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Conversations on Rope

June 16, 2010

I had some interesting conversations while conditioning my rope. They all happened circumstantially, as the nearest pressure-cooker and gas stove live in a very communal space. Some new people have moved in who don’t know about the specifics of my sexuality, though I’ve mentioned my sexual exploration in general, and I kept having this paranoid temptation to only go in when no one was there. But all three times someone was, and it went like this:

“Is that dogbane?” Interest.

“No, hemp.”

“You make it?”

“No, I’m just conditioning it. I bought it. I boiled it, buffed it, and now I’m burning the fuzzies off, then I’ll oil it with jojoba oil.”

“What’s it for?”

“You mean, it’s purpose?” Stalling.


“Tying people up.”

“Oh.” Pondering. “Like, for magic tricks?”

Laugh. “Well, I guess it could be.” Stall. “It’s more for fun-sexy-time.”

“Hmm.” Mild surprise. Wanders off.

The next conversation, I was grabbing the pressure-cooker for the initial boiling and started cooking some eggs, and present were the guy from above (Man 1), and two other men, one of whom I’ve shared with more about my sexuality (Man 2) than the other (Man 3).

Man 3: “Whatcha doing?”

Me: “Gonna boil some rope.”

Man 2: “Not the eggs.”

Me: “Heh. Not unless I wanted imploded eggs.”

Man 1: “They’d be ready in about fifteen seconds.”

Man 3: “You’re boiling rope?” Confused. Man 2 shares in the confusion.

Man 1: “Is that to impregnate the oil?”

Me: “No, I think it’s to break down the fibers, but I just read another article that suggests doing that, so I might try it oiling it before I boil it with this batch.”

Man 3: “Why are you boiling rope?”

Me: “To make it softer, so it won’t chafe the skin as much.” I rub my fingers around my wrist.

Man 2: Revelation. “To tie people up.”

Man 3: “To tie people up?”

Me: “To tie people up.”

The third conversation was much briefer, and funny to me in its contrast. I came in when a woman was cooking and we rearranged pots so I could get to one of the burners.

Her: “Why don’t you do that outside with a lighter?”

Me: “Because it is recommended to use a gas stove.”

Her: “Oh.” Pause. “So what’s that rope for, huh?” *wink-wink-nudge-nudge*

Me: “Ehehehehe. Fun things. Heheh.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2010 8:17 am

    Love to know whether you think the final product is worth the effort. Living in the alternative “rainbow region” of Oz our hemp rope munches have become increasingly popular (another on the 26th). The locally available stuff is untreated so conditioning discussions and advice abound … your experiences and thoughts would be greatly appreciated:)

  2. ranat permalink*
    June 17, 2010 11:41 am

    I honestly can’t compare what I’ve got to “professionally” finished rope because I’ve never handled that much. But it feels flexible and pretty smooth running through my fingers. From a few brief self-bondage experiments, it doesn’t seem to chafe or itch. I don’t know if professionally conditioned rope is softer than mine, but I also know the rope is going to soften more as it gets used and absorbs body oils.

    On my first batch I overdid the burning of the fuzzies. I wanted to get them all off. Which is not really possible. The result was the rope turned a golden color because the outer fibers were exposed to enough heat to change their structure. I’m not really concerned since I’m not planning on suspending anyone (yet). Also, on the first batch I tried to wipe the soot off with a damp rag (for some reason I remembered the instructions that way, but there’s no mention of it in any of the instructions I’ve seen), which actually worked some of the soot into the surface of the rope, giving it a dirty look. I wasn’t happy with it, but I think it will come out the first time I wash it.

    The second batch I burned just the large fuzzies off, and it looks much neater. I don’t have ready access to the washer/dryer process that some instructions recommend, so I used the “rubbing sharply against an object with an edge” method, in my case a thin wire cable. It tended to take off more fiber in some places than others, and if I went overboard it kind of squared off the rope, so I had to be careful to buff it uniformly. From the instructions in the first link above I thought the buffing process was going to be more labor-intensive, but it wasn’t particularly.

    Overall, not as much work as I thought, and I like to be involved in the process of making things. Also, significantly cheaper.

  3. June 18, 2010 2:56 am

    Lots of great advice there, thank you … I’ll pass it all on! Especially the thin wire cable idea … like you we don’t have access to washer/dryers, they waste too much (solar) power and (tank) water. The joys of living off the grid *grin*.

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