Category Archives: Play

So…What do you get out of it?

So…What do you get out of it?

I’m standing in a kitchen after a nice BBQ with fellow perverts. We are in a typical Swedish home, in a typical Swedish town. After the food had been eaten and digested, I had tied a friend up and then ministered some self-loving, otherwise known as self-suspension. It had been an interesting session, as I’m getting closer and closer to getting the Kinoko hip harness right, albeit still not succeeding in placing it correctly on my hip. But I went up, both once, twice and a third time, and somehow, my body decided that it should place it self up side down, me hanging in an unintentional inverted suspension. This is of course amazing and awesome, and afterwards, I was a giggling heap on the floor, high and happy as a kite, body warm and fuzzy and a pounding heart to go with it.

When we were packing up, a friend of the host comes up to me and almost confrontational asks me very bluntly “So.. what do you get out of it?”. I ask what she means, as I’m not really sure about how to answer this question, what does it actually entails?

“Like, the rope I saw you doing, what do you get out of it? Is it orgasmic?”

I probably laugh a bit inside, because the after effect of a good session can make you feel post-orgasmic in that lovely fuzzy, slightly lazy hazy way. I explain to her that it is not always sexual, but that the sensations of being tied can often be enough. She looks perplexed as if I’m saying something in a different language. I try to explain my practice as a way of communicating with someone else or myself, and that does not necessarily entail proper, wholesome penis in vagina intercourse. And I kind of feel like a sex-negative snob, but rope for me is not only the tool that will hold down my body or someone else so I can fuck them. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, it is something I take great enjoyment in doing (because it is bloody hot in every single way!).

But is about so much more; like muscles and movement, gasps, breathlessness and a cruel embrace. It is the look of a partners face as they become encased in so much rope they are only nominally human,  or the look of shame as one single strand of rope cause more embarressment and vulnerability than anything else. It is wandering, knowing hands, bodies moving together, or clashing against each other. It is about sounds, that creaking or rattling sounds of the rope, about sweating and working together with someone else or yourself.  It is about knowing yourself so well that it becomes easier to know others. It is knowing that nothing matters except for this exact moment in time. It is about the care of an organic and ageing  material that you hold dear; ropes that carries memories or sweet forgetfulness. Rope is about learning,not just patterns, not just repeating the same endless pattern over and over again, but learning about the pieces and the elements of each and every tie and what they do, how they act, what they become in your hands or on your body. It is not like regurgitating knowledge, it is about the knowledge becoming the second nature ; the trust in your self and what you can do. What your body can do.

It is the surprise of a fastpaced take-down, the focus of a strict hog tie, the movements of a dynamic suspension, or the sensuality of a long floor-session. It is the endless feeling of strength and vulnerability, openness and acceptance.

I did not really have time to say all of this, but tried to vocalise a condensed version, in which I focussed on the physicality of the practice and the intimacy that is possible through a rope-encounter. And in the end, the only response I got was  “Well, I like cock”, in which the understatement was so clearly about me making things too difficult. I like cock too, just that I like mine with rope .Simple as that.


Takedown- Shibaricon 2011

Perfect soundtrack to this post:

His body slams into mine, and for a split second, the reflex is telling me to go for the throat and/or the crotch. But then, it is not a random person who just is holding me down, it is Lochai, who with a viciously wide grin has just attacked from nowhere. Pushing my body against a wall, I am made to understand that he saw me passing by and thought he would go for it. Apparently I deserved it after what I’ve done to Ava the night before…

“Lay out the ropes” 

A black shoulder bag, already opened a bit. My knees hurt slightly against the carpet that can burn, but is does not really matter. Every nerve is focussed on following his orders. The first rope I catch is the vicious palm-frond, it makes a creaking noise and feels rough against the hands.  I’m not making a single face as it is neatly put down on the carpet, followed by a a piece of jute that feels like silk in comparison. The ropes are sorted according to their kind, with all of the loops facing the same direction, hoping it is neat enough, keeping an attentive eye in his direction.

“Take this off”

His hand pull on the wrap that holds the kimono together. My fingers are shaking, trying the keep them calm enough to untie the knot which suddenly is so very secure. As you probably realised, I am already hyper aware of Lochai, his voice, posture, directions. Not just because of the potential threat, but because of an intense sense of wanting to submit, undergo what ever it was that he had in mind. There is a buzz, an attention towards being ready and prepared, at all times, standing at a mental attention.

When he is starting to tie, it is rough, scratchy, fast, tight but not numbing. The black palm-frond is not that nasty against the skin, the scratching is rather delicious and with quick movements my chest is tied into a TK. The heat from both of our bodies are working together. He is almost fully clothed, I am wearing only my knickers. Exposed and vulnerable, but yet, somehow, focus so strong.  From one second to another, I’m suddenly on the floor, lying down, breathing, processing, the black rope pressing against the nipple, getting more and more uncomfortable, almost like nipple-clamps, as they dig into the sensitive, thin skin. His is talking to me, I can’t hear what he is saying, then nodding when hearing and understanding, moving wherever he wants.

Suddenly, a voice says something; a DM shyly pointing out that apparently, we have broken a rule of the play room when not using a sheet between us and the floor. Lochai laughs; we are both presenters and should know better, he is pointing the finger on me, who is all trussed up on the floor. Cue blushing from my part, smiles and blushes. A sheet is conjured from somewhere, and is placed on the floor.

“Spread it out. Make it work”

Note; I’m tied with the hands behind my back. Instead of being spaced out, there is another task yet again, and I start, as well as I can. Using the body, my mouth, crawling around; using what ever available to spread the unruly sheet out, it crinkles, get stuck. I’m told to hurry up. Instead of getting stressed the order centres the activity even more. I can do, I can do because it is what he wants me to do. He nods, and I’m down on the floor again, into a hog tie. Pulled upwards, the stretch, that missed feeling of ‘I can do this, I can breathe through it’ and succeeding. That kind of breathing and focussed attention, a pro-longed stretch, challenging and suddenly a hand around my throat. Another hand in my hair. Scalp aching, don’t know what kind of sounds are coming out from my mouth, when his hand is close, it opens up itself, it wants to be available, it is available. Body feeling warm, so is his, feeling it through  the fabrics of his clothes against my naked skin. And if he order me to do something, in this position, hogtied, pulled up, stretched, I would make sure I would follow order, despite my current state. The thought hits the back of my head as a “WTF! I hardly know the dude, and yet, submitting so easily” but it is quickly put to the side. No time to doubt, just focus.

This is not about a ‘gift’ of submission, given away to be unwrapped/discovered/fostered and placed on a mantelpiece; but an active, ongoing relational action and reaction of dominance and submission, an act of submission in which the only thing that exist is that focus of knowing the self enough to just let go, knowing the self so well that the self is forgotten except for the action/behavior which is required. A feeling experienced very rarely.

Later, when I wrote to him on a slightly different subject, this what was said:

And you saw me, not only in the operative sense that you spotted me passing by and pounced, but during that whole scene, and it was frightening how quickly I fell into an embodied sense of submission, while still feeling secure enough to not feeling like a poseur. While undressing on your order, unpacking your rope, I could only care about that exact moment in time, your expressed wishes, and, (perhaps stupidly enough), trying to think ahead of any other that you might have had but not expressed yet. Rope feels different when laying them out for someone, and felt different when I placed them out for you. 

The rope that came off was painful, it had dug into the skin enough to act almost as nippleclamps. Cue moans and ouches and enjoyment of a pain, induced through rope, through bindings, through pulling and pushing. Through submission. Through placing out the rope. Undressing. Making it work.

The Gut Feeling- Shibaricon 2011

It is Saturday, and all smiles after a wonderful cabaret. I think this is something wonderful about a lot of ropey people being in the same place and sharing; it is fun. Even if it is also serious and scary sometimes and the scenes you can see are heavy and pretty awesome, it is still fun, there is still laughter and a mutual enjoyment (always to some extent, and perhaps to someones extent more to someone else).

The drop earlier in the evening had made it clear to me that there was a somewhat of an unbalance. The switch in me had flipped towards the desires of being bound. A forthcoming post will discuss the arts of switch-crafts a bit further, but suffice to say, there needs to be a balance between everything.  And it was Saturday and I just needed rope on my body, not tied by myself or tying someone else, but tied by someone else. When in that mode, it is strange, because it is almost a desperate feeling. I did not even bring my ropes with me, just to mark that it was not that kind of evening. For those of you who know me well enough, that is somewhat unusual even for me. People around had started tying, and then suddenly running into Tatu.  Sometimes, asking for what you want is so god damn difficult, but asking him if he wanted to do some rope now or later felt easy.

We ended up in one of the smaller play-rooms to focus on some floor-work and as I peeled off one layer of clothing after another, it felt like I could not stop feeling, thinking, and everything I always hope to shut up is running amok. There is no control over thoughts, barely over body, the jet-lag is running crazy, suddenly thoughts of someone I must have hurt so much appear, then the pain of not being in control over potential fucked up feelings reminds me again that despite how ever much I want to be in control over my life, I never am and I never will be, because I must feel, I need to feel. Note: this is while we undress, no rope has even taken place yet. I take deep breaths, trying to move into the space of rope and empty minds, ground myself.  I’m not sure if he felt the mind running amok, but we sat on the floor, just looking at each other for moment before his hands started to move over me. There was something in the movements that tempted the emotion, tried to lure it out, like small pieces of glue on his fingertips lightly touching scraps of paper. He spoke, perhaps I did as well.  But as it happened, when he placed his hand on my belly I cracked. It was like everything in me had nested in there, like a stiff, hard, tired ball of fear, adrenaline, self-doubt, stress and conflicting emotions. And when the nest was pressed upon, moved, all of its content started to bleed, first trickling, then pouring. No rope yet, but I was crying and could not stop crying. He started moving me, started tying, and instead of trying to shut the brain up, I just let everything enter into the system, running amok, a crazy assault of disjointed thoughts and feelings not processed, no point in fighting it, no lock down, no focus, just exist. And Tatu tied, moved with and against me, and it felt like where ever the rope went, it allowed this to happen, because I was there, I had to feel, I had to go through it. His breathing was following the pace of the rope, and the rope made sounds, so safe to hear, so familiar, so grounding. All the time is spent on the ground, maximum focus on the bodies, on the energy, the connection. And everything can just happen, without controlling it. When he is untying, there is a stillness and a peace, mind has accepted the feeling body, allowing it to take charge, and now, the landing becomes a regaining of focus, but a kinder focus, a more grounded version, acknowledging those who are around. We sit, first not talking, then slowly starting to coil all the rope up and chatting about everything and nothing, all of those things that matters, and that which does not. As we, after some time, hug one more time and then part ways to continue experience the wonders of the play-spaces at Shibaricon. As I walked away, the thing that most came into my mind how the the body is not a vessel for the mind, but a primary link to the self and others, or in the words of some smart person who said something like: “We know ourselves and the world through our sensing bodies”.

Friday classes-Shibaricon 2011

The first class I attended was one on the current state of research about sexuality and kink, presented by Dr. Richard Sprott from CARAS. Having just finished my own degree, and being slightly jetlagged from traveling across the pond, this was the perfect way of starting the Shibaricon weekend, as any attempt to tie would have been a foolish one.

Sprott first did a short review of the current state of sexual research in relation to BDSM, fetish, sadomasochism etc. What transpired was that there is a lot of work done, but it is often lacking in nuance, and furthermore, still ridden by a pathological bias, especially in relation to the field of psychoanalysis and psychology. Studies on so called sexual sadism mainly feature samples which are taken from offenders, i.e people convicted of sexual violence and the like. Now, I am pretty sure I know the difference between myself and a sex offender but if these are the only studies being made, and the assumed framework is one in which this is violent pathology, and if these narratives are the dominant ones, we do have a problem. There is no denying that there are people out there that are violent, who need help, who abuse people sexually, but there needs to be a stronger and more clear divide between the narratives of pathology and the understanding of kink. Furthermore, there is actually very little done on sexual masochists, in any field. And do no get me started on those damn switches 😉

If you move towards the field of anthropology or sociology, there is much more stuff being done, and in a pretty much completely different light. As I am writing this, I cannot find all my notes from the class, so will return to this presentation sometime in the future. Needless to say, it was a very good review, which was then followed by some very interesting updates on recent research into pain, pleasure, and all of those things which kinksters like. It was a good presentation, mainly because it encouraged us to think about kink.

The next class was that of Lochai, and he spoke about the subject of Rope Intentions. That is, what do you convey, what do you wish to convey and how do you do that with rope? The intentions of rope can all swift, from day to day, and nothing is better than the other. Sometimes, we seek different things you know? Perhaps to create an object, something for pleasure,  amusement,  that creates a shift in the ‘us’, as the nominally human object of pleasure or practicality is removed from its position as a subject. But even then, I would guess, for me, my focus remains on those or that involved, reaching out and reaching inwards, towards lust,deep longing into dark alleyways  and relying on terrifying lust or even a will to serve. These are not exclusive of each other, the objectification, the submission, tenderness, intimacy. They are just all a part of the huge pot of great that is boiling during a scene. Lochai sought to point out how we pronounce our intentions with the rope, what it is that we communicate in ways of tying, but also how that communication and the wide spectras of lust are pronounced by the rope-bottoms. To high-light this, he tied his two demo-bottoms in two completely different styles, with different rope and also got different reactions from them.

Ava was tied with palm frond; a harsh, scratchy rope, which coincidentally is really painful to even tie with, as your hands will go sore very quickly. Ava hates that kind of rope,  making faces when it is taken out of the bag, reacts to it with discomfort written on every part of her body. But she still accepts it, and Lochai keeps on tying. After a while he turned towards his other demo-bottom, Duracell and starts to tie her in the completely opposite manner. It was much more close to her, with a hemp/jute rope, long movements, letting the rope caress her body, and Duracell drifted away. He kept on demonstrating different ways to interact while tying, to know your abilities, to clearly define the parameters of the scene, if it is a scene at all or if it is practice time (if this is going to effect what is happening or not). We also discuss the way in which the bottom/submissive communicates, and it is here that an interesting discussion about archetypes comes up. Lochai mentions the signal tat the person who dresses up in a school uniform sends out, how they can quite clearly be perceived as a bottom, etc. But it gets hard to resist to point out that these are assumed roles and signals, because it might as well be a school girl that cannot wait to gag the teacher with the apple she brought with her and then fuck his arse until he screams… So I tend to be careful around those archetypes, because they can as easily be something completely else. But anyhow, this class was a very good reminder of communication through body language and movement, and the presentation really got that through.

The next class was Michael Sol’s ‘Binding the bodacious’. I wanted to do more of the classes like this during the weekend, since there are so many people who find that standard ties are ones which are very tough to be in. Now, all of us know that sometimes,rope just happen, it is not planned, it is not structured from A to Z, but there are some important things to think about how we do it, and why.  Sometimes, it can actually be about just doing a specific thing for the sake of it self, but most of the time, we go somewhere with our ropes because, well, we are just supposed to, almost by default. A takate kote, a hip hope and a side-suspension, over and over again. Becoming mechanical, a perhaps well-oiled machinery, but what else are we, but creatures of habit? We are also creatures who are curious and feel, each and every day we process and engage with our world, not only through a script of what we are supposed to be doing, but also through the unexpected, the unknown, that which gets our blood pumping. I’m finding myself being caught in that very easy trap of the takate kote, but it can of course be tied without being a mechanical reproduction. It probably has to be, as each and every person who you tie is different, shaped differently, moves differently, speaks and communicates with you differently. But in more than one situation, I’ve seen irritation over how someone who ties the standard can’t seem to ‘get it to work’, simply because they are trying to tie the person into a preconceived standard tie, instead of seeing the person in front of them. Worst example of this was the man who said ‘ You have too short arms’ to a playpartner of mine. ‘Too short arms’ ?! Phuleaze! I find that classes like Sol gave are very well needed. He spoke a lot about how the box-tie is dependent on the configuration of the rope-bottom, shape of the shoulders, mobility, etc. Also, there are many possibilities to tie the arms behind the back with out the common box-tie, there is indeed. For the future, this is something that I might start to dig deeper into, and try to learn much more about, as there really is a need to not just applying one set of standards upon bodies that are so different.
The class itself was good, Sol was interesting to listen to and clearly had a good appreciation of how to approach the subject and demonstrate it. Will definetely go to more classes like these next year.

These were the classes on the Friday, then there was also the play party in the evening. You can read about that here

Coming Undone-Shibaricon 2011

It is halfway through Shibaricon, and I’ve run into Cannon in the practice room. He is now holding me by the neck, leading me through the corridors of the convention space. When he grabbed me by the neck, I knew where we were, but since then I lost all sense of spatial orientation, closing my eyes and just following his hand, pressures from his fingers telling me in what direction to move and how fast. Bodies, moving.

We are searching for a space to play in, a space for rope. Which, to be honest, means that we have the whole convention space really to choose from, except that some of the classes are still ongoing. Cannon let go of my neck, I open my eyes, and finding myself following, yet again, making sure not to run into him, but to not be too far away, paying close attention to his body language. One of the classes are wrapping up, there is a far corner that he decide is where we need to be. I ask how much undress is required and then take off what he wants. He hands me one of the white sheets that are used to cover the floor, and I start spreading it, something which can be rather tricky when only using two hands. This is the second time during the weekend I ‘have to make it work’, although this time I actually have my hands free to do it. He is waiting for me to spread out the sheet, I try to be as effective as possible, feeling his eyes burn in my neck, while on the floor, grabbing corner after corner of the unruly sheet, even it out, almost feeling like the preparation is a metaphor for how my body is in rope. The white sheet on the ground, unused, a tabula rasa, a base line for the scene. But the thing is, I’m not there yet, I am filled with longings, with aches and needs and wants and cannot pretend like they are not there. Despite the focus, despite the need and want to obey and follow, I am still worried, slightly anxious about not being enough, capable, strong, expressive, submissive enough. It is not uncommon for me to have these feelings, especially when playing with new people. But the thing is, when you are there in that moment, where the person touch you and start, that is the time when those doubts starts to evaporate.

And they do for every strand of rope he ties, the worries, the fears, the anxiety, it evaporates. But it is not just the rope itself, it is him, being right there, present, and focussed, a bubble of perceiving senses in which we focus on each other. I can’t say that I remember much of the tying itself in terms of what shapes he tied, but I do remember Cannon’s movement, precision and presence, his communication. And I fall into it, follow,listen, express. I don’t speak very much when being tied, very rarely I can hear what the top is saying, but at one point I asked him to hurt me. Cue slightly hilarious linguistical misunderstanding; he hugs me, because he has heard me saying ‘hug’ instead of ‘hurt’, the British accent of mine got in the way. I smile, but the smile only lasts as long, because the hug goes turns from a hug into hurt. The pain is precise, but still feeling it everywhere, it travels through my body like a wildfire, forcing the last barriers down, I am nothing but feeling flesh, there is nothing but here and now; a knee kicking into my crotch, hard pinches, punches, beating hands, beating heart. From the beginning, the rope was wrapped around my eyes, but as it is taken off, I still keep my eyes closed, unless once in a while I look into his eyes when he tells me to do so. I don’t speak (as far as I remember) but as always, processing pain is a vocal affair…

Something pointy made of metal is traced over my skin and somewhere in the back of my mind, the knifephobia is set off, but I can’t say it, I just can’t say it, just letting my body shiver while my mind turns into a red light of warning. I don’t mind Cannon taking me there, to that place of fear. One which he notices, asks me out loud if knifes are a problem, I nod or say yes, don’t remember. With words and action he state that fear is not what he intends with this session, and instead show me little stick of metal which is not a knife at all. Despite the relief, I almost want to make myself understood; to say that if he wanted to go to the place of fear, I would gladly go there with him. Instead the barrage of stimuli continues, and somehow, I loose myself in this, remembering details become irrelevant, instead, my self and body is dismantled by him, his hands, his rope, his presence. Every inch of me is right there, in that moment. It is a mix of intense stimuli, energy and everything else that means I finally enter that state, a coming undone, a nothing but that moment in time. It is then I think that the tears start, slowly, in the back of the eyelids, not like the night before, the tears are not the ultimate release, because all is already released, they just come, trickling down. If getting tied up means the self coming undone, untying means being put together again, and his body is warm as he moves with knowing hands, pulls the rope, letting it linger, tracing it slowly over skin or quickly pulling it. It is not just the rope, it is his whole being, allowing the pieces to come together again- and there it is again, there I am but I am more me than ever, becoming more me than before the session started. I can feel, but no anxiety, just feeling what is there, in that moment.

Coming undone, being put together again, a leap of trust and to feel yourself, not through anything else but through the hands, the eyes and the rope of another person. After being put together again, I am everything and nothing, a tabula rasa. A white sheet, which incidentally is now crinkled underneath us on the floor.

Gravity- Shibaricon 2011

This is the first of a number of posts covering the shared adventures at Shibaricon 2011. Please be patient as there is so much to go through. Shibaricon was catharsic to say at least, and processing it all will take quite some time.  

We are defined by gravity, and yet, somehow I am defying it. I’m moving through the air, and it feels like there is nothing that I would not be able to do, despite the fact that I am tied. The ropes around my ankle, foot and leg are straining the muscles while still supporting them, holding me up, enabling this upside down adventure.  I’m not a sack of potatoes, this is not a comfortable hammock, this is a strong body in action, and the man who has facilitated this is Dommy Darko. We have both flown over the very big pond to visit Shibaricon 2011, and strangely enough, it took a trip to the US for us to finally meet, even though he is based in Ireland and I’m in the UK. The previous evening, he had approached me for play, and we had tons and tons of fun  him beating and pinching and hurting me while I was partially suspended by the leg. We made an attempt to suspend from it then, but decided to give it a go the day after, with some slight modifications.

The day after we sat and pondered on the the ankle tie, it became so much part of it to figure out what was needed to be done. Two ropegeeks in action, both driven by intense curiousity and a will to make things work, in some way or another.  we discussed some more, prodded around, he tied, some more modifications with carabiners and the suspension point, a first attempt, going ok, but again, it needed some modifications.  I had early on a feeling that this might turn into something perfect, but as I know my body is somewhat fickle sometimes, I ask Dommy we could have a spotter, just for the sake for both of us. Bus Driver kindly agrees to help out with this, and with all of this prep and four capable hands around me it becomes easy to focus on the task at hand, which is the intense experience unfolding. I become more and more acutely aware of  every part of my body, as the pressure increases,  feeling muscles, movement, and it is an experience which demands this awareness. I’m lying down on the floor, face up, under the suspension-ring, then I feel Dommy pull, then another pull and I’m moving upwards, foot first. Core muscles, not tensing, just working. And then I’m up, above the ground, only supported by rope. There is a simple purity in this, no other limbs tied, no other mod cons to ‘help’. Just rope, incredibly capable hands and trust. And will. I am in an inverted single ankle suspension. Hanging up side down, from one ankle only. The thrill is immense. It is not charachterised by a sense of helplessness,but just sheer and utter strength.

While up, I start moving. My arms, my leg, my back, slowly first, testing what can be done, where I can go, how I can go there. And it is here that my body is different, it is here that I am not limited, there is movement here that feels so natural, so full of life & joy. Dommy keeps on working, I keep on moving, trying to not be in his way, but I just want to try every angle, every single little thing that can be done or cannot be done. The time is limited, and as mentioned: it is not a comfortable hammock suspension (nothing wrong with those!); but one in which I want to make the most out of the time I have.  And both of us keep on working, working hard.

If you are new to rope, depending on what you want to do, you need to know that you might have to think like an athlete. Now, that might sound a bit rich, coming from me, since I am not the best person on taking care of myself. My muscles and general physical state is not in the best of shapes, and god knows I have a lot of work to do after sitting on my ass for three years finishing my degree. But, to be honest, a year ago was the first time I could properly get myself tied into a box-tie, and other parts of my body is finally starting to agree with me. Furthermore; I finally want to be nice to myself. Do you have any idea of how hard it is to stop guilt-tripping yourself? Hating yourself for what it feels like you are instead of celebrating what you are on your way on becoming? Rope helps me with this, sooths and strengthens, pushes and forces me to feel, to acknowledge this body which I so often tries to disconnect from. And this inverted single ankle suspension did exactly this.

Back to hanging up side down. A couple of minutes pass, can’t really tell how many, just that it gets clearer to me that body is getting more and more tired. I am running a marathon I have never run before, and sooner or later, I will have to call it a day. Signalling to Dommy and Bus that I will need support and come down in a all to close future. My body is tired now, but in that way which releases tons of endorphins and adrenaline. When Bus allows me to rest in his arms while Dommy is slowly lowering me to the floor, I feel strangely giggly, smiley, sweating, safe. Warm strong arms, bonds of trust, bodies; defined by gravity. Defiance; born out of necessity.

The Vivid Dreams

I dreamt so vivid dreams last night. They woke me up several times, and the immediate feeling was that I was lost, so lost, and so in need of what ever it was that I dreamt. Because I loose them you see, the dreams, can only trace them back to the fragments and shells, filled with emotion but no clear narratives.

I returned from Japan on Tuesday evening. Jet-lag has been kicking my ass and I’ve felt out of place, not knowing how to land really, because it was a very special couple of days.  I’m in deep need of some debriefing and I guess this is the place for it.
This first post is going to be about a private experience during Sunday night at The Sleeping Beauty, a members club in Tokyo, run by the same man who organized Toubaku, Hajime Kinoko. I guess I’m writing about this experience first, because I need to get it out of my system.
First of all, Sleeping Beauty rocks. Friendly, warm, relaxed, a great feeling, and it was very easy to socialize a whole night, taking the first tube home.

After filling in a membership form, you enter and immediately take off your shoes off and lock them away. A very nice feeling actually, to be barefoot in a club. After that you can change your clothes in the completely kitted out dressing room, that also have showers where you can freshen up. They even have hairpins, soap, hairspray, etc, that you can borrow. Basically, it rocks.
There is three floors, basement with a dancefloor and a stage, plus seating area, the ground floor with changing rooms, a smaller room where it is allowed to use a cellphone. The first floor has the rooms for exhibitionism and voyeurism, so to say.  You can fuck or watch people fucking and there was none of that sleazy feeling at all. And no experience of any unwelcome attention what so ever, no groping, no harassment of any kind.  The first floor also has a big space for rope-related activities and socializing. It is also worth noting that all the drinks are included.

In the beginning of the evening the place was packed, but as the hours flew by, the crowd evened out somwhat. It felt very good being able to walk around without shoes, in relaxed clothing and still being in a sexpositive, ‘kinky’ (what ever that means!) environment. I was not really planning on anything during the evening, although there was that ever present ache, longing to experience rope. Just walking around, socializing, making friends, expressing admiration towards some of those I had seen on stage at the festival, it was quite enough. I also saw the fun-filled show of Esinem, who sparred against his model with a singletail and she sparred against him with a flogger. It turned into something really fast, hilarious, and utterly awesome. I can understand that people don’t want BDSM to be presented as a farce , but also think that it is important to live with a sense of humor, to be able to laugh with each other.  Joy is one of those things that guide me in my ‘lifestyle’ and oh how much joy Esinem and Inessa gave the audience!

People played with rope all evening, everywhere. It is a special feeling when it is like that, like anything can happen. The standard was incredibly high, and there was a willingness to experiment as well, to share and to talk rope.  Private newaza, long, public sessions, demanding suspensions. One of my favorite moments was when a girl dressed in cargo-trousers and t-shirt kept on trying different techniques for a one-leg suspension, so strong and so determined.
Someone who was very interesting to speak to was a Taiwanese rigger called Shin. Sadly, I missed his show during the festival, but hearing him speak of his rope-practice during a talk-show with other riggers he said a lot of things that really resonated with me (that is for another blog-post though) and we had spoken a bit later that evening and then continued doing that at Sleeping Beauty.
At some point I asked if he would be interested in doing some rope, cause seeing all the strands of jute flying around everywhere really made the longing so very strong. Furthermore, through our conversations, he really stood out as someone who I could trust.
Not expecting anything, a bit later he asked if I would care to practice some shibari with him. I gladly said yes, even if there was a bit of a hickup moment when understanding he meant on the small stage. We spoke a bit, and as always, I told about the slightly annoying fact that my body is not always that understanding of what I want to do. Some muscles in my upper-body,mainly the arms, does not work as they should, so a lot of stretching takes place, but despite this, a simple TK can sometimes be impossible. After a bit of faffing back and forth, I decided to shut up, and do that which I felt like I could; trust his judgement.
Sitting half-naked on that stage together with him, I know that is what the fragments of my dreams has consisted of last night.
Fever Ray sings ‘We are capsules of energy’ , and that was how it felt being tied by Shin that evening.

Relaxing in to the TK, feeling strand after strand working itself around the skin, creating tensions and frictions, a tug here, a movement there. And the mouth of mine started suddenly smiling, and all I wanted to give him was all the possibilities I could  possibly give him. I stopped praying to myself that my body would not let my down, cause he made sure I knew it wasn’t going to.
The yoko suri  is a suspension which has posed problems for me before. Either, my arms has cramped, or I’ve felt faint and dizzy, or  it just has not worked out. Shadow did one which was modified for me during a workshop in Berlin before Xmas (something I still need to write about!), but I kind of had retreated to the notion I would hardly be able to do it at all.  And sure, there was a a second or two of hesitation, not wanting to screw anything up, when Shin started to pull the ropes. The moments when you loose yourself into the inbalance, just seconds before going up, and then realizing “He made it possible” and not feeling any pain, any dizziness, just pure joy and adrenaline and life. Shin continued tying, and I continued smiling.  How strong was he to make this body, the one that I struggle with, to work?  How strong is it possible to make another person?

As I came down again, we sat on the floor, he started to untie and I know I asked him to not make it all stop to early, begged for it to last one more minute. He responded in his mother tongue when I started speaking Swedish. The world was perfectly still, right there and then.

And I guess, that was what I dreamt last night, the fragments of that experience.  A world standing still, so perfectly still, so perfectly strong.