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Is there such a thing as a sex rope? Kink and restraint

The “B” in BDSM stands for bondage - the act of physically restraining someone for and/or during sex. Oftentimes, with the help of a rope.

The appeal of restraint during sex is both very simple and very complex: It’s all about control. Whether you’re losing control or exercising it, the idea of being helpless to the whims of others while in bed is highly, highly popular for a LOT of people. So much so, bondage is one of the most cited sexual fantasies worldwide.

To make this fantasy come true, you’ll need, of course, a tying device. You might think “rope is rope” - but as it turns out, the sex rope you choose will impact the sensations and kind of sex you can have.

In this article you’ll learn how to choose the best sex rope for your needs, and how to start using it.

A foreword on Shibari

If you’re looking to get initiated on Shibari or Kinbaku (the sexual version of Shibari), know this is a whole complex theme in itself. We have a whole detailed article about it, and you should definitely check it out if that’s what you’re looking for!

How to choose your sex rope

How much rope do I need for bondage? Height and weight

The size of the bondage rope will ultimately depend on the person being restrained. Their height and weight will be determining factors - as well as what kind of restraint you’re looking to build (something with many intricate knots will require more rope, for example).

As a rule of thumb, six metres seems to be a good average for starters. If you’re looking to tie someone up and they are a significantly smaller or bigger person than the average population, add or subtract to that.

Experience with rope bondage

Your level of expertise with bondage will directly impact how well you can play with your sex rope. For instance, softer materials are more flexible and therefore easier for those with less experience.

Type of sensation desired (grip, feel, aesthetics)

Something else which is very important to account for while looking for the perfect sex rope is what kind of sensation you’ll want out of it. Softer bondage ropes are, well, softer - and will probably not leave marks or provoke a lot of pain.

Sex ropes made out of jute, on the other hand, have a lot more grip if that’s what you have in mind.

Aesthetics is also a factor to take into consideration: Some love the look of colourful sex ropes, others prefer the vibe of natural fibres.


There are BDSM ropes for all tastes and budgets - how much you’re willing to spend is something else to take into consideration before going shopping.

For a cheaper option, a lot of bondage lovers prefer to shop for sex ropes in construction stores rather than sex shops - and while you can find great options there, it’s probably the best to do it once you have a bit more experience in rope bondage.

Once you have all these factors decided on, you’ll have the parameters to go find your perfect bondage rope.

How to use your sex rope

Be safe

Sexual restraint can be dangerous if not done properly. Remember to never leave anyone who’s restrained alone, have a safeword in place, and a plan for aftercare (read more about aftercare and how to do it here!)

Remember the grip can never be tight to the point where there is numbness, extreme pain, or a sensation of pins and needles. If these appear, untie the rope immediately.

Start small

Don’t go thinking you’ll do an inverted Shibari suspension the first time you try your hand at bondage. Instead, start small and build your confidence over time. Tie wrists today, move to full arms tomorrow, and so on.

Test the waters

Different bodies react differently to restraint. Observe the level of pain, bruising and irritation close so you can continue to build experience in the safest way possible.

Look for a professional

Consider looking for a professional in BDSM or Shibari who can instruct you and answer your questions. There are a variety of workshops nowadays - both online and in person - focused on bondage. You might even have the chance to experiment with different types of bondage rope before deciding on which one is best for you.

Types of sex rope

For beginners:

Bondage kits

Bondage kits are not sex ropes per se - but if you’ve never ever used them, this might be the best way to start experimenting with bondage. They require a lot less expertise with rope as they are very easy and intuitive to use.

Cotton bondage rope

Cotton sex ropes are the ones indicated for beginners because they are more pliable, and therefore more “obedient” to inexperienced hands. They are also softer on the skin and less likely to cause allergies.

For the experienced:

Nylon bondage rope

If you have more experience with bondage, nylon sex ropes are the perfect intermediate between cotton and something like jute. Not to mention, they usually come in beautiful bright colours which can create a rich visual experience.

For Shibari and Kinbaku:

Natural fibre bondage rope

Jute and hemp are the most traditional materials used for Shibari. They have a lot of “teeth” - which means a tight grip and they require more to be handled. Silk bondage ropes are also an upscale, luxurious alternative for the practice of Shibari.

For those looking for something different: Under-the-bed restraint

If you’ve tried a lot of bondage before and are looking for a novelty experience, we experience an under-the-bed restraint system - which brings something new and interesting to the experience of restraint in sex.

What about YOUR experience? What are the best tips you have to find the best sex rope? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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