Tag Archives: rope bondage

Languages of rope

Backlogs finally being posted here. Have not felt like writing that much nor have had the time. But am now looking forward to put up some of the backlogs as well as perhaps starting to write on other stuff. Hopefully, I will be able to move away from the complete rope focus in some time a head and find my way back to some of the queer politics. 

Nawakiri Shin, a dear friend of mine, translated something I wrote a while ago into  into Chinese and put it on his website. Sooner or later this is going to make me big-headed, but for now I mostly feel very happy and honoured about seeing my writing being spread to a completely different audience.
You can read it here if you are interested in Chinese, the original English one a bit further down in this post. But first I would like to muse a bit on language..

It is strange though, how passions can transgress any written or spoken language; tying with someone who does not speak the languages I know have never been a problem. But when it comes down to speaking, writing, exchange of words, it gets trickier. There is so much knowledge out there, so much love for what we do, but language barriers sometimes prevents the sharing of this. But people like Shin or NuitDeTokyo, as well as internet and technology, is slowly changing this. Because you know what? I think we want to interact, in one way or another. We want to know more, feel more, live more to varying degrees.

Language can also be about privilege. Who can speak what, which language is favoured and how does it act towards those who do not speak? In opening up and making sure that many voices are heard, listened to and interacted with, we can destabilise defaults and connect with each other.

Comparing rope as a language to the written or spoken word, I can sometimes find that one has more possibilities than the other, but they are not mutually exclusive. We need to do more rope, to listen more to each other, let images inspire but also words and actions of those who we admire. Rope is a language of the body, neither neutral or always objective, but always evolving and ever changing. I want to be the same, to strive not for perfection or becoming ‘better’, not a goal orientated vision of what we can do with ourselves, our bodies and our minds, but one in which we seek to understand each other more, respect and admire and learn because of learning itself. The journey you know?

Time for me to stop rambling. Thank you for reading. And thank you Nawakiri Shin for translating, FrenchLibertine for being an awesome rope partner, and Jenis for taking the wonderful photos:

I was tying with French Libertine again, but it was a different occasion than usual. Jenis had kindly offered to take some photos and even kinder was Esinem, who let us work in his wonderful studio. I wanted to do some floorwork, and some partials, as I felt ready to move like that with rope again, focussing less on the technical. And to be honest, it was great spending the Valentines with people I adore, and doing stuff which is great. Before I got there, sitting on the bus, I had an idea in my head about creating something visual in the same time as getting really close. To work in that studio also added tons of feeling to it, with its decor and the tatami flooring. If you have never heard the sound of rope and tatami, I can only try to describe it.
Rope for me will always be more than just yarn. It has so many specific properties, and when you find the perfect rope and tying together with someone, nothing is as good as exploring all the elements of it. You know that sound when you snap a coil open? How it sounds when it passes through your hands? The creaks when it is pulled tightly, the sound when it reacts to its own tension. When you have rope and bodies over a tatami mat, or wooden floor, it is like an orchestra. Kneeling on the tatami mat, that is the slow tap on the stand which the conductor do to signal that we are about to start. The conductor, her body, and the bodies of the orchestra; the rope bottom, the environment around them. Then, we have the overture, slowly building something up, the strings working, the bass setting a baseline and a first inkling of a perhaps reoccuring tune; the sound which characterises not just the overture, but how the whole piece will move you.

After having kneeled on the floor, my tapping on the stand consisted of focussing on a point just above the shoulders, watching first if there was any tension, then my right palm between her shoulders, to feel. In those moments, I had captured her attention, allowing her to rest into the tunes, her feeding the notes back to me. A slow shudder, she took a deep breath; in and out. And I could not help but to prolong that moment, you know the moment when the conductor has tapped in for attention and up to the point she lowers their hands to mark the beginning of the overture. No hurry, just anticipation. I took a deep breathe in, as I pulled the first rope towards me, and unsnap the coil is next to her ear. She shudders at the sound, that very Pavlovian response. The first rope is felt, before it even touched her skin. And then it did. Traced over her shoulder, then over her chest. A simple TK, tying it with tactility, not forgetting about technique but working more on tempo and what is underneath the ropes and in them, rather than the ropes themselves.

Her body provided me with cues, like a lead violinist and her string, the conductor conducts but also moves with that lead, the almost extravagant body language of the lead violinist, so that the rest of the strings can follow. But then, looking at the pictures from the session, when I finalised the TK with a wrap between the breasts, I was looking at the rope, rather than her. I actually did not realise I was doing that. On one level I can really understand why and where it comes from; having that focus on the ropes the last couple of months makes you look at the ropes more than the person. I’m slowly coming out of that headspace, and looking forward to it. All along while tying, the rope moved across the tatami, across her body, the rest of the music piece came out, intense sounds and small thumps.Having finished the TK, I continued towards creating the visual element. Tying her leg, tightly, but not really resisting the urge to close my mouth around her knee. The French Libertine let out a small whimper.
As I continued a quite simple partial, I kind of forgot the camera, but kept focus on my rope-bottom, and the vision in front of me. Watching the photos, I think I have now learned one thing; get my arse out of the way. Not being used to creating visual images for someone who takes photos, I did what I usually do; being very close, moving around a lot. That does not really work, if one wants to create images with a focus on the rope bottom and the rope.

Having finished the leg tie, I then did some rope in the face, as well as pulling the other leg backwards, making the partial more demanding. And when we had finished I remembered how much I love tying like this. There will be more to come. But if there is someone with a camera, I’ll just have to remember to be every now and again step away.


The City

It is windy. Very windy. At my left I can see the harbor and the lights from the The City. At my right, the open waters. Right in front of me, I see the Golden Gate Bridge. It is the last evening of a whirlwhind 48 hour short visit to San Francisco, where I travelled after Shibaricon. It feels like I could stand at this spot for the rest of my life. The air, the wind, the sea, the breathing that is possible to do, how every breath fills the lungs with such intense life. It is strangely grounding, a moment in time where everything else stops, except for time itself, as it keeps on getting darker and darker and colder and colder. My trip in the US is coming to an end, and it is here that I’m reminded of the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have, they move through my mind like flashing images, or a brief reminder of a sensory experience; skin twitching or a muscle aching slightly, remembering the sound of a creaking rope or leather gloves, slowly closing over my mouth.  Not even 2 weeks in the US and it feels like I know who I am again. Like the skin is fits around the body and the mind can distribute itself over the thoughts in an even fashion.

The 48 hours in The City were made possible by two people whom I am honored to have met and eternally grateful for their hospitality; Bus Driver and Pink.  They happened to be two of the first people I met at Shibaricon on the first day, and Bus Driver also helped at one point to spot during a demanding suspension. They, together with other awesome and wonderful people, made the con even better.
In the end of  Shibaricon I was looking for somewhere to go as I would have a couple of extra days before the flight back to Europe, and had thus put up a note on a notice board saying something like Busty Swedish Blonde seeking Bedspace. With a limited budget, crashing at someones’ couch seemed like the best option. Not before long, I was suddenly invited to stay at Bus and Pink, an offer which was impossible to refuse. Said and done, ticket bought and bag packed, leaving O’Hare landing in San Francisco. Slightly dazed and rather confused due to tiredness from Shibaricon but  in the same time on a strange adrenaline high  I made my way through the airport and was met (after getting lost…) by my hosts, and their adorable Peanut.

When visiting people who generously open up their home to a Busty Swedish Blonde they have only met a couple of days earlier, I was hoping intensely for not being one of those annoying guests and pointed out I could be fairly self-sufficient so they would not have to interrupt their day to day life due to the Busty Swedish Blonde. Lets just say that I had no idea they would have none of it, as the following two days I was so well taken care, showed all the sites, taken to the kink-shops, parties, et cetera et cetera. After meeting the housemates, having a good night sleep and taking it slow in the morning, Pink showed all the kink-shops, including  MR S and a visit to Good Vibrations, which was fairly awesome to say at least. During lunch time, we spoke about the kink scene and leather and her and her partners involvement in the community. It is organised on such a different level that would make London look pretty much like a bunch of party obsessed perverts. Which we kind of are, but that is beside the point :). Pink  also showed me the SF Citadel, a great permanent BDSM space which was really huge and well equipped.
I the end I visited Wicked Grounds  more than 3(?) times in less two days, had one great lunch, a huge milkshake and just hanging out. After a quick change of clothes, I was dropped off at Wicked Grounds one more time, waiting for Bus who took me to Bondage a Go-Go (BaGG). Now, if there is something that is awesome, it is to experience different kinds of scenes different parties. I become like a horny sociologist, trying to take in as much as possible. BaGG had a great feeling to it, although I must admit that we spent most of the time in the play area so did not see much of the rest of the club. What I did gather though, was that BaGG managed to fuse a couple of things together which another club in London has tried but not succeeded  in doing: fusing the industrial/goth scene with kink. This was mainly done through the awesome music (as an industrial chick, it was heaven to get to play to so many great tracks). In either case, it was a really great place, with a small albeit very well managed play area.

As I had expressed an interest in Bus’ flogging skills (with Pink  politely pointed out that he is a sadist..) I felt slightly nervous, but also strangely centered as we entered the play area. Was strapped to the cross, and not before long the falls of the floggers started to rain over my back. This was one of those floggings which takes you so far away you are in lala-land. A warm up which was exactly that, not just a short interlude before the ‘real’ thing, but  carefully tempered and ministered. And it was the tempo and the sensations that got me;  florentine flogging at its best, moving with the music, but also creating music on its own; syncopations, emphasised beats, the sounds coming out from my mouth all of a sudden. It is like letting bodies do the talking, instead of the vocal chords it is the warm skin, the muscles, the un-planned guttural sounds, goose-bumps, the breathing, the pulse, skin involuntarily twitching, the back arching, moving away from but still drawn towards the pain. You simply don’t want it to end, but it always does. Something which was very special during many of the experiences in the US was that it felt ok taking time. Taking time sitting down and talk properly for a starter, but also, when in that state of bliss after play, it could take the time it took. Not always, but sometimes, it feels like I has to get myself together in a orderly fashion not too long after the play has finished, especially at parties (not on the private parties, but regular ones). But here I was, in lala land but also sitting at the floor, with Bus assuring me there was all the time in the world. Everything was like it was wrapped up in cotton, even the music was muted. And sitting there, at the floor, was like the most natural place to be in. It became a reminder to the self; to stay present in the moment. Around us, there were others playing, and the passion and skill people showed made my warm body feel even warmer.

A while later, when having landed, there was this little itch; I needed to tie someone. Was introduced to a lovely lass and we spoke a bit. She felt like playing, and I was borrowed a suspension ring. We set up, first rope is out of the bag, heart pounding already. People are busy chatting, standing next to the playspace with drinks, dancing. The suddenly, there is a stronger light and a voice announcing that a guest from abroad is here to demonstrate some of her rigging skills; and obviously people turn immediately around. For a brief moment I think something like: “SHITFUCKITYOHDEARGODSAVEME”, while pretending like I’m tying something really important behind the lovely girls’ back in order to hide what is probably written all over my face. Then one of those VNV Nation tracks comes on; a steady beat and a baseline,  a deep breath and then go. The adrenaline hits, the light makes it harder to see who is watching, and her body become the only thing that matters. With the adrenaline and the pace of the tying, it is almost like trying to scratch into her, dig deeply, removing layer after layer. It is not really pretty the rope, off centre and unbalanced, but god damn, it is so fun. Encasing her in a cocoon of rope and then just physical rope and bodies in motion; toying with her mind, moving in like an attack, forcing her off balance; a fistful of hair, her neck exposed. As the wham bam adrenaline wears off, I want to continue with the rope but with a less barrage of the senses, so the untying takes place on the floor, while sitting down, the rope is warm and so is her body, resting my cheek against her shoulder, controlling every movement, pushing her with my chest, adding tension rather than removing it even if the ropes are coming off. The last wrap around her wrists comes off; we have both forgot everything about the crowd. The evening continues, with more awesomeness, and when we walk back to the car, it feels like being wrapped up in cotton.

On the second day, I get showed around a very special and interesting place; my jaw dropping for each and every door that was opened. Suffice to say, I did not think about anything else than what horrible acts could be committed or was being committed. Those really abject, filthy, degrading, sadistic…..see, it is even hard to type anything about it!
Pink then fetched me and showed the touristy things, including Lombard street. We also found some sushi, and dear me, that sushi was basically perfect. Also walked on the Castro, which felt strangely touching. All this queer history and activism, the significance really struck, especially when visiting a LGBT-history museum. I am so grateful for those who paved the way, who fought back and stood their ground.

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That evening then finished with a visit to view the scenery described in the beginning of this post but also biting someone very cute in a dark parking lot.

I would like to thank Pink and Bus Driver who made the visit so unforgettable with your generosity and kindness. There is probably not words enough to express this gratitude, so I’ll just stop waffling.

 


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.


Closing ceremony:communities and creativity- Shibaricon 2011

It was sad, but inevitable. The closing ceremony of Shibaricon 2011. As I sat amongst new-found friends, deep-throated Ava’s banana and waited for the ceremony to begin I had to think about the passed weekend not only as a event that had passed, but as an ongoing continum of that which we all learn, share and experience. It is one of those events that does not stop just because the doors close and the countdown starts for Shibaricon 2012. Shibaricon 2011 and all the other years continue on their own as well, through those present and their experiences that they took with them home.

A closing ceremony at Shibaricon is something rather memorable, mainly because while there can be somber moments, it is filled with an incredible happiness and a sense of humor. Suffice to say, I had no idea what to expect, but a table was put up on the stage, filled with all kinds of stuff, including gift cards, rope, toys, all donated (?) by vendors and the like. Suddenly, there are line judges sought after.  And then I hear something about them seeking 5 first time attendees. Cheered on by friends, I throw myself onto the stage, not really knowing what it would mean to be on stage, but hey, this time, flock-mentality turns out to be a good thing. Me and 4 other first time attendees get to pick one thing from the table and there is a rope that catches my attention. It is a piece of blue hemp from Boss Bondage and suddenly that is what I hold in my hands, as walking down from the stage, smiling. What follows then is somewhat of a game, consisting of the excellent MC Psychokat calling for the next 5 something something to be on stage, and thus, getting to pick an item from the table. 5 first people wearing leather boots: Bus Driver jumps up on and almost through the stage. 5 first people in a hogtie;  frenetic and fast tying follows,  And so on and so forth.

When Psychocat then points out a bouncy bunny still left on the table Ava realises it should be hers, attacking it with the vigour of someone who really, really loves toys that bounce and that are in the shape of a bunny. There is also an incident when one of the security guys picks up the cute MC who is not wearing his sexy pants, but another awesome outfit, including perfect leather boots, and simply puts him on the table. Greedy as we all are, a group of people rush onto the stage to catch this special prize. I manage to get to him first and jumps at him; sadly the table he is sitting on does not agree with full on jump-at-cute-kitty and the table almost flips over.  Instead, we decide to grab him and carry him off the stage (while he is still holding the mic) and just molest him a bit. Seeing Psychocat getting so flustered from all the attention,which included a face-sitting definetely made the evening. But not all fun and games, there was also some very serious dedication shown, such as the man who decided to buy a GRUEden ticket, which gives a lifetime entry to the GRUE. By pledging $500 to Save Wicked Grounds, that is what you can get. Now, if you have never heard of Wicked Grounds, you have missed something amazing. A couple of years ago, kinksters in London could go to Coffee, Cake and Kink (CCK) , which was a café, selling the most delicious cakes, brill coffee and books and toys and all the lovely things you can imagine.  This was a space in which you could go as  kinkster and just have a coffee, go on a date, read books, be social, and if you felt like it, also be completely open about who you are, or even play. Sadly, due to problems with the landlord, CCK had to close and they are still looking for the perfect venue. If you know anything in London that might suit for their business, please email them, as everyone really wants to eat cake in a kinky café again. But anyhow, CCK inspired some San Fransisco people to start something similar; Wicked Grounds. They sadly had some financial problems and announced early spring that they would be closing due to this. But the whole kink-community pooled together what ever they could and decided that they still wanted to be able to come and have coffee and kink. Thanks to this, a committee was formed and people who wished to pledge to save Wicked Grounds could do so. This is now actually saving the wonderful place and it is indeed amazing to see a community coming together to keep this place open and running!

The closing ceremony became a sign-post for how a creative community can function, both as a point of joy, but also a point of support, care and activism.