Ugh – major pet peeve of mine.

A few weeks ago we decided to get to know our local leather community here in Virginia Beach, and went to their appointed night at the local bar. The leather group was doing a fundraiser for the local food bank, so we came equipped with canned goods as well as a bag of rope to ‘instigate’ a little play right there in the bar <evil grin>.

Well, after a few liberally appointed gin and tonics followed up with some jello shots, we managed to coerce a cute young man to ‘volunteer’ to be trussed up. He was absolutely adorable, and although he claimed to be 26 years old he didn’t look a day over 18 – although that could also be a product of my getting older *sigh*.  He removed his shirt revealing completely flawless unblemished skin and a beautiful set of abs, and he had a face that was almost cherubic with a set of ‘smiling’ eyes. He looked at us and said, “this boy is all yours, Sirs. I need to be controlled.” We just about melted. In that moment, Santa Clause was real. I cast the first length of rope onto his torso and he closed his eyes and shivered with excitement as the lengths were tightened across his chest. The grin that ensued as each knot was secured on his arms and wrists gave us fire to keep the dance going, and I held his body against mine as Bart silenced his mouth with black tape. The moans of pleasure vibrated through his body into mine and we both got animalistic as we turned him into a piece of property. More and more rope was added to secure him in place, and I pulled him deeper into submission each time I ‘cinched with gusto’ as my dear friend Midori coaches in her classes. The three of us were having a scene, and the pleasure was being had by not only us but by those who chose to watch. Each time we stroked the boy’s body with our hands our our tongues, he writhed in ecstasy. This is what I love about bondage.

Eventually the boy needed to be let out, so we slowly undid the ropes and brought him back into a grounded state. The ride was a joy for all of us, and people came up to share how much they enjoyed watching. There was one gentleman who commented how he loved seeing the exchange that was happening, but he added, “that being said, I’ll forgive you for the Granny knot I saw” and chuckled.

“Granny knot..?” I asked.

“Well yeah,” he responded. “I mean I’m sure what you meant to do was a square knot but yeah, you totally flubbed and did a Granny! But hey, we’re all allowed a mistake.”

And alas, this is something that I think really spoils rope bondage for everybody. See, I have great respect for all the pretty ornamental Kinbaku bondage stuff that you see in fancy photographs and at various bondage cons. It’s an art form, and it can be very difficult to execute. But it’s still just rope, and when I use it it’s because I want to secure a hot guy and do fun and mean things to him. If I’m doing my job right, ultimately he’s not going to care what kind of knots I use or how ‘pretty’ they are, and frankly neither am I! The point is, we had a connection happening and the rope was a part of it, but not the focus.

Now I know this man meant well and was not trying to be a jerk in his comment. He was actually quite gracious to talk to. It did illustrate though something that I think really gets in the way of people learning about and enjoying rope bondage. Some people get too pretentious with the specifics of Japanese styles or what types of knots are ‘supposed’ to be used. The bottom line is bondage is play – it’s about what’s happening between the top and the bottom. If there is serious passion and chemistry in the exchange, the last thing anyone should notice is whether the knot used is a bowline, a granny, or a bow for that matter. When you ‘rope shame’ somebody’s bondage because it doesn’t look a certain way, you invalidate the connection that just happened between them and their sub. It’s just rope! Keep it fun!

And incidentally I kept my response to the gentleman very simply and polite: “A granny knot? Well, judging by the look on the boy’s face, I think he’ll forgive me.”



11 thoughts on “Rope-shaming

  1. “Why did you choose that knot?” would have been the only reasonable question to ask, if one need be asked at all.

    • Yes! But of course, to be a smart-ass, I would have replied something ethereal like, “oh actually the knot chose ME. It’s all part of the symbiotic relationship I have with my rope!”

      But then nobody buys drinks for a smart-ass so ….

  2. Critiquing technique after a scene is something that shows the sign of a true dilettante. I think you handled it well, but those kinds of comments really get me annoyed.

    • Truthfully it annoys the fuck out of me when somebody has to provide their two-cents worth like that. It’s just like when somebody intrudes on your scene to check if you brought your safety scissors. *Eye roll*

  3. The only reason I know it’s RopetopSFBay’s work is because of his flooring. Shibari is pretty – at times – but the western/US style of wrap and cinch with 3 knots is often more sufficient. I wonder if the intent was really rope snobbery or a joke-bomb?
    Anyway, good to know you go for function/purpose.

  4. Function over form, I say! Do your thing and don’t let the haters hate. As long as everyone in the scene is enjoying what’s going on, the spectators can go fuck themselves.

  5. As a fellow rigger I agree completely and teach the exact same sentiment. Rope isn’t about the technique, about the Somerville bowline or square knot. It’s about the connection between two people by way of the rope. While safety is important, the primary focus is the people involved in the scene. If your primary focus is the rope, well then perhaps you should tie the backs chairs instead. I’m sure the inanimate objects will appreciate your perfectly executed TK! If you’re not having fun you’re doing something wrong. From the description it sounds like y’all did everything perfectly.

  6. To be honest I would not know a granny knot from an Uncle Jim. Having enjoyed an afternoon with Midori (and thoroughly enjoying her teaching) I do not ever recall her saying use this knot over that one. More power to your elbow Sir!

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