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10:49 pm: Adios, Ropejock
I just learned yesterday that Jack, aka Ropejock, passed away earlier this week. Who was he, and why does it matter?

Jack was the proprietor of a website called Jack’s Male Tickling Rack. In the years that it was active—I want to say from 1995 to 2001, someone please correct me if that’s wrong—hundreds of men of all sexual persuasions visited that site every day. Its purpose, in Jack’s own words, was “to present a curated archive of stories and articles, by a variety of talented authors, relating to the more intense aspects of M/M bondage and tickle torture.”

The archives on Jack’s Rack held the largest known collection of male tickling erotica, much of it painstakingly digitized from barely legible photocopies. Stories were arranged by category, and there were many of them: Tickle Wagers, Forced Workouts, Tickle Interrogations, Revenge Tickling, Tickle Games, Tickle Adventures, Tickle Initiations, Brotherly Tickling, Punishment Tickling, Endurance Tickling, True Tickling Tales, Surprise Tickling, Military Tickling, Cop Tickling, Ticklish Celebrities, Heroes and Villains, Clinical Tickling, Tickle Torture, and Cum Control. Later on he added the sections Tickling Drawings, Tools of the Trade, and Interactive Stories, but his main interest was in authors and their work. Again quoting from his introduction to the site: “I was frustrated by the absence of a really good, free, stable M/M Tickling story archive which contained the types of stories that I like to read. Being somewhat of an author myself, I was also appalled at the lack of care and credit given to some of the great stories that have been posted on the Net for years. I had the idea of starting a story collection, giving proper credit to the authors, making it easy to contact them, and presenting their stories in complete versions, exactly as written.”

There has not been a more complete male tickling library than the one Jack assembled, and if the site had stopped there, it would have been assured its place in a unique corner of history. But it didn’t stop there, because Jack’s Rack also had a forum, called the Message Rack. The importance of that forum doesn’t need to be explained to anyone who ever visited it. There, men posted questions, personal accounts, complaints, and every other form of comment under the sun. They shared their agonies, fantasies, regrets, and erotic longings. Often, dozens of participants engaged in a particular discussion. These men were able to learn a lot by communicating with each other; but the primary, most precious thing they learned was that they were not alone.

I was fortunate enough to make some good friends through the Message Rack, guys I still correspond with in the U.S., Canada, and—I wouldn’t forget you, Wendell!—Bermuda. Through them, Jack’s Rack had a real impact on my life, and I am only one of hundreds, probably thousands, of men who could say the same.

I’m sorry that I never got to meet Jack, who lived in New York. I always found his persona just a tad intimidating. He was a “man’s man” who listed his hobbies as “Bondage, Interrogations, Music, Movies, Cards, and Drinking Beer.” His favorite sports? “Wrassling, Bondage, Interrogations, and Drinking Beer.” Nor did he call himself “Ropejock” for nothing; he was a bondage master, and even posted his instructions (in the Tools of the Trade section) on how to build a good set of stocks. Yet, though he was a “tough guy,” he was also intelligent, honorable, and had a great sense of humor. He taught himself HTML from scratch so he could create his site the way he wanted it, giving it a classic, playful, masculine look. He wrote fifteen of the stories that were archived there. And he did everything necessary to moderate a message board that, as Internet use exploded, made excruciating demands on his time and resources.

In the end, it was too much. Jack had to close down the site when his battle with brain cancer wouldn’t permit him to continue. Through two surgeries, chemo, and radiation therapy, he hoped to get well, to get the site up and thriving again. But it wasn’t to be.

So adios, Ropejock. I can do no better than to quote from a memorial piece written by someone who was fortunate enough to know you: "Not many people are able to make a difference in the world, even in a small way. I hope you know that you were one who did."

(Note: Most of Jack's Rack has been archived, and can be found at the following URL:


I have been told that, over time, some of the links have failed to function. But even the slightly curious would, I feel, get something out of paying the site a visit.)

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