Common problems encountered during rope bondage

Posted on Updated on

Marks, bruising & rope burns

ropemarksRope marks, indentations on the skin in the shape of the rope, are pretty much standard issue when it comes to most ties. Generally they will fade over the following few hours.

There are marks that look like thin lines or little spots that happen in between ropes in wraps. You can limit these occurring by carefully dressing your ropes during the tie (run two fingers under the rope to re-lay them evenly and without skin caught between them). These marks tend to last a couple of days and need no specific treatment.

Bruising can occur where areas of high pressure occur or where there has been restricted circulation which makes bruising more likely in response to even minor injury. In most cases this is self-limiting and will resolve over the next few days. Many people find bruising reduces faster using arnica tincture on the affected area.

Rope burns happen when rope passes over the skin at a high enough speed to generate friction and heat. This is more common with synthetic fibre ropes. Keeping the affected area clean is usually enough to remedy it. Application of an antiseptic healing cream such as Sudocrem can help the healing along. Bear in mind that if a rope has caused a friction burn that it has broken the skin and the rope has potentially been in contact with body fluids. The affected rope should be washed or otherwise treated.

 

Circulation issues vs nerve damage

Telling the difference between the numbness and tingling that happens due to reduced circulation versus that caused by nerve compression is quite a difficult topic to convey by words alone. There is no 100% foolproof method of detecting the difference in practice, but certain signs and symptoms are good to know about.

People with experience of being tied, particularly in suspensions, can often tell the difference between “good pain” and “bad pain”. As with all other issues regarding the subjective experience of the person being tied their opinion trumps that of the person doing the tying.

Nerve damage can occur in seconds and take months or years to resolve. In some cases the nerve damage is permanent. It is better to untie and tie again than persevere with a tie that is causing issues.

As a general rule of thumb avoid placing ropes within 5-7cm (three fingers’ width) of a joint. Take care with any rope that passes through the armpit. The upper arm is a particularly troublesome area and learning hands on from an experienced person what the pitfalls are is much better than learning from books.

Characteristics of circulation-type issues:

  • The skin is discoloured.
  • There is numbness or tingling in the whole limb or whole hand/foot
  • Capillary return is reduced (press hard on a boney area so the skin goes white and count how long it takes before the colour returns to the same as the surrounding area)
  • The limb is cold to the touch
  • Movement remains normal until it becomes severe

 

Hand nerve distribution

Characteristics of nerve-type issues:

  • The pain is of a burning or “electric shock” type
  • Numbness and tingling occurs in specific areas only (tingling in two fingers of the hand only being the most common)
  • The subject cannot flex and extend their wrist
  • There is loss of power or movement in the hand/foot
  • In certain cases there is a drop in blood pressure causing dizziness, nausea and possible fainting.

 

If “electric shock” or sharp pains occur stop and untie immediately. This is almost certainly nerve pain.

 

mentalfirstaidMental & Emotional First Aid

Sometimes people have very emotional reactions to being tied which can either be a very positive experience or unfortunately a negative one. Knowing what to do should you or your partner experience this makes it much less traumatic all round.

Sudden inexplicable crying

Some people experience this regularly when being tied and others never at all. It is confusing and a little frightening. In this situation we presume the person has no immediate explanation of how they are feeling.

What to do: Offer reassurance. And tissues. Let them know that lots of people experience this and it is normal. It most certainly does not mean there is anything wrong with the person!

 

Reminder of a traumatic event

Unfortunately some people have had bad experiences where they felt out of control or unable to escape. Many go on to have wonderful experience with rope, but a few carry painful memories with them that may be reactivated by being bound. The important thing to remember is to stay calm and don’t take it personally.

 

What to do: Gently and quietly remove the rope. Tell your partner that they are safe and you are letting them out. They may feel they are disappointing you, and they may not believe you that they are not. Let them know you can always tie again in a while. Don’t ask prying questions. “Talking it out” is rarely useful whilst emotions are hot. You do not need to know the details. It is enough to acknowledge your partner is distressed and you are not angry or upset by that. If someone wants to elaborate on the details on what has happened to them in the past simply listen.  Don’t use phrases like “don’t be silly” or anything else that minimises their experience. You’re not a therapist or an investigator, so keep your replies supportive and non-challenging. If there is a major issue that needs dealt with then the time to do that is when the person is calm and there is an experienced clinician available. You can re-traumatise someone making them give details and make things a lot worse than they are. The majority of people with traumatic experiences never go through professional therapy, and many of them are just fine.

No drugsAlcohol & Drugs

In short, intoxication with any substance should mean no rope happens at all. No exceptions. Don’t feel pressured into working with someone who is intoxicated. All accidents and injuries are more likely in the presence of alcohol and drugs. It doesn’t matter if the person is a regular user of intoxicants or if they have tied before whilst intoxicated. It’s needlessly risky and a very bad idea.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s