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Guide to the Best Ropes for Bondage

Different Types of Rope: What is the best for BDSM and Bondage?

Woman in bondage with hands bound behind her back with beautiful knots.

Manila or unmanila, natural fibers or synthetic fibers, twisted or braided cotton rope, silk, hemp rope, jute...the list of types of rope goes on. So what exactly is the best rope for bondage? What would one look for when they are fresh on the market for bondage restraints? With so many options it’s like a whole new world of terms and we’re here to help you understand what these terms mean for you and what is right based on your experience level.

Where Might a Newbie Begin -- First Time Using Ropes

 Man looking shocked with his face in bondage ropes.

Of course, we don’t think about where bondage starts. We automatically see the compact knots of the jute on a beautiful woman gracefully practicing her suspension poses. While this may be your bondage rope goal, where is a great place to start your bondage play? Jute is a natural fiber that is known for its use in the Japanese art of Shibari or traditionally known as Kinbaku or “tight binding.” The natural fiber of jute provides a certain amount of tooth and friction to make sure that there is no slipping of the rope. But is all that necessary when one has little experience in BDSM and Bondage? Probably not...yet.

Twisted or Braided Cotton to Learn What You Like

A good place for beginners to start is a soft natural fiber like Twisted or Braided Cotton Rope. As a first experience, this type of rope is easy to work with is going to feel soft and sensual on the skin of the aspiring rope expert. Cotton rope or cordage is a good rope for bondage no matter the experience level. It also leaves the most beautiful rope marks after you play.

Difference Between Twisted and Braided Cotton Rope

 Twisted Cotton Rope

The Twisted Cotton rope is a great option for newbies because splicing the rope and tying off the ends is much easier than the more complex splicing of other natural fibers and the elegant twists are a beautiful accent to your bondage art. The twists give the bottom a little flexibility when beginning with a light restraining technique like foot tying or wrist binding with a good strong hold because of the friction of the natural fiber. For this reason, the twisted cotton rope will still give a little wiggle room to the newly bound lover. You can also find sustainably-sourced cotton to indulge in your fantasies while still being conscious of your eco-footprint. Fantasy and responsibility all wrapped into one twisted fetish.

Woman on the floor with her arms bound in Twisted Cotton Bondage Rope.

Are There Cons for This Type of Rope?

There are pros and cons to twisted cotton rope. While it is washable (which is very important for rope care), larger diameters can make knot-tying difficult for the beginner rigger. Just make sure you practice on an inanimate object before moving on to your loved one as well as making sure that you and your rope bunny are always communicating--especially during your first-time play.

Make Sure You Know the Pros

The pros for this cordage heavily outweigh the cons. With the flexibility from the twists, it makes one of the best rope options to help avoid any numbness which you should always be on alert for as a rope bottom. The lighter weight of this natural fiber means the rope can easily go with you for a romantic, kinky weekend away. Also, the durability of this fiber can ensure the rope will provide a good hold that will keep your partner safe from a breaking rope for a long time.

Braided Cotton Rope

The pros and cons of Braided Cotton rope are very similar to that of Twisted Cotton, however, there are some important details that you should not overlook when practicing BDSM or Bondage with this specific type of rope. The first thing to know is that it must be a hollow braided cotton rope. This is important for both the rigger and the rope bunny. A solid braided rope is not going to hold the intricate ties that you are learning due to the stiffness from the midline of the rope. Flexibility is also an important part of this rope for the rope bottom-- especially as a beginner-- since they need to have a little room for pulling. The hollow braided rope will give the stretch necessary to avoid over-tightening or too much restriction of movement. With experience and growing desires for higher levels of restraint, there's a better rope type with less flexibility when you're ready to branch out, but we’ll get there.

Women standing bound in Braided Cotton Bondage Rope.

What Makes This Natural Option A Good One?

This cordage is still easily washed to maintain good rope care practices and is a more affordable, durable option than some other natural fiber ropes. Like twisted cotton rope, braided cotton also travels well for those that like to move their darkest desires to new locations.  Due to its lighter weight and ability to neatly be tucked away for your next intimate bondage session, it can go with you no matter where you end up.

Are These Twisted and Braided Natural Rope a Great Option for Those with Higher Levels of Experience Too?

Of course! The ½ inch twisted or braided cotton rope is good for hitches and proves incredibly useful for suspensions. The thicker diameter ensures stability and strength when used to attach to a hardpoint or even furniture. The natural fiber provides the perfect amount of friction to avoid slipping when hitching to a chair using the ½ knot as well. For bigger knots expected to hold more weight or restrict movement to a higher degree through suspension, the ½ twisted cotton or braided cotton is a good strong base to begin and is still great for the delicate skin of your partner.

Twisted or Braided Cotton Rope with a Smaller Diameter

When practicing restraints that are in direct contact with your willing partner's skin, the ¼ inch diameter twisted or braided cotton rope allows smaller more exquisite knots that hug the body and accentuates all of your favorite features. Using a smaller diameter gives the rigger the ability to fully engage the dexterity that they have practiced to create beautiful art. For smaller and more intricate knots and designs, even smaller diameters of cotton rope are available, but should definitely be avoided as a weight-bearing aspect of your bondage session. This does not inhibit your ability to create some gorgeous and sultry designs.

Versatile Natural Fibers

Natural Silk Ribbon and Sash Bondage Restraint -- Turned Blindfold

Silk sashes and silk ribbons are probably one of the most versatile options of bondage materials. While you can create beautiful corsets, designs, and even bows, you can also sweep a silk sash or ribbon across your concubines face. With the many different types of bondage, sensory deprivation plays a huge role in excitement with one of the most common senses deprived being sight. Taking away the ability to see what is happening leaves a huge sense of anticipation and excitement for your blinded devotee. Of course, blindfolds also give the novice rigger the freedom to check instructions for knots or patterns without taking away the exoticism of the moment.

Synthetic Ropes

Nylon Rope

Nylon rope comes in a huge array of colors, but you can also dye nylon the exact shade that you crave to see your lover tied up in creating your very own unique experience. This type of rope is also good for beginners because there is virtually no teeth which makes this synthetic option incredibly smooth on the skin. While nylon rope is not recommended for suspension because of its ability to stretch, the stretch can create a really fun experience in other areas. Who doesn’t want bondage with a little bit of chaos? Nylon is a great option for scenario play, use your imagination and really have a wild night.

Polypropylene Rope

While the rope marks are typically part of the fun, polypropylene rope can leave beautiful rope marks and also discouraging the possibility of rope burn. With less stretch than nylon, a higher degree of restriction is very possible. Poly-propylene (MFP Rope) is made of plastic which means it is a really great option for longevity. The plastic also makes very easy work of cleaning. Considering these valuable components of this cordage, MFP isn't an expensive option for the bondage extraordinaire. It can be a great addition to the kit of any rigger.

Woman standing in water with arms bound in Polypropylene Bondage Rope.

Moving up in the BDSM and Bondage World

So you’ve mastered a couple of knots and you and your rope bunny are ready for more intense play. Maybe your next step is to play with a different restraint or rope material. There are a few ways you could go that would restrict the movement of the body for the bottom and give the rigger the ability to start working on smaller knots with more elaborate designs. From aesthetically pleasing wrist or ankle binds to an elegant full torso, corset bust bind -- which are the best types of rope for growing bondage and BDSM practitioners to use?

Natural Fibers with More Tooth

Woman bound in Natural Fiber Bondage Rope with her arms behind her back.

Including Light BDSM and Increasing the Level of Bondage

Moving away from the soft and supple of bondage and moving into the tooth and grit of BDSM, there are natural fibers that spike the pleasure with a little bit of pain. We’re not talking about the extreme addition of pain in BDSM that you saw in Fifty Shades of Grey (however, if that's what you're into...), but more like "less soft" on the skin and more grit on the whole body.

Natural Fibers Increase the Sensations Experienced

Manila rope is made of natural fibers so unlike the velvety finish of cotton sweeping across the skin, materials like hemp rope and jute provide a strong texture to really grab the skin without being overly painful. The motivation to switch from a softer rope to a material with more tooth is really based on preference. Whatever suits the rigger and the bottom as far as the difference in the awareness of friction on the body that this hemp rope brings. This tends to increase the eroticism of the experience.

Different Diameters

Of course, the diameter of these ropes is important as well depending on the ultimate goal of your BDSM or bondage play. A larger diameter hemp rope or jute rope is perfect for the full torso bust bind while a smaller diameter gives the rigger the ability to make an enticing series of intricate knots to emphasize different parts of their partner's sexy body.

Japanese Shibari or Kinbaku

Woman bound with Jute practicing Japanese Shibari Syle Bondage.

Jute is the specific rope most widely used in the Japanese style of bondage commonly called Shibari, though hemp rope is sometimes preferred based on the rigger and rope bunny's preferences. The reason for these being strong options specifically for Japanese Shibari or Kinbaku is the tooth on these types of rope. They provide grip to hold very small and complicated series of knots. There is very little flexibility, decreased slipping and greater friction in the jute and hemp ropes making these a safe option for suspension.

Go Forth and Explore BDSM and Bondage With all of Your Restraint Knowledge

Woman sitting on top of a TV bound in Bondage Ropes with hand across her chest.

With so many different types of ropes with so many different uses, the possibilities are really without limit. From silky and smooth to gritty and added BDSM tooth, there is fun to be had when learning to explore your passions and desires. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, we always recommend practicing. Be safe and have fun!

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