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definition

October 7, 2010 4 comments

I took a few photos of my back a few days ago to capture some striking rope marks from a self-suspension I’d done Monday night.  Once I uploaded the pictures to my computer and got a good look at them, I did a double-take.  Was this really my back?  I was stunned to see any muscle definition at all – so stunned that it took a few moments to even see the rope marks.

My surprise may sound odd given that I do try to keep active and exercise, but I’ve historically never been more than just a casual athlete, and I never went through any consistent exercise regimen with weights or aerobics.  Certainly, I’ve never had much muscle definition to speak of, so while this isn’t at the same level as what I’ve seen at the climbing gym, I view it as a personal victory and tangible evidence of my months of climbing and yoga.

The other victory is that, while I’ve come a long way in accepting my appearance and dealing with my personal insecurities, it’s only been fairly recently that I’ve been able to move from mere acceptance towards loving my body.  Looking at this photo and actually being attracted to what I see – that feels like a huge leap in the right direction.

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Categories: firsts, love, photos, rope

Carnalnation: Rope Bite

August 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Hey, another Carnalnation article is up!  This one talks about Rope Bite, the rope-centric munch that Lochai started here in San Francisco.  Well, Lochai’s leaving for the opposite coast, and I’ll be hosting the munch after this month.  So this Wednesday is Lochai and Janice’s send-off and thank-you party.  Stop by, grab a cup of coffee, and get tied up!

In other news, a reader sent me a link to this amusing youtube video, titled “Fetish Memoirs by Baron Long Winkle”:

Categories: links, rope, sundry

and the time, it flies

July 31, 2010 Leave a comment

My silence here has been due to a slew of activity that’s taken over a lot of my mental capacity these past few days.  There was Max’s visit, which I am even now in the process of journaling about in private (journal can be a verb, right?).  And in the wake of his departure, I am fighting the “drop” from four days of intensity and trying to return to normalcy and be productive, even though all I want to do at times is trace the fast-fading marks criss-crossing my chest and stare at the jar of needle wrappers and casings sitting on my desk.  It’s a wonder I can get any work done at all with the tangible reminder of my second needle scene so near.  (Has it already been five days since he left?)

But work I must, and I’ve now got a couple of freelance gigs going on that I’m pretty excited about.  Just a couple days ago, I had my first column published on Carnalnation.com.  I will be writing for them fairly regularly, and I’m also doing contract Flash animations for another company.

It is rather stressful to be depending on contract work to pay the bills, and I am still struggling with developing strategies to schedule work effectively throughout each day.  It doesn’t help that it’s all on my computer, which is the greatest source of distraction for me.  Not that I wouldn’t find an equal amount of distraction working outside, but the internet really makes it too easy to waste incredible amounts of time and destroy productivity.

Speaking of which, my break was over half an hour ago.  Time to get back to work!

Categories: firsts, life, links, rope

Vicious – Emilie Jouvet

June 8, 2010 1 comment

A fellow student sent me this video after attending the bondage workshop I brought to campus a year ago.  I was thrilled to get that initial e-mail, and it sparked sporadic correspondence the rest of the school year, much of it centered around bondage.

I still remember how amazed I felt, seeing the room fill for the bondage workshop; running out of rope to hand out to everyone; hearing the gasps and giggles as students watched me struggling in the rope; going around the room checking on everyone’s single-column ties.  I remember how many people came up to me afterwards, so excited about learning more bondage.  I remember the delight and shock at seeing so many familiar faces there – friends I never thought would be interested in bondage (I’m sure they, in turn, were surprised to see my role as demo-bottom for the class!).

That night proved significant to me on several levels.  I wanted in part to provide a completely accessible, non-threatening space for everyone to experience rope bondage and bdsm in general, and I think we succeeded in doing just that.  I could not have been happier at how the class turned out, especially given how much planning and convincing of the various sponsors it involved.  And, once I saw just how many students showed up, it finally hit home that my proclivities and kinky interests were not isolated – that I wasn’t as alone as I’d once thought.  I wasn’t alone.  The shame and guilt I’d carried for the past four or five years finally began to dissipate.

I think the most educational part of that planning process (also the most frustrating) was talking through all the worries various administrators and organization leaders had over bringing a topic like bondage to the campus.  I remember fielding questions on all the possible implications: didn’t it have roots in public shaming? Doesn’t it eroticize and objectify women? Would there be an opportunity for discourse to address students’ feelings and questions?  We have concerns about the racial overtones of teaching Japanese-style bondage.  I have to admit to having a pretty small part of all of these conversations, thanks to a couple rockstar students who acted as the main points of contact, organizers, and advocates for the class.

In the end, we managed to provide a full-house workshop where students of every gender, ethnicity, interest level, and orientation were tying each other up.  And of note especially was having one of the student organizers ask me to put him in bondage for a fraternity event a few days after the workshop, and seeing, at that same event, other students using bondage as part of their performances.  How utterly cool is that?

Watching this music video still makes me smile, both at the hotness and the memories it evokes of those last few months on campus.

I wonder if there have been more workshops of a similar nature since then…

Categories: memories, rope, video

Memorial weekend

June 3, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve brought back congested sinuses and a phlegm-y throat amongst a bunch of great memories and marks from Shibaricon.  The enormity of those memories threaten to overwhelm, and yet I keep flipping through them like a slideshow; images and moments and words running in constant stream through my head.

Shibaricon has been imbued with many different meanings for me.  If I had to give it a one-sentence summary, this is what I would write: a multi-faceted event encompassing various traits of family, community, and camaraderie.  From seeing the incredulously many familiar faces at Thursday’s meet and greet hour, to being welcomed home by Psychokitty at the opening ceremonies, to geeking out about ropes with new and old friends, to serving Max and wearing his collar throughout the weekend – I felt myself an integrated part of a whole.

Some highlights, roughly chronological:

  • Max tying his leather turk’s head collar around my neck.  I’ve only worn this kind of collar once before, for the week of Folsom 2009.  I’m glad to have gotten a little time alone with him that first night, reconnecting and rejoicing in seeing him again.
  • Everyone.  There is simply no way to list all of the wonderful people I got to meet or see again.  Thursday’s meet and greet set the pace for how overwhelmed I would feel the rest of the weekend.  I also got to see friends at the IML vendor fair as well as meet Dan Savage!
  • I feel like I didn’t actually go to that many workshops or classes.  I didn’t go to any on Monday, and missed Saturday afternoon due to a volunteer shift.  I also missed all of the Sunday morning classes in favor of sleeping in.  I do really wish I’d gone to more classes, but there is always next year, and I can’t really complain considering my late-night dungeon fun.  But I did especially enjoy Scott Smith’s Abductions and Takedowns class, Max’s Partial Suspension class, and Zamil’s Efficiency of Movements class.
  • Eating delicious cooked meals with the Boston crew and thereby saving much money I would have otherwise spent on hotel food.
  • Getting kicked around by Max before my afternoon volunteer shift.
  • A dynamic, co-self-suspension done with Fivestar, where much laughter, puppeteering, and general mischief ensued.
  • The amazing scene between Max and PopeBacon directly afterwards, one of the hottest scenes I saw that weekend.
  • Getting a bar of chocolate from Lani as a reminder of how we met at Folsom Fringe.
  • Watching Dov get taken down by 7 girls and one guy at the end of the Abductions class.
  • Taking photos of Max’s and my boots (aka baby Max boots) side by side.
  • My extensive play date with Max, which encompassed aiding him during his scene with the beautiful Symetrie, then doing his boots in the social lounge – an act which has become the closest to being spiritual and ritualistic that I have ever felt, and an act that singularly consumes my body with lust and desire.  By the end we were both filled with tranquility.  I was high, high, high, and we followed the bootblacking with a rope scene that left me snarling and panting, and with whispered words of ownership slipping down my throat and wrapping themselves around my ribcage.
  • Throwdown with Dunter at the end of Zamil’s class.
  • IML.  Getting the opportunity to attend the vendor fair, have my boots done for the first time (by someone other than myself), and just take in the vastness of the event was incredible.  I was a little intimidated at first, but was soon asking vendors for advice on bootcare and trying on leather vests eagerly.  While waiting to get our boots done, Max put rope on me and used me as a footrest.  He also got me my first leather vest, for which I have not yet thanked him enough (Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sir).  I have been loathe to take off the vest since.
  • The last hurrah at the hotel bar, hanging out with new and old friends and sipping on Bailey’s before leaving for the flight home.

Some of the more difficult parts:

  • Being in the hotel with two other conventions; one a giant frat party of dart-throwers who’ve co-habited the same venue with Shibaricon for years, and the other a high school quiz bowl competition.  As if it were not difficult enough for me to be around so many people to begin with – Shibaricon capped off at somewhere around 750 attendees this year – I had to navigate around drunk partiers on one side and intelligent and undoubtedly curious kids on the other.  There were a couple times when I just retreated to my room rather than deal with all those crowds of people.
  • Going to a convention without a partner with whom I could practice ties cut down on the classes I felt comfortable attending.  I know I probably could have found a partner fairly easily, but I felt a bit hesitant to let a stranger tie me up, even for a class.  That said, I did manage to get partnered for a couple classes where I knew others, and that was quite fun.
  • Negotiating scenes ahead of time is something I need to work on, as there were people I was really looking forward to playing with but just didn’t get to plan them out beyond “we should talk about playing!”  Not to mention all the boots I wanted to black but didn’t get to!
  • Sunday evening to Monday morning was a difficult period for me.  I could feel myself dropping by Sunday afternoon, and that combined with knowing Max would be removing my collar Monday afternoon sent me into a bad headspace.  I spent Monday morning fighting it, calming myself down, and talking as little as possible, and finally requested, once we reached the vendor fair, that I spend a little time by myself.  I had begun to feel that coming to IML had been a mistake, that I’d have been better off being alone back at the hotel.  But the hour or so I spent wandering the vendor booths helped tremendously and I was able to come out of my mood and enjoy the event.
  • Max taking his collar off.  I could have cried when he untied the leather from my neck and rewove it around my wrist.  I didn’t, however, partly because I felt no different, no less possessed and under his will, once the collar came off.  And partly because, well, I have a hard time crying anyway.
  • The flight home.  Dear lord, this had to have been one of the worst flights I’ve ever taken.  Between the extended delay, sitting in the plane through another delay, and then being delayed during landing, we didn’t arrive in SFO until after midnight.  And during the final leg of the trip, for whatever reason I had intensely painful pressure buildup in my right ear, and nothing I did relieved it.  While I could clear the pressure from my left ear, the right continued to build and build, becoming this brightly focused arrow of pure pain.  I wanted to drive a spike into my ear.

Overall, I hope to make Shibaricon a yearly tradition from now on.  A special thank you to those I met, connected or reconnected with, worked with, shared meals with, and played with, for all the memories.  And especially to Psychokitty for just being the wonderful, amazing guy he is, to Fivestar for being a rocking roommate and for co-engineering our suspension, and to Max for carving out the time during this ridiculously packed, whirlwind of an event to have me at his side.

Countdown to Shibaricon

May 23, 2010 1 comment

Three days until I finally get to experience this epic rope-geek’s paradise that I keep hearing stories about.  Though really, the countdown began sometime three weeks back.  But I can’t believe it’s almost time!  I’ve taken note of the classes I’m considering going to, including “Hojojutsu for Pirates” and “Abductions and Takedowns,” I’ve got my volunteer shift schedule and will be working at Merchandising, and I’ve got a mental packing list of everything I want to bring.  I just hope it all fits into the laptop bag and one carryon I plan to bring with me!

But beyond classes and play parties, what I’m most looking forward to is the chance to reconnect with a whole bunch of people that I’ve met throughout the past year or so: from the then-budding rope group in Boston to the wonderful rope lovers I met at Folsom Fringe hailing from Australia, Oregon, and of course – Seattle.  Everyone will have stories to share and new rope tricks to show off, I’m sure.  So much has happened this past year.  I know I’ve grown tremendously – into my own identity, and into my kinks.  I know I’ll be bringing my boots, which are fast becoming part of my identity.

Who knows – maybe I’ll get to kick someone around with my boots, and explore that arena of play.

Three days…

Categories: rope, travelog