I enjoy being tied up. With my partner we practice Japanese inspired rope bondage – Kinbaku. It started as a casual bedroom play, and developed over time into something very special – very deep and intimate way of communication between us which i cannot compare to anything else really. In Kinbaku I found a very special – ritualistic – space where i can enjoy playing with power exchange – offering myself, surrendering myself to the will of my partner.
Outside of Kinbaku ritualistic space, we are a normal couple. We decide on many things together and ask each others’ advices and support. In Kinbaku space, we allow ourselves to play different roles, to open up and be vulnerable and touch on our “shadow” parts, the parts that maybe we don’t fully understand or accept about ourselves. We can play with fear and shame and other dark emotions. Sometimes, it touches some very sensitive parts.
In Kinbaku, we use the ropes for inducing the impact on the body and mind of the person being tied – that would be me. Over time, I definitely developed a fetish for a feeling of rope on my body. I love everything about it: its smell, touch, sound, its versatility – for all the different qualities and emotions it can convey, when it’s in the hands of my partner…
Why I Love Rope Bottoming
In ropes, I seek to surrender. It is erotic to me, to be desired, to be taken. I enjoy being “made” into a beautiful thing for the pleasure of my rigger. I want to become a clay and I want to be touched, moved, split open, taken, rejected, objectified, worshipped, penetrated… Ultimately, I seek to surrender to the core of my being, to the point of dissolving my mental resistance and becoming nothing but a pulsating body, like one of the plants of the flower. On the way there, it might call out different emotions in me, sometimes it is hot as fuck, sometimes, it calls out a layer of deep sadness…
We do Seme-nawa – “challenging ropes”, those that have power to move something in me, to melt me, to transform me into something else. I don’t seek pain, I do seek challenge. Challenge that brings me to my limits, to my resistance, my fears and my choices. When I’m up there and no way to move, no way to breathe properly, and my fear is so haptic – I can touch it – only choice is left to surrender to what is happening. This intensity brings me back to myself, reminding me that the truth is what I feel, not what I think I should feel. This intensity I rarely experience in “normal” life and this is one of the gifts that rope gives me. It is cleansing, and softens me.
I think one part of this “cleansing” is about having a space for “Drama”, having a space to discharge emotions, especially dark destructive emotions, that I get to accumulate throughout the day… Anger, hate, self-hate, fear, anxiety…? We are not supposed to show such feelings in social situations, we are almost denied to have them, but they are there. It is a blessing to have a space to live them out through crying, sweating, shaking – there is a feeling of relief and lightness that often comes afterwards.
How My Interest In Rope Bottoming Start
My partner – who was already engaged with BDSM before – introduced me. The story was, I saw the photograph on the wall of the girl tied up – so I asked him what that was and he said, “I’ll show you, baby” and I liked what he showed me. There was something about the feeling of rope from the very first moment it touched my skin. There was something about the rope being so powerful, that it felt right for me to obey to what it wanted. I just had to follow my desire and discover more of that. This is how it started.
At the beginning, I had a phase of confusion. At that time – almost 10 years ago – it was difficult to find any teachings, workshops or books, anything really – about rope bottoming. However, I had a very clear and strong desire for rope, I was confused in many aspects: how to handle pain or bad emotions, or how to communicate with my partner, or what exercises I needed to stay safe and healthy – not so unimportant aspects after all…
I had to learn by doing and that wasn’t always easy. At that time, I dealt a lot with embodiment – developing a capacity for feeling inside of your own body, for living through my own body, so to say. That has changed my approach to rope bottoming – I was getting deeper and deeper into my own body, feeling my feelings, living my own “story” with rope, concentrating less on what I thought I “should” do. I hope it makes sense! For me it was a turning point in my rope bottoming. This is also the journey that I write in my book about.
Reasons Beginners Should Join A Rope Bottoming Class To Learn
For several reasons… First of all, raising the awareness and the self-responsibility – in rope bondage, being tied up, we are not a “passive” object, but there are always shared risks and shared responsibility with the rigger. For instance, when it comes to safety. The technical skills of the rigger are of course very important, but they just don’t feel your limps the way you feel them. Therefore, it is also your own responsibility to learn what you can do to stay safe and healthy when playing with rope bondage.
When it comes to rope bottoming, I believe this is a somatic practice. It is something that we learn with our bodies, over time. And that with a bit of effort and exercise, you can improve and deepen your own experience.
I don’t think one has to attend the bottoming classes in order to be tied up. One can do just fine without it. However, I think there is not enough awareness of how much learning actually there is possible if one wants to take rope bottoming seriously and advance on this pathway. I have often heard rope bottoms saying, “I started as a rope bottom, but then I wanted to grow, so I started to tie”. I don’t think that becoming a rigger is the only possibility to grow for the rope bottom. I think there is a lot to learn and to discover on the pathway of “just” being a rope bottom.
I believe, “good” rope bottoming takes time, practice, and patience. Good, in a sense, that it’s fulfilling, enriching, and deep play – for yourself and your partner. That’s just my personal opinion.
It is not just something that your rigger brings to you or “does” with you. You, your attitude, your mindset also will affect the session tremendously. You co-create the sessions together with your partner.
My teaching for bottoms is not aiming for the “right answer for everybody”, but rather about assisting you to find right answers in your body. We are unique and our reasons, why and how we enjoy the rope, are very different. There is not “one answer fits all” approach. Rather the intention of going deeper with yourself.
How A Typical First Session Is Like
The first session in ropes? I guess that can look very different as people are different… there is not really such a thing as a “typical” session I would say. People have very different desires and intentions for playing with ropes. How about instead, I could share my suggestions for those who are new, what they could do to enjoy the first session and avoid having a bad experience.
Slow down! Learn properly how your body reacts in ropes before increasing the intensity – by going in the air, for instance. Many want to experience the suspension right away. I believe, if you take it slow in the beginning, you grow your self-trust and self-knowledge, that would later allow you to “relax” into and really enjoy the suspension later.
Go slow, do less. Define what your comfort zone is (the amount of impact that you are pretty sure you can process) and communicate it as your limit. For instance, this sounds to me like a reasonable limit for a very first session: short (10-15 minutes); low intensity: floor work, no suspension; just 1-2 ropes, without gagging and blindfolding. You will get enough of the impact to process, believe me!
You can always be tied up again, but you won’t be able to reverse something that was too much. Take your time to integrate, up to a few days. You will feel how your body and your mind react, what is happening with you afterwards.
Advice For My Rope Bottoming Classes
Some more advices for the beginners, maybe?..
Learn from the beginning to show up in the process. I do not mean to take a control of the session. By showing up, I really mean expressing yourself, how you feel, what is happening with you: physically, emotionally.
Develop your way of expressing yourself depending on what feels natural to you, so that you keep your rigger in the loop as to how you are doing, using your tone of voice, breathing, moaning, making sounds, movements, you can let them know when you are close to the limit. Generally, if you don’t show up in the process, you risk that your partner will do too much or too little…
Natasha NawaTaNeko is an accomplished rope bottom and educator – together with her partner @discoverkinbaku they teach and perform internationally. In Kinbaku, Natasha is looking for true emotions and authenticity and sees rope bondage as deeply intimate and erotic practice that has also a profound transformational potential. Natasha recently published a book sharing her experience with being tied up: “Somatics for Rope Bottoms”.
There is a book I wrote about rope bottoming and its potential for personal, intimate self-inquiry: called “Somatics for Rope Bottoms”. The book consists of 12 essays – Somatic Inquiries – inspiring the readers to look for the answers in their own body and re-claim their agency for the most important decisions that come up when we decide to explore kink. The book is available for purchase on Amazon in both Paperback and E-book formats.
I also offer coaching for rope bottoms if they like to tackle specific topics they are struggling with, also online through Skype. The information can be found on my website RopeSomatics.com
Natasha NawaTaNeko is an accomplished rope bottom and educator - together with her partner @discoverkinbaku they teach and perform internationally. In Kinbaku, Natasha is looking for true emotions and authenticity and sees rope bondage as deeply intimate and erotic practice that has also a profound transformational potential. Natasha recently published a book sharing her experience with being tied up: “Somatics for Rope Bottoms”.