If you do not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a suspension point is definitely good enough then it's NOT good enough. If you do not have the necessary knowledge to judge if an unfamiliar suspension point is good enough yourself. Then you should set about acquiring that knowledge or just not use it. I honestly think that having the ability to judge the appropriateness of a suspension point is an essential skill for anyone who's going to suspend in different locations. And yes, I apply that to suspension points in clubs and at events too. I've refused to use points in clubs because for one reason or another I wasn't happy with them. And you cannot just take it on trust and you have to be responsible for the decision to suspend on whatever it is that you do suspend on. Because... You are making the decision to hang someone's life on that thing!
Recently I saw a post about Top drop or as they described it a 'Rigger's Melancholy' (which is a term I really liked btw.) It caught me at a wrong moment and I posted that yeh, everyone knows about it. I was expecting someone to take issue with the tone of my response or criticise me for ever being exasperated by the endless repetition of the same questions, any display of less than perfect temper or humanity. Something along those lines. I was pretty surprised therefore to see a reply that didn't make any of those reasonable complaints but instead insisted that not everyone had or was aware of this experience. I will quote the response exactly here so you can see that I'm not making this up. No, WykD_Dave, not everyone already knows about it. The great thing about this group is that we have a wide variety of experiences and skills. I would like to hear positive and constructive information from experts like you about how to recognize top drop coming on and how to deal with the feelings. What most struck me is the assumption that this is some unique experience or out of the ordinary emotion or feeling. You do something emotionally and or physically intense and you have a natural high from it, then you have a low to a greater or lesser extent afterwards. Yes we're all a bit different and have greter or lesser responses and some come down sooner or more steeply than others but surely this is a common human experience though to anyone who's ever done anything intense, euphoric, joyous. To anyone who's triumphed on the sports field, been in love, had great sex, strived [...]
So, what's a TK really? Is it a specific thing or is it a class of tie, a form? This is a question that seems to vex a lot of people and probably for understandable reasons. There are plenty of non-tk tks out there. Let's avoid the language question about takatekote for this post and just take it as having the meaning that it seems to have grown to have in the west and that is of a kind of vaguely japanese (ish) box tie. I'd also for the purposes of this post to leave out the whole hands high argument and discussion of 'gote' vs. 'kote'. The real answer to this is the one that people tend not to like when I give it. It depends. Depends what you mean, depends what the person you're talking to means. When you say TK to me I am going to think of the TK that I personally tie. But the TK that I personally tie depends on a lot of factors and may be different under any number of different circumstances. It's also changed over time, or rather they've all changed over time. What is and isn't a TK is subjective, what's a good TK or a good TK for say suspension is less subjective because to be a good TK for something it needs to fulfil some real world requirements about being structurally sound, well placed etc. The term 'TK' has been used for so many different ties and interpretations and failed re-engineering attempts that it is in some ways denuded of meaning. This can in some circumstances be a positive thing if you think about it in the right way as it means that [...]
Here is some rope minimalism from some time ago. Originally this came up because of someone saying that 6 feet of rope was 'obviously' too short to do any bondage with. So here are a few ties done with a 6 foot length of rope doubled to make it only 3 feet of working length. It's interesting to see what can be done when you place a deliberate restriction on yourself and challenge yourself to be creative within the parameters of that restriction. I was determined that these not be simply for show but that they be obviously practical effective bondage too.
You know I used to say I was a rigger because it was a nice neutral term. But... well people have kind of turned it into a title of sorts and now people start posts with "I'm a rigger!" and it makes me cringe. Not least because I think... You're a rigger (in the titled sense you now mean it) and I think NO you're not, you'd maybe like to think you are but you're someone who maybe once in a while uses rope and it's a far cry from that to someone who can really rig. See if you want to use it like that especially about yourself you'd damn well better be able to do it. And most of you that have latched on to the previously serviceable and unpretentious word and turned it into a title and use it that way are exactly the people that it shouldn't apply to in that way. People seem obsessed with creating titles for themselves. Shut up and do some good rope instead. If you were good you wouldn't need 'titles' for yourself no would you?
References are a valuable tool for keeping you informed, aware and safe when considering playing with others. I cannot recommend getting references enough, although they are often overlooked and not used enough when considering tying with new people. I think that rope tops should vet bottoms and bottoms should vet tops before playing, shooting, and especially performing. I have heard of instances when this system has been abused, confidentiality is broken and people get angry and hurt. This results in a bad feeling and quality of reference. It can lead to scene drama and people being unwilling to give references. It is very simple to avoid this situation and have a great resource for our community. Giving References A good protocol to abide by when you are asked for a reference is to report facts, your own actual experience. Try not to sensationalise things in your head. It can be difficult but try to remain unbiased when giving a reference, separate your feelings from the person and inform the person what your own experience was or what your current knowledge is surrounding that individual. Getting References When asking for a reference, it is important to remember that you are asking for an account of someone’s individual experience with the person in question. They may be the one person to have a positive or negative experience so it is important to get more than one reference. When it comes to rope bondage I recommend gathering as many references as possible from tops and bottoms to build a picture of the person you are considering doing rope with. Potential Questions Negotiation How was negotiation handled? Was it done? Were agreements and limits honoured? Injury Accidental etc. What [...]
The title of this post is concerned with something that people often do not do. And that is actually see people! By that I mean see the actual person, not what they do, what they look like or how they dress. The actual person themselves! As human beings we have many mental short-cuts that enable us to function as human beings quickly and often without too much thinking. Therein lies the problem. For very good but ultimately socially unhelpful reasons we think in stereotypes. In them and us. In this and that. People are more complicated than that. People exist beyond a surface impression, have deeper lives than their appearance and are more than stereotypes. People are highly advanced social primitives. We're thinking animals. We have the ability to intellectually override our instincts if we so choose. The trouble is that sometimes we don't and we make the mistake of thinking that people are actually those superficial impressions. We are all more than what is on show. Sometimes people only want to see the surface, the simple the easily categorised. It makes life simple and saves them from thinking, from difficult moral decisions, from challenging the easy assumption. It's easy for a lot of people for instance to associate some modes of dress with simple definitions. For instance 'slut' with certain manners of dress and the assumption that goes with that as to someone's character, behaviour and ultimately worth as a human being. You don't have to think very hard to realise that there is more to someone than what they're wearing. Sometimes though it seems that many people can't think very hard at all. What about what you do for a living? People make [...]
I see people replying over and over on posts "Oh but there are exceptions" and yet I don't write general posts based on the exceptional. I give it, based on the generality. Exceptions are just that, exceptional. That's why they are called the exceptional, they do not represent the vast majority of cases, people or circumstances. I can't help but think that when people make these arguments for the 'exceptional' they are mentally filing themselves in the exceptional category. You can understand why. Everyone wants to think of themselves as exceptional. In fact it's very common for people to think that they're exceptional.
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 [...]