Rope Connections

Exploring rope bondage and BDSM

How To Join Your Rope

One of the best things about shibari is that the lengths of the rope you use are reasonably short and manageable.

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Two joined lengths of rope

This means you don’t have to waste tremendous amounts of time pulling through enormous lengths of rope and risk getting it tangled around your feet, making you look silly.

That said, you do need to add on additional lengths from time to time, so this post shows how to do that.

One handed, no less.

THE LARKS HEAD

First, take your bight.

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Middle of the rope = bight

Second, put your thumb and forefinger through the middle of your bight

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Kind of like your fingers are tweezers

Next, use your thumb and forefinger to reach down and around the trailing length of rope

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Reach around the outside of the trailing length

A good trick is to maintain the grip on the trailing end, and brush your hand against your leg, using the friction from that movement to force the upper loop down over your trailing end.

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The idea is to get that loop downward

This creates the simplest of slip knots, a Larks Head

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Larks Head Knot

Slide that larks head over the trailing ends of your previous piece of rope, tighten it down, and you now have a much longer length.

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Piece on the right is the old piece; on left is new piece.

It should be noted that the Lark’s Head can slide; it actually doesn’t happen much when you have it compressed onto a natural fibre rope like jute (because it has plenty of tooth) but it does happen occasionally, and will definitely happen on synthetic rope (which is slippery). To be honest, I’ll cheerfully use just this simple slip knot when I’m doing bedroom bondage with jute, because it really doesn’t move much.

However, for times when you want a more secure join, or if you’re using synthetic rope, there’s an additional trick to completely stop it from sliding.

THE SHEET BEND

If you turn your Lark’s Head over, you get a view like this one.

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Your completed Larks head

Using your thumb and forefinger, force those two bands apart and backwards.

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Create more space in the middle.

Keep forcing them back against the previous rope, continuing to widen that distance.

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Just keep pushing

Eventually, it will end up looking like this.

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A loose Sheet Bend

Once it looks like that, pull both lengths of rope firmly, tightening down the knot. You now have a completed Sheet Bend, and it won’t slip or go anywhere.

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Underside of the Sheet Bend

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Top Side of the Sheet Bend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And yes, this does work perfectly well with synthetic ropes, too.

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All sorted.

 

 

13 Comments

  1. I’ve been using this technique for ages now, because a) I don’t knot the ends of my rope so a larks head can slide off, and b) it lays much flatter on the bottom’s skin, and continues the “line” of the rope much nicer than the 90 degree join of a larks head.

    Funny thing is I never knew it was a sheet bend. I keep meaning to look up how to tie a sheet bend because several people have said I should use them for joining ropes.

    • Oh, that is very cool. I hadn’t thought of that “right angle” aspect of the Lark’s Head at all – I’ve just been thinking about the Sheet Bend as being very useful as a secure attachment. I have now just learned a new thing – thanks for that!
      How long have you been doing rope?

    • It’s not a sheet bend. It’s a reef knot on a bight. A sheet bend has one end inside, one end out. The reef knot (as in the last three pictures above) has both ends exiting the same space.

      There is a possibility I am mistaken, so I recommend you google both, compare the images and decide for yourself.

  2. Comment test

  3. How did I get into rope bondage? Um, I don’t really remember exactly when, but it was a during a period in my life when I was just messing around with a bunch of different FWB – nearly 3 years ago now. I know I’d tried tying a few partners to a bed at some point, but that usually involved 50m of cheap nylon and a lot of messy excess rope. I didn’t have a clue. It wasn’t until I had a FWB who was into kink and got directed to Fetlife that I started to see pictures of what half decent rope could look like.

    From there I got on Amazon, ordered Two Knotty Boys’ first book, a load of braided 9mm cotton and some safety shears. I messed about with my kinky FWB doing basic wrist ties, tying them to their bed to I could tease/torture them.

    It’s funny, I was thinking to myself just this morning, trying to locate the moment it all started “properly”; the moment when I “got” rope. I think it was when I’d gone to a hotel room with a girl and had tried to do some of the fancy TKB stuff with zero practice or knowledge of the ties, and she’d got cold and tired of standing around while I flicked back and forth through the pages. I thought to myself “well this is far from sexy.” I aborted the tie, and found something far simpler in Lee Harrington’s book. I did a bog-standard chest harness, and built a diamond karada off it. That seemed to work: she was covered in rope, and looked very pleased about it. I took a few phone-camera photos, and there was one shot in particular that just worked: she was lying back, eyes closed, a blissed out half-smile on her face, the rope framing her figure but not digging into her flesh, everything neat and symmetrical…. it was a beautiful moment.

    Bugger, I wish I still had that photo.

    I think that was the moment that I realised rope was more than just tying someone to a bed, and could be an erotic experience for both rigger and bunny, without having to be overtly sexual in its nature.

    [no idea why I can’t reply directly to your question above – no little red “reply” button on your last comment]

    • That’s really cool (also no idea what’s going on with comments lately, I think WordPress is having some kind of issue). I had a similar sort of experience when I was first tying; it was bloody awkward the first few times, then after lots of practice I eventually surprised the girl I was seeing at the time with some decent tying that didn’t involve as much fumbling.
      How would you rate Lee Harrington’s book? I haven’t read that one yet; I learned through a lot of internet trawling and eventually got hold of the Douglas Kent books, which helped a lot.

  4. From what I can tell, you’re creating a reef knot here in part #2. Grog calls it the “square (reef) knot”. A sheet bend looks somewhat similar but is structurally different, and has different properties, as Grog explains at length. You can see it quite clearly at animatedknots. I don’t think there’s any way to upset a lark’s head and end up with a sheet bend.

    • If you like. I’m not too attached to terminology as long as what I’m doing functions according to preference, so if you’re happier calling it a reef knot, then by all means do so.

      • Come on. You’re good at what you do. You take pride in doing things right. Giving techniques the right name is part of that.

        There’s no debate about what is a reef knot versus a sheet bend. Many knots have a variety of names, but these two are completely distinct, and have different failure modes, which can be important when tying up a body. I climb trees, where confusing a reef knot for a sheet bend is dangerous.

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