Person hangs by bondage rope from the ceiling while another person stands next to the person and ties the ropePerson hangs by bondage rope from the ceiling while another person stands next to the person and ties the rope

Liberating fantasies: I am the best version of myself as a rigger

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Everyone has fantasies. It's just different how we use them. Some keep theirs to themselves, while others live them with one or more partners. And then there are those who have made it a lifestyle.

One of those people is Absalon.

He is a rigger. An old sailor's term meaning to tether, tie and fasten things with rope, which has evolved to cover a person who ties ropes around people rather than ships.

Two people sit close together and one is tied with bondage rope by the other

The fascination has always been there

Absalon has always had a fascination with ropes and fixation, and at the age of 26 he began to explore different parts of his fantasies that were about just that.

With different partners, he experimented with bondage, which means fixing a partner with, for example, cuffs or ropes, but it never turned out quite as he had imagined.

- I thought I could just start playing with ropes and partners without any special knowledge or training in the field. How hard could it really be?” says Absalon.

He soon got wiser.

A person lies with a bondage rope around the body

Found a teacher

In 2017, he purposefully set out to explore how rope could add enjoyment to his life. Because it's one thing to use cuffs and handcuffs at home in the bedroom, but it's quite another when you want to tie up your partner's whole body and hoist them up in ropes.

- It is first and foremost about safety. Both in relation to bonding in the correct way but also in relation to both physical and verbal communication with your partner.

That's why Absalon started at Klub Nawa in East Jutland - a rope club that specialises in teaching styles such as Shibari, Kinbaku and more free-style bondage. The focus here is on knowledge sharing, learning and development, and everyone is welcome regardless of experience.

In club Nawa, Absalon found a teacher who could guide and help him to become a skilled rigger.

- I thought I could do it all before I started, just because I wanted to. But I found I had a lot to learn! You can continue to develop. Both when it comes to communication and technology, says Absalon.

- The whole mindset is also a big part of it, and I hadn't understood that at all before I joined Nawa. You won't find the energy they have anywhere else. This was one of the reasons why I found a teacher. He helped show me how to be a real rigger.

Close up of a person having bondage ropes tied around the hands

From fantasy to lifestyle

What started as a quiet fantasy later turned into a hobby and is now a way of life.

In the same way as people who are very interested in, for example, cycling, there is always a new gadget, a new distance to try and a desire to continue and get better. In Absalon's case, he has even started producing his own rope so it will be exactly the way he wants it.

Today he is 36 years old and has extensive experience in rigging.

He says that he has become more skilled over the years because he has learned from his mistakes and had a strong focus on becoming the best version of himself. He elaborates:

- In this environment, it is necessary to use one's voice and speak up and out. Because mistakes may well happen, but you must take responsibility for them. And if you are new, it is important to be shown that it takes time to become good. You can't just hang people up in a rope and then you're rigged.

No matter how experienced you are, mistakes are going to happen. It is part of the learning process.

- It's so important for me to really learn from the mistakes that happen. Because even though I've practiced, asked for advice and talked to my partner, things still don't always go as planned. The shame of making mistakes, it is so built into all of us, but I experience it especially in men. It's a huge taboo. Unfortunately, this means that many do not dare to talk about it, but instead hide it away.

Two people look at each other while one is tied up in bondage ropes

Absalon might as well have done that when he started, but for him it was an active choice to break a taboo.

- I chose to do the opposite then, and today I speak quite openly about it. Because if you can find the courage to articulate your mistakes, we can all learn from it. An enormously intimate space is created when we dare to be honest about our feelings, especially the difficult ones. What you get in return is a very special freedom and desire to explore even more. Something just happens when you find that you are not judged for your feelings but seized instead.

As in any other relationship, communication is the key to a good relationship. You must be open to feedback and be aware of your surroundings. That is why it is important to have a partner who listens to you and who embraces who you are.

- I need to know that my partner is comfortable with me and tells me if something is too tight or feels uncomfortable. If she doesn't say it until afterwards, at worst I may have harmed her. And then it's not a good experience for any of us, he says.

It is the relationship that is in focus, and the binding and fixing that makes it something special.

- It's a fairly small environment, so there's prestige in doing well and being a skilled rigger. It is rumored if you do not take your responsibility seriously. For me, it is important that new people can come and ask me for advice, while new partners know that they can trust me, says Absalon.

Two people playing with bondage ropes

It's about much more than sex

Although sex can be part of it, tying or being tied by a partner is about so much more - for example, the opportunity to live out one's fantasy.

Absalon sees himself as a performer, and compares it to being an actor.

- If I perform poorly one day and am out of focus, it can affect my partner. It is an enormously intimate and vulnerable space that we have together. We both have to be mentally present to have a successful experience.

And when both parties are in sync, the experience only gets wilder.

- Conversely, it can be a completely intoxicating feeling when you find a partner you bond well with, where it all feels like one big organism. Where desire, touch and cohesion merge. I feel invincible when I have a partner where everything just plays, where we can be in this space together and be completely free with each other. That is why I rig.

Do you also want the perspective of the partner that Absalon binds? You will find that right here.

If you yourself want to explore ropes and other bondage elements, we have a very good place to start.

Person wearing bondage rope has one leg up on another person's shoulder

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