Everyone loves their accessories. Where would I be without my computer or my phone or my car? Everyone has things they can’t do without, like my Kurig coffeepot! A Cowboy is the same. He has to have his horse, his truck, his trailer, his saddle, his gun- and his rope. Not a lasso. If you call a rope a lasso in front of a real cowboy, he’ll snicker. Only greenhorns or city folk call a rope a lasso. I don’t know why, and they can’t tell you why – its just the way it is.

Anyway, a rope is not just a rope. To the cowboy, a rope was a necessity. All the way back to the time of the Pharaohs’,  rope and roping with a lariat type rope was done. There are relief sculptures in Egypt depicting the Pharaoh with a looped lariat held over his head and then another with it thrown over the horns of a bull. The rope is a necessary tool, so essential to working cattle that if you take away the rope, there would have been no such thing as a cowboy. The rope was so much a part of a cowboy’s life that he treated it as an extension of himself. Any city slicker or country boy could learn how to ride, but learning how to wield a rope was work. The art of roping accurately could take years to master.

Not all ropes were created equally. The material the rope is made from determined what the rope was called. In the far west, the riata was used. Normally, the riata was about sixty foot long and made from rawhide. Texas cowboys used a shorter rope made from manila which was softer and made from fibers of the banana plant woven looser than other ropes. Mexican influence gave the cowboy a rope called a maguey, made from the fibers of the century plant, but it was not a favorite since it tended to be very stiff. Ropes made from horse hair were too light, so cowboys didn’t like to use it for roping. The main use for the horsehair rope was decorative. It made good saddle reins and tie ropes.

The material a rope was made from was not its only distinguishing quality, the length of a rope determined its use. Shorter ropes were used for roping and corral work, like calving or branding while longer ropes were used to catch wild stock out on the range.

Ropes like saddles and boots were best after they were ‘broken in’ – a new rope is of little use. Ropes had to seasoned and stretched. Some techniques of breaking in a rope was to hold it over a fire to burn off the ‘whiskers’. Some would tie one end to a fence post and use their horse to pull on the rope to loosen it up. But once it was stretched, the rope could ‘live’ in the hands of the cowboy. A true roper could make the rope sing, actually making a hissing sound as it sailed through the air.

Besides roping cattle, a less savory use for the rope was for hangings. Countless people were hung in the old west, some by authorities and many by vigilantes or outlaws. Although hanging has been a method of execution since time began, all over the world, it became a symbol of the wildness of the old west. In the days of the cowboy, too many innocent people were lynched or killed before their crimes were judged. Being hanged for cattle rustling or robbery was commonplace. I can remember my grandfather talking about some of their cattle being stolen when he was young – and he was angry, but I don’t think the punishment necessarily fit the crime.

As my mom used to say – I’ve said all of that to say this – one of my mottos is “So many cowboys, so little rope” and while a cowboy and his rope is synonymous as the facts I’ve relayed above shows – that isn’t even close to what I’m referring to. As many of you women knew already, there is a much better use for a cowboy’s rope than taming a steer or meting out justice to a rustler. Hell yeah! Thank goodness. Now, I will admit that even though I’ve lived in Texas for a long time, I’ve never roped a cow. All of my cows came to me willingly in hopes I’d give them a nugget or scratch their ears – but I have led my horse, staked my dogs, I’ve even led a cat on a rope leash. I’ve made macramé, I’ve sectioned off part of my porch to keep people from walking in wet paint. Hmmm, I’ve tied a Christmas tree to my car with a rope and I’ve laid one down in the sincere hope that a snake wouldn’t cross it and crawl in my sleeping bag – BUT – rope can be used as a sensual accessory.

Allow me to elaborate – ha! Please.

Using a rope to restrain your cowboy can be as simple as tying his hands behind his back – although I will admit, I do love for him to have his hands free. And there is some appeal to having that rascal spread-eagle on the bed with his hands and feet tied to the four posts of my bed – – sorta like sitting down to a four course meal – an erotic banquet and you don’t really know how to begin.

There is another type of rope play that turns me on and that’s the Japanese art of Shinju or breast bondage where a rope is wound above and below a woman’s breast to frame and push them outward – erotic play that appeals to me a great deal. And speaking of macramé, the best use of rope I have ever seen went into the making of a sex swing.

Rope as a means of arousal is always a power play – the idea of being at someone’s mercy or having them at yours. While I tend to be dominant outside the bedroom, inside the submissive role is more fun. So the rope is a tool that can be used to illustrate and facilitate the power exchange.

So many cowboys, so little rope. What a thought. I think the idea of tying up a handsome cowboy or being lassoed by one is a much better use for the rope than hogtying some steer – any day of the week.

Thank you for listening to me ramble.

I’d like to remind you that I have a recent release – HOW TO ROPE A MCCOY that sorta goes along with this topic and if you’ll tell me the most creative thing you ever did with a rope, I’ll pick a winner and send you one of my keychains which has on it – – lucky enough






About sablehunter

Sable Hunter writes erotic romance. She writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her stories are emotional reads where the heroine is faced with challenges, like one of her favorite songs – she’s holding out for a hero – and boy, can she deliver a hero. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and sweat. If she can wring those emotions out of a reader, then she has done her job. She grew up in south Louisiana along the mysterious bayous where the Spanish moss hangs thickly over the dark waters. The culture of Louisiana has shaped her outlook on life and made its way into her novels where the supernatural is entirely normal. Presently, Sable lives in Texas and spends most of her time in wild and wonderful Austin. She is passionate about animals and has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of racoons. For fun, Sable has been known to haunt cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave.She writes for Secret Cravings Publishing as well as publishes much of her own work. Join her in her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy, to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where dreams can come true and orgasms only come in multiples.
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  1. suzyrph says:

    Macrame was the “thing”– so plant holders were big. I tried for a suspension sling, but that go over with my 1st husband–2nd husband more enthused. 🙂

  2. Shyanna says:

    I love every book of yours I’ve read! I look forward to reading this one!

  3. lisagk2014 says:

    Well nothing very exciting, a swing, not the sexy fun kind, tying the back of my car closed when bringing a big box home from the furniture store and holding my pants up. But I did know a guy once who rode around with a noose hanging from his rearview mirror.

  4. flchen1 says:

    Not very creative with rope! Mainly (besides boring macrame) used it to keep DS2’s soccer banner from blowing away 😉 Wouldn’t mind some cowboys to practice knots on though!

  5. Ginger Robertson says:

    Hi Sable

    I learned more about rope than I ever knew. Thank you for the lesson as you never know when it will come in handy.

    What have I ever done to be creative with rope?!? Hmm, probably tying up a plant in my yard.

    Wild thing I’m not.

  6. ELF says:

    Hmm…don’t think I have ever used a rope in a creative fashion…more of a crochet yarn person…and even that is not terribly creative, lol. Congrats on the release!

  7. I will admit to a growing fascination with shibari. Most people practice it upon women, but I’ve seen some examples performed upon men that are quite sensual. One evening I urged my fiance (now husband) to be seated, and i blindfolded him. I bound him to the chair so that his legs and arms were aligned along the legs and arms of the chair. Then I explained that I had brought peaches and cream for dessert. While he sat there, helpless,I showed him how creative I could be with halved cling peaches and heavy cream (The details are XXX-rated, trust me. In fact, the chair in question was permanently warped by the heat and pressure generated by my husband’s reaction to my surprise.)

    Your keychain is such a cute idea! Best of luck with all of your releases, and thanks for sharing your story.

  8. Lindsay Kolodziej says:

    I tried to make boat knots when I was a brownie in the 80’s. I’ve made rope swings, I tied up my sister because she was a pain lol. Next I’m going to get an old tyre and try to make a foot stool/table as they look cool. Look on Pinterest if your wondering. Xx

  9. carol L says:

    Who knew there were so many types of rope. I haven’t used any rop in any creative ways e cept to use for a clothes line. But I sure can visualize roping a goegeous Cowboy in place. 🙂
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aim (dot) com

  10. Clare O' Beara says:

    Thanks for all the great information! As a tree surgeon by profession I have used ropes to winch trees over, to drop branches under control, to pull a climber up a tree and to tie down a load of timber or branches. That’s before I start on horsemanship. They have uses aboard ship too, but there they are called lines.

  11. Cindi says:

    I did macadamia. My Mom on the other hand once macadamied a A Christmas tree that was 6 or7 ft talk. The bright green tree had different size sequins . Some where at least 3 inches in diameter. All very colorful. She hung that tree in living room picture window. It became very reflective in the sun. You could see the reflections on the ceiling. . Someone driving by even stopped by and rang her doorbell to compliment and ask her about it. Thanks for letting me remember my Mom in a wonderful way Sable. Thanks for the education on rope.

  12. debby236 says:

    Great post and very interesting. The only use I have for rope is for macrame.

  13. Teresita M Reynolds says:

    Thanks for he wonderful lesson on rope Sable!

    Short of the mundane tying tomato plants up with rope, I don’t really have a rope story for myself. However, my DH using rope to tie around his waist to stop him from hurting himself when at work when working on high or dangerous positions. That is the most important usage of rope – one that I have a keen invested interest. Although I usually stop myself from thinking of that type of usage of rope. What if the bone head on the ground who is suppose to keep the rope safely tethered received a text on his cell and became absorbed. He would forget his job and neglect to keep the tension on the rope? What if the rope being used is not the grade needed versus the thread thin rope that was ordered by the shop? I could go crazy with worry!
    Therefore, I go back to my mundane tomato tying rope ~ which doesn’t work that well anyway since a majority of the tomato plants ended up drooping over heavy laden with fruit that were covered in worm holes! I guess I need to get a better grade rope….

    I love your books Sable Hunter! Each book has touched me and taken me to a magical place filled with vivid imagery and will passion. Thank you of the hours of joy!

  14. denise says:

    I guess I will have to go and buy some rope so i can learn !!!!!! Thanks Sable

  15. Barb says:

    With a vanilla hubby and me being on the sub side that never got explored 😦

  16. Lauren LeFebvre says:

    Well….. Rope actually does come into play when we’re “in the mood”. We have to get our 4 dogs to leave us alone so we tie them outside USING ROPE! We thought after almost 25 years of marriage and the kids being grown, we’d be able to be spontaneous again. No such luck.

  17. JeanMP says:

    Use to do macramé, and growing up on the farm, there was always rope around.

  18. Emily Kirkpatrick says:

    As with all of Sable’s books, I loved How To Rope A McCoy! My most recent creative thing to do with rope was to make handles for the purses & totes I’m making.

  19. Karen K Hrdlicka says:

    I would say the most erotic use of a rope for us has been tying up the boat in a quiet cove so we could fool around on the water. LOL, Lauren we only have one dog but she is jealous of any interaction between hubs and myself.

  20. Diane C. Ball says:

    Would love to rope a cowboy for sure. But as younsaid hand free is good. Thanks for sharing the ways to a rope. I will remember never to say lasso to a real cowboy. Lol.. Lauren and Karen, I have to agree with you both, my dog just crawls up between us all the time, he thinks its me time with mom and dad.

  21. Macramé…I did a lot of hangers for plants…..played cowboys and Indians with my brothers other than that a rope is just a rope to me!!!! LOL…..You have opened my mind for other uses!!!!

  22. Judy Harder says:

    Made a basket in ‘basket weaving’ art class when I was in Jr. High, & tied 2 (different occasions) dogs to my neighbors front patio so she’d take them in.
    Great article, Sable! I’m pretty sure the rope I made the basket with was not for bedroom play as I recall it making my hands raw. I’d never make it as a cowboy! Also, just wanted to say that I agree with you about the hangings for horse or livestock theft.
    About the hangings, I’m from Fort Smith, Arkansas which was the ‘last bastion of civilization’ before entering the wild Indian Territories to the west. Judge Isaac C. Parker was also known as “The Hanging Judge”. In 21 years on the federal bench, Judge Parker tried 13,490 cases—344 of which were for capital offenses. Suspects pleaded guilty or were convicted in 9,454 cases. Of the 160 sentenced to death by hanging (156 men, and 4 women), 79 were hanged. The rest died while incarcerated, appealed, or were pardoned. You’d probably love touring the courthouse, old jail barracks, and site of the gallows. Bet you could scare up a ghost or 3! My grandfather took any grandkids who were spending time with him to see these sights. One cousin kept looking around the ground under the recreated gallows & when asked what she was looking for… she said eyeballs! She’d read somewhere that if people were hung their eyes popped out—never mind that it was over 100 years later!

  23. Shyla Wright says:

    I absolutely loved it. Thank you for the rope insight.

  24. Jodi Knecht says:

    I used rope to make a “stamp” in a horse head design. Glued it to cardboard & stamped the design into our concrete patio with it.

  25. wyndwhisper says:

    thank you for the post, i grew up in Wyoming and Montana so i knew a little (very little) about this but i found it interesting. i knew they had to break them in and they used different ones for different things but not what they were made from or why. i do love watching a cowboy make his rope “sing” and do all the trick roping they can do. Did you see the wonderful cowboy on America’s Got Talent last season. that man had skillz! LOL!
    thanks for the contest.

    tammy ramey

  26. marline sexton says:

    hm.. Let me see. The strangest thins i ever did with a rope… I tied my sister to a tree when we were 5 and 7 (I was 5) and played cowboys and Indian’s I actaully set her on fire. Lucky for her mom was right around the corner because she was tied gagged and blindfolded

  27. I recently received my Daddy’s hand braided rope. He passed away about 8 years ago and my Ma had it. We recently moved to the lake and she wants me to hang a rope swing for my granddaughters to play on. I will tell them about my Daddy and how he would have loved them.

  28. Connie Blair says:

    Boy could you have a lot of fun with rope. You just have to use your imagination. And think about all of the sexty cowboy’s. Like on the cover of your books.

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