Protracted Rope Bondage Impact

by Akero Nabri

     May 2009

The use of rope bondage can have issues associated with both mid and long-term uses. The issues stem from several factors, each in and of themselves contributes to the effects.

Types of Ropes

Natural Fibre

Manila is a natural hemp fibre that drives from the same family of plants like cannabis. The word canvas derives from the fact that hemp fibres were also used to create sails from the “cannabis plant.” The basic fibre is from the crushed outer bark of the plant. The fibres are then spun into strands. Hemp was often used woven together to make sail canvas, and the word canvas derives from cannabis. The rope is built up in successive twisting to the desired thickness. The resulting fibres are waxed to protect and remove the chaffing of the fibres when used.
 

Wool is a natural fibre produced from the sheared coats of sheep known as fleece. The fleece is washed with water and a mix of light solvents to remove dirt, debris and wool grease. This product is then pulled apart through wool carding, a process where multi-toothed brushes pull the fibres apart into strands or slivers. Finer toothed devices then pull through the slivers to separate the short from the long. Like-sized pieces are then twisted or spun together to produce the basic connected fibres know as yarn. Multiple spinnings give it its thickness and strength.

 

Artificial

Shock Cord is a common, everyday rope that is inexpensive to produce based on the properties of nylon. It is created by spinning elastic nylon fibres together to form various thicknesses and easy to use.  The excellent stretch characteristics and the round shape and braided cover offer superb abrasion resistance. The elasticity ass the slight give over short distances to allow for movement and over long lengths to act as a spring function.
 

Poly Combo rope is made from polyester and polypropylene fibres and is an excellent, low-cost, general utility rope. This economical, high-strength rope has extremely low stretch properties, high abrasion resistance, and easily spliced. This rope features good abrasion resistance, high strength and will hover just under the water,

CombiCord

This rope has a strong inner fibre, usually Poly-combo or Manila rope and a wool cover. This rope is desired by plant and shibaru enthusiasts due to its inner tensile strength and a soft outer layer that will flex and leave delicate items undamaged through motion and movement.

 

General Impact Considerations

The rope bondage impact begins with the style of rope. The brightly colour ropes tend to be for show and display purposes, where PolyCombo or Manila for its strength and CombiCord when marks are not desired. The properties of each will contribute to the effect on the bound subject.
 

The duration or length of time a subject is bound increases the pressure on the body's surface, causing the fluids to be expelled from the outer layers of the body. The effect will increase the time needed for fluids to return and remove the striations (pressure marks) on the skin.
 

A factor contributing to the effect is the tightness of the rope. The loose binding will allow for a free range of movement and slippage. The tight bound will support weight for suspension or immobility restraints. And a medium bind is when a limited range of movement is allowed, such as for demonstration purposes and easy removal of the ropes. The tightness directly impacts the depth and definition of rope marks on the skin.
 

Localization, where tight and severe bondage at points of the body creates a local effect, such as suspension where one or two bound body parts hold the body's entire weight. There can be both short or long-term issues associated with the tightness of rope. 

  • Striations

  • Bruising

  • Cutting off blood

  • Nerve Damage

 

Detailed Explanation

Loss of Circulation

if your whole hand or foot or whatever is going numb (as if you slept on it), and you can still move it - that’s circulation loss and is “ok.” If it’s not in your risk profile to have circulation loss, that’s ok too - change up the rope,  but it is “safer” than nerve pain/damage. 

 

Numbness

The fluid push and potential blood flow loss can cause symptoms of numbness in the limbs. This ranges from light “pins and needles” through levels of “going to sleep” to atrophy. The major contributors to this will be the tightness and length of time the rope bondage occurs.

 

Initiated Pain

The effects can also have effects when the bindings are removed. The most prevalent is once the blood flow returns are the sensation of itching or pain. With protracted periods, it may take time for the full range of motion to return.

 

Bruising

The patchiness and bruising to several areas, particularly with prolonged sensation, will occur as the blood flow returns and the tissue damage (including capillary ruptures) then fills with blood.

 

Nerve Damage

Mid to long-term bondage with loss of blood circulation can affect the nerves as they become starved for oxygen. Nerve pain or damage can easily be indicated by tingling or burning sensations while unable to move the hand or grip strongly an object or another person's hand.  Light sensations such as numbness and “pins-and-needles” are a sign of mild nerve damage. Lack of sensitivity and pain induction is more median level, and wholesale loss of sensation of the constant pain syndrome is one of long-term damage. Both mid and long-term damage may have the side effect of “phantom pain,” where even non-interfered body tissues can experience spasms of pain or have pain appear localized outside the body (like 4-5 inches from the elbows). The phantom pain outside the body is a factor the body remembers a position contorted to and originally feeling the pain. The mind then projects that pain relative to the position the body was in at the time of the pain originally occurring.

 

Length of Impact

Any of these symptoms can last from minutes to hours, even days or months.  The compounding of damage will occur if the body is not allowed to recover fully; however, the older or less fit subject. The more protracted the experience. There is an increased chance of compound damage, particularly with nerves. Hence once nerve damage occurs, the likelihood of compound damage dramatically increases. This is then a clear indicator to make an intelligent and informed about continuing the offending activities.

 

Too Tight

There is a real need for expertise and practice to understand when rope bondage is too tight. Start lightly, do not jump to suspension until practice and experience have been developed. This understanding takes years and scores of sessions for the dominant or rope enthusiast to understand the correct blend of factors to make intelligent decisions. The factors are numerous depending on all factors above and body type as well as conditioning. Therefore, knowing this can change on a case-by-case basis. Both parties must learn with practice what feels “right” or “wrong.” 

 

An indication to Cease Activities

Any indication while in session during a given activity has negative concerns; this indicates either changing the ropes, tightness or halt the activity (particularly if suspension) as quickly as is safely possible. All parties need to be observant, and submissives or bondage objects need to identify nerve pain vs circulation loss and that if something feels off or wrong, react appropriately. It is better to be cautious in these cases; even if no real damage occurs, it is prudent to avoid it. The most dangerous response is, “I am submissive; it is my duty to accept all things regardless of my concerns.”

Do Not forget the After-Care