Posted in Lifestyle on Thursday September 8, 2016
Marks are an inevitable part of bondage photography. The rope compresses the skin and leaves a criss-cross of patterns that trace where the bonds once secures the model. To many of us these marks have their own appeal and with our partners and bunnies we may aim to leave a mark for a few hours, maybe a few days, as a reminder of the fun we had.
A rope burn is caused by friction as the rope moves across the skin and damages it. Whereas a bottom won’t tend to feel a mark, a rope burn can be quite painful and can leave a permanent scar. The general rule of thumb is to avoid rope burns at all costs.
Doing that is not as easy as it sounds. Burns occur because the skin beneath the rope can move enough to drag the rope and cause the harm. Although it may sound like the thing to do is have the ropes loose so that free movement can occur, not only does this beat the objective of bondage it also increases the likelihood of a burn because there is movement. Instead the rigger needs to aim for a firm grip on their bunny’s skin so that the skin moves with the rope, but not so that it can slip.
The type of rope also has a role to play. Softer ropes such as cotton have a surface that produces less friction, while some of the harsher nylon ropes (particularly para-cord) seem to cause burns incredibly easily. Whenever I get a new rope I will always test it out on myself to get a sense of how it feels and where it is likely to slip.
Clothing can help reduce the risk of burning. I use a lot of spandex, mostly because it looks good, but it also has a low level of friction, so ropes can move across it relatively easily without burning. This is great for photo-shoots and prolonged bondage where the model (or bunny) needs to be able to move around to keep circulation going. Other types of clothing such as jeans, nylons, blouses, they can again reduce the potential for a biting rope burn to occur.
The rigger can only go so far and there has to be a point where the bunny takes a degree of responsibility. If a rope feels uncomfortable or like it is starting to slip and burn then the safeword must be used. There is no point trying to hold onto a position that is going to cause harm.
If you’re going to avoid rope burns make sure you know your ropes and how they feel, tie firmly and keep an eye out for signs that something is wrong.