Pictured above: Me! (recon | fetlife)

last updated Oct '20

The following ties were demo'd at Virtual TKL Fest 2020. If you liked what saw, you can learn it too with the following step-by-step instructions!

What you will need:

  • Safety sheers (Don't have them yet? They're not expensive! Link)
  • Two to Four comfortable cuffs. These are the ones I used for this tutorial.
  • At least 10 ft of rope

Knots shown in this post:

Everything here is shown with cuffs for simplicity. However, everything can be done with just rope too.

Pictured above: Left wrist tied with burlington bowline. Right wrist with a cuff attached to rope

Both wrists in the picture can be restrained in the same ways with the tail end of the rope. They can also both be undone without undoing the tail: The cuff can simple be undone, and the burlinton bowline can be released by undoing the knot at the wrist.

Decide for yourself if you'd like to try these ties with cuffs or rope!

Arms-overhead Tie

Pictured above: me tied to a door arms overhead

First up is the arms-overhead tie. This one is incredibly simple and only takes a couple of minutes to set up if you have the right kind of door.

Make sure the cuffs are snug, but not tight enough to restrict blood flow or cause fingers to feel numb. If your partner feels either of these things be sure to adjust the cuffs or take them out of the tie if it's not quickly improving.

Slip the bight of the rope through the cuffs

Complete the ring hitch by threading the tail end through the bight and pulling it all the way through.

Have your partner stand in front of the door and measure where you would like the rope to stop in the door.

Tie an overhand knot about an inch (roughly the thickness of the door) from the place on the rope you measured.

Open the door and toss the rope over it. The knot should be on the opposite side of your partner. Once the door clicks shut, they're stuck!

Spread Eagle

Impress your partner with this fully adjustable spread eagle tie! This is great for alternating between high intensity play and rests without having to untie anything.

The whole thing only consists of using four midshipman's hitches. It's not the simplest knot and will require a bit of practice. If you'd like a different perspective, try following this expertly done tutorial by Animated Knots.

The following steps only show one ankle but the process is the same for all 4 limbs.

With the cuff attached to the ankle and a ring hitch attaching the rope at the bight, loop the tail end of the rope around the bedframe. I recommend always aiming for the base of the bed so the anchor point is farther away from the body.

Cross the tail of the rope on itself forming a loop around the leg of the bed.

Put the tail through the loop.

And pull it back around so it makes a single coil.

Repeat to make a second coil

Repeat to make a third coil. If the knot slips once it's complete, consider adding more coils here. Natural fiber ropes such as hemp (pictured here) tend to grip better. Less grippy rope like nylon and MFP will require more coils.

Pull the tail across the coils to form a new loop closer to the ankle. If the tail goes under the original loop as seen here on the right, also go under this piece on the left.

Put the tail through the new loop to make one final coil to lock it all in place.

Pull the tail tight and squish the final coil next to all the others taking care to tighten any of the coils if they are loose.

This is the completed midshipman's hitch on an ankle. But this is a little loose.

To tighten, put one hand on the knot itself and the other on the part of the loop that goes through the knot, and pull the knot closer to the ankle.

Now that's much tighter! It can be loosened in the same way, just by pulling the knot away from the ankle. This is a friction knot and works because the coils catch on the rope that runs through it. When you hold the knot, the coils form a straight tube for the rope to be pulled through. However, when your partner pulls on it from their ankle it's stuck because those coils bend preventing the rope from slipping through.

Repeat with all four limbs and have fun!