The Breathtakingly Beautiful World of Rope Suspension

The Breathtakingly Beautiful World of Rope Suspension

Unlike decidedly modern fetishes like electrostimulation or robophilia, the fervor around rope bondage dates back many decades. First popularized in Japan, shibari – also known as kinbaku – is a kink where practicality meets art. Rope is knotted, tugged, wound, tucked, tied, and wrapped to create a form of bondage that is both restrictive and beautiful. There’s a reason it’s become so popular in recent years!

One particularly impressive subgenre of rope bondage is suspension, wherein the bottom (i.e. the person being tied) is suspended from the ceiling – or another stable, overhead suspension point – so that no part of their body is touching the ground.

You might be wondering why someone would enjoy being on either side of this kinky interaction. Here are some common reasons…

It takes skill

Rope bondage always carries a risk of injury – even if that risk is as small as rope burn – but suspension takes that to the next level. When the risk is higher, the skill level of the top – or rigger – has to be higher, too. It can be exciting to play with someone so competent, confident, and knowledgeable.

Likewise, rope bottoms – sometimes known as “rope bunnies” – need a few skills under their belt, too. Someone who plans on getting suspended should have decent balance and flexibility, physical and emotional self-awareness, and the ability to communicate well, even under duress. Playing with someone like that can be a rush!

It’s scary

Scary in the arousing way, that is. Some kinksters are into the adrenaline rush that accompanies acts like knife play, kidnapping roleplay, or choking – and there are bondage enthusiasts whose zeal for rope suspension comes from a similar place. Hanging in midair – or being wholly responsible for someone who is – can produce a frisson of delicious fear. As long as everyone is actually safe, consenting, and knows what they’re doing, it’s more than okay to chase that feeling.

It’s meditative

While many kink activities are fast and furious, rope bondage is, by its very nature, usually slow and contemplative. It takes time to do a tie properly, making sure it’s aligned correctly and will remain comfortable (or uncomfortable, depending on the desired effect!). The process of tying can be somewhat hypnotic, for either or both parties, and may allow them to access a peaceful mental state that’s hard to come by elsewhere.

It’s beautiful

The aesthetics of rope bondage are part of what makes it an enduring favorite in the kink community. The way rope interplays with skin, flesh, and muscle can be a gorgeous sight. Suspension adds an element of intensity that can ramp up this beauty: it’s arresting to see, for example, rope digging into flesh as it supports someone’s entire weight. Even watching a bead of sweat appear on a concentrated rigger’s forehead mid-scene can be alluring in its own way!

It’s impressive

When you come down from a rope suspension – or untie your rope bunny safely and successfully – you have truly gone through something together. Suspension is a physical exertion for everyone involved, and can trigger a rush of endorphins and pride, much like completing a marathon. Enjoy that feeling: you deserve it!

Have you ever tried rope suspension? Are you interested in giving it a shot?

About author

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Kate Sloan is a journalist, blogger, podcaster, and educator who has been writing about sex online and in print for over five years. She writes about sex, kink, relationships, fashion, beauty, writing, and mental health. She has been voted a Kinkly.com Sex Blogging Superhero for four years running, and her words reach over 22,000 sex nerds, weirdos and queerdos every month.

She has been quoted and featured in the Daily MailGlamour, Daily Xtra, Shameless, Dame, and more. Kate also co-hosts The Dildorks, a weekly podcast for sex nerds, along with her best friend Bex Caputo.

As a journalist and essayist, Kate has written for Glamour, Teen Vogue, Daily Xtra, the Establishment, Maisonneuve, Herizons, the Plaid Zebra, xoJane, and more.

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