Rope Care Video
So here's a bit more about rope selection and rope care. I'm still searching for a good rope finishing video, but in the mean time, take a look at some of the rope information and prescribe usage here. I have no rights to this video.
Safety First: Getting Started
Hey people! Sorry for the delay. Because there should have been two posts by this weekend, I’m gonna let rope month spill into February.
Alright, let’s jump in. So in my interview with Stricturism, a mentor of sorts, I learned a lot about the basics. All of the information you find in the quotes is from him.
So we’re ready to rumble. We’ve decided we wanna tie someone up, but we don’t know what kinda rope we should use.
“You want to use jute, you want to use hemp rope, or you want to use, um, a polypropylene synthetic rope you can get at Lowe's. You want it to be anywhere from 6mm to 8mm in diameter. The wrong kinds pf rope are things like sisal or things that have rough edges.”
Stricturism goes on to say, “Rope that is natural fiber, which is in my opinion the best, hemp or jute rope, I make my own, you have to finish it. You sand off the edges, you burn off the little bits, and you oil with a very neutral mineral oil to make it pliable. Remember, you don’t want to use anything with little pokey bits. That’s not good.”
I, myself, have the run of the mill synthetic rope since it was a super cheap impulse buy. I’d argue any of the three will run you 10 to 20 bucks for 25 feet. I did a Google gander and saw that there are different varieties and quantities that can be purchased online for more (or less) money. Do your research and find something you like.
My question: Walk me through the safety. Gimme some steps! Let’s pretend I have no experience. I wanna go tie up fill-in-the-blank girlfriend/boyfriend. Where do I start?
“Find someone who you recognize as someone who you want to emulate. And just like anything else, be it baking a cake or learning how to fight, you emulate what they do.”
“Then you learn which part is done for fringe benefits and which is done this way simply because it’s safer, and branch out on your own.”
I'll admit, I totally skipped Step 1. I thought that after learning the safety part I could just jump right in and figure it out as I went. The reality is, having a mentor and copying them means you can learn the basics and increase your creativity. A stronger foundation means less danger when ya get a little...inspired.
Now that we’ve bought rope and found a role model, we can strip down to our birthday suits and gitter dunn, right? WRONG! Practice before you play and keep your clothes on.
“Spend a couple hours, you know, find someone fun to tie up. And with all their clothes on. That’s one thing I always stress to people. Everyone wants to get nekked while we learn howda do rope. No. Don’t. Because once people start taking clothes off, their attention wavers. Nobody’s paying attention. Keep your clothes on. Just a T-shirt and a pair of shorts or underwear. Whatever. Aaand, put on a good three-hour long movie, put on The Godfather. One or two, cuz three sucked ass. And just have that playing while you go over the same ties over and over, until you can just wake up out of a dead sleep and perform it.”
Because we want to really learn rope skills, we have to respect the craft. It’s easy to imagine getting worked up by the kinky group project and jumping back into old reliable sex without even fully exploring the rope possibilities.
We should practice the techniques over and over again, because “it’s just like learning another language, you have to dedicate the time to doing it. Say I’m gonna take a half an hour every day and work on a single a single column tie, double column tie.”
Which makes sense. Because let’s be real, you’re gonna want to grab the rope in the middle of the night, at a time when you want to impress. You don’t wanna be fumbling around and lose the power dynamic you’re hoping to create in the first place.
Now, you’re ready to go. But let’s talk emergencies. Let’s talk about things when they aren’t going so hot.
Stricturism’s five-minute rule
“I always tell people gimme five minutes. When you’re in a situation, what a lot of people do is they’ll be tied in a situation enjoying themselves or maybe they’re tired or maybe they’re too warm or they’re too cold or something has changed inside them. Don’t wait until that moment to say ‘can you untie me?’ Gimme the five-minute rule. Just say ‘Hey, five minutes.’ That way, I know five minutes from right now you need to be totally untied. Because I’m gonna untie everything backwards.”
Safe word and medical-grade shears
However, when shit hits the fan, Stricturism recommends having a pair of medical-grade shears on hand.
At times when you don’t have five minutes, use your safe word and then you can use the the rope chopping scissors to free your partner and find out what’s wrong.
Remember, this is meant to be fun. Talk to your partner(s) and really explore their specific needs for their specific bodies.
Alrighty! That’s how we get started. Next time, we’ll talk about choosing safe words and I’ll show you my latest rope project.
A Brief Delay
Hey people! Bear with me. Unfortunately, I have had a loss in my family and will not be able to post the next post until this coming weekend. I hope you can understand. Talk to you guys soon.
Preview: Safety First
So last week I talked to my resident expert and have decided to remix the order of the topics. Instead of talking about vocab first we're going to talk about:
-Selecting the right type of rope for the occasion
-Safety tips: rope safety and safe words
-Getting started: emulating idols and safe practice
Stay tuned. Got some good stuff coming!
Respect the Rope
So for someone interested in bondage, I actually hadn’t played that much with rope before recently. I mean, I’d played around with bondage, don’t get me wrong. Exes used belts and neckties, even zip ties, but rope never really came into play. It was about convenience, right? Like, you’re in the middle of doin’ some stuff and you need to restrain or be restrained…oh look! My pants are over there! Oh look! My belt’s still in ‘em! But as I started stickin my toe in the BDSM pot I fell in love with the beauty of rope as well as its function and pacing. There is something so deliberate about rope that you can’t get from bondage tape or a belt. I wanted to feel like an expert. I think skill authority feeds into Dom authority and really amps up the power dynamic.
The real problem was learning the skills. I trolled online for a bit looking at videos trying to wrap my mind around different concepts, but it just wasn’t cutting it. And then! The local fet group hosted a rope workshop. Words like “bight” and “end” were flying around but I never quite figured out exactly what was what. However, two things did stick. 1. I look real good tied up. 2. The guy who ran this workshop was good. So next week he will be giving us a little interview. Email me or message me questions you want to know.
But I digress. The things I took away from the workshop were as follows:
It’s not how tight the binds are but how secure they are
Make sure there is enough space between the skin and the rope
Check in and pay attention
It’s not about how pretty the binds are, but how functional
This point shocked me. Even though it should’ve been obvious, it just never dawned on me. I thought that the binds should be tighter to be pleasurable. That the thrill was the discomfort and the binding. Now, that isn’t to say it’s not. However, a secure bind is one that can’t be escaped. It is not one that is so tight that it cuts off circulation. In fact, secure binds are more frustrating and therefore more satisfying. Struggling against them (or watching someone do so) jerks you into submission, creating real restraint instead of playful compliance.
Along the same lines of not strangling your partner, leaving space protects the skin from chafe as well as ensures that the binds aren’t too tight. I vaguely remember having to run two fingers (pointer and middle) beneath the rope as a measure.
Based on the first two points, you probs now recognize that this isn’t just fun, but a tad dangerous if done incorrectly. One girl at the workshop kept fooling around and trying make the ropes too tight on herself and others. I didn’t appreciate the goofing off. I was like, have you just missed the whole point? The moderators were trying to teach us best practices and she was trying to turn her arms blue from oxygen deprivation. Point is, check in with your partners. Make sure they’re experiencing good pain, not bad pain.
One of the women at the workshop made a point which I thought was valid. Who cares if your bind is ugly? Does it get the person aroused? And keep the mindset you both are seeking? Then fuck yea!
Now, that said, personally, I think beauty matters. That’s 75% of the allure for me. The intricacies. The bad-assity. The elegance. I’m all about it. I wanna create art. I mean, envision a buxom beauty with breasts bound and back braided with intricate knots. Who wouldn’t want that?
At any rate, I’ll put up some vocab before the interview so that we’re all be on the same page.
It’s the new year, so naturally I’ve been reflecting on 2014, and further back to be honest. I started my BDSM journey loosely a year and a half ago and seem to have come a long way since. I’ve pushed the envelope little by little on my maso urges. I’ve explored spanking. I even bought a new ball gag as a holiday gift to myself. Despite really diving head first into the community, I find that every kink I add gets stale so quickly. It becomes…normal. Insert a shudder here.
But how do I keep growing in BDSM? Power dynamics I can explore endlessly and I do, as I find role play and physical roughness to be the easiest boundaries to expand. However, when it comes down to it, some of the most bad ass parts of the scene involve hardcore skills involving rope intricacy or whip precision. With this in mind, I’ve decided on my one New Year’s resolution: Every month I will learn a new rope skill. For me, rope bondage is one of the most beautiful art forms. So January is officially rope month! This month we will talk to rope experts, look at rope techniques, and look at the history of rope bondage. Let’s get this year started off right.
Happy New Year!
Is Mainstreaming Killing the Allure?
So apparently the new trailer for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie just aired. For a lot of people, Fifty Shades is their only encounter with the BDSM world. Unfortunately, I’m not the target audience so I haven’t read the trilogy completely, though I’ve tried. BUT! Based on convos I’ve had with people, the limited exposure I have to the text, and the trailer itself, I’ve started to become a little concerned.
I like being a pervert. I like the seeing the expressions on my friends’ faces when I tell them my latest exploit and hearing their questions about their own sexuality after. Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not do kinky shit for other people. I do not do kinky shit just to escape normality. That said, something about the taboo makes it so sexy.
Obviously, this isn’t the first literary exploration of BDSM. We got the Marquis de Sade saying all kinds of glorious smut in Philosophy in the Boudoir from like 200 years ago. More recently, Story of O and Whip Smart also explore the community from diff angles. So it’s out there. However, I’d argue the narrative has not been discussed as readily and as mainstreamly as today. Fifty Shades, besides being bestselling mommy porn, is being turned into a multimillion dollar blockbuster. Folks eat that shit up.
From what I can tell, Grey, the main character, wasn’t any representative of healthy BDSM. He seems to be a pure sadist, not worried about consent. In the trailer, Anastasia even says, “I don’t know that I can be with him in the way he needs me to.” The trailer illustrates a cautionary tale of the beautiful big bad Christian Grey who has a troubled past which has led to his “singular tastes.” The trailer depicts a constant battle in which Anastasia tries to break into Christian’s mental vault while he warns her that he’s not the man for her. There’s something very wrong about that. And what’s worse is that this is the narrative for a lot of relationships not just this fictional BDSM one. One partner doing things he or she is not comfortable with in order to please and gain access their sig other's care, attention, or affection. Back in that dive bar, when I was talking to The German about the book, he said, and I’m paraphrasing, it was fucked up. He talked about how there are scenes in which Anastasia doesn’t want to do what she is forced to do. No matter how you fucking look at it, it’s a violation.
So now we got this widespread dissemination of rape fantasy equating BDSM. Not just in the movies either. Jian Ghomeshi just tried to pass off blatant violation as BDSM. Sure. He’s probs into the kink community, but so many women have come out and said they didn’t consent to his roughness.
Now we’ve got two problems. Mainstream BDSM removing the back alley allure of BDSM and spreading a false non-consenting image of it. At least show a healthy version. Either way, folks are buzzing about BDSM right now. The usual fear and misunderstanding bathe the discussion, whipping people back into their vanilla closets while practitioners repeat to no avail that we perverts are not abusers and miscreants.
One of the biggest fears I’ve encountered when talking to vets in the kink community is the fear of being found out. Whether it be a coworker seeing marks left from a scene or a wife seeing her husband leaving his Mistress, people don’t want their dirty private life to be mixed in with their image in the public eye. Perhaps it’s maintaining the taboo allure or maybe it’s the shame associated with being different. Maybe it’s the fear of being shunned and looked at with disgust, or that their professions just don’t allow for it.
I never really experienced this shame. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m already very noticeably outside the norm, so I was a little like what the fuck when I realized I liked BDSM related stuff. It wasn’t shame per se. More like a teenage freak out about further marginalizing myself. Ha, but I’ll save those cross sections for another day. The point is, I never really felt the shame in exactly the same way as the vets I’ve talked to. Perhaps I am already a product of this mainstreaming. Perhaps this constant narrative has allowed rookies like me not to be ashamed of our desires, but to dive head first into the community. And I love this possibility. Clearly I want to help give people license to explore whatever the fuck gets them wet, but I’m conflicted. I also want to be a member of this top secret kinky club full of free spirits and adventurers.
Do you feel like mainstreaming strips BDSM of some of its grit?
I have no rights to this video. It is from Youtube.
A Look at Monogamish
A few years back, I encountered Dan Savage’s “Savage Love.” I never became an avid listener or reader, but one thing that truly resonated with me was the monogamish idea.
So we’ve got monogamy, more of a one-on-one equation, and monogamish, one-on-one with a twist.
My understanding of monogamish is simple: mutual embracing of all of your partner’s needs. So yes, if you all of a sudden want to go out and have a gangbang where firefighters jizz on your face, that’s awesome! BUT you do have to acknowledge that that may not suit your partner’s needs. In that vein, monogamish is a dialogue between two people dedicated to each other, about what they need from each other.
Dan (Mr. Savage if you’re nasty) advises people to be “GGG—good (in bed), giving (of equal pleasure), and game (for anything--within reason).” What I take this to mean is open-mindedness on both sides of the equation. The ish in monogamish seems to inherently denote multiple parties. However, I feel like for Savage it can also mean a movement away from the stiff traditional monogamous mindset i.e. you’re with me, don’t look, touch, or fantasize about anyone other than me.
Let’s look at this from a novice BDSM perspective:
Game for anything
Game for anything means that your partner will at least listen to any idea you have about sex. This doesn’t necessarily mean going along with it, but at least listening and brainstorming a way to satisfy that need or idea. Sometimes just being allowed to bounce something off your partner and break it down is refreshing. When there isn’t a way to do this, you get into the realm of shame, and that shit’s for the birds. Unintentional shame has no place in BDSM. This open dialogue exists to eliminate shame and create safe spaces where we can be as freaky as we want to be, so you and your partner can explore all ranges of kinky stuff.
Giving of equal pleasure
When you’re game for anything you can then start pleasing and satisfying your partner’s deepest darkest fantasies. This pleasure is not just physical. Pleasure is also visual and mental. Often, you don’t have to receive physical touch to feel pleasure. I find that, when I top, 85% of my pleasure is visual and mental. Power dynamics fascinate me, with all the different ways we submit or dominate in the spheres of our daily lives. While power is not always equal in relationships or sex, pleasure should be. Subs should feel like they’re getting what they need. Doms should feel like they’re getting what they need. Switches should feel like they’re getting what they need. This includes the after care ointments, chocolate, and conversation. Everyone should come away feeling pleased and comfortable thanks to the monogamish foundation of openness.
Good in Bed:
Game for anything + Mutual pleasure = good in bed.
My main sexual desire is to constantly push my boundaries. The idea of constant casual vanilla sex bores the living daylights outta me, while the idea of casual BDSM sex evokes a certain Jian Ghomeshi non-consensual psycho bullshit type of terror.
The complaint I have the most about sex is that my partner for that moment, whether long term or short term, wasn’t listening or paying attention to the situation or my verbal/non-verbal instructions. For relationships, this inattentiveness was mostly due to not being game for anything and becoming uncomfortable during the dialogue about sexual needs. Monogamy should offer a safe space for you to push the envelope as much as you want with someone you trust, ideally. Nothing should be taboo. The ish factor should offer that leeway for multiple partner play and general experimentation. That gangbang fantasy? Yea let’s try it? Golden showers? I don’t see why not! While you’re safe and trusting you can do whatever you like and be a sex rock star to your partner.
I’ve been wondering how to apply monogamish to my relationships. It just feels like it’s easier in theory than practice. Feelings are real, as is jealousy. Navigating real emotion while keeping a constant open mind while exploring multiple partners and pushing sexual boundaries, you will certainly encounter difficulties and challenges. I think that the dialogue and trust help me get through the hard stuff, but I’ve found that letting shit go is the most important thing. Letting go of the fear, letting go of the insecurity, and letting go of the hurt when you misperceive your partner’s motivation. In a way I feel like monogamish is only for the dedicated couple. It is far too much work for a couple who isn’t serious about each other. Or, maybe by starting off monogamish, relationships have a better success rate. But this is a conversation for another day.
To Each His Own: Preview
Some people need more than one partner, he writes, just as some people need flirting, others need to be whipped, others need lovers of both sexes.
Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/m8lm5ee
Quest is a switch in training