Ideally, your rigger should, be good at communicating, possess good knowledge of anatomy, be aware of potential risks and know how to react in an emergency.Your rigger should demonstrate good skill and experience and be open to learning to expand their skill set.
Here are some things to consider to help make your decision a little easier when negotiating bondage with a potential rigger.
Lots of experience sounds great and for some it is, but remember years of experience does not always equate to years of skilled bondage. It could mean that they have been engaging in unnecessary risky bondage for many years and they have been very lucky not to injure a rope bottom. However, when taken into account with all other factors experience can be part of a good indication of overall quality.
There are some riggers who are entitled to feel confident in their rope bondage skills and then again there are some who are not entitled to that confidence. Confidence on it’s own is not a great indicator and needs to be taken as one factor in making your decision. Even if the rigger boasts years of experience, drops names and talks about how many people they have tied, don’t necessarily take this at face value. Ensure that you do all the other checks to get a balanced evaluation of your potential rigger. Ask around, check references, speak to people at your locals clubs and munches. Try to get a good picture of their reputation and what kind of a player they are.
It is good practice to check references if you are being tied by a rigger for the first time. Ask around to see if you can obtain any references from people the rigger has tied before. Always get more than one reference, including (if possible) a reference from someone you consider to be an experienced rope bottom or top. If you know of anyone who would not tie with that rigger ask to find out why. There could be a myriad of reasons. Do not allow anyone to tell you that you are doing the wrong thing by seeking references. It is for your own safety and it’s your responsibility to do the leg work.
When asking this question, it is important for you to be familiar with the correct answer. Find out as much as you can about bondage and anatomy. At this point, it can be good to discuss any personal vulnerable areas you are aware of. If you do not know your vulnerable areas or do not think you have any, it would be a good idea to make it clear to your rigger that you will communicate any problems with them as they arise.
For instance EMT Shears or rescue hooks etc. This can be a controversial topic as I know many great riggers who feel untying someone in a controlled and measured way is better than putting a knife or shears to them if they are already in trouble and possibly panicking. For your own peace of mind it can be useful to have a pair of EMT shears handy, this way you can give them to your rigger and know they have a reliable means to cut the rope in an emergency that might require them. These types of emergencies are extremely rare for skilled riggers but can be useful for those learning to tie. It is good practise for a rigger to keep EMT shears for emergencies that require them. Do not use your EMT shears for any other purpose as this may blunt them.
If possible watch your potential rigger play to see how they interact and ask yourself if you would enjoy a similar interaction.You could offer to bottom for them in a class, workshop or lab time (practise time), as a way to warm up to see if you would be a good match for a more intimate or intense scene.