About Rope Podcast
Rope Podcast hosts Fox and Mya talk to rope podcast host Wicked Wren, in this second part of their interview with her. The conversation also includes an interesting discussion where all three hosts share some ‘hot takes’ on some more nuanced rope topics, like implied power dynamics. While none of us felt like we representing this complex topic perfectly, perhaps it can start some discussion among your rope family and friends to explore the ideas further! Listen to the episode now to hear more about: • How Wren got involved with the @Shibari_Study podcast • How her ideas for the podcast evolved, and why • How she chooses her guests • What she’s learned through the podcast • Her goals for the podcast • Tips on managing implied power dynamics • Types of questions to ask in negotiations • The place of agency in rope consent
Wren (she/her) is a rope switch and artist, as well as being the host of the Shibari Study podcast and The Corn Corner podcast. She joined us from Los Angeles, California, USA. Mya and Fox have a lot of love for the Shibari Study podcast and Wren’s energy and interviewing style, and enjoyed reflecting that back to her and finding out the story behind her journey with rope. Listen to the episode now to hear more about: • How she discovered rope bondage through NRE • The challenges of not joining a scene when she started rope • The benefits of seeing a lot of role models of all shapes, sizes and abilities in rope • Her journey to switching and why these days she is mainly a bottom • What she likes about rope now and its space in her life • Her favorite rope intent and what she gets out of it • What she wants to hear when she’s in rope • Performing and what she gets out of it • Her engagement with rope education (including how she prepares for bottoming for a class)
Ep160: Together in the Dark - Creating an erotic rope bondage book: an interview with Fox The one where Fox makes a book… Fox’s latest creative project is a book of erotic rope bondage, called ‘Together in the Dark’. Here Mya interviews him about the background to this gorgeous artefact, and tries not to blush when talking about the subject matter. Mya and Fox even get to surprise each other with some of their questions and answers! Listen to the episode now to hear more about: • The ‘why’ behind the book • What the exploration of the physical medium brings over digital photos • The focus of the book and what makes it unique • Why those ties? Why those pictures? Why that order? • Which is Fox’s favourite photo? • How the creation process worked • The inspiration behind the erotic art in the book • How to go from no book to a book! • What Fox learned about himself through the rope book’s creation • The beliefs he challenged with the book - of his own, and those he hopes to challenge of others • His learnings and what surprised him when making the book
This is a rope focus episode, chosen by our lovely Patrons! In this episode, Fox and Mya discuss a tie that Fox created, that involves a lot of bamboo, and a sense of entombment…perfect for Halloween! Listen to the episode and discover plenty of information about this innovative tie, and even enter a competition to win a copy of Fox’s new rope erotica photo book, which is in (very) limited run right in its current format. Hear the podcast hosts discuss: • What this tie actually is • Risks and safety considerations to be aware of • Where the bamboo comes in and alternatives you could use • What it feels like to experience as a bottom • Who might enjoy this kind of tie • Thoughts on suspending a Hitsugi
Listener gggwolverine asks on behalf of a friend, what do rope bottoms do while the rope is going on, especially if the person is naturally a little self-conscious. To someone new to rope, the rope top has a more ‘obvious’ role in terms of the scene, but it can be intimidating as the bottom in the scene to know what to do. The most important thing is ‘there is no should’ - it’s very personal as to what works for one rope bottom, one rope top, and also that specific combination of rope bottom and top, on any particular day. However, in this episode the hosts give some suggestions to choose from, and discuss: • The pros and cons of watching others for ideas on how to behave • How what you see outside (‘rope face’!) might differ from what’s happening inside the bottom • The importance of context in terms of influencing behaviour • Intent and scene purpose • Active bottoming and anticipating • Changing your behaviour according to different types of scene or people • Examples of how you *could* behave in rope • Outcome versus process orientated tying • Managing anxiety in rope As ever there are plenty of ideas and practical tips for bottoms and tops, so listen now!
In this episode, Fox and Mya discuss mummification with rope - the Mummy Tie! The podcast hosts discuss what it means to mummify a (live!) person and how you can do it with rope. They offer tips and tricks from their experience. Listen to the episode to hear them discuss: • Body placement • Characteristics and aesthetics of a Mummification Tie • How it feels to be in a Mummy Tie • Safety and risk considerations of this tie • Different positions of the bottom while tying and how these work • Pros and cons of forward versus reverse tension • Likely pain points in the tie and possible adjustments to help • Ways for the top to avoid RSI • What kind of top and bottom might enjoy this kind of tie • How to (or not to) include sexytimes in this tie • Extra considerations if you want to suspend the Mummy Tie
Rope bondage can be thrilling, and part of that thrill comes from the risk. However, we all have different risk profiles, and it’s best to go into a scene really understanding what the risks might be. In this episode, fox and Mya consider some of the risks of rope bondage, and ways one could mitigate these. They also discuss: • Definitions of key terms like Risk, Risk:Reward ratio, mitigation • The two dimensions along which one can classify risk to understand it better • Exploring and understanding risk and how something like the ‘Five Why’s game can help • Key areas of knowledge that help us mitigate risk in rope bondage • Planning for risk, and using ‘if this, then this’ in your plans • The critical role of trusted or validated resources in considering risk • Fox’s big five risks in rope bondage and suggestions on how you might mitigate for them
A ‘value’ is simply something that is important to those within a context - for example, we might have individual values, couple values, organisational values, community values or, in the case of this episode, rope values! So how might we apply this concept of values in rope? How can they be useful to us and how we make decisions or chose our behaviours? The podcast hosts discuss this interesting topic, including: • How many values might be useful to focus on at a time? • What might you use values for? • The Rope Podcast’s values, what they mean and why we chose them • Aspirational values, implicit values, expliciti values, lived values • Practical applications of values in rope • fox and Mya talk through our personal rope values and what they mean to us • How our personal rope values might inform whether someone is a good match to tie together
Mel, known as the Accidental Rigger, is a rope switch with a lot of experience handling and maintaining large amounts of rope. A neurodiverse, queer, rope customisation professional from the Middle East who laid down roots in London, she began by treating ropes for Anatomie’s Shibari Store, modelling for classes, and as a teaching assistant for rope bottoms. In this second part of our interview with her, focusing more on the practicalities of looking after your rope and making sure it’s as safe as possible for as long as possible, she shares: • Her preferences for the types and customisation of rope she uses as a bottom and as a top • How should we store regularly-used-rope v rarely-used-rope • Can you clean rope that’s been in contact with bodily fluids, including blood? • The challenges you need to handle when rope gets wet and risk implications • Keeping an eye on your rope for potential breakages • The secret behind her name, the Accidental Rigger! After dedicating years to learning from a variety of practitioners, Mel has become a teacher for both riggers and bottoms. She has been offering rope customisations services and education, and rigging services for productions and events since 2021. As a teacher, she finds joy in introducing people to rope, working with them to encourage curiosity and to teach them in the best way possible for them as individuals. Mel’s style is often described as ‘meeting bottom’s where they’re at and seeking to give them what they need”. She is committed to her growth in her rope practice and developing her style.
Mel, known as the Accidental Rigger, has a great deal of hands on practice in rope - rigging, bottoming and handling and maintaining large quantities of rope. A neurodiverse, queer, rope customisation professional from the Middle East who laid down roots in London, she began by treating ropes for Anatomie’s Shibari Store, modelling for classes, and as a teaching assistant for rope bottoms. After dedicating years to learning from a variety of practitioners, she has become a teacher for both riggers and bottoms. She has been offering rope customisations services and education, and rigging services for productions and events since 2021. As a teacher, she finds joy in introducing people to rope, working with them to encourage curiosity and to teach them in the best way possible for them as individuals. Mel’s style is often described as ‘meeting bottom’s where they’re at and seeking to give them what they need”. She is committed to her growth in her rope practice and developing her style. In this interview, she shares: • How she discovered rope bondage • Her relationship and connection with Anatomie Studio • What place rope holds in her life now • Her background as a circus performer • Being a House Rigger and other rope activities through which she earns a living • What a House Rigger is and what they do • Pros, cons, risks, discomforts and challenges of House Riggers • What she has learned from being a House Rigger • How being a House Rigger has helped her develop her more subby service side through topping • Her journey into rope maintenance • Why is rope maintenance is an important topic for rope tops and bottoms • Unusual types of customisation/personalisation you can do to your rope kit
Both fox (as a rope top) and Mya (as a rope bottom) live with chronic pain in different ways, and exploring the topic in rope bondage is very important to them. In this episode, they address the idea that the activity of rope bondage can impact physical chronic pain, and some of the ways it might do this. They note they’re not Doctors, and pain is *always* a subjective experience, but however you manage it - with props or processing - pain is something in rope bondage you are almost certain to have to deal with in some sense, both as a top and a bottom. The episode focuses on the importance of a more nuanced conversation about pain in rope bondage, and the hosts would love to hear about your experiences in the area. The team discuss: • The difference between chronic pain and acute pain • Where chronic pain comes from and what is it • ‘Good pain’ versus ‘bad pain’ and when these concepts are and aren’t helpful • Variability in humans of altered headspace in rope and how they might impact on chronic pain • New / different pain in rope and how it can change your experience of chronic pain • Trading off different types of pain in rope • Locus of control and how it affects our experience of pain • How rope bondage can help us change our body’s story and reclaim our pain • Increasing our self-knowledge through the experience of pain in rope bondage • How physical touch and connection can decrease pain • Therapeutic rope, what is it, and what it isn’t • Pressure and compression and pain gate theory • Recovery from rope bondage scenes • Realism about the constant trade offs with chronic pain (spoons)
In our last episode we enjoyed the first part of our lovely interview with JP the Pope (find the first part of the conversation at Ep:150). With 20+ years in professional rope bondage adult videos, he has a wealth of interesting experiences to talk about, plus his shoots are some of the most interesting and creative rope bondage positions for sex the podcast team has seen. In this episode discover: • When he’s gotten it wrong, accidents and injuries he’s been involved with in rope bondage and how he’s dealt with them • Discussing limits and consent before starting to shoot • How ego kills talent • The benefits of working with an empowered, trusted crew • Continuous improvement and learning, and how he does this • How he comes up with positions for his shoots • Aftercare off-camera (and the critical place of hugs!) • Working with his wife on set and the roles they take • Blooper moments over the years The Pope has been practicing bondage professionally since 2004. He is a bondage rigger, but also a director and performer. The Pope recently has been added to the AVN Hall of Fame, which is the first bondage director/performer ever recognized in that capacity. Hopefully this paves the way for future bondage/fetish performers and directors to be more accepted and recognized by mainstream media. NB: Apologies, we had some problems with the sound at fox and Mya’s end, so bear with us. Luckily no issue with the Pope’s! Catch episode 150 for the first half of the interview.
The Pope has been practicing bondage professionally since 2004. He is a bondage rigger, but also a director and performer. The Pope recently has been added to the AVN Hall of Fame, which is the first bondage director/performer ever recognized in that capacity. Hopefully this paves the way for future bondage/fetish performers and directors to be more accepted and recognized by mainstream media. fox’s rope has been heavily influenced by JP’s work over the years, and the podcast team have watched many of his videos (for research! ;)), so they were thrilled to talk to him here. In this episode discover: • His journey to discovering rope bondage • How he got into the adult entertainment industry • Taking inspiration from other rope practitioners around him • Rope’s place in his life personally and professionally now • His influences from Western freestyle to Shibari (via Midori’s book!) • Using rope bondage in a personal versus a professional context • Sadism versus sustainability • Tips for sustainability in rope bondage (fox has been using one of them since the interview!) • Why JP doesn’t have intercourse on camera • Some of the biggest challenges he has faced on shoots NB: Apologies, we had some problems with the sound at fox and Mya’s end, so bear with us. Luckily no issue with the Pope’s! Catch episode 151 for the second half of the interview.
What is a ritual, and why might it be something we include in our rope? fox and Mya discuss the topic and how it might add magic and sparkle to our rope practice, including some examples of what it might look like. They also discuss: • A definition of what a ritual is, and how we might apply that to our rope • Pros and cons of ritual • The importance of education and accessibility in creating your rituals • Common elements of ritual in rope • Different levers to create more ritual in rope • Why ‘intention’ is critical in creating ritual • Concrete examples of ritual from the rope world • Aspects of ritual and how you might play with them in your scenes **What’s your favourite rope ritual?**
The Silence is a California based photographer who specializes in boudoir and kink photography, including shibari and kinbaku. When he started, everyone was photographing their rope work with flip phones - and the he thought to himself, why not learn to take better pictures. Five years of practice later, he has discovered a deep love of photography, enjoying experimenting with lighting and posing to create striking images. In developing his art and passion he’s shot with people around the world, and here at the podcast we find his work very inspiring, and him talented - yet in person he’s humble and genuine. We loved hearing about his passion for photography and behind the scenes experiences. In this episode he shares: • His rope origin story • How he got into rope photography • His 3Ps in rope • The background to his kink name • The rope he likes for a scene versus a photoshoot • His negotiation process • How he collaborates with models for photoshoots • His postproduction process • Tips he gives rope bottoms when modelling • Great advice for new rope photographers • His current and future focus in rope and photography
There’s no such thing as perfect, there’s always things we can improve, no matter who we are, and what level, type and role in rope we are at. Feedback can help us with that - but it’s a delicate topic that we need to approach with kindness and a gentle touch. The podcast hosts firmly believe in feedback (outside and inside the world of rope!) for us to be better not just in terms of rope, but also as rope partners, people, and just as a life skill in general. In this episode, Mya brings some of her professional experience as a psychologist to the episode, and the podcast hosts discuss: • What feedback is, and why it might be important in rope • A guide to how you might structure feedback • Warm feedback versus cold feedback • Why ego kills talent • The difference between criticism and talent • More and less effective ways to give feedback in rope • Why it’s important to focus on the behaviour not the person when sharing feedback • “I” versus “you” statements • Non-Violent Communication and how it might inspire our feedback • Why you shouldn’t use the ‘sandwich’ approach when giving feedback • Examples of feedback the top and bottom can give each other • Tips on how to receive feedback more easily • The importance of discussing ‘what good looks like’ before your rope, and how that relates to feedback Get ready - this episode goes deep!
Assistant is a large language model trained by OpenAI, and fox and Mya were interested to see how they could help provide information and insights on rope bondage, and how accurate it might be. The results surprised them both… In this episode hear Assistant’s thoughts on: • What rope bondage is, and if shibari and rope bondage are the same thing • How AI can be useful to those interested in rope bondage • The risks of rope bondage, and what people like about it • How we can improve our rope bondage skills • Advice for newcomers in rope bondage • How to find a partner to do rope bondage with • Some creative writing from Assistant - a William-Gibson-style cyberpunk novel with a central theme of rope bondage and a poem about rope bondage in the style of Byron! Finally, we checked with Assistant that they were ok with publishing their answers and this is what they said: You are welcome to use some of my answers as quotes in your podcast episode. However, please be aware that I am a large language model trained by OpenAI, and the answers I provide are not my own thoughts or opinions. My responses are generated based on the data and training materials that I have been given, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any individual or organization. If you do use my answers as quotes in your podcast, I would appreciate it if you would attribute them to me as a large language model trained by OpenAI.
There are a SURPRISING number of labels people use in rope, some of which have leaked over from other aspects of BDSM, and some of which are unique to rope bondage. In this episode, fox and Mya explore - and sometimes disagree on! - what these can mean, sharing some of the different meanings that can be associated with these labels. This discussion provides a starting point for you to have with the people you do rope with about their labels, and is definitely NOT the definitive guide - we know communities, cultures, individuals all bring different perspectives, and we encourage you to talk to others about their labels, why they chose them (if they did!) and making sure you’re both using the label that suits them, and you understand what they mean by chasing it. It’s a helpful way to discover more about each other! Also learn in the episode: • 12+ labels that the podcast hosts can think of that people use in rope • fox and Mya’s preferred labels • Whether you can have more than one label • A little bit of Thai from fox • Some of the more controversial terms, and why that might be the case • Caution around gender and stereotyping in labels • Areas where labels might be lacking • Benefits of labels - and the downsides • Why humans like labels • How might you choose one or more labels in rope, if you want to • A question from Mya about the rope world and their relationship to labels We fully expect (and encourage!) listeners to disagree with our definitions, so tell us in the comments: **What label/s do you use in rope? What does it mean to you?**
fox and Mya don’t tie TKs, and rarely tie a box tie because of their risk profile - but they understand a lot of listeners do. So when they saw educator fuoco had put out a book about box ties, they were excited to get her perspective. fuoco also shares more about her Zine ‘Cut the Leash’, the audience for that and the notion of kinky community - as well as their issue on ‘Witchiness and rope’. Might you be a contributor? Get in touch with fuoco on her website below. In the meantime, listen to this engaging discussion to hear about: • The origin of the fuoco’s new book, Put Me In A Box • Pros and cons of box tie • What she loves about box tie • How she manages the risks of a box tie as a rope bottom • Ways bottoms and tops can work together to adjust the box tie to different bodies • The concepts of a sustainability and stability and optimising both • What can rope bottoms do to have longevity in rope • Switching up patterns to avoid cumulative nerve damage • Optimising rope fun! • And plenty more <3 fuoco began her rope journey as a bottom in Phoenix ten years ago and shortly thereafter moved to London, where much of her early rope learning happened. Upon moving back to the US, she began presenting at cons and intensives around the country sharing her love of rope. As an educator, she's decidedly non-dogmatic in her approach to teaching. Her classes aim to help bottoms to better understand their bodies in movement, and to offer riggers the knowledge to adapt their tying to the unique needs of their partners. When she’s not doing rope, fuoco is a professional acrobat. Her dedicated study of the mechanics of the body make her especially interested in developing more comprehensive education for bottoms informed by these practices. She's also a leftist who believes that kink is inherently political. She strives to bring her politics, her values, and an accountability for those values into her teaching spaces.