Rope play by Leatherbeaten - review by Owl Identified

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Shoulda Gone To True Value

Overall this item was pretty to look at, but just not terribly effective in use. I was also disappointed at the slipshod production and lack of care in packaging. While beginners may enjoy this product for all the reasons nylon is great --easy on the skin, some elasticity-- I do not think Leatherbeaten's Rope Play is the best representation for newbies of the beauty of nylon rope. Freshcuts may do better to pick some up at the hardware store and burn/shape the ends themselves.
Published:
Pros:
Made in Canada, easy on skin, quick clean-up, strong, attractive colors, doesn't tangle.
Cons:
Prone to slipping, poor craftsmanship, obnoxious packaging, too elastic, core material not listed.
Rating by reviewer:
3
extremely useful review

Use

Leatherbeaten's Rope Play is a bondage kit composed of four lengths of nylon bondage rope. The manufacturers do not provide any comprehensive Rope 101 guide, and education is key in order to have fun and be safe with bondage of all sorts. So, if you are looking for a quickie faux-bondage or light bondage treat to spice up your sex life, this is not the one for you; some rope research will be necessary before strapping limbs to bedposts. Regretfully, this set is also not very well suited to discriminating advanced players either. Y'all seasoned kinksters will probably not be much interested in these pieces as they are rather rudimentary as we'll see below. So who might enjoy this? Well, the pieces may be best for beginners that are just starting out into the world of rope bondage, however even in this case, I believe that there are better investments for such kinksters to make.

Design / Craftsmanship / Material / Size / Fit

The set includes four pieces: two 8' long cords, one 10' long cord, and one 15' long cord. All four cords are roughly between 6mm and 8mm in diameter, which is a fairly standard width that is generally regarded as a "safe" and moderate one. Thicker ropes are less likely to cause nerve compression, so they are a good idea for newbies! One of the 8' lengths is a bit less than 6mm, but it is still not quite thin enough for intricate rope-work (genital rope bondage, for example). The lengths also provide a lot of room to play with many positions.

This rope is quite lovely, too, both to appearances and to touch. The soft, slick black and purple nylon braid is beautiful to look at and is also easy on the skin, which is good for new-comers that are not used to the bite of rope. However, this smoothness is simultaneously an advantage and shortcoming of nylon, as its lack of "tooth" does not grip well and it prone to slippage. Additionally, I was disappointed in the craftsmanship. The end of one of the ropes was not properly sealed, and it was necessary to melt and shape this part. The fuzzy, fibrous copper-colored "core" of the rope also broke through the braid in several places on each piece of rope, peeking out and interrupting the design and compromising the integrity of the rope itself.

Performance

Leatherbeaten's nylon rope is quite pliant and easy on the skin, which is something that I can appreciate as someone with sensitive skin. However, it is very difficult to get tight knots that do not slip or become loose during play and after a bit of "struggling". While knots are, as a result, very easy to untie and the rope is not likely to become tangled in storage, this tendency toward slipping can disrupt restraint scenarios: after 10 or 15 minutes of weight pulling against the ties can leave them too loose to hold your partner in place. Some of this is simply the nature of nylon, however the packaging does state that their nylon rope has a "core" which leads me to believe that it may be the inner material that is diminishing the hold. After some research on the Leatherbeaten site I can't find out what the core is made of, but finding out might settle the matter for me.

Care and Maintenance

Nylon rope can be chain coiled and washed inside of a pillow case in a washing machine, but do not dry it in a drier as it is a synthetic material that can be negatively impacted by extreme heat! It should be left out to air dry for a few days in order for the dampness within the braid to be fully lifted (again, this is the result of being synthetic and a little harder to care for in this regard). Once dry, simply coil and store in a clean and dry place until your next use.

Packaging

Rarely does packaging make a difference to me. Generally speaking, even when it's really gorgeous and frilly, I don't take more than a few seconds to say "ooh, pretty" before tearing my toy away from whatever cumbersome box or wrapping it came in. I only notice packaging when it is especially useful (re-usable, for example) or when it is particularly obstructive. Unfortunately, the packaging for this item fell in the latter category.

The package displays, both on the front and back, a rather offensive stereotypical stock image (taken from this stock image site) of a vaguely "eastern" man and woman intertwined in a traditionally inaccurate and hyper-sexualized position. I won't talk extensively about this because it is not relevant to the product itself, but I found it offensive and very off-putting. Rope bondage does not have any ancient eastern origin, and in fact is a relatively recent development that grew simultaneously out of western AND eastern traditions, although certainly never in the context depicted in the image on the package. I won't go on further, but I will recommend a great book called "The Erotic Margin: Sexuality and Spatiality in Alterist Discourse" by Irwin C. Schick for anyone interested on learning more about this subject.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Comments
  • Jul!a
    All I can think of when I see this is climbing rope, lol.

    But after reading your review, I think you might have been better off with the climbing rope. At least you didn't have to pay for it? lol
  • ~LaUr3n~
    I have been looking at cuffs that require rope and I know NOTHING about what kind of rope to get so this was very useful. Thanks!
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