My Account
Free Shipping On Select Items!*

The Difference Between Being Tied-Up or Tied-Down

Tied Up or Tied Down?

Man with wrists bound and attached to a hardpoint. 

If you’re new to this lifestyle, you may need to open your mind to a whole new way of thinking. When someone new to bondage imagines being bound in bondage rope, their immediate thought is that they are being tied down--but that’s not always the case. While there is a time and a place for being tied down, there is certainly room for being tied up and yes there is a difference!  

Being Tied Down

A woman tied down to a chair.

Being tied down is defined as being tied to something else. Being tied to a chair or a bed is an example of this. Being tied down restricts the movement of a body part as well as the inability to leave another object. 

A commonly used method of tying one down is "the hot seat." To accomplish the hot seat, use a straight-back chair and tie the rope bunnies ankles to the legs of the chair with their hands bound behind the back of the chair. Adding a blindfold to this method can increase excitement and awareness to the scene for the bottom. Being latched to another object can be really fun and adds levels to your bondage play while the top may have to get a little creative since movement is restricted in a different way.    

The Flipside

Wrists tied up.

On the opposite end of the spectrum -- there is being tied up.  Being tied up is defined as having wrists, ankles, legs, torso, etc. bound to each other, but not hitched to another object. Since bondage knows no limits, the perks of being tied up are not restricted. The rigger has the ability to reposition or relocate the bottom. Being tied up doesn’t restrict the ability to reposition for the perfect photo of the bondage art created in a scene.   

The Best of Both Worlds

A man tied down to a chair with her ankles tied up.

By using a few different tie-downs and tie-ups at the same time, the possibilities are endless! Take the hot seat, for instance--when beginning bondage play you don’t have to go big or go home. You can start by hitching the ankles to the chair and leaving the hands free or wrists bound in front so the rope bunny has freedom of their hands. Or likewise, one could begin with tying down the hands of the bottom and allowing free movement of the legs. Using your imagination, you can start to imagine the different was to mix tying up and tying down and the fun adventure that could come from either.   

One Would Think...

A woman bound in traditional Shibari -- partially suspended.

Shibari is a traditional style of bondage--one in which suspensions are common. While a novice shouldn’t immediately begin suspension practices, a rope master may choose to move toward something of the sort. One would think that being suspended would be considered being tied-up when actually, though the rope bunny may be gracefully floating above the floor, they are tied down because they are attached to another object. 

Best Bondage Rope for Tie-Ups

Woman's ankles tied up with a natural fiber rope.

The best bondage rope material is usually open for personal preference. If the rigger and rope bunny are looking for a soft bondage rope with friction to avoid slipping, twisted cotton offers just that. If the goal is super-soft, synthetic options like polypropylene or nylon bondage rope offer a "no tooth" feel.  Then, there are the more toothy natural fibers like hemp cordage for those looking for a rough, tough BDSM feel. With wrist binds, it may be easier to use a smaller diameter bondage rope while legs and ankles may be easier to restrain using a slightly larger diameter.   

Tie-Down Bondage Restraints

Woman holding a large diameter bondage rope.

Tie-Downs are a little tricky when it comes to best bondage rope diameter.  Keep in mind that a ½ inch diameter may be the best for a hitch, it may be a little difficult to create any weave patterns on the feet since there is little space between the toes. However, if you are just binding and ankle to an object ½ inch would be perfect. Including foot bondage like weaves would require a ¼ inch diameter bondage rope. Suspensions are typically performed with hemp or jute ropes for the strength of the natural fiber and the traditional Shibari look.  

Start Where You Are and Build

Woman sitting on a chair with her wrists bound behind her.

Don’t jump into bondage with both feet....and hands...and torso… Start small with some wrist or ankle binds. Acquire knowledge and build up to tie-downs or intricate tie-ups. Make sure to maintain open communication with those involved in your bondage play and always discuss aftercare expectations when changing your bondage play. Most importantly, grow this new (or old) passion together!

← Older Post Newer Post →