Bondage workshop teaches students the naughtier knots

DalOUT workshop talks the basics and safety of rope bondage

A student displays a proper double column tie. Photo: Adam St.Pierre

Between the trends of new erotic fiction, pop stars such as Nicki Minaj and the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, you can’t seem to crack a whip these days without hitting something BDSM-related.

That could be in part why a few couples and some lone observers, took a break from their exam studying and braved the rain to attend DalOUT’s Rope 101: Basics of Rope Bondage workshop at the McCain Building on Wednesday.

The event, led by DalOUT member Marty Rizzo, gave lessons on proper ways of tying up your partner, safe practices during binding, and how to use certain knots and anchor points.

“Anybody can really try it. It depends if you have an interest in it,” said Rizzo. “You can use it for a sexual purpose or not. Or with intimacy, the way you wrap can be a gentle thing.”

Rizzo showed off a number of different ways of binding limbs, such as single and double column ties, box ties over the chest and full bodies wraps. The body harness, a simpler-than-you-think mixture of knots and binds running behind the neck and under the groin, was among the most popular.

“It feels like a hug over your whole body,” one participant said.

Recent mainstream fascination with bondage and wider BDSM culture has put such practices on full display, but according to one student, it has a shallow affect.

“I feel like it’s being brought out as a shock factor. People are not being educated on it,” said Charlie Peddel, a Saint Mary’s University student assisting with the workshop, “and that’s unfortunate because that’s where people get hurt.”

Marty Rizzo shows off anchor points on a chest bind. Photo: Adam St.Pierre

“And it’s not always about bondage,” said Rizzo. “There is an art side to it. You can learn really decorative knots and spend time perfecting what you’re doing.”

Safety and consent, both key aspects to bondage, were stressed throughout the night. Rizzo says the person in control, known as the “top,” should always err on the side of caring.

“If the person being tied doesn’t want to be tied or says they need a break or they need something, they control the situation,” they said. “The top needs to listen to them and needs to take care of them.”

There are a few key points to remember when practising bondage. Never leave a person tied up for more than 20 minutes. Make sure bindings on limbs have clearance for at least two fingers. Bend the rope in two when wrapping to reduce pressure and never overlap the cords. When finished, unwrap your partner slowly and hug or cuddle with them after to ensure their body temperature doesn’t drop suddenly, a common mistake for first-timers.

For bindings, long nylon rope is recommended and is purchasable at sex shops such as Venus Envy or any marine supply store.

Whether you find information online, through a book or at a workshop, Rizzo stressed the importance of getting educated before diving in.

“You really need to know what you’re doing before you jump in and want to tie someone up. “

And what about the Ghomeshi scandal? Peddel says it’s still too early to tell what stigmas could arise from the case, but it has got people talking.

And Fifty Shades of Grey?

“Awful,” said Rizzo.

“Yeah, not the proper way to do anything.”

 

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