Crash Restraint Blog Archives (2010-2016)

Merry Xmas: 17 New Videos, and More on the Way


This holiday season, I've been taking a break from running classes in SF to get Crash Restraint video production up and running again. Over the past 6 weeks, I've posted 17 new videos to the site, including:

There's still a bunch more we shot that I'll be releasing in January as I finish editing them, so keep an eye on the Crash Restraint Twitter or Vimeo channels to catch them as they go up.

Happy holidays!

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Miscellaneous Video Updates


I recently posted several videos showing a new approach to second column ties; that is, how to tie another limb into the middle of a rope. That's useful for certain hip harnesses, tying wrists together behind the back, and a variety of bedroom ties.

There's also now a video of the third variation of the Quick Shoulder Harness -- one where you tie it standing/sitting, but it's comfortable to lie back on.

Finally, I filmed a neat elbows-behind-the-head tie which is useful for head support in suspension, or for standalone use as a floor tie.



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Two Ways to Add Arms into a Shinju


I recently posted videos of two ways to add arms in at the end when tying a Shinju-type chest harness for suspension; one that just adds some simple support wraps, and another that mimics the wraps of a takate kote.

In general, I'm a big fan of tying the arms in last when starting an extended scene, because then I know if the arms/hands start to have circulation/nerve issues, I can untie just the arms and reposition them without having to untie everything else. This makes everybody a lot safer, because bottoms tend to be less reluctant to mention a problem when they know it can be easily fixed and won't spell an end to play.

Of course, sometimes you want to get control of someone's hands right away. In that type of situation, one option is to do a temporary wrist tie, then re-tie the hands at the end of tying other harnesses. That way you get all the benefits of having the hands bound for the entire scene, and of being able to easily reposition them.

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YouTube Videos Fixed


I know some of you were having trouble watching some of the videos hosted on YouTube this past week; it looks like this was due to a recently introduced bug in the YouTube player used by some browsers, particularly Firefox. I've been able to work around the issue for now, so everything should be working again -- and I'm continuing to gradually move stuff over to Vimeo, which seems to be a more reliable platform.

Please let me know if you continue to have playback issues! Also note that for those on slow/unreliable connections, the video files can be downloaded for offline playback from my Vimeo channel.

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A Guide to Your First Rope Suspension


As I announced on Fetlife a few days ago, I've now finished posting all the required content to guide you through every step of performing your first rope suspension. To add that as a goal and have the system take you through everything step by step, just click this link and you'll join over 150 people already working their way through this free online course.

Do keep in mind that there's no substitute for in-person instruction, and it's always a good idea to have experienced supervision during your first few suspensions. My hope is that this material will improve the quality of information available to those without good local resources, but please don't go it alone -- if there's no expert in your area who can help guide you, at least have a couple friends with you when you're suspending to assist if you get into trouble.

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Preparing for Suspension


This past week, I've been posting and updating a variety of articles and videos to help prepare you if you're working toward suspension.

My expanded rundown on hardpoint evaluation is a must-read for all rope suspension tops and bottoms; if you're going to be dangling from something, you really want to know that it's not going to suddenly drop you on your head.

I also wrote up an article on what goes into conducting suspension scenes safely, including technical concerns, good communication, and self-awareness.

Finally, I discussed how to select rope for suspension use, then illustrated with videos how to secure your support lines during a suspension, as well as other important aspects of support line handling.

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Three Armbinders for Two Arms


Armbinders are a tricky tie -- they provide a wonderful feeling of restraint, but often cause nerve and circulation problems. The key to not having to untie your armbinder almost as soon as you finish it is to pick the right technique and level of strictness for your bottom's flexibility.

For escape artists and very flexible bottoms, the Extra Strict Armbinder can be made as restrictive as you could want, while still providing a lot of adjustability to get something sustainable.

When tying someone relatively flexible and not pushing the limits of their flexibility, the Basic Armbinder is a simple solution that works well as a component of larger patterns (such as hogties) because of its construction out of standard column ties.

For maximum comfort, and tying on people with limited shoulder flexibility, the Lace Up Armbinder is a beautiful tie full of creative possibilities. It can also be tied on numbers of arms other than two.

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Basic Bondage for the Bedroom


Over the past week I've been uploading a bevy of bedroom bondage videos to get you started with some hot restraint at home. One fan even already posted a story of a scene they had using one of these ties!

To start with, you're going to want to equip your bed for bondage. The tie in the story I linked above, which is great for transporting someone to a bed is the classic hands-behind-the-neck position. If you've already got someone on a bed, I showed a quick chest harness you can tie while they are lying down. And of course, if you've got a single or double column tie on a limb, you'll want to use a taut line hitch to tie it off to your bedposts or handy nylon tie-down loops!

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Two Crotchrope Videos


Just posted are two videos on crotchropes -- one on a basic crotchrope you can wear out on the town, and another on how to use a crotchrope to attach a Hitachi Magic Wand for hands-free (or hands-restrained) vibrating.

It's really hard to overstate how much fun can be had with a simple crotchrope. On one recent occasion, I tied one on a date before going out to a party we thought wasn't going to include play; later in the evening when it did wind up turning into a play party, we didn't have any toys with us, but the crotchrope was just long enough to re-use to tie her hands up for a quick and very hot scene.

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New Shinju Videos


I posted videos this week of how to tie two versions of the classic Shinju chest harness; one is a more traditional variation which makes a good first technique for beginners to learn, the other is one of my own design that is optimized for suspension.

Also recently added are videos on the sheet bend technique I use to extend ropes, and how I keep track of the center of my rope.

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Chest Loading Takate Kote Version 4


I've just posted a video and in-depth article on the latest version of my chest loading TK. For those using and happy with one of the earlier versions, you may still find some of the information in the article relevant, as I delve in much more depth into the theory and design principles behind the CTK.

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A Fast, Partially-Chest-Loading Takate Kote


WARNING: This tie is highly experimental -- recommended ONLY for careful use by very experienced practitioners.

Here's a new design based on two premises:

  1. That the lower wraps should be the main concern in relation to radial nerve injury
  2. That the upper kannuki are not really needed for much

While to my mind these proposals are both far from proven, if one takes them to be correct, then this is the TK I think one would want.

The lower wraps are done according to the Version 3 CTK method; in my very limited testing with one bottom, this approach put the most noticeable amount of load on the lower ribcage in almost all positions, and was generally at least as stable as a traditional 2-rope TK. While for some bottoms the load on the ribs will be problematic as shown, tensions could probably be adjusted to put more force on the upper wraps and/or lower arms if desired.

How you attach support lines is very important to avoid the issue that Esinem succinctly illustrates...

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Version 3 Chest-loading Takate Kote


Important Update: There is a newer version of this tie published; this article is of purely historical interest.

I have previously posted two TK variations designed to transfer load from the arms to the chest. I won't repeat the justification for why you might want this, but will briefly remind you: these ties are hopefully safer than traditional variations, but still may be highly dangerous, particularly if misused; pay careful attention, use good judgment, and above all seek qualified in-person instruction before attempting to use these for suspension.

Over the past year and a half or so, since originally publishing a CTK, I have continued to experiment with various designs based on the same principles. My currently preferred variation generally requires at least 3 ropes, due to an unusual start which I'll explain the reasons for at the bottom, once you've seen what I'm talking about. While any variation using half-hitches in the way this one does may be considered...

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A Column Tie for Beginners


This is a column tie specifically designed to be easy to learn for people brand new to rope. It is an adaptation of a tie I learned from Nell, who learned it from Max, who developed it based on earlier work with yet murkier origins. As far as we can agree, the most historically accurate and descriptive name for this would be the Double-Modified Fishermen's Bend.

Thanks to Nell and Max for help producing the video, as well as introducing me to the original concept, although I hasten to add that what I present here is not Max's canonical version of the tie, and any pitfalls should be solely attributed to my own tinkering with it.

It's also worth noting that none of the three of us use this in our daily tying -- various more advanced column ties are quicker with sufficient practice -- but this is a good place to start if you're just looking for something easy to tie someone to the bed with.

You might notice that in the single-column video I do four wraps, and in the...

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A Chest-loading Takate Kote


Important Update: There is a newer version of this tie published; this article is of purely historical interest.

There is some debate in the community over the relative safety of the takate kote for suspension; regardless of how you feel about that, you may find these variations useful. The general idea is that by adding a few well-placed knots, suspension load can be shifted from the arms to the chest, while maintaining the general look, feel, and experience of a normal TK. Most bottoms seem to find this more comfortable, and my hope is that it will prove safer.

Some disclaimers:

First of all, watching these videos does not make you qualified to do this tie. These are intended for an audience already familiar and comfortable with tying and suspending with TKs; no attempt is made to cover the general safety information necessary to use these responsibly.

Second, while I have solicited feedback from a number of other riggers, and done extensive testing on a small number of bottoms,...

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Reverse Somerville Bowline for Resistance Play


I mentioned when I first posted the RSB that I considered it particularly useful for tying someone who was struggling, because it didn't require leaving room to pass a line under the cuff. However, if you're going to leave someone in a tie for a while, or if you're going to suspend with it, you don't want the cuff too tight. I recently had exactly this situation come up in preparing my performance for Citadel's post-pride party/demos, where I wanted to do a "take up", tying a struggling bottom into a puppet suspension.

It turns out, you can actually tie the RSB onto a moving target in a way that maintains space between the cuff and the limb. Here's a quick, unscripted video, just to show putting a bunch of column ties onto someone who's resisting:

And here's an illustration/explanation of what I was doing, there:

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Slipped Somerville Bowline


Personally I've never found any particular need for this -- I don't usually want to release a column tie while loaded -- but there was some previous discussion in which people were bemoaning not being able to untie a Somerville Bowline while under tension.

So if, for whatever reason, you want an ultra-quick-release column tie, here's a simple modification:

This has, I think, everything you could want in a quick-release knot -- when in the "locked" configuration, it would be very hard to release accidentally (and in fact you can tug on the bight all day long) -- but when you want to release it, it takes no force at all to unlock and then a single good yank not only releases the knot, but simultaneously unthreads the wrap passing under the cuff.

I'd say this is pretty inarguably easier to release than a Boola Boola, while also remaining more secure (if anything, it's even less likely to capsize than a normal Somerville Bowline).

Lochai also has a...

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Reverse Somerville Bowline


I've been sitting on this for a while, mostly because I'm not set up to do video, and people seem to prefer that to photos, but I finally gave in and just shot something off quickly with my phone gaffed to a tripod:

This is a fairly tricky knot, and finicky even once you know it, but in certain situations it is invaluable, most especially this one:

You might ask "but why can't I just do half hitches around the leg, like everybody does?". And the answer is that, if you really load that, from the standing line end, it tends to pull on just the first wrap, and cinch down -- it's not a real column tie. You'll notice that the tutorial I linked that image from then goes on to run the line back up to the harness, which is the usual way to avoid the issue; but with the RSB, you don't have to go back, you could end your rope at the cuff, or do another cuff further down the leg.

When I demonstrated this a while back at the last CT Grue, someone asked...

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New Video Tutorials


RiggerJay had me record some video tutorials of my new column ties for Boston Rope Group last week:

My original pictorial explanation of the Somerville Bowline is here.

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