Tag Archives: shibaricon

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.

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!

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”.

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.

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
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

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,
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…
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!

Tying Ava- Shibaricon 2011

It was the first evening of play. A huge playspace, with several small rooms and one gigantic. The latter had so many suspension-frames that I could not actually count them all. Does anyone knows how many there was? And all of these points were more or less busy within 30 minutes from the space had opened. People tying, getting tied, tying themselves up, all of this, everywhere. Had I died and come to heaven? No, just seen the playspace at Shibaricon for the first time. It waseasy to walk around, watch, talk to people, perv, drool, think. As with the learning thing, just watching people tying or interacting gave you ideas, inspired and made you hot under your collar.

The dungeon monitors were clearly visible, helpful and easy going. Water-stations was within easy reach, sheets and towels were available to cover the floor with. These details, so minute but so important, made it feel like the most well organised and cared for event I’ve ever attended. No wanky men was to be found anywhere (yay!), no unsolicited pestering took place and the space had in general a very strong vibe of ‘lets have a bloody good time!’ and wow, people did have fun. The focus was clearly on rope, but there was so much different eye-candy and interesting play going on, it would have been practical to turn into an owl in order to take it all in. While one heavy humiliation scene took place, including a pug snout; in another there was a nazi role-play interrogation scene, complete with smoke-machines as ‘gas’. Although there was many, many different constellations of play, there was still primarily more male (by quick estimate of judgemental eyes) riggers than female. This though, did not mean that women were not tying, because oh yes they did… Just considerably more men tying.

After having seen one particular hot scene, staring my eyes out and probably dribbling all over my clothes, I swallowed a big lump of nervousness that had gathered in the mid-section of my throat and decided to give tying a bit of a go. Cue search for rope-bottom! After a while I was lucky enough to run into Ava, a brainy pervert that had been a demo-bottom in an earlier class, and we had also spoken in a presentation on kink and academia. Bubbly, smiling, brainy, expressive and that distinctive awesome geekyness about her, what not to like? I did manage to ask if she wanted to engage in some filth, i.e. rope and got a positive response. We decided to find each other when I’d picked up rope from my room and to then go and look for a free space. Yes, I had been so doubtful about potential play that I did not wanted to jinx anything, thus leaving the ropes in the hotel-room. Getting through to the elevators, picking up the rope and going back down became a time for gathering the thoughts and plans for potential evilz, plans which had started to take shape. That kind of shift of focus is always rather interesting, one in which the mind prepares the body of what it is about to do. After finding each other again we then found a play space, set it up and went through the usual Q & A of negotiations that are so very vital when playing with someone new. A feeling, a certainty that the nervousness present earlier had now turned into a specific focus, a focus on her, and her alone.

Her top had some kind of snap-buttons. The sound of this coming undone in one quick movement is still fresh in my mind. So are the shivers that travelled through her body as the rope started to encase her upper body. So much else is gone, at least in terms of what happened when and how. Can remember a feeling, an intense feeling, and a couple of signposts during the play, such as the tenugui (washcloth with patterns printed) dipped in water hitting her body, falling repeatedly, slapped over the skin turning it red. The skin of her thighs turning even more red after palm-strikes. Deep breaths during some of the slow movements in the floor work. Sweat and body heat, the wet cloth so much colder than both of us. Squeezing her hand to check in, her squeezing back so hard the hand which has just landed on her thigh started to ache, and then knowing everything is alright or no: it is better than alright. Rope wrapped around the neck? I’m not sure, but there was certainly some kind of breathlessness. Her body moving, manipulated, pushed; her body moving with so much grace and power in the same time. Thinking and wishing to go even deeper, quicker, heavier, but resisting that primal urge when seeing her resting on her back, tied up, smiling, a faint but yet distinctive smile and somehow, despite music and people and play going on all around us, it was so silent. Resisting the urge to hurt her even more. There would be a next time.

This is what I am hoping, that there will be a next time.

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