Thank you for your interest in studying rope bondage with us!

Application are currently closed. We will begin accepting application for the Fall 2020 round of classes in late summer. Follow us on social media or subscribe to the newsletter for updates!

We offer a progressive rope bondage curriculum for both tops and bottoms, meaning that the work in each class addresses concerns from both sides of the rope and builds upon the work from all previous classes. The ultimate goals of the course is to provide a solid foundation of understanding and skills for students to competently practice rope in a responsible, risk-aware manner and to prepare students to attend other workshops, intensives, and classes with other instructors and be able to understand what is being presented.


Why an application?

In a perfect world, we would accept everyone who has an interest in studying with us. However, we do have a few concerns and limitations that we have to work within:

  • First: Our primary concern is to ensure that we are the right fit for those who are interested.
    • Our Fundamentals courses focus on Japanese-inspired approaches to rope bondage, so we may not be a good fit for those who are mainly or exclusively looking to learn more about decorative or Western-style rope bondage.
    • In addition, these courses are like college-level seminars: we focus on many aspects of rope bondage in the hope of providing a well-rounded understanding of the major concepts and skills necessary at each level. In order to do so, we ask that students complete a good amount of reading, reflection, and practice between classes. This level of intense study and commitment may not be appropriate or worthwhile for everyone and may not be a good match for those who are just finding out about rope bondage or who are interested in it only as a small component of their play.
  • Second: We do want to screen for any “red flags” for everyone’s safety. We meet at a private residence, and many of the people who take classes with us take their own privacy very seriously. Therefore, we must take steps to try to ensure that privacy and ethical consent practices will be respected.
  • Third: We are limited by space, and accepting more people than the space can reasonably accommodate will result in a poorer experience for everyone. Therefore, we want to make sure that spots are filled by students who are ready to dedicate the time and attention required to get the most out of the courses.
  • Fourth: We do have some prerequisites in place to ensure that certain minimums are met so that everyone in the course can progress at a relatively similar pace. It would be unfair to other participants to admit students who significantly lack prior knowledge and skills.
    • Rope 201 – The prerequisites aren’t really about your current ability with rope. We’re mainly looking for people who have been doing rope long enough to know they really want to do this thing, are ready for focused study and practice, and are sure that the style of rope we teach is compatible with what they want to learn.
    • Rope 301 and 401 – At this level, we are looking at current rope ability and experience to ensure that participants are ready for the content we will address and will not be taking unnecessary risks when participating in class or between classes. However, we don’t intend this to be a “judgment about your rope ability.” Again, the primary concern is that what we plan to do in class is a good fit for your current experience and what you want to learn.

We also want to be clear that the following factors have no influence on acceptance: race, gender, age, body type or ability, creed, sexual orientation, or financial situation. (Those who feel the cost of the course is prohibitive will be admitted free of charge.)


Frequently-Asked Questions

The information below should answer many of the common questions about the application process and studying with us. However, if you have additional questions, please contact us.

How do you determine who to accept?

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The major areas we consider are: meeting prerequisites where relevant; commitment to study and practice regularly between classes; ability to attend all classes; commitment to “give back” to the rope community in some way (see below).

In the event that we have more applicants than space available, we will accept qualified applicants by lottery.

We also want to be clear that the following factors have no influence on acceptance: race, gender, sexual orientation, age, body type, creed, or financial situation. (Those who feel the cost of the course is prohibitive will be admitted free of charge.)

What is the cost, and why do you charge?

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We like to say that there are “two costs” for taking our Fundamentals Courses.

The first cost is financial. On average, we charge about $2/hour for instruction through our Fundamentals Courses, which is very minimal in comparison to most educational offerings regionally or nationally. We keep costs as low as possible because we want foundational rope education to be available to all.

However, in order to provide instruction at the level we offer here, we invest a good deal of our time and money (in web hosting, instructional content and videos, materials, facility upkeep, learning from others to bring back to the local community, etc.). We charge in order to off-set those costs so that we can continue to make these offerings available in a sustainable way. We greatly appreciate your support!

That said, we never want money to be the reason that someone dedicated to the study of rope bondage is not able to learn. If the cost is prohibitive for you, please let us know in the application process. Financial ability is not a determining factor for acceptance, and if accepted, we will not charge you for the course.

The second “cost” that we ask of participants is a commitment to find ways to give back to the continued growth and development of a healthy, risk-informed, responsible rope community. Some examples include: being a responsible participant at local events; attending and supporting local groups and events where possible; offering your experience and perspective to others, particularly to help people new to rope find safe entry into the community; volunteering as a TA for future courses or workshops, etc. In general, striving to embody and spread the “Core Values” that form the foundation of Rope Study.

What is this? What is it NOT?

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At its core, Rope Study is a series of courses based on a structured curriculum designed to move cohort members through a progression of skills and understanding. As such, topics build on each other, and members are required to master some topics before they will gain access to others.

There is an expectation that members will practice the skills and review the information from the previous topics while using provided resources to prepare for the next topic. Members are also expected to adhere to the “Core Values

What kind of rope work will I be learning?

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In Rope 101, we try to offer a broad overview of the various styles and approaches to rope bondage to help participants decide what appeals to them about rope.

Starting with Rope 201 and all subsequent courses, the rope work we practice is based on and inspired by the Japanese style of tying, often referred to as shibari or kinbaku. Please see the individual course pages for more details about what is taught during each course.

We don’t teach Western-style bondage or purely decorative bondage beyond Rope 101. While we value those forms of tying and don’t mean to denigrate them in any way, it’s simply not what we practice (and therefore, not what we teach). However, we do believe that the skills we teach at all levels are applicable to other forms of rope bondage. Still, if you’re interested in studying those styles of rope bondage specifically, please contact us, and we can try to direct you to good sources of information.

We also want to point out that if your goal is to simply find some ways to tie up your partner for play, then the content in Rope 101 will likely be more than enough to get you started. However, the kind of tying we teach in Rope 201 and beyond may be more than you’re looking for in that case. You can certainly take the skills we cover and apply them to that goal, but that is not the focus of those courses. Take Rope 101 and come out to Rope Bite, as many participants there can also help you with those goals.

Is this for beginners? Or do I already need to know some things?

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Rope 101 is designed for anyone new to rope! We explore various styles and approaches to rope bondage and provide some essential skills to get you tying.

Rope 201 builds on Rope 101 and is designed for both new rope tops and bottoms ready to begin a serious study of rope bondage and for experience tops and bottoms looking to reinforce the fundamentals and fill any significant gaps in their education. It assumes some familiarity with rope at the “101” level, and enough time working with rope to commit to a serious pursuit, but has no specific prerequisites.

Is this for experienced people?

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Yes.

We believe all skill levels can benefit from Rope 201, as this course seeks to enhance your understanding of rope bondage and improve on the skills of tying well. The focus is not only on the fundamental concepts and skills of rope bondage, but also on genuinely understanding those fundamentals and learning to apply and adapt them to various situations, from both the top and bottom perspective.

Rope 301 is designed for more experienced rope artists who are ready to start exploring the fundamental concepts and skills that come with adding load to the ties and the bodies in those ties.

Finally, our private instruction is open to all levels, but is where we work specifically with more advanced rope concepts, techniques, and patterns.

Being perpetual students ourselves, we feel new ideas are always worth exploring. We also believe that, by sharing your experience and helping others, you learn even more. Experienced participants in 201 have reported that they learned something new at each meeting, even if those things were smaller insights and details than what novices gained. However, it will be up to you to determine if the return on investment is high enough for a given course. You will still be asked to progress through the material in order, but we expect experienced participants to move through more quickly and to be able to help newer members.

Is a partner required?

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Not required … particularly for Rope 101 … but recommended.

If you plan to continue studying rope bondage, and your focus isn’t exclusively on self-tying, then we recommend that you arrange someone to practice with during and between sessions. (Though please note that a “practice partner” does not necessarily mean a romantic or sexual partner.)

Rope is an art best practiced together, and our prices are structured to accommodate arrangements other than top/bottom pairs. We are open to singles and odd-numbered partnerships, but we cannot guarantee practice partners or equal practice times.

Also, to get the most from these courses, it’s important that you have someone with whom you can practice between classes. The more practice time you can put in between each class, the more quickly you will see your skills improve.

I’m a rope bottom. Will I get anything out of this, or is it mainly for tops?

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YES! THESE COURSES ARE DESIGNED FOR BOTTOMS, TOO! We strongly believe that knowledge, skills, and experience are equally essential for both tops and bottoms, and we hope to encourage a culture where bottoms take an equal and active level of responsibility within the rope community. Therefore, we develop the materials with “both sides of the rope” in mind, and our curriculum has specific content designed for bottoms.

Is this a replacement for Rope Bite and other social/peer/skill share rope groups?

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Definitely not! RVA Rope and other similar groups in the area offer regular social gatherings, educational opportunities, skill-shares, rope labs, and workshops or intensives for people who enjoy rope and want to spend time getting to know each other, discussing their successes and challenges, sharing their knowledge, tying together, or learning specific topics. However, given the open nature of these events, it can be difficult to work through a structured curriculum with a consistent group of members.

In contrast, we are a rope study group for people who want to move through a structured examination of their rope skills in a committed cohort of peer learners. That structure and commitment allows us to study in ways that aren’t otherwise possible.

Additionally, it is our hope that successful completion of our courses will prepare our students to attend skill shares, rope labs, and similar events and have more to contribute and learn from those settings, and also to attend other workshops, intensives, or educational opportunities from other instructors and be able to understand what is being taught and benefit more readily from the instruction.

We believe a variety of opportunities are important for a healthy rope community!