Want to explore the pleasures of playing with rope? Rope Sensei has your back.
Behind the scenes with Rope Sensei, Australian-based online store, and curator of quality rope content.
Tell me about Rope Sensei
Rope Sensei is a website that curates rope tutorials from content creators all over the web, offering them in an easily searchable and filterable form. It is also a brand of high-quality affordable jute and bamboo rope in a vast array of colours. Rope Sensei operates and ships from within Australia so we can offer products more cheaply to Aussies than other brands.
What got you into rope?
Back in the early days of my kink journey, Tumblr was the most popular online hangout for kinky people. I probably have Tumblr to thank for most of what I now know as my kinky self. It struck me then how the most beautiful photography and performance art shared on Kinky Tumblr often featured rope play.
Later, when I finally found a relationship with a level of mutual trust and respect that allowed for exploring things like bondage, I was able to start learning some skills from the plethora of online rope content creators, and now here I am.
What made you start Rope Sensei?
The decision to start RopeSensei.com was a selfish one. I was seeing so many excellent online video tutorials on YouTube, Vimeo and elsewhere, but I couldn’t find a good way to keep track of them. I decided to create a site to help me organise my progress.
I had long-term plans for more functionality, but at the bare minimum, the site had to allow filtering tutorials by difficulty and by the body part(s) involved in the tie. My measure of success was that I found it useful.
Once I started sharing the site and saw it gaining popularity, I realised there was a real opportunity to try and make some money from it. Finding excellent quality and affordable rope (especially in Australia) was the other main barrier to progressing my rope practice. So, I set my mind to figuring out how I could offer that to others. As a bonus, I would end up with a rope bag overflowing with goodies I could use myself.
It wasn’t long before Rope Sensei rope gained a reputation within the Australian kink community. The rope-selling side of things became much more of a focus than the website as a learning tool. Quality rope is so expensive all over the world. I now regularly receive orders from the US, UK, Europe, and Asia.
Who is this website for?
Rope Sensei is for adult kinky humans who want to explore the pleasures of playing with rope, whether in a sexual way or in a purely artistic manner. If they want to start their rope journey with free online instruction and quality, affordable jute and bamboo rope in a wide variety of colours, I’ve got their back.
Who is it not for?
More advanced practitioners may find the tutorials too basic for their needs. For example, the site does not cater to people looking to learn how to carry out rope suspensions. Suspension is quite risky, and kinksters would do better learning this specific skillset in-person from someone they trust.
What challenges have you encountered?
Fortunately, it isn’t too tricky to find a web hosting company that will happily host adult content. The main barrier faced by new businesses in the adult industry is taking payments. Many payment providers won’t work with businesses that have anything to do with sex. This issue has seen far too many important adult industry businesses fail — businesses that are sex-positive, ethical, and accessible, who are just trying to bring pleasure to the world and help eliminate the taboos around sexuality.
The best thing about selling rope as an adult product is it has so many other uses that are socially acceptable. It’s just a craft supply for people who are into macrame, I swear!
What do you want people to know about you?
I’m an ethical business person who goes out of my way to make my customers feel valued and even special. If you’ve seen my Instagram, you’ll know that Rope Sensei has earned some amazing fans who are happy to model my rope to their own followings. This is because I treat every customer with the respect they deserve. Many have even become friends.
Having said that, thanks to the taboos our society still has around sexuality and kink, me and Mrs Rope Sensei prefer to remain anonymous. It’s not just that we’re private people, but we both have careers that could be in jeopardy if our identities were widely known. Not to mention we have a family. So, I guess the answer to ‘what do I want people to know about me?’ is ‘not very much, preferably.’
Maintaining this level of anonymity isn’t always easy. There are a lot of tracks to cover! An old friend of Mrs Rope Sensei found us out a few months back when she happened to become a customer. She realised my name was attached to the tracking information on the order – something I’d overlooked. Luckily, most people in the kink community feel the same way, so know how to be discreet.
What impact has COVID-19 had on the site/on BDSM more broadly?
What do two consenting adults with kinky tendencies do when they’re stuck at home for months on end? Creative and kinky people all over the world have suddenly had a hell of a lot more time on their beautiful filthy hands to experiment with all kinds of sexual and non-sexual play. It’s no surprise that Rope Sensei has benefited from this. I’d be surprised if BDSM more broadly hasn’t seen a similar explosion. Which has gotta be right up there alongside dolphins returning to the Venice canals in terms of positive things to focus on when we reflect on 2020.
Where can people find Rope Sensei?