The Stag Shop Blog

A Beginner's Guide To Rope

If you're a rope bondage beginner, Stag Shop is here to teach you the ropes...literally with our beginner's guide to rope!
Emily Zawadzki
November 25, 2020

Rope play (also referred to as rope bondage) is a type of bondage and/or restraint play that for many is about connection, intimacy, pleasure, and the artistic aesthetic. Rope bondage can include anything from one knot to an entire body being bound and suspended!

Rope is one of the most multi-purpose tools you could add to your sexy collection. It can be used for restraint & bondage of course, but also to make wrist & ankle cuffs, floggers, lingerie, strap-on harnesses, and more.

All rope play is based on the premise of “building blocks” and repeated patterns - meaning that what you learn first is universal and will serve as your foundation for all of the tying fun.

The Rope

Pipedream Fetish Fantasy Deluxe Silky Rope


There are several different types of rope that can be used, although rope enthusiasts may have a personal preference of what they like to work with. As long as it’s safe for play (aka not something you get from Home Hardware), go with what looks and feels best!

If you’re just starting out, try looking for rope that is softer on the skin, such as some made of polyester, cotton, silk, or nylon. For more experienced players, hemp and jute are popular rope materials as their natural fibres have more grip. Especially great for Shibari (artistic) rope bondage - which uses more wrapping than tying techniques - a rope with grip will hold the friction better and can decrease the chance of rope burn.


This can refer to the length of the rope, the diameter, or the size of the rope braid (how it’s woven together). Thinner rope is best to avoid as it can put excess pressure on the skin and/or can make knots too tight and difficult to take apart. For most rope play/bondage, a single, longer piece of rope will be easier to wrap around body parts, tie, and more.

Shop ALL rope here!


As with all aspects of BDSM & kink, there are some safety considerations! If used incorrectly, rope bondage can lead to numbness of the body, even potentially causing nerve damage.

  • Keep scissors nearby - just in case you need to remove the rope from the body ASAP
  • Keep in constant communication the entire time - be checking in on feelings, sensations, boundaries, etc.
  • Never leave someone tied up alone
  • Pay attention to any breathing restrictions - especially in positions around the chest or where the chest & knees are brought together.
  • Use the “dog collar” rule - you should be able to slide 1-2 fingers between the rope and the body.
  • Especially for beginners, start looser and work your way up to tighter binds, NOT the other way around.
  • Keep away from the neck and joints, like knees/elbows, instead go for the meatier areas such as thighs, forearms, butt, etc.
  • Don’t forget about the aftercare! - such as by massaging the parts that were bound, affirmations, encouraging words, etc.

Lastly and importantly, it is your responsibility to do your research around the body parts where you want to play before playing. Learn about the nerves and circulation of the blood flow in that area, as well as any potential visual signs that could act as warning that it is too tight.

Common Terms

Cal Exotics Scandal BDSM Rope Black

  • Bight - the center of the rope when it is folded in half, sometimes a loop

  • Hitch - a method to attach one rope to another

  • Load - to apply force to the rope/body in the rope, either with the hands (by pulling) or with other rope (usually by suspension)

  • Rigger - another word for rope top, usually involving some sort of suspension

  • Rope Bunny - a term of endearment for (some) rope bottoms

  • Rope Bottom - the person in which rope bondage is being performed on

  • Rope Top - the person who is performing the rope bondage

  • Running End - the part of the rope you’re actively using/tying with

  • Suspension - using rope to lift part or all of the body up off the ground

  • Tension - how tight the rope is around the body

  • Tooth - the rope’s “drag” or friction