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Heartbreak and Hope


Evie Vane is the author of Better Bondage for Every Body and The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up.

Down like dominoes they’ve been going. Over the past several months, rope tops I’ve played with, been intimate with, and counted as friends have one by one been revealed to have been engaging in predatory, unethical, and or downright consent-violating acts. My heart broke a little more each time.

“Well, Evie, maybe if your heart is breaking so much, you shouldn’t have started the Rope Bottoms’ Share Group, hm?” you may be thinking. “Serves you right, doesn’t it?”

Yes, it does serve me right in the end. It serves everyone in the rope community right, except people who are engaging in predatory, unethical, or violating behavior. When I revealed one of my very good friends to be one of those unethical people a while back, I cried for days, agonizing about whether the decision was right. Then a very wise person said, “You didn’t ruin him. His actions ruined him.”

Right now, thanks to more forums than ever before, the #metoo movement, highly public cases in which victims are refusing to be cowed (way to go, Taylor Swift!), and a shift in mindset, violators are being flushed out in droves, it seems. And many of us are wondering, “Who’s going to be left?”

The answer, of course, is people who are more honorable. And it’s hard to argue with that.

The “old ways” of doing things—with little or no accountability and with a little or a lot of shadiness and covering up—are giving way to a new era. Now, more people are beginning to understand that partners (whether for an hour or years) are people—not mere toys to be abused and violated and manipulated to support people’s power trips and visions of themselves. Those who don’t understand that aren’t going to last long. And that’s a good thing.

A new crop of ropesters is already growing to replace the ones revealed to be dishonorable, joining the many honorable ones already in the community. And there are so many already here! The high-profile cases are a very small percentage of the rope community as a whole.

Who’s going to be left? Plenty of people.

And where do we go from here? To a more honorable and more informed way of doing things.

Maybe those people who have been falling like dominoes will take a break, do the work, and come back to join the new era. I, for one, would welcome anyone back with open arms if they’ve truly done the work and have changed for the better.

And if not, if they want to leave the community and never come back, perhaps calling me a bitch and cursing the Rope Bottoms’ Share Group and every other forum for accountability, that’s fine too. We’re not ruining people; their actions are ruining them.

I used to hate being called a bitch. Now I think, every time a dishonorable person calls me a bitch, an angel gets its wings.

Now I’m going to recast all those heartbreaks and any more to come as hope—hope that predators, abusers, and violators (and potential ones) will think twice before hurting people, knowing that they will be held accountable for their actions. And hope that all those who’ve fallen like dominoes will own up to what they’ve done, really do the work, and come back as better people.

I have always loved this community, and I’m loving it even more as it grows safer, more accountable, and more honorable.