1. Work out what you want from being tied.
Before you do anything it is a really good idea to work out what it is that you want to get out of the experince. Some people enjoy being tied up for the adrenile rush, others because they get a sexual kick out of it, some people love the physcial challange, while others enjoy going into “rope space”. For some bunnies its all about creating beautful shapes with their bodies and getting awesome photos, for others its about surrunder. What you want to get out of rope makes a massive diffrence to who you will want to be rigging with, and how you want to approach rope as a whole.
2. Don’t get hung on body shape or size
The number of people we have had tell us that they can’t be suspended because they are too big.. and so far we havent found someone we can’t suspend (we have suspended people so far from size 6-size 20). If you are svelt you are likely to fnd bunnying easier than those with a larger frame…sort of…. and I say sort of because rope is not a competition. A good rigger will work with you so that you can get the kind of rope experince you would like. If what you are after is a challanging suspension – then it doesnt matter what size you are or how flexible you are belive me your rigger will find a way to make it a challange.
If your aim is to do the same suspennsion as you have seen someone else do, with the same transistions this may be more of a challange – because no two people are built the same. We have found that some bunnies who can sustain a single ankle suspension struggle to spend more than five minutes in a TK, while we hav a bunny who loves TK’s but hates strapardos.
Everyone has different ranges and capabilities, find a good rigger that will work with you, your desires, and your body.
3. Fitness helps
Being fit means that you can sustain ties for longer, and do some of the more circus type stuff – but if you dont want to be doing this kind of tie…then don’t worry about it! If you do want to increase the ties you can sustain then working on core strength will have the biggest impact.
It really does help, having warm muscles means you can be more flexible and fly/stay in the ropes longer. My Master gives me a little heads up, i start stretching and flexing when i’m done i like to wait quitely on the floor. He then knows i’m done and we start our scene without losing the dymnanic of the scene, as i find it a bit toppy to then say “yup i’m done warming up, ready for you now” .. kinda thing!
yes there are different tingles, some are okay, some mean you need to come out asap. Unless your really experienced never ignore tingles. Speak up quick or risk losing a functioning hand or arm.
6. Tk get used to them, they happen a lot!
There are almost unlimited number of variables on a TK (Box-tie), get used to it now. No amount of complaining “what another tk!!!!…” Is going to help. Get used to the position, in your day to day.. hold your arms in that position as often as possible, it does become comfortable eventually I promise… Your gonna be doing this a lot. It’s your rope bread and butter. So learn to love them.
–Please note if you really can’t get on with a TK that doesn’t mean that you can’t do rope but it is the most common tie that riggers use–
7. Learn to laugh in the face of Failure and think about how you define failure.
At some point you will get nerve twinges and need to come down early. At some point something will hurt lots. At some point you will find something you are trying to do just too tough. Whether you define this as failure, whether you are able to laugh about it – whether you are able to take a breath and go okay what shall we try next, or whether you and your rigger get into an argument about it, or you feel really depressed that it went wrong will define how much you enjoy rope. Sometimes your body wont let you do what you wish, sometimes you are not in the right head space. That is okay. Remember this is meant to be fun!
8. Safety is your responsibility
Fuco a well known bunny, recently wrote about how being safe as a bunny is your responsibility. I whole heartily agree, the blame culture in shibari is rife and often unfair. It’s unlikely your top is out to deliberately hurt you, however there are some people around that do not realise they have unsafe practices. You need to know as much, and often more than they do. So bone up on weight loading, dynamic loading hard points and their rope. Old rope, or rope that’s lost its twist in places, dry rope, is all bad! Check their equipment for weight ratings.. tell them if your wrap placement’s are wrong. Make sure you are confident in your riggers ability.
If struggle to speak up, worry about saying no, get anxious or feel intimidated by the person your rigging with… Simply don’t let them tie you. BDSM requires full consent, if you can’t give it or withdraw it.. do not play. You will find yourself in situations you don’t want to be in, and it’s not fun to have such regrets.
10.Use your safe word.
I am repeating myself here but it’s serious stuff I’m sick of reading how this bunny did xx with X she didn’t call red and then posts “rape like” allegations to discredit and/or humiliate them. It’s not fair. Safe words will only keep you safe if you use them. If you don’t use them, then you’ll have to live with the consequences. Don’t blame the top, they aren’t a mind reader.
11 Every tie is a lesson
Everytime you get into rope your learning more about your body, especially at first. Most of the time its fun, but its not always for the faint hearted. I have passed out due to coughing too much in a chest restricting tie, i projectile vommited in a suspension from spinning a lot. The more you do the more you learn – but sometimes its messy!
12. Negotiate boredom time
Otherwise known as lab time. Which is where you’ll be stock still whilst your rigger learns or practise something new. How much time you spend in lab work, and how much is in dynamic is a balancing act that you can negotiate on. It is easy for a rigger to forget how boring lab time can be for a bunny – it is however important – but making sure its interspercide with something fun makes it a lot easier. Lab time is also the time many injuries occur as you can be in the same position for far longer than normal – keep checking in with your body.
Would you go swimming with a cold? How about going for a hike with a chest infection? IF you are unwell take the night off. The number of times I have tried to carry on and bunny despite being under the weather is …well more than I care to admit because I love rope – I dont want to mis sout on a chance to be in rope, but if I am not in tip top health it always goes wrong.