The Element – first impressions

Since the premiere play space in San Antonio has closed, there hasn’t been a good rope location for me of late.  I have a good roper friend in Austin who sometimes gets together with some of her friends and has a small party.  They’ve been kind enough to invite me along and I’d bring my tripod and we have a good time hanging about – happy bunnies, happy riggers.

My latest roping adventure took me to The Element, north of Austin.  It’s a private house and play party and they’re very rope positive – including some great trees in the backyard for natural suspension points.  Au naturel too if you’d like – who am I to judge?  🙂  Met many new faces and some old again – a great evening of conversation, rope, toy comparisons, and a few laughs along the way.  Recommended.

Below is a tie I did there with Sophie – she has some rope experience, but had never been suspended.  Not only did she want to be suspended, she wanted to be inverted; go big or go home I say.  If you think you’re ready to try, lets give it a go.   The tie was a basic TK, with the drum harness as the sole suspension point.  The ankle wrap is just to help support her legs while she’s upside down.  Aural support and photo by JakeKinbaku.

It’s all fun and games until…

Well we all know how that phrase starts and there are several endings to it – I got to see one of them one night. Preface for those who don’t know me: I’m a new rigger as of a few short months ago. (Long time fan, first time roper) I LOVE roping and everything about it, and I knew it was considered Edge Play and after last night I know it. I witnessed and aided in a partial fainting, which for me is a big thing, a wake up call for certain.

(I’m not using names because I think it’s irrelevant to this piece and their privacy concerns.)

The rigger and model were both well known to me and I’d worked with them each previously. The rigger is quite experienced and unofficially my mentor, though maybe doesn’t know it. The model is very comfortable around rope and capable of handling strenuous ties. The tie last night started out with a full TK/box tie which I’ve seen her in, and have applied to her myself. Then halfway though the application of a gunslinger harness she indicated to her Top that she was feeling some tightness. I saw some adjustments being made then was distracted for about 10 seconds as someone started to move some equipment for another scene. When I looked up they were both over by the table trying to get rope off of her. I got up to help and the Rigger said “Cut if off” – I instinctively reached for my back pocket for my safety shears only to realize they were in my bag (I wasn’t the one playing after all.) So I grabbed my rigging knife from my front pocket and within 10 or 15 seconds between the Rigger with  sheers and my knife we had her out. Fortunately she didn’t completely faint and kept talking through it.

I carried her into another room to lay her down and get her circulation going again. Cold towels (she was hot), ice water and a fan and the care of her Top helped bring her back to her normal smiling self in a matter of minutes. Regular checks throughout the evening indicated she was fine.

I had some chats with the Rigger after everything calmed down and she reminded me again that it’s Edge Play – I knew that, but this helped confirm that. Fortunately the model spotted early signs of a faint coming on in that 10 second window when I was distracted, and that’s when the Rigger without hesitation moved to sit her down and start freeing her.

I’m not happy any of it happened, but I’m glad to have experienced it. In hindsight I’m going to try to keep the following in mind. Once I step into the dungeon, to keep my safety sheers or safety knife on my person whether I’m playing or not. Keep checking on my bunny throughout and to stress to them to let me know of ANY early signs of danger. An extra set of hands pre-arranged to jump in if need be is always welcome. All in all everything worked out well with the only casualty being the Rigger’s homemade rope. And as she said, “It’s only rope”, not people.

Have fun, and be safe out there!

Learning and confidence

One of the things I learned at OctRoperFest was to trust my gut more.  Yes, I consider myself a new roper, but I can still spot a potential issue, and should feel confident enough to speak up about it.

One of the riggers was setting up for a performance on a pagoda style freestanding suspension frame.  His ring was secured towards the the side of the frame, though it was centered in the other direction.  My first thought was I wouldn’t put it there and I had heard those type of frames can be unstable in a specific direction.

Halfway through the performance, with the gal suspended, he put extra weight on her in a pulling motion – which brought her closer to him and caused the frame to start to fall towards him – it was now up on two legs instead of the stable four legs.  I was at the end of 2nd row near the stage, and there were two fellows in black cowboy hats directly in front of me.  They both dove onto the raised stage grabbing a leg of the pagoda, and I went around them up the stairs grabbing the side of the frame.  The performers were unfazed and carried on with the excellent show.  Cowboy hat #1 stayed on the stage with an arm hooked into the rig ensuring it wouldn’t go over again, though it did raise the other leg once or twice. It might be a really good frame design, and I’m still thinking of building one like it, but you must keep the ring dead center.
So what did I learn – if I see something questionable contact a DM or somebody – even if it is a performance.  I have no idea if the performer is familiar with the nuances of that equipment or not. Just because I consider myself new doesn’t mean I can’t spot a potential issue.

Learning and confidence go hand in hand.

OctRoperFest 2012 – first look back

I’ve now had a chance to look back and reflect on what the highlights of my first major rope event were.

For certain the guerrilla bondage suspension was pretty darned awesome and the highlight for me.  I thank QuietSpot for volunteering to be tied in a TK and gunslinger, then be driven around in the back of a Suburban through Austin traffic with an itchy nose.   DallasKink’s classes were fun and informative enough to make us get out there and just do it.

I enjoyed the performances and getting to meet some folks I only knew from online (Mick and Dee Luvbight – very cool.)  Meeting CharlieB was a nice surprise too, as I didn’t know he was coming in from LA – he’s got a nice profile page btw.  I got to meet another rigger, Tyrus from New Orleans – hope to see him get in more ties at future events.  Mark Yu’s class was good – I enjoyed the armbinder class even if the initial cuff wasn’t always working.  It taught me above all to think and adapt; it’s my rope, my bunny, it might not always work the same as it does for others and that’s OK.  The Boss Bondage classes were good too – I’ve always enjoyed his classes even if I don’t necessarily do all he does – it reminds me that bottoms are pretty resilient and can take a fair bit when handled properly.

I didn’t know what to expect going into the event – next year I hope to make more of the events and bring more rope enthusiasts out to it.  Considering I’m in my freshman year of roping, I’m pretty happy with where I am, and have some ideas of where I’d like to be in another six months.  Good times.

Keep having knotty fun!


OctRoperFest 2012!

In 20 hours the big OctRoperFest event in Austin starts.  This is my first time attending and I’m going with a fellow rigger I’ve met and we may end up being each others lab partners.  I’m hoping to meet folks I’ve only known online, and come away with more knowledge and hopefully skill than I went with.

I’m bringing some bamboo I’ve harvested and will be selling it cheap giving it away as I know many riggers like the look of it with their natural rope.

Over 12 hours of rope fun tomorrow!  Then Temple of Flesh on Sunday – it should be a great weekend!

Excuse me? (Boundaries please)

This is an article I wrote on my FetLife account a few weeks ago – I figured it would be a good piece to start with.  I garnered a Kinky & Popular rating which surprised me to no end.   I can only hope my future writing is anywhere near as good as this one turned out to be.   Enjoy and welcome to my blog.

Excuse me?

I understand the BDSM scene apparently supports edicts; Don’t touch if it’s not yours, Don’t touch without asking, and Don’t interfere with someone else’s scene. Unfortunately I have been seeing the golden rules broken as Doms butt into a scene.

Micro background on me – I am a Journeyman Rigger. I just started with rope this year and have learned a lot, worked with some great gals, met some great Tops – ropers and otherwise. I am generally a fairly soft spoken individual, and am not a sadist, though I guarantee I can swing a paddle as hard as you, if I don’t it’s my choice. I take roping and impact play from a more sensual side of things. I wonder if certain Doms see this as a weakness, and are they really that shallow to ranges of play? Anyway – on to my incident reports.

The first time I was doing an armbinder and it was a first for her and she was enjoying it. I asked her if she wanted to try it as a strappado which is with the arms hoisted up behind – which can be a very strenuous position depending on the amount they’re raised. She agreed and we both tentatively tried it. She is a true rope lover and was starting to get into the zone taking in a new position that was simple, strenuous, and exposing. As you can imagine, in a standing bent over position with the arms high and clear of the body, it would be a great position for impact play. We had neither discussed this, nor was it a great desire of mine to go that route at the time. But suddenly at least two doms were suggesting an impact scene and actually started handing me toys. Really? One even got up close to her to show her an implement and asked her about it. She declined and I handed toys back. We continued on with the strappado, experimenting with raising and lowering her arms — testing her limits and we were both happy with just doing that.

Now, keep in mind, at this stage of my journey, I was very much a new roper and could probably count on one hand the number of gals I’d tied. Later I asked her about the intrusions and she indicated that it was an invasion of her space and head space at the time – though she wasn’t mad at me, but in hindsight I felt she had every right to be. I had a rapport built up with her, and she was giving her trust to me and we were doing what we had agreed to. It was my responsibility as being the Top in this to control the scene and protect my Bunny. I didn’t need nor appreciate a 3rd party jumping in – I’m certainly savvy enough to have a clue about what I could have done with her in that position – do I need someone else to point out the blatantly obvious? No – butt out, shut up, and enjoy what you’re watching. If you want to do it differently then go build your own scene. Just because I’m not doing a scene on the St. Andrews Cross, don’t have leather shackles and chain dangling doesn’t mean I’m not doing power exchange and having someone entrust her safety to me. Respect that – otherwise your ignorance of rope is showing.

Another time I did a pretty rope corset on a gal as she had never done rope before and wanted to start slowly into rope. A close friend of mine started to take some photos with the Bunny’s OK and I suggested standing on the cross to pose – we added to the look by tying some quick and dirty rope cuffs. As soon as she had stood onto the cross at least two Doms stepped in – both of which were breaking the connection of the ties and getting in the way of the photos. It wasn’t such as severe a breach as in the first incident, but regardless – you weren’t invited into what was going on. You stepped into something already going on and tried to make it your scene. Do that on your dime, not mine. We continued through and the photos were a hit – hoping for more in the future.

Lastly I was at a new venue (for me) with Bunny with whom I have a lot of ties with and a strong level of trust. We were doing a sort of casual tie outside on a patio railing – it wasn’t a serious scene as we had been doing some banter and she had been trying to hit me with a paddle with her chicken wing tied hands – it was kind of funny and certainly not a serious scene. I was still in the tying process and stepped forward to adjust a rope then stepped right back, and onto a Dom – I almost tripped backwards over him. He was crouched down low and had thrown some loose rope around her ankle to the railing – without asking. Once again – really? I’m in the middle of a scene – no matter if it’s light or not – and without asking permission from myself of the bottom if it was OK to touch her, proceeded to put rope on her. THAT was a breach! And from what I understand he has been in the scene a while and certainly should know better. In fact I saw that same individual try to get into an ongoing scene later that evening. He obviously doesn’t understand boundaries in general, so I will try not to take his intrusion personally.

It is to this Dom and to others out there like him that I am writing this piece – please understand this: Roping is a scene – an exchange – just because there is no impact perceived, doesn’t mean the Bottom is not giving something up to the Top. Rope with no impact doesn’t mean there is no danger involved – rope bondage is edge play. As a rope Top I am constantly aware of my Bottom’s safety, and outside distractions are just that, distractions. Don’t do it. Just because I’m having a conversation with my bottom doesn’t give you the right to jump in unless she invites you into the conversation. She may be jovial, but it’s because of her trust in me and the scene – don’t assume. How would you like it the next time you are either doing an impact scene on the cross, or just in a common room, for me to come up and spank your gal, or start suggesting you try this toy or that? Reverse the situations and you would probably never have done what you did – I would hope.

Boundaries please