The TWO Column Tie!
This is probably the most classic way you’ll see bondage in any movie and most pictures.
Basically, this tie is for tying any two columns (wrists, ankles, wrist to ankles, thighs, calves, etc) together. Also useful for tying people legs to chair legs, wrists to chair arms, what have you. It’s very, very useful. You can have a fantastic rope scene using just this one tie, replicated a few times. (e.g. wrists, behind back with torso and arms treated as two columns, between legs, etc).
That said… I have a complicated history with this tie.
There’s a bunch of different ways of doing it; one of my problems back in the day was deciding which version I wanted to do. Which one was better? Which one was best? And so when I used it, I was never quite satisfied with it. I always felt there could be another way, a better way (Which is of course, one of the classic mistakes of the new rigger), and I spent a lot of time learning different versions and experimenting with my own kinds of tie. Which was faster? Which looked better? Which was more comfortable?
Seriously, this consumed months of my time. Looking back, it was pretty ridiculous; using the best tie is not the point. Using what works and is safe is all that really matters, as long as you and your partner are having fun. But such are the mistakes of newbies.
Of course, I started out with a pretty basic version. Twisted Monk has a bunch of really great instructional videos, and I practiced this version a lot. And to be fair, it does the job, and does it well. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was so anal about finding the “best tie” and “doing it RIGHT”, I probably might have stuck with it. And it would have been absolutely fine.
That said… I did find that this particular way of tying a two column tie was a bit cumbersome. I don’t like starting from the middle of the rope, because then I have to focus on controlling two sets of ends, instead of one; this also means you have to rely a lot on your partner to hold still while tying, and in general I just didn’t really feel that in control of the situation. When you’re wrapping one end of rope around someone’s wrists, you get more of a sense of control.
Many of the other “for beginners” versions of the two column tie have that same issue. It’s like it’s expected that beginners should have a more cumbersome time of tying people up or getting tied.
So I kept looking.
There are so many kinds; seriously, too many ways of doing it; but the best one I found was once again, in the IFA rope blog.
See here ( awesome two column tie technique)
What I like about this version? It’s simple, it’s safe, there’s more of a feeling of control. I like that it takes what you learn from the single column tie, and expands on that to make it suitable for double column ties.
The knots are, again, quite small – you can get it undone relatively quickly if you need to – but there’s not a lot of bulk there for the person you have tied up to get their fingers or teeth into to try and pick it apart. The fact that there’s a knot at the beginning is quite good, too – it means if you need to get someone out quickly (e.g. for wrist pain) you can get their wrists undone quite quickly without having to untie from the very end, which could take awhile if you’ve gone other places with the ends.
It’s also quite quick, and you don’t have to fumble around with multiple ends of rope. In fact, this video specifically shows you how to tie it reasonably smoothly without having a massively awkward cumbersome time of it.
Forget “tying for beginners” I think we all deserve to learn the best versions of a tie as soon as we can, so we have less to unlearn and less time messing about with awkward “beginner” ties.
There’s also a “reverse tension” kind of double column tie that works well for tying faster, and with a bit more of a “restrictive” emphasis. (Fun fact, I actually worked that one out for myself ages ago during my experimental streak. So it wasn’t all bad.) The only downside is you have to begin untying at the end of your rope, where you did your finishing knot. You can’t start untying at the original point in case of emergency, unless of course your knot was close to the beginning anyway – sometimes short rope has advantages. I still prefer the “forward tension” version though; probably because I like using longer rope. And when I use that version, even if nothing goes wrong, it does a lot for my peace of mind.
Again though, when tying a two column tie, I really don’t think it matters which knot you use, as long as it’s safe, non-collapsing, and you’ve practiced enough to do it reasonably smoothly in a hot situation. Whether you’re doing a basic “shoelace knot”, a Burlington Bowline, or something else, really isn’t that important as long as it’s safe and it gets the job done. The person you’re tying will be far more preoccupied with all the other things that are going to happen to worry about the knot.
Tips and Tricks:
- Try and make sure you’ve left the knot somewhere on the outside of the tie where it’s not that easy to get to. I mean, okay, rope bondage is consensual. It’s understood that you’re doing it together, to have fun, to enhance your sexual experience, all that good stuff.
But – It’s a bit careless to ruin the fantasy by making it TOO easy for them to get out, and knots to the inside are often easily accessible by fingers, teeth, that sort of thing. Make it at least look like it’s difficult.
- If you have a lot of trailing ends left over, you can usually tie them somewhere else. Alternatively, make a lot more wraps around your columns than you need to. This has two benefits; it makes the tie itself more comfortable (while keeping it restrictive) and also uses up those unsightly or annoying trailing ends. (Failing that, you could always try not giving a damn. Safely restrained? Time for fun.)
- Remember to keep your two columns slightly apart. It makes it easier to cinch without pulling your columns TOO tightly together, which will likely shorten your fun considerably.
- Remember to pull your rope through when you make the cinch, as opposed to pushing it. This will always be easier when tying ankles or wrists, but it’s still doable when you tie forearm and upper arm, or calf and thigh together. Just slightly more difficult. It often makes sense to use your thumb and fore fingers by pinching them together like a pair of tweezers, and seizing the rope with them, if you can’t use a more “crochet hook” technique with your finger.
- Making plenty of body contact as you do this tie (e.g. wrapping one of your arms about theirs as you tie them, or tying them from behind, controlling them with your weight) helps to keep things intimate and less mechanical, or “disengaged” from the erotic mood.
- If not tying from behind, then finding a way to be at right angles to the columns you’re tying often makes things easier for you.
So that’s the two column tie. Super useful, reasonably simple, and you can get a lot out of it for a small amount of learning and practice. Have fun.
Also, if you have any more tips and tricks for doing it well and smoothly; kindly add them in comments! I know there’s a bunch of people out there who have practiced this a lot. You’re bound to have learned some things I don’t know, and I’d love to pick up new tricks.