Synthetic rope (especially nylon) can be very slippery and may not work with frictions, it also requires you tie bulletproof knots which can be helpful for beginners but also frustrating. They also have a high burn rate on skin.
Twisted Nylon 6mm 223-372 lbs.
Braided Nylon 6mm 198-331 lbs working load, 1325 tensile strength
Synthetic blend rope: POSH and Hempx these have more ‘tooth’ to them and keep knots and frictions nicely, slightly higher burn than natural fiber but overall ideal.
in boating they use a x12 safe working load, in theatrical rigging they use a x10 safety factor. Meaning if you have a 100lb bottom you would want a working load of 1000lbs. natural fibers aren’t generally rated for more than 1000lbs making it just barely inside the recommended safety factor for very small bottoms
With all the hybrid and new synthetics there’s no reason to not use synthetic for your primary uplines besides tradition.
If you plan on doing drop lifting, inversions, spinning, flips, climbing on top of your bottom or any other “circus” rope use synthetic or the ghost of Tornus will come haunt you.
In particular issues with natural fibers include:
You can’t safely do Shock loading (drop lifting, dynamic movement or other ‘circus’ rope).
Natural ropes don’t like water, it causes the fibers to swell and shrink, making it less than ideal for outdoor rigging
If natural fiber isn’t well maintained the rope can be significantly weakened (regular oil/wax conditioning and inspections for twists)
Because natural fibers aren’t generally rated for more than 1000lbs making it just barely inside the recommended safety factor for very small bottoms.
Natural fiber uplines are fine for accessory lines (arms, ankles etc). or static ties
Rope only to be used in groundwork/ accessory body harnesses:
All of these are rated for 100lbs or less.
Sisel, the stuff you use on cat scatching posts…itchy and weak
Coconut -think sisel but even scratchier and weaker
Bamboo -super soft antimicrobial making it well suited for crotch rope, has a lot of stretch making it not suitable for uplines.
Cotton- soft, cheap, looks nice but not rated for much weight beyond a clothesline.
The working load limit tells you the maximum amount of weight the rope should support at any time.
Polyester: Synthetic material that is UV-resistant, abrasion-resistant and maintains its strength when wet. Usually pre-stretched. Good choice for general purpose rope.
Polypropylene: Lightweight synthetic material that is resistant to mold, mildew and many chemicals. Floats in water. Has low resistance to UV rays and abrasion.
Nylon: Synthetic material that is both flexible and strong. UV-resistant and abrasion-resistant. Weakens in water and does not float.
Kevlar: Extremely strong synthetic material that is resistant to fire, extreme temperatures, stretch, water and chemicals. Has low UV resistance, so it is often covered with polyester.
Sisal: A natural fiber used for making twine, paper, cloth, carpets and more. Sustainable and biodegradable. Low water resistance and abrasion resistance. Prone to mildew.
Manila: A natural fiber that is very stretch-resistant and holds knots well. Sustainable and biodegradable. Like sisal, it has low water and abrasion resistance and can be prone to mildew.
Coir: A natural fiber made from coconut husks. Sustainable and biodegradable. Used in many gardening applications.
48 – 80 lbs
Twisted Cannabis Hemp
35 – 59 lbs.
twisted Manila Hemp
81 to 135 lbs.
Ways you can make rigging safer
Use synthetic uplines
Avoid rope on the back of the upper arms (TKs and strappadoes in particular)
Practice harnesses on the ground before attempting suspension.
Always use a mat or padding below the bottom especially when doing inversions.
Tie closer to the ground
When to retire your Rope
Broken or cut fibers
Variations in size or roundness of strands
Discoloration or rotting
Powdered fiber between strands
Exposure to extreme tempatures (20ºF to 180ºF for natural fibers)
prolonged UV exposure of synthetic rope
prolonged exposure to water for natural fiber ropes
▪ Don’t lift on a single bight (i.e. use a double bight, A.K.A better bight or australian bight, instead to reduce repetitive stress on the bight). Carabiners and rappel rings also reduce friction stress on the bight.
Never use run one rope through two hard points. this is known as the American Death triangle, the rope is actually twice as weak when run though two points. Alway only run the rope to one point, you can connect multiple uplines using a ring or plate to spread the load between two points.
So I went to SCRUE the other day and had a really good conversation with GrayDancer and Provocations about rope skill levels and the issues around what is intermediate, but one of the things that really jumped out to me Gray’s comment that we treat suspension as a monolith, you turn on or off the switch, when really it’s several different skill levels, styles and kinds of knowledge needed. Anyway it make me think about how you might structure a series of classes on suspension.
Suspension basics baby’s first ‘suspension’ would be a chest or hip harness where the bottom can entirely self rescue by standing, the top gets to practice running a up-line but neither top nor bottom need to feel the stress of a full inversion. perhaps a second tie is a hammock or M suspension, you work on managing more up lines but it’s not too stressful for the top or bottom. and this is all you really need for basics.
From here we branch into a few kinds of advanced suspension.
Advanced ties Fancy harnesses (aguras, elaborate body harnesses etc) Arm loading harnesses (tengu, TKs etc)
Dynamic rigs (puppet suspensions, up lines for jumps, jolts and other dynamic movement)
partials (fall safety, fatigue management, body manipulation)
Transitions (understanding shock loading, up line safety, advanced rescue methods)
accessory transitions (not changing the mainlines but using legs and waist lines to shift weight or shape, body mechanics to help shift the bottoms comfortably)
Major transitions ( switching from chest to hips, face up to face down,)
inversions and coming out of inversions (single point foot/leg hangs, advanced safety and rescue procedures)
Curious what other people think and if there’s various other niches within suspension I’ve overlooked.
It also struck me how a lot of people will say “you must/must not” have synthetic up lines, if you’re doing dynamic rigs or major transitions…you really do need synthetic up lines. However but if you’re just doing basics with no shock loading it’s much much less likely to ever be an issue for you if you rig average to smaller bottoms.
Most people find them doable but not comfortable consistently.
Hard for Most bottoms:
Angel wings or Tengus
single point suspensions
single column chest harnesses
Both Strappados and TKs require significant shoulder rotation and some flexibility,
this increases the likelihood the tie will be unsustainable or injure your bottom.
If your bottom wants to do more challenging tying approach it as training for aerial arts. If you want to do advanced ties your bottom needs to practice in those more challenging shapes and ties.
When working with less experienced bottoms ideally look for ties that do not go to the maximum range of motion. If you seeScapular winging this is an indication that the shoulder is in a weakened position and vulnerable for your particular bottom. Test range of motion before you begin tying.
Humans are remarkably adaptive, and can learn to do almost anything, but we need practice to get our bodies acclimatized to the sensations and figure out how to best move our bodies. You wouldn’t try to do the flying trapeze with someone who’s never done trapeze before – even if you’re an expert. Rigging is the same, you need to work and train as a team.
your own risk profile. For example if you’re the sole provider for a child you might choose to never participate in any kind of breath play because that’s too risky for you. On the other hand perhaps you are a model and need to have perfect skin, then you might choose not to do impact play unless you’re wearing clothing to protect your skin. Maybe you’re a top and don’t feel comfortable doing anything that could cause nerve damage. Your risk profile is up to you, but it requires that you talk to your partners and think about what level of risk you’re comfortable with. These are all worst case scenarios we don’t have statistics to tell us what percentage of people get nerve damage every year so it’s going to be personal estimation.
Worst case outcome: Death
Breath play (air restriction, blood chokes, waterboarding)
Electrical play (current from wall)
Abduction in car trunk (motion/accident)
The Wikipedia article on Auto erotic fatalities is particularly enlightening here.
Other methods of autoerotic fatalities include
electrocution, foreign body insertion (especially sharp or large objects), overdressing/body, amyl nitrite, GHB, or nitrous oxide. Mixing drugs and BDSM in particular has lead to deadly results for some people.
Our key advice is never do breath play or bondage solo, and never mix drugs and BDSM.
Worst case outcome: Permanent scar
Fire play and Wax play
Cutting / knife play / Abrasion / Scratching /
Rough Body play (kicking, wrestling, punching)
Impact with hard objects
Suspension bondage (especially Arm-loading ties (e.g. TK)
Gags/failure to safe signal
Failure to disclose other sexual partners
Failure of negotiation resulting in: rape, injury, consent violation
Emotionally high-risk activities
Group sex / open relationships
Heavy D/s and or TPE
Fear play, mind fucks and phobias
Individual-specific triggers (PTSD)
Identity dysphoria play (race play, gender and sexual orientation subversion, etc.)
Behavior modification or conditioning
We think emotionally damage is actually one of the most common outcomes of BDSM scenes gone wrong. There’s a bunch of ways you can go wrong doing these kinds of play from creating insecurity in a partner to accidentally crossing a boundary. Because of this having a trigger plan to handle emotional fall out can be a good way to help you navigate this kind of play.
If you like doing emotionally intense play make sure you feel safe and secure with your play partners, if you already feel insecure or unsafe this kind of play is going to just make you feel more insecure and unsafe. If you have a history of abuse these kinds of play might be retraumatizing especially if you haven’t addressed the root issues. We recommend finding a kink friendly therapist before delving deeply into anything emotionally fraught.
Remember there are many abusers out there if you’re not sure if you’re in a healthy relationship ask yourself : Do I feel loved and safe? Do I have control of my financial and living situation? Am I respected? are my boundaries respected?
You likely will find that your risk assessment of things will change over time with experience and research, it’s a normal and healthy part of developing your risk profile. We encourage you to have fun thoughtfully!
The term dildo was first coined in around 1400 AD and originated from the Latin for ‘dilatare’, which means ‘open wide’, and ‘delight’. Dildos have been found all over the world, made out of stone, ceramic, jade, gold and even dung. Some theories include that these were worshiped, used to keep orifices closed in the dead, or for fertility…. But we imagine plenty were simply erotic aids. Sex toys are nothing new and nothing to be ashamed of, they can be a great asset in your sex lift whether that’s solo or with an entire orgy.
Sex Toy Myths
You will lose sensation
Maybe temporarily you will become desensitized however if you reduce stimulation you will go back to your prior level of sensitivity
You will become “loose”
Vaginas are elastic and naturally are designed to “snap back” from having a baby…there are almost no toys that size, you’ll be okay.
Anuses however are less elastic, it is possible to cause long term issues from excessive stretching or rough penetration. Be gentle with your bum.
You can’t use silicone lube with sex toys
Partially true – you can’t use silicone lube with most soft plastics/rubbers, (TPE and “silicone blends”), however it is safe to use with with platinum silicone toys, glass, and metal.
You can’t use oil as lube with sex toys
Mostly False. You can’t use oil with toys that contain latex (gelly toys) or with latex condoms
Things to consider when buying toys
For Gspot and anal toys look for firm (metal, firm silicone etc)
For vaginal toys look for something softer
For harness toys look for something with a larger head and a inch or two longer than normal to help it ‘stay in’
For cockrings look for something that attaches to the balls or has a counterweigh to keep the toy from shifting sideways
More modes isn’t necessarily better, consider how many buttons it takes to get to your happy place.
The average vaginal canal is 3-6 inches in length, after about 7 inches you’ll be bumping the cervix… do with this knowledge what you will.
Toys that we consistently hear are ‘earth shattering’ are: the Magic wand rechargeable, hydromax pump and weVibe melt. (This is not a sponsored post this is purely personal opinion and experience)
Strokers: hydromax pump, hot octopus duo for stroker,
Harnesses: spareparts, joque
Lube: Sutil, sliquid
It’s no surprise there’s questionable products out there. But what you might not be aware of is there are Toxic Sex Toys.
Not all toys are not chemically stable and can leach out that oil. The end result is a synthetic oil in your vagina and Anus.
Look for Platinum silicone, a type of silicone that uses only platinum as a catalyser, and is used for medical and food grade silicone products.
Beware of Jelly, Cyberskin, Vinyl and PVC, TPE, TPR, Elastomer, TPR-silicone, SEBS, and silicone blends
Not safe to share without condoms, can’t boil or put in dishwasher
Rubber Soft, sometimes contains questionable materials
Hard Plastic Can crack with age, cheap
“Gelly” toys Stretchy, good for strokers, very porous can’t be shared. Silicone lubricants will deteriorate softer sex toys that may also contain silicone, jelly or CyberSkin, due to the way that silicone molecules react with other silicone products.
Wood toys Wood can be sealed, however is inherently porous, shouldn’t be immersed in water or boiled..
Non Porous toys are Dishwasher Safe , can be boiled, and are safe to share with proper cleaning
Metal (Good for temperature play)
Glass (Need to store safely )
Silicone (Variety of textures)
Hands free/remote control Vibrators
Panty vibrators (we like the Moxie by Wevibe)
Vulva huggers (Eva 2 by Dame, RockHer -designed for scissoring)
‘Dual vibators’ such as the WeVibe Sync, We-Vibe Jive and Lelo Tiani 3
Liberator and other sex pillows can make a wand hands free
The Magic Wand
While there are a variety of knock offs out there the rechargeable Magic wand (previously created by Hitachi) is the holy grail
Long lasting battery
Alternatives include Lelo smart wand which has a feature where it turns off when it’s not incontact with skin. 8 settings, not as strong, more ergonomic handle
The Doxy is not cordless but it advertises as being the strongest wand on the market.
Dildos come in any size from small and firm to large and soft.
Why not use a tool that’s perfect for that particular day?
Can be used anally or vaginally (All toys used anally need a flared base)
Ben wa balls
Brands we like for insertables: Vixskin, Tantus, njoy, Squarepeg, B-vibe, Colours
Harnesses and double ended dildos
Boxer brief or Bikini style
Great for packing
Less ‘firm’ and less adjustable
Slightly awkward to put on
Thigh cuffs and Boot straps
Great if you have trouble thrusting using your hips
can slide around.
Harness free strap ons
Can be used anally or vaginally
We recommend using some kind of external support since most find it will slip out without support.
Anything that goes in the butt needs a ring or flared base!
Toys for external genitalia
CockRings (vibrating, pressure)
Strokers(tenga egg, fleshlight, hot octopus duo)
Silicone – works in the bath, lasts forever
Hybrid – lube and water based blend, not too slick, not too sticky
Water based- works with all kinds of toys, no residual lingering
Oil based- not compatible with latex condoms, we recommend fractionated coconut oil which has anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Flavored – Avoid glycine and other sugars for vaginal use
Ideas for how to leverage your toys
Wear a toy on the ride to or from your date.
Choose a toy that will represent ‘your dick’ for your partner to fuck while you’re away.
Try DP with a toy or 69!
Have your partner use a toy on themselves while giving you head
Make you partner show you exactly how they use the toy on themselves…for educational reasons
Have phone sex (even if they’re just in the other room)
Attach a toy to your partner (face, chest, hips) and ride it to show them what they are missing out on.
Tell them they can use their favorite toy as a reward for good behavior.
If you are into squirting a firm curved toy can often unlock this super power.
How to clean toys
Rechargeable toys: use soap and water! we like Hibiclens it’s used on people for pre surgery scrub!
Solid toys: Glass, Metal and silicone: top rack of the Dishwasher or boiling.
If you don’t like cleaning or are sharing toys with someone else consider buying unlubricated condoms for toys, gloves also work well for bigger toys.
We hope you’ll use these tips to go out and have hot sex! For more (free) tips, go to