The longer you’re around the bondage scene the more you notice the ebb and flow of trends within the scene.
One of the current fads is ‘connection‘ you see people doing classes all over that never apparently worried about this area of their bondage before. I see people who have displayed nothing but an obsession with technique applaud those touting ‘connection is all you need‘.
When I see posts of that nature I think ‘yes but it might be handy to at least know how not to cripple your partner‘ rather than just saying ‘connection is all‘.
Don’t get me wrong, connection is hugely important. I teach classes on connection. It is in my opinion absolutely central to what rope bondage is all about and always has been. In many ways it’s great that these fads turn up and people get into an aspect of bondage that they’ve previously neglected, not just this one, it’s good for everyone to keep connection in mind. Just not to the extent of thinking that it somehow removes the need to know what you’re doing.
I’d like to point out that I believe anyone tying another person is responsible to know how to take care of the person in their rope and in their care.
To give an analogy, the idea that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it with emotion is one that has led to a lifetime of wasted potential for any number of musicians that felt that knowing what they were doing would somehow ‘ruin their feel‘ when the truth is that not learning was what ruined their development. I sometimes wonder how many people actually believe this kind of thing, how many simply do not think to question it and how many are just using it as an excuse for their laziness. (There have of course been many wonderful players that were not ‘classically trained’ but these without exception were very dedicated and worked incredibly hard to find their way and develop their own knowledge, none of them just relied on ‘feel‘ to the exclusion of hard work.)
While it’s nice that some people are getting away from their monomaniacal obsessions with rope types, knots technical details and realising that it is actually about people, it is alarming to see those people now saying that the only thing you need is ‘feel‘ whatever you may define that as, and that’s all with no mention of any necessary skills.
The danger of fadism is the focusing on one aspect to the exclusion of all others.
I believe that it’s never one thing or the other but that good bondage is made up of a balance of factors. It’s about connection but that doesn’t mean it’s not about skill. Yes it’s about skill but that doesn’t mean it’s not about knowledge. Yes it’s about knowledge but that doesn’t mean it’s not about connection.
I believe that it’s a balance of a combination of things. Ever shifting and changing. The idea that technique is in the way of connection is a common misapprehension. Good technique is in fact the servant of expression and it is through your ability to express yourself and so communicate with your partner that is at the root of being able to cultivate that connection.