Saturday Night Rope Lessons

The hands were the easy part. I stood in the back room of a Financial District dungeon, at a private fetish event. Part party, part education session, the evening revolved around the idea of schooling, and most were dressed appropriately as either students or teachers, myself included. There were classes being offered, and the first of the evening was a rope bondage class, taught by a skinny trans woman in a tight pencil skirt. And I was about to get hogtied.

My top, i.e. the person doing the tying, was a skinny bleach-blond boy who also happened to be my boyfriend. Trust is key when you’re forgoing the use of all your extremities. I had stood, surveying the interior, which was complete with rotating suspension frame and a pulley system in the ceiling, while my top had learned how to do a tie, using a single piece of 30 foot nylon rope, that immobilized my arms. There were about three other sets of students (a top, and a bottom, a.k.a. the tie-ee) in the “classroom,” and then the teacher, with her own eager volunteer.

My arms were folded behind my back. For this part I had simply stood still while the rope, hand-dyed hot pink by the teacher, criss-crossed around my neck and through the holes made by my elbows. Apparently, rope bondage is more about making loops and pulling the rope through those loops than tying actual knots. This allows the rope to be drawn as tight as possible and help maintain symmetry. The other students seemed more experienced than my top and I, who had never done this before. But still, when the teacher walked over and surveyed his work, she seemed satisfied.

I had decided to take a When-In-Rome approach when going to this party, figuring with the limited guest list and discreet location, in a nondescript building in the closed-down-at-night Financial District…I would feel safer to dive in than at a public bar. Besides, when would I ever get a chance to learn something like rope bondage again? Sometimes research takes you interesting places.

I had to lay face-down on the floor now, cheek against the cold wooden strips. I faced the teacher’s volunteer, a young-looking girl with long curly hair, and one of the students, a bearish looking black guy with a tenor voice. As my boyfriend bound my ankles together and attached them to the wrist tie, we chatted aimlessly about the temperature of the floor, and what people’s shoes looked like. Then the two bottoms I was facing began to squirm and pretend to fight each other, so I tuned them out.

Without my arms and legs to push me off the floor, my torso took all my weight. Breathing felt different, and I was thankful my nose didn’t itch. The position stretched my back out in a not-unpleasant way. I lay, relatively immobile for a few more minutes until it was time to be untied. After my ankles were unbound, my legs fell to the side, almost hitting another bottom in the face. “Ohmygod I’m so sorry!” Fortunately, she was okay, pulled out of the way just in time by her quick-thinking partner. My boyfriend helped me up, untied my arms, and, after a short lesson in re-bundling the ropes, class was dismissed for recess. Giggling about what had just transpired, we headed down the stairs for a quick cigarette. I realized how rope tying can be an art form, and how much skill it actually requires. There is strength required in being the person tied up, too. Perhaps that’s the most important part.

For a tutorial on the hogtie, click here.

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