Self taught rope bondage.

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Self taught rope bondage.

Time and time again I see people who aren’t all that good at bondage bemoaning the cost of learning, particularly suspension. Inevitably at some point people will list the names of supposed self taught riggers, extolling the virtues of ‘trial and error’ approach for those that don’t want to learn from someone experienced or who claim that it’s impossibly expensive.

As I have ‘views’ on this subject I hope you will forgive me for speaking frankly about trial and error as a valid approach for someone learning suspension.

Are you fucking kidding me? 

Sure you can learn by ‘trial and error’ if you don’t mind the consequences of the error part. And let’s remember folks that the consequences of this error are felt by the bottom and not by the top who thinks it’s a good idea to learn by seeing how they get hurt instead of learning from the experience of others. I’m sure they don’t mind at all that it was perhaps a common mistake, one that’s been made lots of times before, hurt lots of people before but is so very easily avoidable if only there was some way to learn from other peoples mistakes. If only eh?

Hmmm now I come to think of it… oh but we don’t believe in that do we, we believe in ‘trial and error’ which in many cases means ‘repeating avoidable mistakes’ and learning from them going wrong. Am I taking crazy pills or is that a stupid and irresponsible way of endangering your partner?

If you’re going to suspend someone you have a responsibility to learn all you can to keep that person safe. You really, really do. You do NOT get to say “I can’t afford to learn but I’m going to try it anyway“.

Really? I mean, do you do that with other things? “Oh I can’t afford to get driving lessons but I’m going to take this car out on the freeway and learn by trial and error 🙂“. You know what? I want to see you try that one on the cops and see how it flies; and speaking of flying…

Unbelievable though it may seem suspending someone is a real and serious responsibility. Their life and well being is really in your hands when you try this stuff. So….

If you can’t get to the point where you know what you’re doing, can’t afford lessons, can’t find the information, don’t have someone to teach you, don’t have the skill… Don’t fucking do it! Just don’t, no matter how entitled you feel, no matter how aggrieved at life you feel, no matter how much you resent anything costing you money, no matter what!

If you aren’t competent to drive don’t go on the freeway!
If you aren’t competent to suspend, don’t suspend!

There once was a time…

There once was a time when people didn’t have access to either the information or the teaching they do now, when people could genuinely say there was nobody to learn from and when they had to work things out for themselves. Well folks, those times are over and the example of those people isn’t an argument any more. You know why? Because most of those people became teachers, and so you can now learn from them without having to repeat their mistakes, isn’t that cool? And wouldn’t that be cool for the rope bottom too?

By | 2017-03-17T09:57:17+00:00 July 15th, 2012|Categories: Education, Life, Rope|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

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6 Comments

  1. Nothrin (@Nothrin) July 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    To make matters worse, these days there are many readily available books, DVDs, and websites to learn the basics and have an idea of what you’re doing and still people ignore these resources. The vast majority of these resources all say things to the tunne of “Don’t do this without live instruction, this resource is for you to understand a bit before hand or to reference after, not to replace live instruction” and people ignore these warnings.

    I received training at Shibaricon and performed my first suspensions for months with a more experienced rigger available 3 ft away for questions even after that.

    “To expensive to learn” doesn’t work as an excuse if you know of anyone who knows someone who knows suspension. Ask the to teach you. If they feel comfortable in their knowledge. There are all sorts of little things not covered in the books and DVDs that people are not getting without live feedback.

    Please listen to Wykd_Dave here people, man knows his shit.

    • NewRigger August 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

      I have yet to meet a rigger who will teach for free.

      • wykd August 30, 2013 at 12:48 am

        Though teachers may get expenses at larger events pretty much none of them are being paid to teach. When it comes to private lessons it always amazes me that people think that a good teachers skill, time and work are worthless to them. If you think that a teachers time is worth nothing then I suggest that they are not the teacher for you and that you are certainly not the student for them.

  2. Paul Hampson February 11, 2013 at 1:31 am

    If we only learned from our own experience, the earth would still be flat.

  3. NewRigger August 23, 2013 at 9:29 am

    While I agree on an idealistic level, the irony is some teachers contribute to the cycle through expensive classes. When classes aren’t presented so people can understand the added value of in person instruction, they will feel add though someone is trying to pull a fast one on them. In fact the volume of other sources of information is the primary reason people think the class are expensive and not needed.

    My personal experience is classes are taught by good/amazing riggers who are poor educators. When I say poor educators, what I mean is they don’t empower their students with versatile rope skills which promote safety or don’t provided a safe environment for questions and experimentation. Instead they simply demonstrate a form, like the box tie, and only address issues related to the mechanical processes they’ve just down.

    I don’t know how Wykd_Dave teaches nor have I attended his class. These are just my observation.

    • wykd August 30, 2013 at 12:59 am

      Some teachers, especially when travelling have large expenses to cover, I know that when we travel on transatlantic trips we see some complaints of the nature you put here. Honestly taking time off from paid work to attend the events we’ve been invited to is a financial liability. We have to work constantly on trips just to cover costs only to see complaints that charging the minimum required to cover costs and therefore in effect teaching for free is ‘profiteering’.

      While I agree that being a good rigger is not a guarantee that someone will be a good teacher. Also some teachers don’t suit every student and vice versa.

      This is a bit of an odd comment to reply to as you say you’ve never met me and I’ve never met you so I have no opportunity to tell if they are really ‘poor educators’ or not. Also it depends on the type of class. I can say that in reality it takes more than an hour and a half to really teach anything. All you can do in that period of time is introduce a concept or form at the most basic level.

      There are many, many teachers and if you don’t like a particular one then I’d only say that it would be strange for you to stick with them for an extended period of time.

      Finally your having not liked the teaching of some of those that you have seen does not invalidate any point in the original post.

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