s POV, but I can tell you how it *seemed* to affect T.

He was practically buzzing with power, if that makes any sense. It was clear that T. was fully aware of just how powerful putting rope on someone’s head can be. And as the bottom, let me be clear: it’s VERY powerful. It’s intimate and hypnotic, and the feel of the rope is soft and soothing, yet I was really aware of the fact that, yeah, my HEAD was restrained, and T. had the rope in his hands.

Enjoying the feel of the ropes, and the amazing intimacy and vulnerability and awareness of how powerful T. felt all combined to make the experience one huge rush for me. I’ve heard the term “ropespace” used before, and I think I finally get it now.

Happy New Year, indeed.

T. and I are still in the process of getting his house ready to move me in, which must happen at the end of the month, as my apartment lease will be up. I haven’t packed anything yet, but hey — it’s only the 20th.

Still, all the home renovations and such have taken up pretty much all of the spare energy we have these days (or at least *mine*; if T. has energy to spare, he’s expending it when I’m not around, apparently).

However, yesterday was T.’s birthday, and we managed to celebrate in a suitable manner. I pulled out my rope (and Lee Harrington’s book Shibari You Can Use [yes, I used a how-to book while tying up my boyfriend; how else am I supposed to do it? I don’t have a practice dummy to tie up, which would be boring anyway]), and tied a chest harness on him (also referred to as a shinju).

Once I had him nice and secure, I put clamps on his nipples and enacted various torments on him. And, because it was his birthday, I gave him his birthday spanking, as is right and proper.

Well, okay, here’s the truth about that “spanking” thing: I am a really, really crappy spanker. The bare-hand, smack-your-ass type spanking, I mean. I told T. that it was because his ass is so small (which it IS, good god!), but mostly I just think I’m impaired at bare-handed spanking. So I alternated between a bamboo back-scratcher, a riding crop, a leather flogger, and once even the Shibari You Can Use book, which was effective simply for being so unexpected.

Really, I think a good old-fashioned birthday flogging is best.

And then when that was done, I sat him down on my bed while I laid down on the floor, and let him watch me get myself off. All of which was going swimmingly — I even threw in a little taunting about how he couldn’t help because he was all tied up, etc. (and normally I don’t have the presence of mind to quip when an orgasm is in the vicinity) — until I was about 5 seconds from having an orgasm.

All of a sudden, a seriously HUGE whammy of a headache came out of nowhere, and I grabbed my head and gasped. And that, of course, looked like an orgasm, so T. didn’t react with alarm, which in retrospect is good, because he was tied up anyway, and I wouldn’t have wanted him to panic or experience non-consensual distress on his birthday.

Once I stopped gasping, I said, “Gah….headache….horrible….orgasm headache!” And T. made sympathetic noises while I drank some water. Then I untied him and got horizontal on my bed, hoping that my brain wasn’t about to explode and trickle out my ears.

While I recuperated, I had the hot hot oh god fucking HOT thrill of watching T. get himself off (and it wasn’t even *my* birthday!).

Thanks to the wonders of Google, it seems my orgasm-related headache (which has happened before, but not recently) is, in fact, in the category of sexual benign headaches, specifically “orgasmic headache” or “orgasmic cephalalgia”:

“In some instances, the headache is a response to an increase in blood pressure, in which the blood vessels dilate. The headache is not usually related to the amount of physical exertion involved in intercourse. The pain may be located around or behind the eyes. It usually lasts a few minutes, but can last for hours. The headache is usually made worse by movement. The headache most often is a ‘benign’ orgasmic headache; however, the possibility of organic disease should be thoroughly investigated.

“A headache occurring with orgasm could be a symptom of a brain hemorrhage (bleeding around or inside the brain), stroke or tumor. An accompanying stiffness in the neck may be an indication of bleeding into the spinal fluid. The benign orgasmic headache occurs more frequently in men than women and usually strikes migraine sufferers.

“Benign orgasmic headache is often effectively treated with migraine medications such as blood-vessel constricting agents, taken before intercourse.”

I seriously doubt it’s a brain hemorrhage, stroke, or tumor (though stroke DID cross my mind while it was happening). I tend to get migraines, which — according to this description — makes me more likely to have a “sexual benign headache.”

I don’t recommend it.

I haven’t been posting lately because (1) much of my free time is taken up with T., but not in a kinky way — I’m moving in with him at the end of the month [I have an apartment, he has a house and dogs; hence, I’m moving there rather than vice versa], and because he’s lived alone for a handful of years, the house needs to be made Teppycat-friendly, which entails ripping out the [extremely old, extremely manky] carpet and then cleaning/restoring the hardwood floors, along with other pre-moving-in tasks; and (2) I’m prone to wrist tendinitis, and in the past few weeks it’s flared up pretty badly, so I’ve been minimzing computer time as much as possible.

Hey, that was all one sentence. That’s….scary.

The wrist tendinitis ALSO means that there isn’t a whole lot I can do in the way of kinky activity; at least, not the kind of activity that T. and I prefer. When he submits, he loves lots of physical restraint, preferably rope. Lots and lots of rope.

And my wrists will not allow me to tie knots right now; not for bondage, at least. Even tying my shoelaces is a little difficult.

My tendinitis also won’t let me flog/beat/cane/etc. T., which is something else he loves. He’s not exactly a pain slut, but he loves being in situations that force him to struggle (hence the combination of pain while being securely restrained; he has something to struggle against, which is just about his favorite thing). So I’m not much of a top these days.

To be fair, there’s lots of topping/domination I could do that doesn’t involve restraints or impact play at all. I know that. However, that isn’t where T.’s interests lie, so we haven’t gone that way just yet. Plus, I’m so freaking *tired* after working on the house (particularly the damned floors, which really will look amazing when we’re done, but ye gods, they’re a lot of work), I don’t have the energy to be toppy.

I could be bottom-y — T. pointed out that ponyplay would be kind to my wrists, because we can (and often do) just leave my hands/wrists unbound when I pony up. Actually, I have wrist splints that I wear when I sleep, to keep my wrists in a neutral position, and they’re very solid and nonflexible; T. said that I could wear *those* as a pony, and they’d work quite well as makeshift hooves.

Which I’m more than willing to do, but, like I said above, all our energy is going into the house — and getting me moved into it — for the time being. After the end of the month, we should be back to baseline levels of kink. (We damned well SHOULD be!)

I’ve been AWOL for a month — not on purpose, but just because of summer torpor. I’ve actually done stuff recently that I intended to post about, but, again, laziness overtook me. So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been doing and thinking about recently:

New Ropecast is up. If you’re not listening to Graydancer‘s podcast, Ropecast, I have to ask: why the hell not? I listened to the first half of the newest podcast on my way to work this morning (my commute isn’t long enough to listen to it all in one shot). He talks about floor work, as opposed to suspension, and how there can be a bias towards suspension being The Shit when it comes to ropework. (Er, that’s my paraphrasing, NOT a quote. Graydancer is way more articulate than I am.)

I like that he discussed that topic, because my experience has been similar — people will ooh and ahh over a suspension but then totally ignore beautiful ropework with incredible energy, just because it’s floor work and not suspension. That’s crazy. I’ve seen Master David and shevah, for instance, do “simple” head bondage that just took my breath away with its energy and gorgeous ropework. (I say “simple” because a lot of people would view head bondage as simple when compared with suspension.)

In fact, I think it’s Master David who I heard say, “If you can’t fly on the floor, you’ll never fly in the air.” Too right.

Bob Deegan and the singletail. T. and I were at a recent leather event, where Bob Deegan was one of the presenters. I’d never seen him before, though I’d heard a lot about him. Let me tell you, watching Bob Deegan use the singletail is like watching a gorgeous combination of fencing, tai chi, and dancing. And it left me really REALLY wanting to get a singletail. Although there was a vendor at the event, I decided to be fiscally self-sacrificing and not buy a singletail right now. But it’s now on my list of Toys To Buy And Learn.

Finally, When a scene goes wrong. (If there were audio embedded in this post, you’d hear me sighing heavily here.) There are a lot of ways that a scene can go wrong. (1) You can have equipment failure, such as ropes breaking or cuffs tightening too much (or larger equpiment failure, like a suspension winch getting stuck while the sub is suspended). (2) You can have an atmospheric failure — not the sudden loss of all air in the room, but, you know, when people who are watching your scene decide to start talking LOUDLY to each other, or, worse yet, TO YOU. (3) And then you have the type of failure that results from just not being in the right headspace/frame of mind/mood to pull off the scene. It’s not really a “failure” in the sense that ropes breaking is clearly an equipment failure, but since I can’t think of the best terminology for it, I’m calling it a “headspace failure.”

That happened to me Saturday night. Big time. I was bottoming to T. at a party, and almost *everything* affected me negatively. I didn’t like the music (which was a mix CD that *I* had made, so I *should* have liked it), I could smell the paint on the cross (which had apparently been recently re-painted), the ropes were not staying where they needed to stay, I was too warm, and I was almost painfully aware of the people who were watching. Every piece of equipment we tried was just uncomfortable to me, and it was clear that I could not get into any kind of bottom-y headspace.

I ended up calling red when T. flogged (or maybe spanked; I can’t remember) me a little too hard. It wasn’t excruciating pain, it wasn’t even “Stop this NOW!” pain — I think it was just the unfortunate combination of my shitty headspace and inability to get comfortable PLUS a swat that was a little too hard.

And then, of course, the meltdown. I lost it, crying and berating myself for not being able to get into the scene, for calling red, for not being a good bottom, etc. We ultimately went home after that, although T. didn’t want to leave right then, because he thought that the company of the other party guests (along with food and water) would improve my mood. And he was probably right, but I was so upset with myself that I didn’t think I could sit and talk to people without continuing to cry, which I absolutely did not want to do. So we left.

We talked it through the next day, and it turns out that T. was having a hard time getting into *his* headspace, too, which I didn’t know at the time. I mean, maybe I had picked up on it on a subconscious level, but I certainly wasn’t aware of it in any intellectual capacity. All I knew was how uncomfortable *I* was.

In a weird way, I’m glad it happened, because at least now I know that we can have a scene go wrong — in terms of “headspace failure” — and work through it. I sure the hell would prefer to not repeat it any time soon, though.

I got my rope from Twisted Monk yesterday — 30 feet of the color of the month, which is described on the Web site as “strawberry red,” but really is more of a deep brick red, almost a burgundy.

Have you ever smelled hemp rope? It smells…almost edible, if that makes any sense. I don’t mean that it smells like food; it’s just a rich, strong smell, like a cross between newly mown hay and a woodpile.* And I know those aren’t edible, but something about the combination (and hemp rope really has its own smell, not actually a combination of hay and wood) makes it seem like Paul Bunyan should be eating it.

Uh, yeah. Somehow, I don’t think Twisted Monk will be hiring me to write their product descriptions any time soon.

I had far too much to do after work yesterday to do more than take it out of the box, uncoil it, and run it through my hands a little. And tonight? Well, if The Boy comes over, that’s a guarantee that the rope will get broken in. Don’t know yet if he’s coming over, though. Darn these real-life responsibilities that get in the way of kink! Darn them to heck!

Maybe it’s time to give self-bondage a try….

*(And if you’ve never smelled newly mown hay or a woodpile, you’re missing out, let me tell you.)

I have a birthday coming up, and it occurred to me that the best birthday present a girl could get herself would be some of Twisted Monk’s rope of the month. Come on — look at that color! I *had* to buy it!

And, given that I’ve just recently ventured into the realm of being a rope Top — at least, some of the time [g] — I have very little rope, and no hemp rope at all. That needed to be rectified. I’ve been tied with hemp rope, and used T.’s hemp rope to tie him, but this is the 21st century — a girl needs her own rope, no matter how much rope her partner already owns!

For his part, T. is very pleased that I’m getting Twisted Monk’s color of the month, because he knows that means that he’ll be getting tied up in it just as soon as I get it. I like that in a guy.

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