Tag Archives: Midori

Crickets:Tying with Naiia- Shibaricon 2011

We have been tying for quite some time by now. The class with Midori is about speed and flow drills, and she is indeed drilling us. We are told to pick a tie we know, but not too well, something which we can challenge ourselves with. 7 minutes for each exercise, which include tying with the dominant hand tied behind your back and vice versa. This is something which forces the rope-tops to think about how to move, how to use their body and mind , and I’m not the only one who has heureka moments, as it is possible to hear a ‘aha!’ or ‘ ohhh, I get it!’ during the class. When the 7 minutes are up, Midori’s phone lets out the sounds of crickets and you are asked to start to untie. Hence, this sound now become known as ‘the crickets of undo’.

It is indeed a drill like class, and tying with the lovely Naiia is getting my heart pumping, concentrating and focussing how to move, not only me but her, thinking about effiency of movement, something Zamil teaches but that I’ve so far sadly has missed, but also about the effect of said effieciency on Naiia. She seems to settle into the physicality, and it is indeed wonderful to to tie with this kind of bunny, that responds and gives feedback, both verbal and also physical. This is actually the third time we played with each other at Shibaricon. First time had been in a corset-lacing scene one of the earlier days. Lacing a corset can be done in many different ways; she was tied with her hands above her head, un-laced roughly and then relaced even rougher, again and again, pressing different parts of the corset together, undoing it again, pushing and pressing her ribs against that wonderful garment that is a corset. Gasps and giggles are following, and it is so great to relax into a scene like this, with a focus on one simple act that can be done in so many different ways. It is not an elaborate or complicated scene, but one in which we can just relax into it; I’ve laced corsets before tying any ropes what so ever and she is experiencing for the first time. The second time we play is in Graydancer’s RACK role-play class, where I play the dominant who is pestered both by an over-zealous dungeon monitor as well as having a very bratty sub, played by Naiia. Although this is role-play and she played a role which she usually would not, it was interesting to interact with her in that role. And now, while being drilled by Midori, we say that we definetly need to find some time to play properly, preferably before the weekend is over. It is Monday already, and it seems like we don’t have much time. But then Midori annouces the final drill; to tie the tie with both your rope-bottom and yourself blindfolded. My heart beats a bit extra, because I was asked to do the same once in another class, to close my eyes and to focus on the movement and feeling the tie instead of watching what I was doing.  It produced really good results, and I start to think that perhaps this might be our moment.

We are sitting down already, my hand is stroking her neck and her shoulders falls lower. A exercise like this can be anything from a drill to a very intense scene or all of that in the same time. Ropes are being prepared, coiled in the tight coils that are recognizable, laid out in the right direction. Midori starts some kind of music from her I-pod. The sheet that we are sitting is evened out, moving disruptive stuff out of the way, including any stress or thoughts reminiscent from a completely exhausting and incredible weekend.But what ever there has been earlier, I let it slip away, as  one blindfold first is draped across her eyes, then looking one final time at the back of her neck as I blind myself. We are both blind now, her eyes as unseeing as mine. Left hand on her shoulder, right reaching for rope. Her shoulder; fitting perfectly in my hand, my hand; fitting perfectly around the coil of rope. A slight shudder from her part as the coils unravels, the distinct sound of rope falling to the floor, and no hands need to search from now on, the hands knows where to go and why. The first wrap of the TK feels like a starting point, a take off, in the second wrap, we start to melt into each other. Securing those two wraps become a paced dance, a slight interlude,hand on her shoulder to even out the pressure, then the cinches, locking it, she is breathing, moving, the ropes just fall into place. The two following ones are caressing, but not slow, they move in a pace of their own, and suddenly I breath out loudly, a stain of sweat in my forehead. It is like she is everywhere, in every strand and fibre of the rope, like the ropes has made us become so entangled with each other that there is no telling of who is who and what is what.  Uncoil the second rope with my teeth, even more fluff in the mouth. There is a deliberate pace in all of this, not perfect, probably syncopations rather than a steady beat. The locking of the second wrap a full stop, a semi-colon when evening out the wraps, pushing her into a break, pushing her into feeling the tightness of the rope around her. Hearing her breathing, a small gasp, warm skin, stroking the back of her neck again, tracing a strand over rope over her cheek, not knowing how it looks like, but feeling the effect.

We continue tying until we hear the crickets of undone. Then we continue. Then, at one point, we are asked to start finishing, to untie. For some reason, I think it is because the stress of the voice of those who need to prep the space for the closing ceremonies, I take off my blindfold. But I am still within that feeling, that entanglement that we have, a rush and buzzing in my knees. Naiia is quite far away as well, but know she needs to get back to her duties as a volunteer at some point. It is strange when the real world catches up with you. I start to untie, first slightly mechanically, but it is not possible to stay like that. The ropes continue to live, even as they are coming off. And now I can see it as well as feel it, her face, as the rope strokes the side of her cheek, how her mouth opens and closes as she gasps when one of the chestwraps is first taken off very slowly, then reapplied with more pressure. I have shifted my position now, sit straddled over her, and when leaning over to reach better over the back, the pulse in hear neck is hitting the side of my neck, steadily but quite hard.

As the last ropes are disappearing, the people working really wants us to start moving. We are not saying anything for some time, and we can’t move, we just sit. I find a glass of water for Naiia, do it on very shaky legs, then try to gather ourstuff, but it becomes almost impossible as my knees are so buzzing. In the end, we just shove everything into the sheet and carry it along, walking slowly down the corridor. We giggle, say a couple of words, drinking some more water,  just breathing, still just feeling.


Saturday, classes and Cabaret- Shibaricon 2011

So, Saturday turned into a very interesting day. After the shenanigans on the Friday evening and night I was lucky enough to not oversleep, but was instead very early to Graydancers Partial Suspension class. This was along with the focus I had intended to take for classes during Shibaricon; classes on interaction and classes on the most basic suspension-work. Lets just say that any kind of awesome plan I had, from Saturday afternoon, it went out of the window, as it became so much easier to just float a long and see where you ended up. Some of the classes I made, others, well, falling into a class you have no idea of what it is about is sometimes the best thing you can do.

Back to the class; I was joined by the delectable Duracell, a rope-bottom and submissive who I had the pleasure to see in Lochai’s class the previous day. The room in which Graydancer gave his class was huge, with a dozen of frames, all providing multiple points of suspensions, and sharing is indeed caring, which many had to do, as the interest for a class like this is huge. Several people had mentioned that the suspension-classes in general are very popular, and there seems to be this interest in general when it comes to performing suspensions. Will perhaps return to a discussion on this at some point later. One of Gray’s very kind assistants (name?) helped to put up a ring and then the class started. Gray started out with the basics, and one of the most important points that ha made was; Why? What is the purpose of what ever suspension you are doing, partial or otherwise? What does it add to the scene that you are doing and what is the possible affect?

After the introduction we started chasing a bunny around a small tree and a big tree. Yes, that is a description of a knot-figuration used for suspension-lines and the like. What I really enjoyed was how straight forward the teaching  was. Broken down into the important elements, clearly defined and explained and then put into action. Exercises followed, all of which gave new input or clarified for me, ‘old’ information. Duracell was delicious to work with, communicating clearly, helping if I missed something that was said due to being so focussed on the rope. One really good point that was made that is easy to forget, when pulling the suspension-rope, do it with the whole of your body, use your knees and not your back. This made me laugh, as it reminded me of how we were instructed to lift and to move with heavy things when working in the stable. Stuff like this can be a real physical exercise, my fingers were quite raw after this class, and the physicality of it gave certainly an extra buzz. Another trick; keep some hand-lotion with you in your bag, as working so much with rope can really dry your hands out.

After the class it was time to start to properly prep for my own presentation. I’m actually not going to post the presentation itself yet, as the work is going to be revised during the Summer, for the benefit of future readers hopefully. Academic constraints meant I had to cut several 1000 words, and leave elements I sought to explore out. But what I can say was that I was overwhelmed by the interest and the will to engage with this kind of research, both on an academic and also personal level. I want to continue talking with all of you, because your relationships towards rope is what counts, it is not what the general discourse on pathological deviance that matters, it is your lives and your experiences, in what ever way you wish to approach it. Suffice to say, we need different approaches to researching ‘alternative’ sexualities and expressions of these, stronger methodologies and methods.

I was intending to go to Midori’s talk on Pink Japan, but after the presentation I was fairly tired and was instead asked if I wanted to do some rope to relax. J is a blonde, smiling ball of fun, with an awesome hairdo, and very rubbable head as well. We had met at the meet and greet and as we got so well along, I had already had a very good time her once. She felt a bit tired as well, so we went to find a spot to get some rope done and relax. The tying turned very meditational, but also very emotional. I don’t really know, but as it happened, she ended up feeling better afterwards, and I felt up feeling very down and droppy. Instead of going to another class or socialise, we went up to my room, ate Reese’s Cups and drank lemonade, chatting about everything and nothing. Convention-drop is a concept which is apparently quite common in the U.S, where large gatherings over a couple of days are more common in general, but I was first not sure about how to deal with one drop during the con itself. I guess it was all the jetlag, all the tying, nerves about the presentation, all the focus et cetera that played a part. But with a rest, some sugar, and good company I felt ready for another evening, and it was also time for Graydancer’s Cabaret.

This cabaret was more than rope-shows, including stand-up comedy, burlesque, singing, presentations of new inventions to ease the pains of being a pervert. We also got to see a butoh-inspired dance by Cherries Jubilae and Tatu, which emotionally framed the silent auction of a printed photography, donated by the rigger Wykd Dave and the photographer, Niko Photo. This was for the benefit of earth-quake relief in Japan and was in the end picked up for $500 by Hammer. Congratulations on a massively beautiful print!

Another show which made me smile was the uber awesome queer rope-busters rope-scene, which featured Parker the Ropeboi, coming out on the scene dressed as a ghost, doing a self-suspension with both rope and chains. It was impossible to stop staring at Parkers face as it was so incredibly expressive, and it got even more expressive as the Ghost-busters came out. Following this, a large hose-down with the ghost-busters, and suck/fuck/hump fest followed, with the ghost being properly treated while still hanging in the ropes and the chains. So funny, so sexy, so awesome.

DNGG performed a lovely strip-tease,and one of the reasons why it was so awesome, was because of the obvious intense connection and interplay between her and her partner. Every time their eyes met it was like electricity, and seeing that between them was just beautiful.
There was also a very hot rope and singing number, but my memory fails in remembering which song Cherries Jubilae sang while Leon Monkeyfetish tied her up, cut her clothes and then cut the suspensionline.

A rope-number came from from Wykd Dave and Clover. They played heavily on Japanese Aesthetics and did it so very well with beautiful interaction, delicious rope-skills and flawless suspensiontransitions, of which they were many!We had the shame of exposed flesh, a complete abandonment into rope. I’ve seen these guys before doing rope together, and know of the strong bond they have, but never actually seen a performance. There was a speed and a preciseness in Dave’s movement which made me want to go and practice my own rope to get better, but there was also a connection; that together with Daves technique and presence and Clovers strength and trust in her partner all shone through as they performed, not just for us, but also for themselves. And I could not stop smiling.

The final number was The Rope Touch, a rap by Graydancer, that you can find here:

sung to the tune of “The Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound Gang:

“The Rope Touch”

Ha-Ha! Well now, we call this the act of tying
But there are several other very important differences
Between riggers and bottoms that you should know about

I’d appreciate your input

Tie baby tie baby sex with a Texas cuff
Me and you tie the kind of stuff that makes Claire Adams yell “Enough!”
I’ll tie your hands round my pants and you’ll fondle my butt
Yes it’s Sisal, yes I’m Evil but I could use coconut.
Kink from Maui, think it’s owie, you want it rough around your junk
Could use 4 mil like Boss Bondage, could use an asshook from twisted monk!
Quicker than Lqqkout never showin’ no doubt I’m like Isopropyl alcohol you seen
Cuz my burn rate’s faster than Multi Filament PolyPropylene

Tie it now
Jay Wiseman said that we don’t need to worry
If I tie you in Shibari that I learned from Midori
Shibaricon!
Jay Wiseman said that we don’t need to worry
If I tie you in Shibari that I learned from Midori
Gettin’ kinky now!

Dov, the guy with balls bigger than the moons of Mars
If he were into CBT I bet they could suspend Fivestar,
Kinbakushi? Nawashi wanna sushi? Fuck that pseudo-Japanese
Gonna do it like Bishop Bastardo and tie bitches artlessly
My knots capsize on your thighs cuz my carabiner’s finer with a sexy gated lock
And if we can’t find a hard point I’ll suspend you from my cock!
I’ll tie up yours you’ll tie up mine and neither one of us will bitch
Cuz we know the sexiest ropesluts all identify as “SWITCH!”

Tie it now
ein, svei, drei, baby tie how you feel
Gonna do some kinbaku like I was fuckin’ Zamil,
Shibaricon!
ein, svei, drei, baby tie how you feel
Gonna do some kinbaku like I was fuckin’ Zamil,
Gettin’ horny now!

Babe you got an ass that is tender and juicy,
So you be my M-jo baby and I’ll be your bakushi…
Shibaricon!
You can be my windmill and I’m Dom Quixote,
Gonna tie your tits up in a takate kote,
Tie it now

Tie it now
I’m a bad-ass rigger and you are a hotty,
So let’s grab us some hemp and get dirty and knotty
Gettin’ kinky now
Rope bondage means never sayin’ you’re sorry,
So let’s do it like they do when they’re doin’ shibari!
Shibaricon!


The Q&A during Toubaku

Disclaimer: Due to the fast pace of this journey, and jetlag, massive sensory overload and general crazy rope-time, these accounts are not always as detailed as I would like them to be. Furthermore, if there is anything factually incorrect, please tell me and I will do my best to amend this. I also sadly did not have time to see all the performances nor write down as much as I’ve would have like to. Also, please, if you know the name of the various model’s that the rope-artists worked with, please post. They deserve to be named and get as much credit as the riggers themselves, as they truly shined throughout the event.

A section of the program that I was really looking forward to was the Q&A, or talkshow as they had billed it in the program. The participants was be Esinem (E), Shin (S) and Midori (M) who all brought some different points to the table. As it was an international event, it was very exciting to hear the different experiences of these riggers, and I for one would love a longer session of these kinds of talks, as they are quite good in terms of gaining a broader sense of understanding the practices and the individuals behind them.
Once again, some very well needed translation was provided by NdT which was very appreciated. My pen was not as fast as some of the respondents, so here comes a condensed version of the Q&A.

Q: When did you first discover an interest in rope?

E: I first discovered rope about 12 years ago from a magazine, and then realizing its potential as something that could act as more than a restraint.

S: Me and my wife moved to Japan in 2003, when we started to find clubs and classes together.

M: I remember seeing it very early, becoming entranced by it. A bit later I travelled to San Fransisco, in a time where the scene was still very underground. I then went on to study rope between 92 and 97.

Q: Where have you performed with your rope?

E: I have performed at various venues in the UK, such as Torture Garden, Subversion and also around in Europe. I also give classes and tuitions regularly as well as play in private.

S: In terms of play in public, the relativley small economy of the Taiwanese BDSM-scene  does not provide much opportunities to have public parties. But people sometimes organize smaller events in private studios. Me and my wife also had a dedicated space for rope in our apartment, but since the arrival of our daughter this has now been redecorated into a nursery.

(Crowd: ahhhhhhh).

Q: What do you think are the differences between Japanese and non-Japanese rope?

E: I think there are huge differences in terms of that in the West, people have only recently started to understand the potential of rope-bondage to me something more than just restraint, that it is about the journey one takes with the rope.

M: There is certainly differences and sometimes what we can see in photos is not what happens in the moment. A photo is often lacking that, a photo can’t tell us everything.

S: Rope is relatively small in Taiwan, but I have noticed a difference in that there is much more resistance at work in European bondage. They are all smiling and fighting!

M: In the West, SM and Shibari is much more intertwined and mixed in play. There is the elements of takedowns, capture and restraint, in which the model is fighting back. Furthermore, there is also much more communitybased events, even large conventions, such as Shibaricon, where 1000’s of people attend.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

E: I want to continue to develop both personally and professionally, first of all with the London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage.
On another level, I would like to bring more mainstream culture into my performances, such as incorporating ballet. The performances at Toubaku has been hugely inspiring.

S: I also found this festival to be hugely inspiring in regards to rope. I have learned so much about atmosphere from here, and have truly been reminded that it when you tie, everything is in the heart.

E: I also would like to bring more Japanese Kinbakushi’ to Europe, for teaching and performance, instead of having people looking at pictures and trying to emulate the ties without understanding them.

M: I’m interested in continuing performing in non-sexualized spaces, such as museums and art galleries. And of course, also to continue to do shibari with a clear mind.

That was all of what there was from the Q&A session at Toubaku. I found several points here really interesting, such as the different levels on which shibari works, both personal and professional.
First of all, rope in a larger context; depending on where you are in the world, there is certain rope’cultures’. Not only ‘the Japanese’, but ‘The West’ are assumed  categories, that we might think we know a lot about, but most of the time it is better to ask than to assume. The US community based, broad kind of activism is not the same as the more individualistic approach in the U.K. Tying is different not only from different time-periods but also depending on where you are in the world. And I guess there is nothing inherent about the ways in which we relate to rope, but that it is very well coloured by our own cultural contexts.

One interesting thing that both Esinem and Midori mentions is to move rope outside of its assumed categories of ‘kinky’ or ‘sex’, or what ever it might be. That is being done more and more, and just a recent report from Brussels Opera tells us about suspensions in Wagners Parsifal, staged by Romeo Castellucci.

What Toubaku showed to me, was the various ways in which rope feature in our lives, and how it can be both a tool and a tactic in order to create, to communicate and to love.


Tokyo Day 3

Disclaimer: Due to the fast pace of this journey, and jetlag, massive sensory overload and general crazy rope-time, these accounts are not always as detailed as I would like them to be. Furthermore, if there is anything factually incorrect, please tell me and I will do my best to amend this. I also sadly did not have time to see all the performances nor write down as much as I’ve would have like to. Also, please, if you know the name of the various model’s that the rope-artists worked with, please post. They deserve to be named and get as much credit as the riggers themselves, as they truly shined throughout the event.

After not much sleep during the Saturday evening, we managed to get out of bed and out on the streets of Tokyo. I was a bit in a mode of soaking up as much as I could of Tokyo, since I could not stay for that long. Every hour counted.
By accident, we found a couple of sex shops, one which was completely  geared towards BDSM gear. Found some bits and pieces which I will treasure and I promise you, use:)

After then again returning back to the venue of the festival, the first artist we got to see was Yoi. And what a start it was. Entering the room, the light dimmed and just a very faint spotlight and candle lit the whole performance,giving it an air of us sitting in and watching this show taking place in moonlight. Both the model and the rigger used masks, the model wore a fox one and the colour scheme was deliberately white, red and some black.
Slow undressing followed, revealing a model with the face painted in the same fox-pattern as that on the mask, and together with the atmospheric soundscape that shifted between traditional Japanese music such as the shamisen, then Japanese children singing, and then to just the sound of rain, a different world opened up, a world that Yoi and her fox invited us to see. A fox which was about to be caught in carefully placed, beautifully crafted rope. The focus here was not speed or flashy, instant rope, but instead slow, deliberate tying, in which the fox followed, albeit with that slight hesitation and curiosity and in the same time, with delicious submission. There was so many things in this performance that has made me continue to think about it constantly since returning.
Tie ties themselves flowed, starting off with a TK. She was then suspended face down, very low and very close to the floor, which felt really perfect for this kind of fox. The feral creature which was the model moved incredibly gracefully, responding and communicating through her whole body. It was one of those performances that you did not want it to end.

After the  performance of Yoi’s there was a  talkshow with question time, and for the sake of easier reading you can find that post here.

After the Q&A it was time for Kinoko‘s second show, the neo-kinbaku. We made our way downstairs to find a spot, and it was filling up quickly. When the music started there was a creature entering the stage, dressed in a shiny zentai-suit. The creature moved slowly over the floor, with supple, feline movements, smooth but cautious. The music was fastpaced, light dimmed.
Kinoko entered the stage, grabbed the creature, pushing her fast over his knee, backwards, holding his hands around her neck. This was the start of a very visual performance, with a pumping electronic music.
He starts to tie her, with a fluorescent green rope. The tying itself is smooth, slick and fast. Because of the colour of the rope and the way he moves it around the model, it almost looks like he is using strands of flowing oil instead of rope to tie the zentai-creature. Every touch is precise, every movement controlled but extending through to the audience, moving with the music, but only in a very subtle way.

He ties her into a 3 rope TK and a hip harness, first moving her into a upright suspension. When he starts spinning her and leaving the stage, a laser and lightshow comes on, creating incredible visuals. Throughout the show, this is what happens when he has done a transition. Kinoko moves on to tie a gyaku-ebi, to a fully inverted sakasa, with only the ankles supporting the model. He then shifts the support into the hipharness, bringing down the legs, futomomo style. Between every one of these transitions, another lightshow comes on, and it creates a very futuristic feel. The last transitions is when he flips the model over, so she hangs from the hipharness, like a D lying on its back. With the rope, he then ties it around the legs and face of the model. This last shape, he pulls her higher than the others, staging a powerful crescendo. As she is in this position he starts to throw heaps of fluorescent rope on her, furthering the entanglement with the rope, that which connects them and their audience, then and there.

Shigonawa Bingo is a performer who also a part of the Ichinawa-Kai. Him and his very muscular self started the performance by halfdressed,  lying down to rest, only dressed in the the traditional loin-cloth fundoshi, After a couple of moments, a woman walks out on stage, sees him resting, strokes his cheek, drapes her juban over him and stroke his face yet again.  Bingo moves away, turns over and tries to go back to sleep.  As this is unsuccessful, he sits up,  looking at her and then put on the juban. These few minutes before the tying started really set another special tone for a performance. The props used, how they related to each other, etc., all made it feel like a scene between a husband and wife, or at least between two loved ones who knew each other very well.

There was a special caring touch in the way that he rested her hands upon his knee when tying her wrists, the way in which he used his whole body to move her, with or with out the rope. The ties he used varied slightly form the  regular TK that could be seen during the weekend. As I returned from Tokyo, I tried to tie it from memory and found it was both easy, steady and very good support, and according to the bunny, very comfortable.  The chest harness made it possible for  the hands and the arms of the model can be tied separately. There was a lot of small details that caught your eye in this performance; from how the tenugui, which is usually used as a blindfold, gag or tool to inflict pain (when it is wet, it hurts!), but here it is first introduced as a washcloth covered in water, which he squeezes over her body. A small move, but with a big response, it made her whole body tremble and the skin react immediately.  In one of the final moments, a hand came out from the side of the screen, pushed the button on a bottle, and provided the couple with snow, trickling down over them… Different and touching indeed, but the hand coming out from no where made both me and my friend giggle, as random as it was.

The next performance I managed to catch (oh, I assure you that I succeeded in missing a lot of shows, running between the different floors all the time) was that of Esinem‘s. This was a man who said that he felt like he was going to bring coal to Newcastle by going to Japan to do a show.
This show first of all, felt ‘whole’. There was a fluidity and ease to it, in terms of how it moved on stage, in the interaction between him and the model Yuki as well as how it really drew the audience in.  With music from Requiem for a dream, V for Vendetta and The Matrix, there was again a quite specific soundscape. Rather than drawing on the exact beat of ever track, he moved within the pace and mood it set.

The show started with him leading Yuki in, who had a rope around her neck, much like a collar and a lead. All of this was removed with a slight tug on the rope, revealing the kind of ‘dragon rope’ or ‘disappearing’ rope. It was here that it became clear how important every movement was in this performance, when not even this little starting point was neglected. The tying it self, the show, started with a rope being untied. I don’t know about you, but for me it shows how the hole experience is of importance, that every rope matters, and untying is as powerful as the tying itself.  As they sat down on the floor, a long newaza-session followed, and it did not take a long time before they both were lost in a world they had created. Afterwards, Esinem himself said that he did not even hear all the music, as he was so lost in what he was doing. This performance was special, the newaza took the time it needed to take, where the pain and pleasure truly went hand in hand.   You could really see how they moved together, with Esinem as always, being very close to Yuki, both physically and mentally, her self surrendering the whole of her being into the ropes and the moment.
The crescendo came in a gyaku-ebi suspension, attaching lilies to theropes, flowers which he then whipped off with a snakewhip, raining over the stage and those in the audience sitting on the first row. Once again, a performance ended leaving me with a heavy beating heart.

Midori is someone whom I’ve heard so much about, but never have been able to see. I admire her writing, love the visual and emotional take she has on her way of relating to kink and so it felt like a great time during Toubaku to have the Midori-experience.
The stage was dark as we waited for the show to start. It was possible to see some kind of preparations being made, including someone hanging from the ceiling…

Mozart’s Piano Concerto’s No. 21 and  No.27 accompanied this performance, here is one of the two that you can listen to while reading:
Two men came out on the stage, dressed in only fundoshi’s and robes. They sat down for a sake picnic. As they are cheering, clinking their sake-cups and talking, they became more and more touchy. And then more and more, they got closer and closer, started fondling, started kissing each other. Now, these was two very hot men, fondling and kissing, on stage, right in front of the audience. Do you know, first of all, how uncommon this is on the fetish scene? Just think of it. How common is it not with a public display of female,sexualized bodies, preferably two or more? While the gay fetish-scene keep sticking to themselves, there is an assumption of how the female body should be presented. No men on club-flyers, hardly any men on stage, unless they are fully dressed and can act as a MC, presenter or something else. Anyhow, back to she show.
They kept on kissing, drinking, fondling, smiling, while in the other corner of the stage, a creature, dressed in a black zentai-suit was hanging up side down from a suspension-point, completely still.
The couple gets more and more drunk, continuously kissing and smiling, but then one of them, the more muscular one, needs to go off into the bushes for what I assume a piss. He leaved his partner, stumbling around and then all of a sudden, the creature grabs him, he was caught in its arms and then, also the creatures rope. By now, we have basically understood the creature is Midori herself. And Midori is actually starting to tie this man, WHILE hanging from the suspension point, upside down. The drunk man tried to resist, but his confusion enabled her to take control.
So, while hanging upside down, she tied him into a chest-harness, secured to the hard point, then a legtie, pulling one of this legs up. One leg in the air, another on the ground, a slight nod to the partial suspension you can see on the cover of her book.
Meanwhile, every now and then, as tying, still hanging from a rope, she traced tickling fingers over the muscular body of this man, who was stringed up with the face and his body fully exposed towards the audience. This was not just about her ability to tie upside down, this was about exposing flesh that so rarely gets exposed, so rarely gets admired and objectified through the hands of others.
Sure, it is easy to find the undressed man on a billboard, but they are in control, they are always in control and you can see it in the eyes of Beckham on the billboard. The giant sock in his boxers and the giant paycheck, together with the privilege of his position.
But this muscular man, tied up, while working as a model, and I assume getting payed for his time, he had surrendered that kind of agency, albeit temporarily, for the sake of him being tied up and exposed for our viewing pleasure. She manipulated and played with him, and he was enjoying it, an enjoyment that was shared by us who got to see it. The way in which he was tied emphasized  his broad shoulders, strong legs and expressive eyes. Yes, his eyes was tantalizing.
And her hands moved over his body, teasing, exploring, tickling.
This creature, while still being lighthearted had somewhat of an underlying threat, reminding me of a mythological creature, interrupting a sakè bacchanalia of some sorts. My reference frames comes obviously from the Western mythology, so say Loki, from the nordic mythology, who was fond of the mischief side of things.
The other man, slightly leaner and thinner in stature, started to wonder where his lover had gone. So, slightly stumbling through the forest, he trippes over the Midori-Loki creature. At this point, she had come down from the ropes and instead attacked him from behind, leaving him with a slightly dazed and confused expression. She moved freely over the floor as she was tying this guy, and he was tied up with the other man, tied to the leg that was still standing of this guy, making it look like he was leaning on him. She then brought out a bunch of roses, started to decorating the two of them with these, all over, including one which was made to protrude from the standing guy’s crotch. And this made me smile even more. It was done with so much love and humor and and warmth.
As a finale, she cut all the ropes that kept the standing guy standing, and as he fall to the ground, he literally fell next to his lover, making it look like he fell into an embrace. An embrace 0f rope and roses.
And this just. Hard to describe. Just this immensly positive feeling. This was not exploitation or an appropriation, this was not about ‘laughing at some ditzy men who are getting pissed and making out’.  This was about an honest and loving homoeroticism. As I later learned from Midori herself, the japanese work for rose- Barazoku- is an underground codeword for ‘gay’ or men fucking/loving men. And, apparently, there is another flower for the lesbians/dykes/women fucking/loving women- the lily or Yuri. Another inspiration cited by Midori, was the work of Yukio Mishima, a Japanese queer writer who’s work  I’m looking forward to explore when I can actually read fiction again without feeling bad about not doing work for uni.

After the ropes were cut, the whole house broke out in applauds, and it was impossible to wipe out the smile of my face. The next performance was by Osada Steve, and as a show it was completely different. Set to the soundtrack of Anthony and The Johnsons, he and his model created a very still space, although there was something with their interaction that made it impossible to look away, and still painful to watch.  I can’t recall much sadly, as I took no notes. I remember a sidesuspension, vulnerability and submission. Strong submission that echoed throughout the room, through the ropes, and towards him, as he tied her into a sidesuspension.

To fluctuate between these two extremes was very intense, and as the last performance of the weekend started, I found myself having a hard time to concentrate. Naka Akira came on stage, and I could hardly focus at all. But as I sometimes sat down, and then walked around a bit, with my eyes on the stage, it really became apparent how good of a finishing performance it was. I could really not process everything, but there was certainly very interesting elements of his performance. What caught me the most was the focus, a focus which was completely on the model who was being tied up. Her struggle. Her pain. Her exposed flesh and the stillness of suffering in rope. His tying was indeed very still, not in still as in unmoveable, but with a piercing focus. He reminded me of what a friend of mine told me when she spoke of martial arts.
She said that there is always a certain amount of a response to an action and she likened it to a stone being thrown into water. The stone cause a splash, dependent on how big the stone is and the amount of water, depth, etc. What happens after the splash are the rings on the water, smaller, growing bigger, and then finally ebbing out into stillness, leaving the surface of the water again looking untouched. This is probably the best way to try to relate to you the feeling of this show. A movement from within that can cause a tidal wave or flooding, or just a splash and rings on the water. Akira was working like this, very focused and specific, only doing exactly that which was needed, nothing superfluous, and just riding the waves of the reactions of the model. She was indeed on display, in which the positions, tough as they were, were held, him moving out from sight slightly, letting her dwell in the exposure of our gaze.

Shin later told me how Akira apparently had performed to music that he had used in his first performance ever, as well as keeping the tying very traditional. One small example of this was how he in his suspensions did not use carabiners.  I’m afraid the rest of these remarks slipped my mind…

As an end to the Sunday shows at Toubaku and to the Toubaku festival, it was indeed grand.

Although this is not the last post from the Tokyo adventures, it was the last post that covered the Toubaku festival. I would like to take the time to thank the whole crew who made it happen, including the initiator and creator Hajime Kinoko, as well as Mack and Reina whom I know worked so hard to promote and working on this event happen. I don’t know all the people who worked so hard backstage and in the door, and at the bar, etc. but you are all so awesome. Thank you, for the bottom of my heart, as you truly reminded me of the possibilities and endless horizons that rope pose as medium for anything you wish to express.

Domo arigato

 

 





Internet is for pr0n

In times when I got lots and lots of things I want to write, it is easy that it takes too much time before getting an actual post out there. So here is one more of those ‘look at this! ‘.

I had one of those weird sleepless nights some days ago and ended up clicking away on youtube.
This was one of my favourite, who said BDSMers did have a sense of humour?!

Then, Torture Garden reminded me of what I like with the club in the first place. Through Torture Garden TV I was watching performances and interviews. Of course there was the stereotypical bull every here and there, but it was a couple of interviews I found really interesting and refreshing.
First of all, Buck Angel. Oh, how much adore that man with a pussy. This is a very basic interview but in the same time it is still oh so clear what he is talking about. A man I truly admire on so many levels.

Secondly, Kumi’s interview as well as show with Midori are clips that show something that is completely different from many other shows out there. Kumi states that she is looking for something new, something that gear away from the usual shows, that she is not very interested in the usual images of BDSM and wants to create art. It is important to remember these artists, because without them, the kink-scene would die. And boredom would rule.

A bit more with Kumi can be seen in this video, which is truly a work of art with  behind the scenes photos from a session in collaboration with Gilles Berquet and Mirka Lugosi.


There you go. Hope you have patience enough to wait for those texts that I’m working on!

More with Kumi can be found here


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