It's been an extraordinary year. Things have happened that I could not have predicted. Surprising and wonderful opportunities have come my way. I have worked with some amazing people. I just don't know what to say about most of it. Some of it seems like a dream. It's good to take a moment and reflect on the things that have happened and remember that through all of the triumphs and disasters of life that they never happen in isolation from the rest of the world. I have had opportunities that would simply never have occurred without the kindness and generosity of some extraordinary friends. I absolutely thank them from the bottom of my heart for their support and friendship. Knowing such people is one of life's great joys. Every year it seems that it's hard to imagine that the next could possibly be better than the previous one. Yet it's kept happening for the last few years. This past year I have tied for an international fashion magazine (more news when that's published), The movie love.honour.obey by Raindance Raw Talent and Mulholland pictures and directed by Ate de Jong. Last but not least the epic opportunity to work with avant garde legend Bob Wilson. It was a rare opportunity to play a part in his project for the Louvre gallery in Paris. More incredibly the model for this project was Lady Gaga. I can't say how incredible it feels to know that there's some full on suspension bondage hanging in the worlds most famous art gallery.
Liking this isn't hating that. Simple and obvious you might think. However it is not obvious to many people. I like rope bondage (bet that surprised you) and weirdly perhaps that hasn't made me spontaneously hate other kinks. I enjoy many other kinks, there are also those that are not to my taste. Still I manage not to hate anyone for liking a kink that I don't. Why are some people so full of hate? Why can't people like what they like without actively disliking what others like? I think I know the answer. It's because they're morons! But obviously not just morons, a special type of moron. A moron that believes that they are somehow above others, that their taste in kink is legitimate when that of other people is obviously inferior. You know, delusional morons; who are self obsessed. Delusional self obsessed morons. Are we having fun yet?
This is a personal post and just a musing. What I think it is changes over time and this is not everything that I think it is. If you're looking for a definition please look elsewhere. Kinbaku is the art of erotic, sensual, intimate, bondage. It is tying for beauty, helplessness and exquisite suffering. To tie is to hug, tender and violent. It is lust and art together. It is expression beyond my ability to describe it.
Hi whoever you are. What would I say to you if you were new to the scene and I was speaking to you directly? The main thing I'd say to you is that the scene is really full of great people, but it's also full of not so great people. So what you should do is subject everything that everyone says to you to a reality and sense check and even if it passes that, also subject it to a 'Does insert your name here agree with this, and is this for(him/her delete as appropriate)' test. You could answer yes one day and no another in 12 months subject to more experience. Your experience will build and you will discover things about yourself and what you like over time. I always say the same thing. Subject everyone's advice to critical analysis... Including mine. Don't let anyone overpower your good sense. Regardless of your D/S sub dom, top bottom inclinations or desires. Some people will attempt to impose their will or guide you in underhand ways. Some will attempt to 'help' you or 'mentor' you by showing you 'how it's done' or some such. That isn't mentoring. Real mentors are your friends who are concerned with you and not with having their names on other profiles like a status symbol. They give you good advice even if it's hard advice and don't use it as a pretext for another agenda. I don't wish to say things that are discouraging of frightening. But I don't want you to have an avoidable disaster. Please take care of yourself and for sanity's sake keep the bullshit detector on. I don't know what's going to be right for you I really don't. [...]
You need experience to be a good teacher. I'm not saying that it takes decades to get that experience but it does take some time and application. People often argue this need... actually people without experience often argue this need. They usually stop arguing it after acquiring experience. Especially when that experience is acquired the hard way. The real problem is that only experience really teaches you how valuable your experience is. Before you have it it's hard to imagine what it gives you. Unfortunately it is often only when people have the experience of coming undone and learning the hard way that they realise that actually experience does inform our actions at all levels, especially when passing on knowledge to others. It teaches us what was crucial and what was not. It allows us to recognise and head off developing problems that are otherwise noticed too late. Experience allows us to make judgements that are based not just on book learned facts. It develops our ability to balance many factors though practice. Inexperience and overconfidence can lead to the attitude that all this crap that experienced people are coming out with is just unreasonable. They're only saying that because... (insert today's justification here). It's unfair to try to stop them, who are manifestly an exception to the normal process of learning and maturity! It's a problem I have with some kinds of peer workshop teaching. The guy who learned something yesterday is teaching it today. Weirdly people don't seem to think that this could lead to problems. I think that peer learning can be great when people already have very good basics and are therefore able to recognise problems for themselves. When beginners are [...]
I see a great deal of debate on-line that I believe is at cross purposes. Often this surrounds the issue of Japanese vs. European or Western perspectives about Shibari. I think a great many of these arguments are mistaken, miss-directed and completely unproductive. I believe that this is because each of those arguing from either end of the spectrum mistakes something fundamental. That is that they are each looking at the other from a perspective that is determined by their own exclusive interest. I know that many people only know me for my Japanese style bondage but I have done all kinds of bondage over the years and still occasionally do DID shoots on a professional basis for websites. This should I hope inform the reader that I'm more than reasonably good at the 'western' style and help people not to assume that I, as some have so delightfully put it "have no right to talk about anything other than the Japanese style". While I of course thank you for your short sightedness, prejudice and stupidity together with the laugh it gives me. I'm going to talk about it anyway. Looking at DID bondage and judging it as Shibari is bound to lead to the conclusion that it isn't very good. It's not good Shibari. It wasn't created to be good Shibari, it doesn't do what good Shibari should. Looking at Shibari from a DID perspective is going to lead to a similar conclusion. Personally I find them to be very different each from the other. They foster and require different attitudes. They have ultimately different goals. Accepting that they are both forms of rope bondage they are probably as dissimilar as types of rope bondage can [...]
One of the worst blights on any community is those individuals with agendas to push. Generally these are about the person themselves, how they want the world to see things, i.e. their way. And of course about how they would like people to perceive them. But all of that is ultimately about people wanting power in one way or another. To be seen as a 'leader' or some kind of font of wisdom. An 'authority' on some subject. Someone that others look up to. You see the worst examples of this again and again. Generally in subjects where they would like to be seen as experts. Sometimes you see people who are really into a subject, when people disagree with those genuinely interested in the subject for itself rather than as a means to their own end they will debate when challenged. They may realise a mistake or have found a better knowledge. They may take new input with enthusiasm because... they are genuinely interested in the subject and learning more and better information about it is what they're about. The person using any subject as part of their agenda to promote themselves is likely to react in a very different way. I have seen those with agendas try all kind of things when challenged on what they see as their area of expertise. Trying to belittle or ignore the source of conflicting information is the mildest. Trying to discredit the source as a person is probably the worst. Why this behaviour? Because to the person with an agenda to push the subject is not something they actually care about in and of itself, it's just a tool. Something they can use to make themselves [...]
It's funny how we go through cycles of interest through time. Recently I've been looking back through the shoots I've rigged for in the last few years. I can see certain cycles of interest rising and falling, sometimes resurfacing again in slightly different ways. There were periods where I explored certain aspects of bondage or certain visual tastes on shoot after shoot. There was a period about 3 years ago where shoot after shoot contained very low level suspensions. At another time bamboo appeared somewhere in almost every shoot. Inevitably these interests waxed and waned as I felt out certain methods of expression until I felt satisfied that they were something I had a handle on. Certain techniques were explored and pushed. The limits found. The learning assimilated. Each of these themes became another part of the things that I do. None came to dominate. It's interesting when you have been around long enough to see a similar thing happen in the bondage scene as a whole. In recent years there have been periods where it seemed that everyone was going crazy for single ankle suspensions at one point in time and Futomomo tsuri at others. Rope bondage is subject to fashions and fads just like the rest of life. Often these fads rise and fall as if they'd never been. Each time though I think that they leave something behind. They have been the basis for people trying ties and techniques that are new to them. I think that people tend to deride the fact of fads. Complain that they are seeing the same things over and over again. On the other hand sometimes they are useful in that the propagate new ideas. These [...]
Our best congratulations go to the incredible artist J.P. Rakehorn for his triumph at the recent International Juried art show this year in Sin City Gallary Las Vegas. I am always knocked out by his incredible work and heartily recommend visiting his site to see more of his work.
Everything is old and everything is new. That sentence is true. The future is built on the past. The best futures remember the past well as it informs and shapes the future. Avoiding the mistakes and learning the lessons. The greatest advantage of humanity is it's ability to learn beyond the current generation. To pass on information beyond the grave, to remember its origin and reason. Akechi Denki was a great innovator but also a respecter of tradition. He was a contributor to tradition too. What is tradition? Tradition is respect for the past and the recognition and preservation of what is best of the past. It is ever changing and developing. Sometimes people mistake 'tradition' for 'fossilised', 'dead', 'unchanging' and 'unchangable'. Any serious look at the history of any field will show that this is not the case. The insistence that nothing must change is as bad as the insistence that everything must change. The insistence that the past is nothing is as destructive, if not more as the insistence that the past is nothing.