What Is A Rigger In BDSM? Working With a Rope Bunny…

Quick links: Definition | Associated Terms | Rope Bondage | How To Play | Safety | Why Try? | My Experience | Pros & Cons | FAQs

Hi everyone. I’m so excited to be back here today talking about bondage which is one of my favorite subjects.

We will look closely at Riggers, what they do, and whom they play with. Human macrame artists are some of my favorite people.

I don’t want to tie you up … or maybe I do. Let’s dive into this fun and exciting aspect of BDSM.

Key Takeaways

  • A Rigger is a Dominant that works with rope to bind a sub.
  • Riggers must learn and practice their skills to make sure everything goes safely when they work with a sub.
  • Rigging can be the entire experience with no sexual contact as an aspect of the scene.

Who is a Rigger?

Simply put, a Rigger works with rope. Of course, I’m sure you want more detail on exactly what that means, and since I love the topic of bondage, I will gladly share everything I know, and maybe we can even discover a few new things.

“Bondage, the wish to be tied or chained, is one form of masochism.”

by Robert Jean Campbell; Oxford University Press, 2009
from Campbell’s Psychiatric Dictionary

Part of what makes this such an interesting subject is that riggers do exist outside the world of BDSM. For some people, it’s even their Monday through Friday pays-the-bills job. Those people tend to rig things, not people. Whatever makes them happy, but my preference is always for rope on the skin.

Obviously, for our purposes, we are much more interested in the BDSM aspect so let’s jump right into the kinky side of rope and Riggers.

Important Terms to Know

There are some words we want to understand to discuss Riggers and what they do thoroughly. This shared vocabulary makes communicating with each other and within the BDSM community easier.

Riggers are also known as Rope Tops. If you recall my post on submissives, you already knew that Riggers were Dominate because of that capital letter. That means Riggers do the tying.

A Rigger works with a rope bunny. These are the submissives who like to be tied up when playing.

A Little More About Rope Bondage

There are two main styles of rope bondage. These are referred to as Western and Japanese.

First, let’s look at Western. This style is used in most of the bondage we think about when it comes to playing. Western style ties the rope bunny for control when engaging in sexual behaviors. These are your basic wrist and ankle ties and other parts that leave access to private parts.

Then, we have Japanese. This style of bondage is the play. Japanese bondage is all about the beauty of the rope work. This type of rigging is also what is commonly used for suspension.

I’ll point out that there are other rigging stylesand this brief overview is far from all-inclusive. Some styles are incredibly artistic and can even create the illusion of clothing.

How Riggers Play

Riggers get pleasure from the bondage itself. As a Rigger, you enjoy the feel of the rope in your hands, the experience of tying your bunny, and the visual appeal of the finished product.

Rigging can be a time-consuming process. Each tie and knot must be precise to be safe and effective. Riggers cannot be rushed when tying, no matter which style is used.

Special Safety Concerns

I know safety is one of the things I always talk about, but it’s such an important topic. That is especially true when you engage in any Edge Play. Rope bondage falls under this broad category.

There is always risk associated with BDSM, but when we talk about rigging, we talk about some dire consequences when not done correctly.

Improper ties can lead to injury, nerve damage, loss of limb, and even death. This is not said to scare you but to ensure you are well informed before engaging in this type of scene.

Why Be a Rigger

There are plenty of reasons you may want to be a Rigger. There is something extraordinary about the interplay between a Rigger and a bunny. The level of trust required adds to the intimacy in this D/s relationship is one of the main reasons from my perspective.

Being a Rigger is a study of self-control. The time and patience required to perfect your skills make it more than a passing whim.

There is also something about creating such a beautifully finished product. Knowing that you are the one who crafted lengths of ordinary rope into a work of art can be a highly enticing reason to become a Rigger.

Personal Experiences With Rigging

This is not an area where I have nearly as much experience as I would like. There are two primary factors involved in this.

First, from a bunny side, it is not as easy as I would like to find a trustworthy, experienced Rigger. I will admit to making some serious mistakes in engaging in rope play.

I realized how insanely dangerous having a weak Rigger could be when I lost feeling in my hands during a scene. It took weeks for me to gain full feeling in my hands, and I was very fortunate that it did not do any permanent damage.

From a Rigger side, I am still very much a beginner. I hesitantly say I have almost mastered a single-column tie. I don’t get much practice because this is not an area where I can learn as I go without putting my partner in danger. I also stay very busy with other activities and don’t make practice the priority that it should be.

With all BDSM activities, my motto is “If it isn’t safe, it isn’t fun, and if it isn’t fun, why do it?”

Advantages of Being a Rigger

  • Creating visually appealing finished products
  • Learning a new skill that has applications outside of BDSM
  • Allows an intimate connection with a partner

Disadvantages of Being a Rigger

  • Must be very exact
  • Requires a great deal of practice
  • Can cause serious injury to bunny

What’s Next

This is an area where education is so vital. I do not recommend anyone grab some rope and start rigging. The risk of consequences that can change your life or someone else’s life is too high.

My top suggestion is to find a local in-person class with hands-on instruction. Yes, they exist and are not nearly as difficult to find as you think.

If an in-person class is beyond your comfort or you live in an area where they are not an option, Youtube is the next best option.

In either case, and I cannot stress this enough, practice, practice, then practice more. You can use a wide variety of safe alternatives to a human partner for practice. All you need is a bit of stability. I like using a piece of PVC, but there are many other options. I also practice ties around my ankle, which is a common method.

As always, with all BDSM activities, make sure you trust your partner and have a safe word!

Rigger in BDSM FAQs

Is rigging that dangerous?

Yes, rigging is dangerous. I know the safety side of BDSM isn’t fun, but it is so important. Anyone who engages in any form of Edge Play must make safety priority #1.

Where should I start my education?

The single-column tie is the place to start. It’s basic, easy to accomplish, and the basis for many other ties. Once you master the single column, you can bring some rope into the bedroom or dungeon.

Can I use any rope?

Not just any rope is a good choice for a Rigger. There are factors to consider, like safety and comfort, that should be used as a guide when choosing rope. There are some great resources to help you find the right type of rope for your purpose.

Author

  • HarliQ is a long-time member of the BDSM community. She identifies as a switch who has spent time in both Dominant and submissive roles in a diverse array of different scenes. She has experience in a wide variety of kinks and fetishes. HarliQ enjoys sharing her passion for the BDSM lifestyle with others and providing education and information to those new or evolving in the community. She is pursuing her Master of Psychology with a focus on human sexuality. Her goal is to remove the stigma many people associate with BDSM activities and open this world to anyone interested in exploring their whole self.