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Beginner's Guide to Rope Selection

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Since rope bondage is so popular and the reason many people get started into BDSM, let’s start with something to help you get into rope! Rope bondage is considered a “gateway kink” by many since it seems “not as scary” as other forms of play. Many start with rope bondage and shift to other forms of play over time.

Rope is a passion for many of us at Dungeon Hell Paso. In fact, when we moved to our current location, the goal was to create a large rope area! We now have a bit over 500 sq feet dedicated to rope play! Check out some upcoming rope workshops and rope bottom stretching events here: Upcoming workshops. We also have quite a few rope practice events every month that are open to everyone 21+ Open Rope Events Of course, our vetted Hell Fire Club members can come to any GreenKnight, Open Dungeon, or KINKnight to practice their rope skills or engage in scene play involving rope. Want to become a Hell Fire Club member? Hell Fire Club Information


What do you need to know before buying your own rope, let me help you!


How Much Rope Do You Need?


The answer to this question will vary depending on what you’re doing with your rope! If you are just looking to do what I call “bedroom bondage” then 4 to 6 15 foot ropes work out perfectly! But, in general, most rope kits include 4 to 6 bundles of rope, each bundle is usually 30 feet long. Having a few “shorties”, 10 to 15 foot lengths of rope, is also a good idea since you may just need a little bit more for a certain tie and don’t want to add a full 30 feet when you may only need 5 feet. If you move on to rope suspension, then you will want (at minimum) 6 bundles of rope. Depending on how you do your suspensions, you may want more!


What Diameter Rope is Best?


6mm is really the most common and is comfortable for most body types. If your bottom has a larger body type, then 8mm could work better; but the 6mm will also work just fine! Smaller diameter rope can work well for sadistic play, but sticking with the 6mm as you get started and learn more is probably your safest bet.


What Else Do I Need?


Now you have your rope, you’re ready to get going! What else could you possibly need? Well, as kinksters, our first responsibility should be safety! So having safety shears within grabbing distance is extremely important! Regular scissors could be used but you run the risk of cutting your bottom and it taking longer to get them out in case of a problem. Safety shears have a blunted edge and can cut through rope (and clothes) fairly quickly. You can find many types of safety shears online and we sell a few types in our store as well. I think using a carabiner to hook your safety shears so that they are always on your body is easiest. But I’m also a woman so my clothes don’t often have pockets, and I wear almost no clothing during play. Having them attached to a carabiner guarantees my shears aren’t going anywhere and will be right there when I need them.

Types of Rope


There are many different types of rope available for use. I will be touching on the three most popular options.


Nylon Rope


Nylon rope is very popular for its sleek, smooth texture. It is a rope texture that is pretty popular with our members and attendees, so we sell it and place orders for more in different colors fairly often. Contact us about buying rope. It is made from synthetic fibers so it's incredibly durable and resistant to wear and tear. It has almost a buttery feeling against skin. As with all options there are pros and cons to using nylon rope for bondage. For the bottom, it's very soft and relaxing. It doesn't catch the skin as it moves. On the negative side, that texture does make it more likely to slip. So be cautious to make sure it stays where you put it and doesn't slide into an unsafe zone.

Different color options for nylon rope sold by Dungeon Hell Paso
Nylon rope available for purchase

Nylon Maintenance


Nylon rope is fairly low-maintenance. It's easy to clean and doesn't require conditioning. To clean it, drop in a pillowcase and throw it in the washer. Make sure to use gentle detergent, and never touch the bleach! After it’s clean, hang dry. Leave it longer than you think you need to. It’s better to let it hang longer and get completely dry, than to put away wet rope. I like to leave it a full day to make sure it is 100% dry all the way through. Regularly checking for signs of wear and tear and properly tying and untying your knots during use should keep your nylon rope pretty happy, overall.


Jute Rope


Jute rope is made from the fibers of the jute plant; extremely shocking, I know! Jute rope is known for its strength and natural beauty. It is also the more traditional rope to tie with, so you will meet some die hard traditionalists that only want to use jute. Jute does tend to be one of the “scratchier” options as well. So if you like a bit of pain play with your rope, jute is the way to go! Now for pros and cons! Jute has a bit of tooth to it, so it will stay exactly where you put it and not move around like nylon does. But on the negative side, it is a fairly high maintenance rope in terms of care.


A single bundle of treated jute rope used for shibari rope bondage.
Treated jute rope

Jute Maintenance


Jute rope tends to come in two options, treated or untreated. We actually sell both *insert link*. Our untreated jute rope is great for those that know what they’re doing and how to prep their rope for play. I could honestly write an entire article on just how to prep jute rope! Between running it, burning it, and adding oil, you’re looking at a bit of a commitment (pending how many bundles you’re treating).

But that is why we sell treated jute as well! Our own Knotty Futos is actually the one who preps it for us! It is cut, prepped, treated with a natural rope butter that has essential oils to help keep your jute in top shape, and he hand whips the ends of each bundle. We offer rope butter for those that want to keep their jute happy, and for those that want to prep their own jute. Get your own jute rope.

As jute is naturally antimicrobial, you don’t really need to wash it except when you get actual body fluids on them (things such as urine, feces, blood, vomit, or cum). Try to limit how often you wash your jute as it will weaken the fibers over time and you will have to replace it faster. But you can also put it in the washer (in a pillowcase and on gentle). Make sure to hang dry it as well! You will have to go through a process of stretching your rope periodically as it dries, because jute will shrink up! It curls up and can lose as much as 15% of its length and become thicker. After you have washed and dried it, you will probably need to add oil back into your rope again as well.


Cotton Rope


Cotton rope is a type of rope made from natural cotton fibers, and it's widely used for various purposes due to its softness, versatility, and strength. Cotton rope is, shocker, made from cotton fibers. This makes it soft and very comfortable to handle, also reducing the risk of skin irritation. Cotton is a very absorbent material though. So it has pros and cons, it is less likely to become slippery during use but it will also absorb body fluids and oils so it needs to be cleaned more often. Cotton rope dyes easily so it comes in a wide variety of colors and color mixes. This tends to make it popular with those that enjoy the “pretty colors” aspect of rope.


Cotton Maintenance


Cleaning-wise, cotton is very similar to nylon. To clean your rope: put it in a pillowcase and throw it in the washing machine. Just skip the dryer; hang it to dry instead. Some people like to use rope conditioner after it’s dry too, but that’s just personal preference.


These are obviously only a few types of rope. You can find tons of other different types made from different materials and of different diameters. I just covered the 3 most popular materials. But the way each feels will vary as well, depending on the company you got it from. As you gain more experience, you’ll figure out which types of rope work best for you. And that may even end up being a few different types, depending on the type of play you are doing at the time. Make sure to discuss textures with your rope partner; if you have a rigger who prefers jute and a bunny who prefers nylon and neither are willing to compromise, then you might not have a scene.


Do you have more questions about types of rope? Or maybe some other forms of play? Leave a comment and let me know! I’d love to make sure I’m addressing things that y’all want to know about!

A white logo for Miss Emily Rose El Paso. It states that she is a BDSM lifestyle coach and professional switch. Her website (bdsmelpaso.com) is also listed

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Thank you so much for the info

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EmilyRoseElPaso
EmilyRoseElPaso
Sep 27, 2023
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Hope it helps! 😁

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