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3 Types of Rope Bondage that Will Snare Your Heart

Bondage may be used as an end unto itself, as in the case of rope bondage and breast bondage. It may also be used as a part of sex or in conjunction with other BDSM activities.

The most common reason for the active partner to tie up his/her partner is pleasure from the restrained partner’s submission and the feeling of the temporary transfer of control and power. For others bondage is used as a means to an end, where the restrained partner is more accessible to other behaviour. However, bondage can also be used for its own sake. The active partner can derive visual pleasure from seeing his/her partner tied up, and the restrained partner can derive tactile pleasure from the feeling of helplessness and immobility.

There are several different styles of rope bondage, we look at 3 types here.

Western (aka American) Style

Photographer Irving Klaw and artist John Willie can be thanked for much of the style we now refer to as Western or American bondage. In their works, bondage plays a secondary role compared to the image as a whole. There is a huge emphasis on the stylised look: extreme high heels, tight corsets and hobble skirts all place the female (males are not used in their works) in a form of bondage without any rope at all.

When drawings or photos did show rope bondage, it would usually be simple and assist in giving the bound woman an even more defined, streamlined look, forcing the body into a contortion in much the way the corset and heels did. For example, her wrists and elbows may be tied behind the back, which would thrust the breasts forward, pull the shoulders back and force her to stand completely straight.

Japanese Bondage (aka Shibari)

The most artistic of all bondage styles, and arguably the most beautiful, involves using rope patterns that originated in Japan. As demonstrated in the works of bondage expert, Midori, the art of Japanese bondage is not necessarily in the knowledge of these patterns or how to tie the positions, but rather in creating a feeling of freedom and beauty within the ropes.

In Shibari, an emphasis is placed on how the rope should be sensually applied to the body of the submissive. The dominant party will continue to add layers of rope and take care to place knots on certain erotic pressure points. The positions often include crossed limbs or beautiful harnesses that are wonderful for bondage sex. Crossed legs allow easy access to sex organs, and harnesses make the submissive feel supported by the bondage. It also gives the dominant many “grab” points to gain leverage while engaging in intercourse.

Suspension Bondage

Suspension bondage is not so much a “style” as a position type, yet still worthy of mention. More experienced riggers usually venture into partial suspension and then full suspension bondage with their bottom. The bondage can be either Western or Japanese in style, but more often the latter.

When suspended, the sub has a feeling of floating while being fully restrained in the most inescapable of ways. There is a complete helplessness in being suspended that can make the bottom quickly fall into a delightful subspace. For the Dom, there is a great feeling of achievement in full suspension and endless possibilities for great sex!


It should be noted that scenes depicted in bondage photographs and videos are chosen for their visual appeal and fantasy value. Sometimes these positions are dangerous or cannot be maintained for more than a few minutes (i.e., “don’t try this at home”) such as inverted bondage or suspension from the wrists and ankles. Some positions are only for extremely physically fit and very experienced BDSM participants. Especially in highly artistic Japanese bondage, years of experience of bondage is required to avoid the risks. Best to learn the basics before progressing.

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Reviews and Comments

There's a world of rope bondage to discover and this article just brushes very lightly the top of it. Rope bondage is like an iceberg: there's much more than what meets the eye.
And i can not emphasise the last few words: LEARN, LEARN, LEARN and when you think you know a thing or two, better go back and start all over again to make sure that you are right. With rope bondage, security is a must. After all, you don't want to loose partners, do you?

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I totally agree BVasc. This article barely touches the tip of the iceberg. And safety is paramount. More rope bondage articles coming soon :-)