Rope Rituals

Bita von Seil
4 min readMay 6, 2023

Why do we do rope in community?

Photo by Nal on Unsplash

How many churches, temples, holy — and alleged holy places — have I visited? Surely, thousands. My life has involved many rituals, some deliberate and learned and others inherited. The religious historian Mircea Eliade posited that rituals were the vehicle for humanity to return to a mythical time when the sacred originated. Most of our lives in the modern era exist in a profane setting. We get up, brush our teeth, pay taxes, wash the dishes, run for the bus, or squish into the crowded subway. The opposite of the sacred is profane, which is our daily lives.

We have to go out of our way to make something special and make a deliberate and conscious effort. This is what I found in the rope jam — a sacred approach to the human encounter with rope as a medium and a tool for exploration.

I met a guy at one of the jams once who told me how he’d grown up on a farm in Eastern Germany, where they had a special room just for the farm tools and especially for all the rope that was needed. This room was holy. One did not just enter the room and play with the rope, but it had a set of guidelines and protocols for how, when, and who could touch the rope and use it. He got into rope bondage later in life, and this farm-rope room served as his personal kink origin myth.