A friend today made a very good point about when he found things most likely to go wrong in rope bondage. And I absolutely agree with him on this. Often its when you’re doing the routine things, the small things, the things you’ve done a thousand times before. It’s in those moments when you’re running on automatic pilot rather than when you’re working on something on the edge where you’re focused and paying complete attention. You should be able to do some parts of your bondage completely without thought, you should know what you’re doing so well. The mistakes in things you have done a thousand times before happen not because you don’t know how to do it but because you are not focused. It is absence from the moment. It is something unregarded and considered unimportant. All things in rope bondage are important, from the first detail, especially from the first detail. Those brings me to the main point of this article. The need to be present in the moment. Now there is an apparent dichotomy in the concepts that you should know what you’re doing so well that you can do it without conscious thought and the idea that you must be present and focused in the moment. This dichotomy is however only apparent. There is a very big difference between having practised things so well that you can do them automatically i.e. that you have developed muscle memory for an action and by contrast, simply not paying attention to what you’re doing. When you are focused in the moment you are paying attention to all things including those things that you do automatically.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far... OK a couple of years ago in Cambridge (The one in England not the one in Masachusetts.) I had the opportunity to do a shoot of Japanese style rope bondage with English photographer Rodm and a model who's name I cannot now happily remember... happily for her because she flaked on the shoot with zero notice. Luckily Rod was able to get a replacement who very kindly came to the shoot at very short notice. This model was Gestalta and she was a real pleasure to work with. I think we got some really great stuff in the end. I was particularly happy with the Hojo hishi nawa. I think generally the shibari in this shoot works well and Rod captured the bondage and the mood. So these are some bondage pictures I'm very happy to have been involved in making. All credit though to our great model Gestalta (who has since modelled for, amongst others, Kazami Ranki notably in performance at the Festival of the Art of Japanese bondage).
Yesterday we went to a lake where we knew their to be a small landing at the waters edge. There are water lilies on the lake and it's surrounded by trees. It's a beautiful location and for a while we've been wanting to create a certain image there. Shibari bondage by the water lilies on the lake So off we set with a Yukata and obi in a bag, a friend who models for us, a few bits of rope and a camera and tripod. Luckily we had a beautiful day and the shot we eventually got was I think very beautiful. All the elements of light, setting, bondage and model seemed just right. Even the water was glassy calm. I really think that clover got an amazing image. I often say that rope is not about rope. This image is not about rope either. I'm sure that looking at it you can form your own opinions of what it is about. It's a great feeling when you get something you've been wanting to get for a while. I hope you enjoy this images as much as we do.
While we were staying in Queens we had a teaching session with a local New York rope enthusiast Joey Red. There's not a lot I can say about this class except that Joey worked really hard and really took in a lot. It was a very good session and it was a pleasure to see him make progress. And also kind of fun to melt his brain a little.
I've already blogged about a couple of our visits to London. We've really enjoyed both occasions. On the second visit we stayed over in London and did a bit of an exchange rope shoot in the morning. I tied Nina Russ and Clover photographed the sessions. We all had a great time and you can see the results of this below. Thanks to Clover for taking these fabulous pictures.
Coming to re-write these blogs Legarti seems both a long time ago and very fresh in my memory. Firstly we were naturally enough very excited to be going to Rome. We'd never been before and this was going to be an exciting adventure in many ways. What a great time we had, the hospitality shown to us in Rome was second to none and I really mean that. The whole trip was an amazing experience. We even got to be tourists and saw some of the sights of Rome. Just an incredible city. Our thanks to Stefano Laforgia who put us up in his home and showed us some of the wonderful sights of Rome. The sights were just wonderful and it was so great for us to be able to see something of a city we visit. I have to say, OMG... the Coffee, the Icecream, the wonderful food at a great family restaurant. The wine! Mouth watering just thinking of it. So, on to the purpose of the visit the Legarti bondage festival. Asside from myself and Clover the other preformers were to the best of my memory Riccardo Sergnese with Redsabbath, Andrea Ropes, DolcissimaBastarda and was at the delightful space Lost and Found studio. There had been a lot of bad publicity in Italy about bondage after a kink accident that had nothing to do with Japanese style rope work had been labeld shibari by the press. I have to say what a great thing it was that this event happened such a short time after, with the Italian press invited to see what rope bondage was really about. Sadly we have no video and only a couple of snaps of the performance, what we do have however [...]
This was our first time at Bound so we weren't too sure what to expect. First up the venue The Flying Dutchman this is a great venue and they've gone to lengths to make it accommodating to the rope kink crowd. Suspension points abound. Next up is the crowd themselves. This is the most concentrated rope loving crowd I've come across outside of a festival. It was a really great atmosphere and we had a raging night. The only real downer was having to go home again (especially as this includes a 3 hour drive for us). We'll be back at this event again. You can be sure Here's a video of our performance on the night. And a few images.
This was a bit of an intense shibari session. Clover spaced out very early on in the performance and even though we were up on a stage in an art deco ballroom it managed to feel very intimate. The music was perfect for the sustained mood of the show and it all went off very well.
Well Friday was a bit different to the usual. Took the girl down to London for a shoot. Having dropped her off I had a couple of hours to kill so called up Hedwig who's suffering with an essay and asked if she fancied some lunch. Nice lunch was had just off Brick Lane. It was a lovely day and beautifully sunny. It was a shame to let the conviviality end so we thought maybe we would sort out a pick-nick for the afternoon. (Mainly Hedwig's idea.) A few phone calls later and we planned to pick up the girl from the shoot, collect Will and Ella and meet at Wimbledon Common. The girl meanwhile has changed into her schoolgirl uniform and got ID'd in Tesco while we were buying supplies. Had a good pick-nick, a good laugh and then wouldn't you know it, off into the woods for some Alfresco bondage. Few nice outdoor suspensions, much talk and laughter and an incident with a Dalmatian later and time to head off as the day cooled down. Dropped of Hedwig and then headed back up to Derbyshire. Tired but happy. A good day. Looking forward to getting some pictures of the outdoor rope. Pictures came! See the small gallery below.
It's always great when you can be part of a new event. We had a great time at this one in Bristol. There were a lot of very different demos and interests, some quality vending and a very fun play party in the evening. All this despite some local event times conflicting and even some local scene falling outs caused attendance to perhaps not be what it might have been. I really hope that the organiser of this event persists. There was a lot of good information shared at this event and those that decided to give it a miss for whatever reason missed out. If it runs again we'll certainly try to make it again.