I think there are a lot of times when people over think problems. So I though I'd write a general purpose response to some of these points that reoccur a lot. Imagine pretty much any problem where people are coming up with complicated ways to safeguard against bad behaviour. The kind of bad behaviour? Well generally people being dickheads, not respecting people's boundaries, violating consent, just pushing consent, taking stupid risks when performing, etc. etc. See the problem here is that people are being dickheads! Being a dickhead is not a problem that can be solved with policy, procedure or negotiation classes. No matter how much of this you do dickheads are still dickheads and still do the dickhead things they were going to do anyway. Why? All together now, because they're dickheads. It would be nice to be able to live in a perfect world but just in case you hadn't noticed, we don't! Life has dickheads in it, it just does. I'm going to suggest that the only real way to tackle this is for dickheadedness to be unacceptable and to recognise when it's dickheadedness that you're dealing with. For instance if when someone pulls a dickhead move they protest that they didn't know they were meant to act like a grown up intelligent human with actual agency and morals and the ability to know right from wrong and oh, if only they had known X, Y or Z. And you say yes, you're right there does need to be better guidelines or education on being human or procedures to stop you acting like a sociopath, what you are is complicit in their abdication of personal responsibility. How is it possible do you [...]
There are many well intentioned discussions at the moment about professional associations for riggers and / or models. Many terrible people love to join professional associations because it lends them the seeming of legitimacy without much actual effort in contrast to those that build their own reputation by actually achieving something. Professional associations have their uses for concrete definable professions with real qualifications that can be subjectively determined. i.e. there's a reason why these exist commonly for trades. Also many associations exist to represent their members in some way. If so who runs it and how is it going to be paid for? Or do you want or the kind that only exist to provide information and a nexus of communication for members? Do people mean something like the General Medical Council that can strike of Doctors so they can't practice. If so how do you enforce this? Eventually associations with bad members are devalued and become worthless regardless of any good works due to bad members. People stop trusting it. So you just have to stop bad people joining right? Well how? This has sprung up in the wake of revelations about some well known presenters. So you wouldn't let them in your association right? Why not? Until recently they had as far as many were concerned good reputations. Their turning out to not be the kind of people you'd have wanted associated with your professional association wasn't necessarily predictable. So now you're going to expel them right? How? You're going to have a tribunal with witnesses and a trusted panel of adjudicators who are senior professionals. How do you determine who they should be? Even if you do this and it all works [...]
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 [...]
Filed firmly under the category of really? Again? Had to send some takedown notices again on one site because someone had copped our images, modified them to remove the mark and posted it up on their profile. I issued the usual DMCA takedown and that image was removed. That's pretty much the unfortunate business as usual. What was odd was the message I received from the guy after. What a sad man. Nothing better to do than grassing people up for something that doesn't affect you at all. I liked the pic, never said it was mine. No life. Derp right? What a sad man I must be not letting him just rip off stuff without consequences, nothing better to do than report an idiot that doesn't understand copyright and thinks they're entitled to rip off anything they fancy just because they 'liked the pic'. And how could I possibly think that him ripping off my work, removing even the mark that could have led people back to my work and posting it horribly degraded could possibly affect me? Just ridiculous of me. It was nice of him to admit that he had no rights to the image though. I don't imagine that was his intent but possibly not the sharpest tool in the box. So lastly, 'no life'. Well here's my problem with that. I do very much have a life. A very large part of that life this person so amusingly assumes that I don't have very obviously involves tying up lots of beautiful women. Part of it even included creating these images that the guy liked so much that he flatteringly posted them with the creators identification edited off. I have so many [...]
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.
There are a few places around the world that feel like coming home for us. They say that home is where the heart is. I think this is true. Our memories of places and events are inextricably entwined with the people we met and the experience we had. It's quite something to recognise that 'going home' feeling as we make our way to an event thousands of miles from our actual home. It's very much a sensation of going home and seeing old friends. Though it's always a bit of a downer to have to go back to everyday life after having a great time there's always that thought of next time. The year will soon be drawing to a close. Next year we get to go home again, and again...
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?
There isn't one! The problem is in people being dickheads. I'll elaborate on that a bit... When people take pictures at events where pictures are not allowed; that's a problem. When people make calls in quiet spaces; that's a problem. When people do anything that they agreed not to do at an event, even without a cellphone; that's a problem. None of these are cellphone problems, but all of them are dickhead problems! Dickhead problems are behavioural problems. Some behavioural problems are due to personality and intellectual problems. To put that last comment into somewhat more prosaic terms. Some people are entitled, self regarding and stupid enough to think "Yeh, but that doesn't apply to me right?". Yes to you! Especially and particularly to you because you are an entitled, self regarding idiot with no regard for the restrictions that you yourself voluntarily agreed to but also with no regard to the rights and perfectly justified expectations of others in the space. Those people have every reasonable expectation that everyone else will give equal regard to those rules and restrictions. People bang on about banning cellphones, confiscating them, deleting media etc. Ban dickheads instead.
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 [...]