Throughout this series, we are asking our community to help make us smarter. All questions provided by you and for you.
Rope Bottom: I am Nina Sever, nonbinary artist and writer, and I'm a rope bottom.
What do you enjoy about being tied up?
Rope Bottom: Everything! I love how I feel alive in rope. I feel very, very connected to my body. It's the only place in which I don't dissociate ever. I'm very much present. And that's why I like more adrenaline based play. I don't like to space out or any of that kind of thing. I like to process my emotions and pain and everything I feel in my body. It just feels so intimate and so mine. And there a connection I create with the person that's tying me up that is just wonderful.
How important is the correct use of pronouns when engaging in a play session?
Rope Bottom: Hopefully, it's not something that has to come up. I don't want my gender to be very present in my kink or fetish play, whether it's rope or not. It's nice to go deep enough to let go of any gender expectations or preconceptions or preconceived ideas. Of course, as an initial warm up play, it's nice if I'm not misgendered. But then I like to go deep and dark enough, so that I can just disappear and not even care if I'm misgendered or not, because I just feel like something else, just beyond human. I don't know. It's hard to explain.
What safety tips would you recommend to someone who is looking to get tied up?
Rope Bottom: Learn as much as possible about your own body before listening to any external tip. Which are of course useful, especially coming from experts, but listen to your body, listen to your intuition, emotionally and physically. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't, you don't have to impress anyone. Just do what feels good. You know when it's the kind of good that is kind of bad, but it's kind of good. But when it's the kind of bad when you're thinking 'I don't know', when you get to the point of 'I don't know if I'm okay with this' that's when you should back off or ask to stop.
In what ways do you communicate with your rope top during a session?
Rope Bottom: I moan, I cry. I move my body to a certain extent, if I can, little shifts and little things. If there is a good connection with my top, they will notice those little things. And if something starts feeling wrong, either emotionally or if I suspect an injury could happen, I just say it. Because the tone of my voice will obviously change from pleasurable 'no's' to seriously saying 'this has to stop, this feels wrong'. Just communicate as much possible non-verbally, if you can, but if something has to be communicated quickly because of safety reasons, definitely just speak up.
Are there other forms of play you like to engage in when you are in a rope session?
Rope Bottom: No, because I like my rope play to be very intense and very painful and very emotional. And I don't think there's enough space for anything else to happen. Maybe like impact play or some external factors if I'm being grabbed or my hair is being pulled, but that's pretty much it. It's already so tough and so intense and effort based, and then the pain, it's so much to deal with. I don't think I want to make space for other elements because then I lose focus of my own safety and of my emotions and what I want to process, what I don't want to process. It's easier to keep it simple because simple is not necessarily a lack of joy and pain. Pain is joy, obviously.
What are your hard limits when it comes to rope play?
Rope Bottom: They shift and change depending on how I feel that the day and who I am with. I don't have that many. I don't like my rope sessions to be sexual. So that takes away a lot of risks in a certain way. It's hard to say because it really, really depends. It depends on the day. Depends on the mood. It depends if I'm on my period, it depends on my capacity to process emotions, then I might set a certain hard limit. But I like to play in a way that my rope top can feel or sense those hard limits, even if it's not said verbally. And sometimes it's almost a shame to say it because sometimes we go dark and deep enough and I want that being pushed a little bit. It's very personal and it just changes constantly. I guess maybe degradation is not my thing. I like feeling strong in rope and I like encouragement. A bit of humiliation is welcome, if someone is taking the piss when I'm struggling, that's kind of fun, but degradation is not something I want to deal with in rope.
What do you like to do as part of aftercare?
Rope Bottom: I don't like aftercare. I know that's going to sound weird. If the rope session goes well and if I'm given enough space to process all my emotions, especially when I'm being untied, the pace of it, the intensity of it, I don't need aftercare because I already processed everything. I just come back and I'm like, 'Hey, that was great'. What I like doing is maybe having a little chat afterwards, if we feel like we want to talk in that moment. And we can discuss what happened, what didn't go well, what went well. Just creating a safe space to talk freely and openly about what we experienced. I think that's important. That's my kind of aftercare.
How do you establish trust when playing with a rigger?
Rope Bottom: It's either there or it's not. If my intuition is telling me, 'no', then I'm not going to tie with that person. And if I step into a scene, I'm just going to trust them 100% and hope for the best. I just go with the gut feeling and so far so good. On top of that trust, I like to be able to build a relationship and an understanding of each other. It's either there or it's not, in my opinion.