Rope bondage is a type of bondage and restraint involving rope to restrict movement, wrap, suspend, or restrain a person with erotic bondage as part of BDSM activities; it is not uncommon as you might think. We will discuss how it is considered an embodied practice commonly associated with BDSM and how you can implement this tantalizing aspect into your sexual relationships and partnerships.

What is rope bondage, and is it something I can get into?

If you're interested in exploring rope bondage, it helps to have a basic understanding of its history. Kinbaku (literally the beauty of tight binding) originated in Japan during the Edo period when samurai would tie decorative knots for their courtesans and concubines (Master K, 2008). The practice was formalized by legend when it was supposedly taught to Hojo Tokimune (Kato, 2018) by a woman whose life he had saved.

Today there are many rope bondage styles all over the world, with some practitioners focusing on specific techniques while others use them interchangeably. Your style is often determined by how much time you invest tying someone up versus how elaborate you want your design to be.

There are five main categories of ties in Japanese rope bondage that you should learn first. These include tsuri (suspension), katate-kote (single wrist restraint), shibari (tying body parts together), himo (tying straps around body parts or other objects), and kinbaku-bi, which focuses more on aesthetics than practicality. You can also incorporate different positions such as seiza (seated position) or takate kote, or dokuzaiku (standing position) (Pennington, 2020). Once you know these basics, experimenting with different knots becomes easier.

Picking out the right materials

Choosing the right rope for your needs is key to successful bondage. Of course, not all ropes are created equal, so it's crucial to consider your requirements before purchasing. Now, if you're using ropes for suspension, you'll want a very different kind of rope than if you want to tie someone up to a bed. However, regardless of what type of bondage or restraint play you have in mind, there are some basic things to consider when picking out any rope:

  • First off, pick something that looks good on its own -- that way, it will look good when wrapped around your partner!
  • Second off, choose something nice and soft so that it doesn't irritate skin during use.
  • Finally, you'll want to ensure that whatever material you're choosing is appropriate for your intended purpose.

Cotton isn't recommended for bondage because it can burn easily if used as a restraint; similarly, nylon might not be ideal for tying someone down because it's slippery and could cause them to slip. If you doubt what type of rope would work best for your situation, ask an expert at a sex shop or online community like FetLife or Reddit's r/BDSM forum (I personally love these communities).

Choosing your knots

The best way to get started with rope bondage is to go shopping for supplies, which will consist of a length of rope. There are two things to consider here. First, choose a length that's about twice as long as you think you'll need it—and then cut it in half. If you need more rope or have overestimated how much you'll need, there's plenty on hand. Second, think about your colors: red rope is often associated with Japanese bondage; purple and black work well together; brown or tan can be used in place of natural-colored ropes. There are endless options available online, so be sure to look around before making your final decision!

If you don't feel like doing any shopping yourself, most sex shops carry everything you need to get started. Some items come pre-packaged (like Red Scandal BDSM Rope), and others (like Yellow Boundless Rope ). If that sounds intimidating, don't worry—there are tons of great tutorials you can find online. And once you've gotten everything home, read up on Japanese Rope Bondage Basics, put on some good music (for me, Billie Holiday has been known to set an appropriate mood), and start practicing your knots!

Tips to remember when tying your partner

Rope bondage, also referred to as rope play, kinbaku, shibari, or fesselspiele, is a term that encompasses many different styles of rope tying. However, when it comes to how to tie bondage ropes on legs and hands or tie bondage ropes on legs and feet, you'll want to remember that there are two main styles of Japanese rope bondage. 

  • The first style involves wrapping with long pieces of overhand knots. 
  • The second style involves short turns around sections of rope with decorative patterns. 
  • There are other methods; however, you should note that these methods don't adhere strictly to Japanese tradition, so every knot has its name. 

But if you'd like to learn how to do good Japanese-style rope bondage, here's a list of three basic knots every beginner should know: 

  • The Overhand Knot - This simple knot is one of the most common ways to start an anchor point. It can be used alone or combined with other knots such as slipknots and figure-eights. 
  • The Square Knot - One of the most versatile knots out there; it's often used in combination with others but can be helpful all on its own. 
  • The Slipknot - Slipknots are among my favorite knots because they allow you to tie up your partner quickly without worrying about securing them later.

However, when people talk about the knot, they usually refer to a specific type of knot. If you look for information on how to tie bondage ropes legs and feet or tie bondage ropes legs and hands, you'll likely find several videos on YouTube showing off some pretty cool knots—but not necessarily ones that follow traditional Japanese techniques. If your goal is to enjoy being tied up (either by yourself or someone else), feel free to experiment with whatever looks interesting!

Take care, educate yourself, and most importantly, practice. It is always better to be safe--than sorry.

As always, play safe, my friends


Galati, M. (2017, September). The therapeutic impact of rope bondage: A case study in the UK. ResearchGate. Retrieved April 28, 2022, Thesis for: Medical Anthropology Advisor: Dalia Iskander. University College London.

Kato, A. (2018, May 10). Hojo Tokimune. Samurai World. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from

Master K. (2008) The Beauty of Kinbaku. New York, King Cat Inc.

Pennington, H. (2020). Kinbaku: The Liminal and the liminoid in ritual performance. Performance of the real - Ritual & Cultural Performance (2017).