Running Time: 67 min.
Production Date: 1992
Director: Frank and Ona Zee
Cast: Frank and Ona Zee
Initial Expectations: Most bondage features havenít done much for me, but thereís so few that take on a bit of an educational slant that Iím a little curious about this one.
Initial Reaction: Itís very different from what I expected, in a very good way!
Who Should Watch It : Anybody curious about bondage but whoís nervous about it
Who Should Avoid It: Anybody heavily into bondage
Audio /Video Quality: The audio is clear and well balanced, but there is a small hiss in the background. The video shows a fair amount of grain, with the picture looking about like a second generation VHS copy.
Menus: Surprisingly, the main menu has a clip of the movie, which gives a decent first impression. Not surprisingly, there isnít a chapter menu.
The Feature: The Learning the Ropes series is hosted by real life couple Ona and Frank Zee. They use the series to give normal people an introduction to bondage as normal people themselves. They talk about their experiences as well as giving a few demonstrations. In this episode, Frank and Ona concentrate on female submission.
Frank and Ona start things out talking about bondage and their sexual background with it. They talk about getting into bondage as well as connecting it to some religious experiences. They also try to clear up a few misconceptions about bondage and talk about why they are doing the series. They also point out that theyíre not editing the feature heavily, so that people can see their real reactions rather than something thatís manufactured.
Frank and Ona start things out with spanking. Master Frank has slave Ona stand up, bend over his lap, and puts his hand on his lap so it hits her clitoris. That way whenever she moves as he spanks her, her clit rubs his hand. He gives a few tips about bare handed spanking, such as how to hold your hand and where to spank, and occasionally takes time to massage Onaís ass. He also demonstrates a few different kinds of paddles.
This is a nice opening that I think everybody can relate to. Everybodyís heard of spanking and itís not something that seems far fetched or degrading. Ona and Frank handle it very well, and give some great tips at the same time that many people might not think of.
The next section is on clips and clamps. They start out with a clamp thatís often not thought of as a clamp, namely a corset. He cinches her up nice and tight before Ona talks about how corsets work with bondage and long term effects. They move on to cover a few different types of clamps. Ona demonstrates both nipple and pussy clamps, as well as common household items such as mousetraps and clothes pins.
This section is every bit as good as the first section. Frank and Ona do a great job of showing the clamps donít have to be scary, while at the same time making it clear that there is a little pain with them. They add some nice little tricks of the trade, such as how to make clothes pins not have quite the bite, as well as how different positions will have different pinches. Thereís plenty of information here, and itís only helped by a very willing subject who obviously enjoys it.
Finally, Frank and Ona cover ropes and restraints. They start off right away talking about why ropes arenít always the best choice for bondage and some of the risks. Frank demonstrates some simple rope bondage on Ona, emphasizing how important the aesthetics are, while binding her almost completely from head to toe. They also cover some cuffs, including ones you can easily make after a visit to your local hardware store or fabric shop, and gags.
Not surprisingly, this section is also very good. Frank and Ona do an excellent job explaining what they like and dislike about well known restraints, while bringing out many commonly seen restraints. You can tell that theyíve played with them quite a bit, as they give nice details to support their feelings on the items. The parts about making your own restraints really was a highlight of the scene for me, as the little Iíve looked at bondage equipment in adult stores left me with the impression that they didnít look like much yet sure cost a lot! Then again, with a Scottish heritage I guess I think most everything looks that way.
Learning the Ropes 4 is a great educational bondage feature that seems perfect for anybody whoís new to bondage or whoís a little scared of it. The entire feature maintains a loving feel, and never gets close to the degradation that so many associate with bondage. Frank and Ona do a great job talking about the aspects covered here, both informing about the general products and methods as well as small insider tips. Itís helped out a bit by Frank and Ona as the focus here, as they both appear very normal, and although theyíre a little older than the normal performer they wear their age with grace rather than with tightie whities and a glow from tanning beds. Itís helped out even more by the editing style, which shows both when Onaís very much into what Frank does to her as well as when sheís uncomfortable with it. When Onaís uncomfortable you see both how things can be adjusted as well as some of the care that has to be taken with bondage.
People heavily into bondage, however, probably wonít care much for Learning the Ropes 4. Ona talks back to Frank quite a bit, sometimes asking him to change something, sometimes adding something he might have forgot, and sometimes just talking. She also corrects some of the things which Frank does to her, which in heavy bondage would not be tolerated at all. As I said before, however, Learning the Ropes isnít directed towards those people. Learning the Ropes 4 is for people who are curious about bondage and who donít have any experience with it, and makes an excellent introduction to spanking, clips, and clamps.
Extras: Trailers are included for The Younger the Better, Seymore Butts Interactive 2: In Pursuit of Pleasure, Up & Cummers 101 , Please Cum Inside Me 6 , and Dirty Deubtantes 46 (X-Panded). Thereís also website information.
Themes: Straight, B&D, educational, spanking, corsets, clamps, and rope bondage
Raincoat Factor: Low
Condom Usage: None, as with most bondage features thereís no penetration
Overall: Currently, the Learning the Ropes series can be found online for between $5 and $25, with most stores offering them near the top end. At this price, I have a very hard time not recommending anybody interested in learning about bondage from picking this one up. Yes, there are no extras and the technical aspects arenít the best, but for an educational feature this oneís hard to beat.
Note to Ona Zee / New Machine: This is a great feature, but the lack of extras really sucks here. A bonus scene with Ona or from one of her other movies would have made an excellent extra! Also, this movie has some very clear breaks in it. Chapter stops corresponding to those breaks would have been very good!
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me .
Other reviews by Astroknight