Rope Study is based in Richmond, Virginia and was founded in the fall of 2015.
We provide in-person instruction and online support materials to promote risk-aware rope bondage education for tops and bottoms. Our purpose is to foster an active, skilled, responsible, and well-informed rope community. We offer instruction designed to move members from beginner to advanced through regular class sessions, workshops, private instruction, and individual study and practice with the support of online materials provided on this site.
We do not see ourselves as competition to either local rope groups and peer share events or to educators and educational offerings, either in-person or online. Instead, our primary goal is to help bridge the gap between the entry-level rope skills often learned through peer sharing and online resources and the intermediate to advanced skills often expected of those who want to attend rope conferences, workshops, and intensives. In other words, we want to help people be better prepared to get the most out of other social and educational rope-related offerings.
We are directed first and foremost by the “Core Values” that we established when we began Rope Study in 2015. Those principles guide our decisions and practice, and we strive to embody them within the rope community and beyond.
In addition, our guiding philosophy of “tying well together” means that, instead of merely memorizing and accumulating learned patterns, we focus on understanding and applying the fundamentals of effective rope work with an emphasis on understanding the reasons behind the choices that practitioners make on both sides of the rope. We also prioritize strategies for mitigating risks, making informed decisions about accepted risks, and discovering each person’s path for responsible progression.
We seek to inspire the thoughtful and responsible pursuit of rope bondage, and we consider ourselves life-long learners in that pursuit. We do our best to pass along what we have learned so far, but we make no claims to know all there is to know.
We resist dogma. Yet, while we readily admit there is no “one right way” to practice rope, we also recognize that there are irresponsible ways.
We welcome questions. We admit to ignorance and respond to it with inquiry.
Instructors & Contributors
Instructors, teaching-assistants, and contributors to the work at Rope Study include:
Ma'iitsoh YazhiFounder / Lead Instructor (He/Him - Rope Top)
Alex / @maiitsohyazhi has been practicing rope bondage since early 2012. His primary interest is in Japanese-inspired rope art, though he learns from as wide a range as possible and incorporates freely if it appeals to his aesthetic or makes practical sense. He has studied rope with a wide range of nationally and internationally-respected rope educators on both sides of the rope. Through his studies, he has come to value the importance of fundamentals and an understanding of the choices we make in rope. He also values the importance of the rope community, and he founded RVA Rope in Richmond, VA in 2013 and helped to run that group from 2013 to 2018. In the fall of 2015, he founded Rope Study along with his partner, Bound Light. His professional background includes over 20 years in training, curriculum development, and education, which informs his approach to rope education. He also likes taking pictures.
Bound LightFounder / Lead Instructor (She/Her - Rope Bottom)
Bound Light founded Rope Study with Ma’iitsoh Yazhi in the fall of 2015 and has been practicing rope bondage since 2012. She has studied with and taken classes from many experienced and well-regarded rope tops and bottoms. She helped with running RVA Rope from 2014 through 2018 and has also run groups for self-tying, acro-shibari, and rope bottoming. Her background in dance and gymnastics, and her continuing interest in acro-yoga, inform her perspective as a bottom. Her background in education informs her approach to rope education.
ClosedEyesSeeingTeaching Assistant (He/Him - Rope Top)
ClosedEyesSeeing has been actively participating in BDSM and Rope since 2015. After discovering a love of rope bondage, he began to pursue formal instruction resulting in opportunities to learn from a wide range of educators across the years. Along with other members of the local community, he co-founded and continues to co-lead the Fredericksburg Rope Bite. The Rope Bite has allowed him to find an additional passion for sharing and increasing his own knowledge about rope, safety, and general tomfoolery though attempting to educate others.
PixieGurlyTeaching Assistant (She/Her - Rope Bottom)
Pixiegurly generally identifies as a submissive-leaning bottom (and occasionally a bossy bottom), and began her rope journey in earnest with ClosedEyesSeeing in late 2015. In 2017, tired of having to drive an hour in any direction for rope, she–along with some other Fredericksburg locals–founded the Fredericksburg Rope Bite, which she is still co-running. She mostly describes her style as ‘sensually silly’ and aside, from safety / consent / information sharing, doesn’t buy into the idea that kink needs to be serious business and that ‘fun’ isn’t enough of a reason for doing most things. She enjoys a variety of ropey activities and styles, but water bondage is her absolute favorite. Her other ideas of fun include adventures, helping others, and all things Halloween and horror related. Also bad puns. Please tell her all your favorite bad puns.
lacinatoTeaching Assistant (He/Him - Rope Top)
lacinato values patient, thoughtful, compassionate interactions in general, and he carries this perspective into his practice of rope. Though primarily a rope top since 2015, lacinato periodically bottoms in trusted relationships as part of his mindfulness practice. He cares about cultivating meaningful interactions in rope and hopes to show that rope can facilitate many different kinds of reflection. lacinato served on the RVA Rope board for two years and has been assisting with Rope Study since 2017.
delicataTeaching Assistant (She/Her - Rope Bottom)
delicata has been bottoming in rope since 2015 and has been heavily influenced by Rope Study throughout that time. After some early experiences with challenging nerves, delicata quickly learned to listen to her body and make adaptations that would work for her, even if that meant moving away from some classic patterns. This willingness to accept her actual felt experience gave her space to explore some of the many reasons to do rope, including for photography and meditation, rather than conforming to her previous expectations about what rope should be. She holds this perspective while listening to others’ experiences and hopes to share the importance of self-compassion and thoughtful progression in rope.
SardonicTeaching Assistant (He/Him - Rope Top)
Currently based in Richmond, VA, Sardonic is a rope top, educator, rope maker, and rope care enthusiast. He first found rope in 2012, and it has since become an integral part of his life. Sardonic believes that it is deeply important to understand both the principles and mechanics of how rope moves, how the human body works and the fundamentals of handling and tying. This creates the opportunity to focus less on the rope, and more on the connection, the unspoken conversation, between partners. He believes that when we tie, we are tying people, rope is simply the tool we use to achieve this.
AlinaTeaching Assistant (She/Her - Rope Switch)
Alina is a sadomasochistic, queer switch, with a passion for creating safer spaces for individuals of all backgrounds to explore, discuss, analyze, and experience kink. She has been involved in kink for three years, focusing primarily on needle play/blood play, impact, knife play and rope. She enjoys mixing and incorporating different types of play with rope, and believes that kink is best experienced through a framework of combined self-reflection, self-compassion, and good communication. As a presenter, she enjoys helping to facilitate learning through sharing and discussion of ideas and experiences.
SteampunkContributor (She/Her - Rope Bottom)
@St3amPunk has been practicing rope as a bottom for about 8 years, with experience in both suspension and floor work. She is a nurse at a local hospital and has prior experience in EMS. She has developed and delivered a number of classes with her partner, both locally and nationally. She approaches education from the perspective of the bottom, and she emphasizes the development of the mind-body connection and self-awareness in order to understand what and how to communicate effectively in rope.