As a rigger, I sometimes hear people complain that they don’t get tied much. They think it’s because, looking on social media, riggers are only interested in a certain, small, young, bendy model. And whilst I certainly know at least one rigger who’s very focused on that to create images for social networks, most riggers I know don’t think that way. Truly.
The reality of being tied is quite complex and there are many aspects one needs to consider. To be a rope bottom takes a lot of effort. There are no short cuts. You need to:
1. Be physically strong and flexible to take ties like that.
Anyone can be tied; I tie all sorts of body shapes, but not everyone can take the intensity of an intense tie, in the air or on the floor. It takes time to build up that stamina.
2. Be psychologically sound enough to take the complete mind fuck you may go through, throughout the rigging process.
From the negotiation, preparation, rigging to after care and feedback. You need to know what you’re thinking and be stable enough to handle the effects rope has on upon you physically and mentally. You need to know how to spot an unsafe rigger and walk away
3. Know how to communicate with who’s tying you.
Verbally and non-verbally. In play and out of play. You need to know how to address negotiations and consent. You need to take your time with the process, and know when to say no when it’s not right for you or the tie isn’t what you expected. You need to understand that the rigger is as human as you, so deserves just as much courtesy and respect that they should afford you.
4. Stop thinking all riggers want the same thing.
Every rigger is different. Different styles. Different goals. Different understandings. Different skill levels. Different experience. Different consent and negotiation methods. So you need to know if that particular rigger will suit what you’re looking for in your rope experience.
5. Not expect to have your wishlist met
Understand riggers (like me) do tie people of different shapes, sizes, ages and genders. We love the affect rope has on people and the connections it creates. But we won’t put up with demanding bunnies that come with a preconceived idea of what rope they want and treat us like a kink dispenser. It’s not ok to do that. We notice and won’t like it.
6. Not compare yourself to other bunnies
A lot of us are competitive, I know I am. But I know my skill level. I know what I can and can’t do. I’m physically very petite so can’t lift people much bigger than me, I very rarely use a TK in a suspension, and other limits. Some rope bottoms can reverse payer (somehow!) Some not. Some have been doing rope for years and know exactly what their body can take. Some not. It’s one thing to draw inspiration, but comparing yourself to other rope people won’t help you. It’s pointless.
7. Understand that rope is edge play and extremely risky.
If a rigger is cautious it’s for your own good. A good rigger understands biomechanics and how everybody’s body is different, and can react very differently to the same tie on different occasions. Good riggers will avoid anyone who’s not risk aware or at least willing to learn. They may avoid certain body types or physical or mental health issues because they don’t feel equipped to tie around those needs safely. It’s not personal.
Ultimately, if you’re not getting tied and don’t know why, you’ve got it all wrong. No one is entitled to anything from anyone at all in this life. People all want different things from rope and will be on their own journey which you need to respect. So join your local rope community, grab a colour coded wrist band and mingle. Learn. Pack away your ego and fantasies and take a big fat dose of a reality check pill. If you live remotely or for safety reasons can’t make it to events, use social network sites. Either way, self tie to get to know your body in rope. And be patient as you explore.