Clover tied by WykD Dave. Photography by Xenia Mole Rope Bondage
BindMe: Would you like to tell us something about your background? Who are you and what do you do?
Well, that’s a tough question to start with. My early background was in mechanical and electrical engineering. Almost by accident my love of art and design led me into graphic design. Eventually I started doing web sites too. I really wanted them to work as well as look good so I ended up doing web design and that led into more programming. These days I’ve ended up as a full time programmer so in a way I’m back to engineering again. I love engineering and beautiful but functional design. That’s been a recurring theme in my life.
BindMe: What does bondage/shibari/kinbaku mean to you? Is there a difference in the terms for you in terms of experiencing and feeling?
Bondage can be anything where a person is bound, it’s an all encompassing term. As for Rope Bondage, Shibari and Kinbaku… Rope bondage is any bondage involving rope at all. Damsel in distress stuff. TKB right through to Shibari. Shibari just means tying. It doesn’t even mean bondage tying specifically unless used in the context of bondage. Any Japanese style tying might be Shibari.
Kinbaku does have a different meaning in my mind. For me it’s where tying, design, art and connection come together. It’s not ‘just tying’ it’s that undefinable thing that makes this style of bondage so compelling to me.
Words are contextual and open to some personal interpretation but that’s what it means for me.
BindMe: How did you first come into contact with bondage/BDSM?
This feels like a story that I’ve told too many times because it’s come up a lot in the last few years. I first got into kink because of fancy dress at new years. Meeting a girl in a pub talking with her friends about dressing up. Going in uniforms, that leading on to a bit of fun roleplay, then to thinking that maybe it didn’t need to be a special occasion to dress up, more roleplay and eventually roleplay involving spanking and tying up. Finally skipping the dressing up and roleplay and getting right to the tying up stuff.
BindMe: By whom are you influenced in your work (if so)? In what way? And who else do you admire in “the scene”?
The thing is that there are so many influences that it’s hard to put it in any coherent order anymore. Firstly Osada Steve, very definitely because he was my first teacher. I’d been doing bondage for years before but learning from him totally changed everything I did. I rebuilt all my bondage, made more realisations, rebuilt it again and again.
After that Yukimura Haruki who was a revelation of a different kind, Naka Akira who’s aesthetic style I like very much and Hajime Kinoko.
Though not a Bakushi Sugiura Norio the photographer as I’ve probably looked at more bondage through his lense than anyone else’s.
Often though it’s not the ties so much as the expression emotion and suffereing that draws my eye.
BindMe: Do you see your form/style of bondage as an artform / artexpression? And if
yes… do you do something about it (or do you value that) to see it accepted as such? (If no, what else is it?)
It’s an expression of me. I don’t know how other people feel about their bondage but for me it must be beautiful, effective, and the process of tying is very important. Tying isn’t just about the end result. It’s an experience. In a picture you see a frozen moment of this and it should be beautiful, as an experience as well as visually. I’ve even seen my bondage hanging in the Louvre so yes, I think it’s art, why not?
BindMe: The Louvre??? Tell us more about that, please 🙂
I was fortunate to work on a project that was a collaboration between Robert Wilson, the American Avant-Garde director and Lady Gaga. I suspended her inverted for a ‘video portrait’. The resultant video image loop was displayed in the ‘Living Rooms’ exhibit in the Louvre in 2014.
It’s been an amazing time recently and I’ve been lucky enough to work on some wonderful projects.
BindMe: About those projects; I saw the movie you collaborated in, Love.Honor.Obey. I imagine it was quite a challenge to tie the actress up, with no experience in bondage at all. How was it working on that project?
It was very interesting working on a Movie, there are all kinds of requirements for the people working around you and things they need to be able to get the shot.
The actress did really well. She hadn’t any previous experience of bondage and had to be tied up several times for repeated takes so she handled it very well especially as she also had to be suspended and act too. The main thing for me was having to try exactly replicate the same tying for different shots and angles. I also tied up one of the male characters. In the context of the film had to be lying in a bath for days so I had to do a bondage that would be practical and survivable for a long time and would realistically leave him with everything working. The safety of the actors is obviously the first concern I had plenty of time to talk to them before shooting and everything worked fine.
BindMe: What to you is so important about the proces of tying? Do you think it is underestimated?
Everything about it is important. It’s the process of tying that provides the real opportunity for interaction, connection and creating sensation and feeling. There’s so much variation and different ways you can do it that it’s not really possible to write about it briefly.
Yes, I do think it’s underestimated to an extent. People can be too focused on only getting to the end result. Some forms of bondage are just focused on either getting someone tied up or even seeing tying as something to get done to make someone immobile before you start playing.
For me the tying is playing. It can be an incredibly intense experience.
BindMe: What does it mean for you to teach people about rope bondage?
It’s very exciting to see someone ‘get it’ in a class, to see them understand what I’m teaching. It’s very rewarding to enable people to enjoy their bondage more and to tie better. Also it’s a big responsibility. If you teach something you have to be very, very sure it’s right otherwise you bear the responsibility for propogating bad knowledge. Remember that people take what they learn and pass it on themselves. So I think a lot about what I teach people. I always want it to make a positive difference.
BindMe: Do you have a favourite way/shape of binding? A favourite position?
Probably inversions, I like them for a lot of reasons. The shape I can make in the body, the hair flowing down, the hang of garments from a partially exposed model.
BindMe: Do you have a regular partner you do bondage with?
Yes, my girlfriend Clover. She’s my partner in life and in bondage. She’s fun to torture too and gives me lots of feedback that helps me improve my bondage too.
BindMe: What is the challenge for you to work with different models?
Everyone is different, I know that might sound obvious but each model is distinct. They obviously will have different bodies but they also have
different personalities. I really don’t know what I’m going to tie until I start to tie them. Really good models are very much part of a creating good bondage images. The challenge beyond tying a new and different person is to create bondage that enhances that beauty of that person.
BindMe: Are you attracted to other BDSM-elements too?
Canes, whips, hot wax, gaggs, clamps, drool, spanking, choking, slapping and crying.
BindMe: Do you always do your own photography or do you just focus on the bondage? How does that work?
I usually work with Clover and I decided at the outset that I didn’t want to do bondage and photography at the same time. I’d rather do good bondage and work with a good photographer rather than do mediocre bondage and take mediocre photographs as I’d seen so many people do who tried to do both. I tie and she photographs, we work very fast and generally the shoot develops organically. We maybe have a few ideas before a shoot but never a plan.
BindMe: How did it feel to have your bondagepartner suspended for the first time?
I don’t know if I can describe it with words. It’s more about my feelings from seeing the effect I’m having by doing it to her than my feeling from doing it. I’m not sure if that makes a lot of sense.
BindMe: Do you think that Japanese bondage seems like a hype lately? Everyone seems to
be “into it”….
I think that for a long time people didn’t know what it was or didn’t know enough about it, also it was very difficult to learn about it. Now there is a lot more information than their was and some good teachers thouh there are probably still a lot more bad teachers. I think that as the standard rises the bad teachers and the bad information will fall away. I think that Europe is getting it’s own really good riggers now and that some are moving beyond straight copying and doing some seriously good bondage.
It’s more than just hype as it’s really taking hold of people and providing an opportunity for expression and connection that isn’t there in other activities in the same way.
BindMe:How is the Rope-scene in the UK? You travelled around the world a lot, going to different events, how do you compare different BDSM / Rope scenes?
I think that it’s less of a thing in the UK than in other countries. There’s a resistance in some parts of the scene to rope bondage and a kind of inertia that holds new things back. I think that’s being overrun now as the demand for good rope overcomes that reluctance and resistance to change.
I think there might be a chance that I get a skewed view of scenes round the world to some extent as I only go to rope events overseas. The American, French, Russian and Italian scenes are booming. Plus there are some really growing scenes in Europe that we haven’t visited yet. Having said that most of our trips are to America and there’s a bit population with a big appetite there.
BindMe:What do you recommend people that feel attracted to this form of bondage and want to learn?
Find the best teacher you can with a style and skill that you admire. A couple of lessons from a really good teacher are more effective than several from a bad one. And practice like crazy, there’s no substitute for doing the hard work, learn all you can, make your practice effective. Observe, learn, tie, lean from that. Get really good instruction to help you form good habits and aquire good knowledge. Learn about releavant anatomy, never take anyone’s word as absolute, check things for yourself even if you think they’re right, it helps you to remember and broadens your knowledge.
Also it helps to be obsessed.
BindMe:What more can we expect in the future from you?
More good bondage I hope. What I do has always changed over time with experience. It will keep doing that while I keep trying to find out what Kinbaku really is and where it leads. Ultimately I just want to do the best work I possibly can. It’s an endless learning process.
BindMe:Anything else you would want to share about rope?
Only that it’s about more than just restraining. I always say “I don’t do rope, I do people. But I do them with rope!”
It’s a very human experience of intimacy and art and binding and torture too.
It’s Beautiful Suffering.
Marrow and Debora of BindMe.nl would like to thank Wykd_Dave very much for his cooperation on this special and being so open and informative.
Thanks for this great insight in you, Dave!