Updated: JUNE 17, 2022
Reviewed by Marla Stewart
on February 24, 2021

A rigger is someone who enjoys tying other people up in rope. A rope is a popular tool in the BDSM community. A rigger is generally a Dominant, and their submissive, the person who is tied up, is sometimes known as a rope bunny, rope bottom, or rope slut. However, this is not always the case as not all kink play involves a set D/s dynamic.

Riggers are also sometimes known as rope artists. The term "rigger" comes from sailing when it was applied to the person who was responsible for the ropes that controlled the sails. Rigger can be used to refer to anyone who gets pleasure from tying people up. It is neither gender nor sexual orientation specific.

For some riggers, just tying someone up in intricate bondage can be sexually satisfying. Other times, once the rope bottom is tied up, more sexual play will commence.

Rope bondage is a specialized kink that takes a considerable amount of time to learn and perfect. Some riggers prefer simple rope bondage to tie a bound partner up in bed or while standing.

Riggers can also perfect complex patterns and knots, such as in shibari, that move a bound person’s body into unnatural positions that may or may not be entirely comfortable for that person.

Some riggers practice suspension, where they bind their partners and then raise them into the air and leave them bound and hanging by the rope.

More About Riggers

Becoming a rigger is not something one does on a whim. Rope bondage is a complex art that can take years to master. Even if you have an overwhelming desire to tie your partner up, you must learn about different types of rope, body mechanics, and the potential risks associated with rope bondage. As the rigger, you have a specific amount of control over your rope bondage scenes, so it is your responsibility to communicate, listen, and respond, sometimes very quickly.

When it comes to rope, all riggers will have their favorite materials. A rope can be made from various materials, including cotton, polypropylene, nylon, hemp, and jute. Different ropes have pros and cons, depending on what type of tying you want to do with them. You should try different types before settling on your favorite. Riggers should check that their ropes are always in good shape before starting a scene, particularly one that involves suspension.

In many types of rope bondage, the rigger moves and binds the person’s limbs in specific positions. Well-done rope bondage will ensure that it is as comfortable as possible. However, there is the potential for damage if that position is maintained for too long. Riggers need to be aware of how joints and muscles will react to their bondage desires.

As with other BDSM activities, trust is a crucial element of rope bondage scenes. Riggers and rope bottoms should communicate their boundaries and desires before rope bondage scenes and establish safe words and possibly signals to ensure everyone's safety.

While everyone involved in a rope bondage scene is responsible for safety, because the rigger is literally in control of the ropes, they need to be aware of risky types of knots and techniques. Any bondage that restricts airflow or circulation should be avoided, and the bound partner should not be left alone. A rigger must keep sharp scissors or knife close by to use if the rope bottom’s safety is compromised. Remember, you can always get more rope.


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