Tag Archives: Lochai

Sunday and Monday classes- Shibaricon 2011

So, after a couple of days at the convention, I was taking it a bit slower, only attending a couple of more classes. One of these were Wykd Dave‘s class on tension. It was a pleasure to attend this class, in which the core concept boiled down to ‘Do not loose the tension’. Or more over, do not let go of the rope. If there is something that you can see with all great riggers is that the rope continuously flow through their hands, almost seemless in its movement , one hand follows the other, constantly holding and controlling but also following the rope; a mix between control, tension and movement.
The element of tension is probably often forgotten when a pattern of a tie is learned, because the focus is so much on where the rope should go, instead of how it which should go there. That essentially means that if you let go of the rope, the tie itself quite often looses its integrity. So all those nice things that you perhaps build, you loose when the rope loose contact with your hand (unless you need to/have to/intend to). Dave also pointed out how different types of tension gives different kinds of sensations and impressions of the experience of the rope. So it is not just about the practicality of the tie, but if you let go of the rope, you essentially let go of the person you are tying.

One of the things Dave demonstrated which I found was very interesting was the baseline of his way of tying, a beat making it fluid and consistent, but never boring. It made so much sense to see how he had almost a beat in the pace he was tying. If you remember the Saturday cabaret, Daves tying made jaws drop towards the floor, and his system of flows, tensions and the connection he has to his wonderful partner, Clover is truly worth to study. Clover is also an extremely talented photographer who work together with Dave as a rigger.

The last class on Sunday was Lochai’s Speed Bondage. Again a class which was really well presented, clear and focussed. I especially liked it because of  my poor spatial skills, something which I need to work on. Lochai pointed how the speed is not about how you tie, but the preparations that one makes, both in terms of one self, the rope, the environment around you and how to keep aware of these and what it means to keep these factors in mind.

Play followed on the Sunday evening, such as the experience of an inverted one ankle suspension, but also much more. I think Monday was one of those almost unreal days, as it by then had been so many days of rope. It was almost like there was no outside world, like this was a world we could live in, and continue to live in. Sadly, it was also the last day of the con, and it felt like my body had gone through a marathon. Aches and tensions, but those that you get from really good play, rather than the disconcerting kind. Needless to say, I wanted to be a responsible adult (hrm) and take a class which could probably benefit my knowledge as a member of the Peer Rope London crew. That was why I attended Graydancers, RACK roleplay class in the morning. This was really, really good, both on a personal and ‘professional’ level. I don’t know if this is the case in the U.S because you seem to have so many classes and talks and a general discourse which constantly seems to be centrered around communication skills, but in the U.K and Sweden we talk a lot about the importance of communication and action, but not really how. And dear god, we need it.

Graydancer had set up a couple of different scenarios that was to be played out. The scenarious would challenge those involved with the scene to think about safety, communication, outside factors, all of those things that can jeopardize the safety of a scene. Suddenly, I’m about to be a rigger that has to stay in control of an over-zealous dungeon monitor, a grumpy and slightly unruly sub and a scene that is, well, hardly allowed to start. The unruly sub was the wonderful Naiia, and the DM was a man who kept asking me questions about everything from the rope to the hardpoint. Lets just say it is easier to shut a sub up, than steering off a DM who is (in the roleplay) not knowledgeable about rope. The brain was really going full out to deal with it all. At one point, when the DM came up and I responded to him, I placed myself automatically between him and Naiia, as if I was the physical barrier between them. This was pointed out afterwards by someone, and I kind of had not realised I was doing that, but it felt good such a move is so ingrained into my spine.  It could be because of the nature of some of the clubs that I go to, such as TG, in which one really has to be hyperaware of wandering hands, and actively guard your play-partner. In the end, I have the responsibility to  make who ever I play with feel safe and if that means stearing off wandering hands, or automaticallyput myself between the sub and an intruder (who ever they are) I will.

As Gray broke the role-play, we got feedback and constructive criticism. And this is something which is really unusual on the scene, to get a review of the good and the bad things. Some of them, like my potentially poor spatial awareness, I had already noted, but other stuff was fairly new to me. One of the interesting things that was said, was how it was pointed out that  I did not react stronger when the ‘DM’ picked up the rope. And it really struck me how slack I’ve gone with that, and how silly it is to not mark that it is not ok for any non-consensual touch what so ever. I’ve often found myself getting slightly annoyed with having my stuff rumaged through (like the odd “what kind of rope do you use?” and the person pick up a coil without asking) but not knowing why. And it became clear that these ropes and the stuff I use are under my control, they are that which is so important to what I do, but also what they are. I need to know that the ropes are in the same condition as when I left them, need to know where everything is, and for god’s sake, it is my bloody stuff!

The other role-plays were one about negotiation for a scene and then seeing how much a playspace would get out of control before a rope-bottom would call it a day.
The negotiation was interesting, as it did not focus that much on ‘I want to do A, B and C’ but rather on ‘Who are you and how are you feeling?’. The general interest in a suspension was established, and who would be doing what, but then it became more about the relationships DNGG was in, such as other partners attending the same event. Who else but her would one have to consider? What kind of closeness and intimacy is ok? Any sexual contact? Any medical history? Et cetera et cetera. All of this was so bloody good to hear, and to pick the bones carefully, it also made the feedback afterwards really good, as it showed that it is quite good to be specific and clear in both questions and answers while ‘negotiating’ (hate that word sometimes!). So if the question is about sexual contact, make sure what you both understand as being ‘sexual contact’, what does that entail? Also, specific questions in regards to health and safety are good. Instead of a general; “Do you have any medical problems?” ask specifically about arms, legs, diabetes, history of fainting/nausea, back problems, or even about the last time they were in the hospital. Old injuries, or not even that old are easily forgotten, and it is when prompted to think about that part of your body that it might trigger a memory. And note, these are questions to ask both the top and the bottom!

The last roleplay was one in which a rope-bottom that was to be suspended suddenly had everything from puppies, people speaking loudly and commenting upon the scene to a group of littles sitting and loudly singing. Suffice to say, it was hard to not laugh and while really admiring the lovely rope-bottom who just took it in with such serenity. Following the scen came a discussion that was about trust, limits and safety, mainly in relation to when a bottom/submissive feel they are not safe or in a situation which could go out of control. Here my mental notes actually are completely blurred, so if anyone remember what we spoke about more specifically, please feel free to comment and I can update this section.

As a final part of this class we sat down, divided into one group for tops/dominants, one for submissives/bottoms and one for the switches. We were asked to note down a scenario which could stand for a problem that we, as switch, dom or sub could encounter, and that could be role-played. These scenarios were then the last discussions in a class which I would have loved to have more time to engage with, as it was a really good work-shop. Apparently it was also the first time Gray had given the class, and I’m seriously considering bringing it to the U.K as it raised so many good questions, answers and scenarios to work with.

The last class of Shibaricon 2011 was one with Midori. But this turned rather special and I think it has to be written in a separate post. Stay tuned!

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.

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