Learning the Ropes
by Eric Martin in Bondage Digest #1 1974 London Enterprises, Ltd.
In the 'advisors' column of one of the largest circulation adult magazines there recently appeared a letter requesting information, and sources of information, on the practice of bondage. The best the magazine could offer were two references: Alex Comfort's book, "The Joy of Sex" (Published by Crown Publishing Co., in New York), and "The Boyscout Manual", the editors adding the comment that bondage was "... mostly a matter of tying good knots."!
Unfortunately nothing could be farther from the truth; unless your only goal is to immobilize someone, with no consideration being given to their discomfort or possible physical harm. Make no mistake about it; good, and loving bondage is definitely not merely a matter of seeing that the ropes don't come undone-except in the simplest possible sense. You certainly don't want your playmate to come undone either!
While we wholeheartedly recommend reading "The Joy of Sex" to anyone, not just those with an interest in bondage, the section on bondage is quite short and incomplete, intended primarily for beginners. The only valid advice you are likely to glean from "The Boyscout Manual" is contained in their credo; "Be Prepared." But don't expect to learn much about how to prepare yourself The only way we know of to become adept at the art of loving bondage is to practice it, preferably with someone you care for very much.
Bondage, like any form of lovemaking, can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. But even so, just as the 'quickie' has its place in the overall scheme of things, the more you put in, the more you and your playmate will get out of it. Just as it took you a while to develop your sexual prowess, it will take you a bit of time and practice to become really expert and knowledgeable in the art of bondage.
While you are trying out your ideas remember the three cardinal rules of loving bondage. First: agree beforehand with your partner on a set of signals, so that if he or she gets really uncomfortable or cramped they can let you know that it's time to untie them and/or change their position. Second: remember that you don't have to pull the ropes, or whatever you're using, painfully tight in order to tie someone securely. Make sure that the bonds are basically comfortable. Third: don't be a cheater! Play fair!
A good way to avoid any problems is to be a conscientious lover, and frequently inspect your partner's extremities for signs of redness and/or coldness which would indicate a lack of circulation to the area affected. If hands feet or any other part that is tied is red, or feels cold, untie them and take a breather... right now! Remember, bondage is supposed to be enjoyable for both of you. After all, without a willing partner you won't be able to have much fun at all, will you?
Since we're interested in tying up a person with sexual dalliance in mind, we want to consider three factors. We want to tie our playmate in such a way that they are helpless, unable to free themselves, and not in a position to deter your advances. We also want to tie them in such a manner that the bonds do not hinder access to whatever parts of their body you want to get to. And lastly, a repeat: we want to tie our playmate in such a way that he or she remains relatively comfortable arid able to enjoy the experience without the distraction of unnecessary cramps, aches and numbness.
In this first installment of "Learning the Ropes" we are going to explore some of the basics of bondage, using the simplest of materials, good old rope. Get yourself a 100' hank of #7 or #8 clothesline, the softest kind you can find. Avoid the plastic-coated kind, sash cord which is clay-impregnated to run freely in pulleys and consequently stiff as hell, and nylon; the knots slip like mad, and you'll have to tie a bunch of them to hold. Now wash your rope! Uncoil it and let it soak in a sink full of hot water while you knead it around a bit. You can even throw in some fabric softener such as Downey, and a splash of bath-oil if you want to be classy and scent your rope.
If you've got a lot of bucks, you can go to a good fabric store and examine their stock of drapery pull and tassel cord. This stuff comes in various thicknesses and colors, is kind of expensive, has to be taped at each end after you cut it or it will unravel, and looks fantastic on! Why not let your playmate choose whatever they want?