WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL, there was a certain boy who lived in my neighborhood, and whenever we played alone together, no matter what game he came up with, somehow it would always involve me tying him up. Coincidence? I think not.

Thus did rope bondage become a fetish of mine. I'm not alone, either—people frequently ask me questions about tying up their partners. However, rope is something that's easier to teach in person than in print, mainly because of the knots involved. My partner Max is a fabulous bondage rigger and he's managed to teach me some of that rabbit-goes-around-the-tree stuff, but you have to have a rope in your hands to really get it. So while knowing the right knots makes rope work better, let's assume you are tying with plain old square knots, and let's talk about positions and possibilities.

Okay, you're in bed with your sweetie, and you've got a couple of pieces of clothesline. You're probably thinking about the classic four-point spread-eagle position. This is usually the first pose a rope fetishist does, because everyone's seen it in movies. Another childhood rope memory: I recall being fascinated by that scene in Cat People where a tied-up Nastassja Kinski undulates on a bed. Like many things in movies, though, it doesn't always work perfectly in real life. Unless you know how to do a taut-line hitch, it's hard to get the ropes at the proper tension, and it's easy to cut off circulation to the wrists. And it's not the most functional position either. If you have a guy tied down, he can still fuck if you get on top of him. But it's hard to penetrate anyone in this position. Putting pillows under someone's butt helps, but still, this is best for forced oral and doing tit and genital play.

A better position for fucking a tied-up person is like so: hands behind the back, knees drawn up to the chest, several tight loops under the knees and around the torso. Tie the ankles together for neatness. Want to make it more strenuous? Cinch the elbows together, too. A good variation is to tie the hands together under the knees. You can roll someone around on the bed like a ball, which is big fun, and with a little maneuvering, the top can also receive oral sex.

Some positions demand a strong, flexible body, but here's an easy one for most people. Have the bottom lie on his or her back, heels drawn up against the butt, and tie each wrist to the corresponding ankle. There's a lot of wiggle room with this pose, but you can make it more immobilizing by also lashing the ankle to the thigh. Not great for female tops to get fucked, unless he can splay his legs out wide enough, but it works fine for being the penetrator. A variation is to have the bottom lie on his back, raise his legs in the air, and grab his ankles—or as close to them as he can—and tie his wrists to his ankle that way.

Another fun thing to do with rope: cinching several loops of rope snugly around a woman's chest just above and below her breasts draws the skin tighter and makes them more sensitive.

Some basic safety precautions for bondage: Do not suspend people by their wrists, or even put them on tiptoes. Too much pressure around the wrist can do nerve damage, or break little bones in the hands, and they may not work correctly ever again. It's okay to loop rope around the back of someone's neck, but do not put pressure on the front or sides of someone's neck with the rope. Never, ever leave a bound person alone. Every good bondage top should have a pair of bandage scissors, with one flat blade, to cut someone out of bondage quickly in case of an emergency—you don't go sticking a knife in between a tight piece of rope and someone's skin. However, keep a cool head, and you can usually untie someone quickly and safely, without running even the moderate risk of using the bandage scissors.

Max is teaching a two-day Rope Bondage Intensive next weekend. For details see www.bondagelessons.com.


Kink Calendar



Tassel-twirlin' burlesque show! Fenix Underground, 109 S Washington St, 405-4314, 9 pm, ladies free.



BDSM play party for the boys. Wet Spot, men-only@wetspot.org or 270-9746, 10 pm–3 am, $15, membership and male ID required.



LaSara FireFox and Traci Burleigh will cover flirting techniques, and help you understand your personal hurdles to flirting and how to overcome them. Workshop sessions Saturday 11:30 am–6:30 pm and Sunday 11:30 am–3 pm at the Wet Spot. Group outing Saturday, 8:30 pm, destination TBA. Wet Spot membership not required, tickets start at $200, preregistration required, http://lasara.us



Having a hard time getting sexy since the baby was born? Sex educator and mother of two LaSara FireFox will help you make your sex life fun again. Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7:30 pm, $30/sliding scale available.


Intimate, sensual, candlelit partner yoga class, with instructor Mishabae. Embrace in gentle yoga postures, learn massage techniques, and relax in the hot tub. Hengst Studio, 1506 Franklin Ave E, 919-6289, 6:30–8:30 pm, $20 per couple/$15 per individual.


Dudes dress like ladies, ladies dress like dudes, and everyone's armed with weighty balls. (Plus, it's a benefit for the Fremont Fair's annual Seattle Art Car Blowout.) Sunset Bowl, 1420 NW Market St, 7–9 pm, $15 (shoes not included).



Seattle Men in Leather don't give details on their leather "dress code," but a good minimum is 501s, boots, and a black T-shirt. Major pieces of leather, rubber, and uniforms are encouraged. Cuff Complex, 1533 13th Ave, 7–10 pm, $3, 21+.