A lot of people ask me on advice where to get quality rope, especially after reading my Bondage Hardware Special on Rope. Living in Germany, I know a couple of places here. Obviously that does not help most of my readers. So last year I got myself two sets of Twisted Monk rope which is sold internationally.
Today I am taking a look at the Twisted Monk Hemp Rope. While they do also offer cotton and polyester rope as well as exotic materials like bamboo or silk, hemp is the material of choice for many rope bondage tops because it is strong and the knots don’t travel once tightend. However, getting hemp rope ready to play is an annoying process: In order to make it soft and flexible to hug the sub’s body and minimize rope burn, you have to boil the rope, dry it under tension and run it multiple times over an edge under tension (for example through a carabineer). All Twisted Ropes are pre-treated so they are very soft and flexible for usage straight out of the box.
The rope is twisted out of three strands right-handed (or S-twisted) like most modern rope. It comes in three sizes: 4mm for genital bondage, 6mm for most purposes and 8mm for suspension bondage. While 6mm rope creates smaller knots and thus you can go further with the same length, 8mm might be good for your if you are doing a lot of demos or take videos or pictures because the rope has more presence on the sub’s body. The ends are whipped using strong yarn to keep the strands from unraveling. There is about 4cm of rope before the whipping. I prefer to keep it because the slightly unraveled end makes the ends easier to grab but you can cut it off if you prefer a neat and tight end.
Twisted Monk offers rope in eight colors: Natural, black, a bright green, a lightly tealish blue, violet, grape which is actually burgundy, crimson which is a bright red and raspberry. The colors are solid and even, really vibrant and do not bleach out even after many washing cycles if you stick to the washing guidelines. However, what really disappoints me is the fact that only the ropes are dyed and not the individual strands are colored-through. Especially at the loose ends before the whipping and on tight knots the natural color shines through. While this may sound like pedantic bean counting, it disappointed me because Twisted Monk claims to be the best rope in the world and I have seen less expensive, pre-treated hemp rope in one of the German stores where I shop which ahs been colored-through.
I have bought two kits of rope: The Starter Kit which consists of one 10m and two 3m lengths of 6mm rope (which I got in Crimson) and the Robust Kit with one 13m and two 5m lengths of 8mm rope (which I got in Black). Each Twisted Monk kit comes with a safety shear (you can’t have enough of those), a card on rope maintenance, a card with safety advice and a DVD with some basic rope bondage layouts.
If you want to learn more about which kind of rope is right for you, take a look at my Bondage Hardware Special on it.
Playing with the Rope
Today, there is actually not much to say about how to play with. Rope offers infinite, creative way to create sexually and/or aesthetically pleasing setups which can but don’t need to be elaborate. It is really not difficult to learn ones way around the ropes. Two or three knots, some knowledge of human physiology, memorizing the dos and don’ts and common sense are enough. To learn these basics and get some inspiration, I have assembled some recommendations on reading and video material at the end of the Bondage Hardware Special.
To choose which set to get depends on what you want to do. Simple ties like handcuffs or fettering a sub to a bed don’t require much more then 3m per joint. Depending on the bottoms physique, 10m is enough for simple body harness. So the Starter set is a really a good starting point to start ones journey into rope. As the designs more elaborate, you can always expand your rope collection. Personally I prefer combining the two sets of mine: Take the 8mm black rope for the basic “structure” and tie in the 6mm red for delicate details. The black makes the red really pop for a striking contrast.
|Conclusion: High quality ready-to play hemp rope.|
|Pro||Cons||Where to get||Price|
|Pre-treated for softness and out of the box fun||… which are not colored-through||Mr S Starter Kit||$64.95|
|Mr S Robust Kit||$89.95|
|Tightly whipped ends to prevent unraveling||Regulation Starter Kit||£64.99|
|Vibrant colors…||Regulation Robust Kit||£94.99|