This is an easier to navigate version of my class handout from “Connection From the Start: Beginning Rope Bondage”
Quick Start Guide to Rope Bondage Resources Online
There are many excellent bondage videos and resources on the Internet. However, it is important to focus on using ones that come from reputable sources. The following list contains videos that I’ve found to be excellent for learning and finding inspiration. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list but rather was carefully curated to include a broad-based by manageable starting point for acquiring basic skills to have meaningful rope scenes.
Safety and Equipment Information
Ties and Essential Knots
Favorite Rope Performance
Laced Lines and Cherry Doll at LFAJRB 2012 (mood: restrained, sadistic, deliberate)
Hourai Kasumi and Rarebit at Sydney Rope Festival 2013 (mood: artistic, delicate, feminine)
Classes by Esinem – including all of the material from his Tying People, Not Parcels DVDs
Classes by Murphy Blue, Stefano LaForgia, M0co, Topologist, Graydancer, Ava Amnesia and many more
Classes from Boss Bondage, Cannon and Tifereth, and many more
Mr. Vanilla and I have a power-neutral relationship. That means that while we consider ourselves kinsksters and engage in BDSM play, we do not have a permanent power dynamic that we operate under. He always tops me and I always bottom to him but when we aren’t doing a scene, we aren’t doing any power exchange.
Being power-neutral can sometimes mean that we feel like we’re on the outside looking into the kink community. We also run into lots of assumptions. People that don’t know us will assume that we have some sort of protocol in action when we do not. Mr. Vanilla frequently has people ask him for permission to talk to me or give me a hug. While we appreciate that this person is trying to be polite, it is an awkward situation because he doesn’t decide for me who I can speak to or hug. Nor do I for him.
Nonetheless, we’ve been toying with the idea of a long-term (indeterminate ending) set of protocols in our life. We’ve played with a very simple one for a few weeks and both enjoy it. I wonder if this is a step towards a bigger change in our dynamic or if it is just a simple way of showing love. I’d be curious to hear about anyone else that has instituted protocol from scratch and how that went.
Recently I’ve been involved in relaunching a kink group in my town. It has been . . . challenging to say the least. I’ve realized that in the sex blogging world, I always so easily gravitated to the people I had something in common with. It was never just sex but some sort of nerdiness about sexuality, a concern with feminism, an academic interest in kink. One of those things usually lined up and bam, new friend.
In the kink community, especially locally, it isn’t so easy. I don’t have a repository of writing to learn about someone from. Fet stalking can get you part of the way but only so far. And, as a leader in a group, at the end of the day I’m in interaction with people that I really don’t have much in common with. Some days I really struggle with it. I don’t always feel that enjoying hitting or being hit with similar objects is enough common ground to build a friendship on.
Has anyone else experienced this before? How do you handle it? Where are my nerds at?
So, remember when I first told you about Mr. Vanilla? My life was pretty different then. I had just had a miserable breakup with Michael. I was still in a relationship with Jay. And he seemed so simple to me. I wasn’t really fair in the way I described him. The “vanilla” moniker was only a piece of what made my description incomplete.
During this past year, Mr. Vanilla and I were married. Best decision I’ve ever made.
Furthermore, he has been joining me in participating in the kink community. Best decision he ever made? Well, he might not go that far. But the “vanilla” moniker is becoming more ironic with every scene, play party, and demo. Did I tell you that he took Mr. Vanilla as his scene name? Well, he did. And it is a great conversation point every time.
Now, that isn’t to say that he has become a totally kinky motherfucker. In fact, he has been self-identifying as a service top. Since I’m not much of a shrinking violet submissive, that works just fine for me.
His capacity to surprise me every day is the reason I married him and there hasn’t been a dull day since.
Photo courtesy of Delilah
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The first Gender Celebration Carnival is complete but the conversations begun are still carrying on. Some amazing writers participated in this first event and I hope that more will jump in next time. In case you missed any of the posts, here is a complete list of the authors and their posts over the past two weeks. Go check them out and add to the conversations that have begun. If you want to participate in the next Carnival, stay tuned as I will be posting about it shortly.
How amazing was I at karaoke last night? Well, I had two backup dancers, 1 backup singer, and someone playing air keyboard behind me. Also, there were half a dozen lighters out. What? You thought I was just a sexual exhibitionist?
Good Vibrations was kind enough to send me a copy of the book, Toygasms: The Insider’s Guide to Sex Toys. I was excited to read this book and hopefully gain new information about choosing toys and using them in unique ways.
On a basic level, the book does just that. It provides a general overview of the types of toys available and describes material types as well as basics of playing with them. This book is definitely one that is geared towards beginners with toys so it starts from the premise of needing to convince your partner to play with them and needing to overcome personal embarrassment.
Now, there are certainly people out there that may have feelings of shame and embarrassment about sex toys but I’m not one of them. This irked me a little bit as I began reading but I was able to get past it to evaluate the information that was provided. And the information in this book is of good quality and reliable. However, there were some serious issues with it that ultimately turned me off pretty significantly.
Beyond the assumption of shame and negativity that the book started with, it also carries a strong assumption of heterosexual cisgender relationships. That assumption was one that I could not get past. A book like this has an opportunity to normalize a spectrum of sexual behavior, gender expression, and relationship styles by mentioning them as equally valid and Dr. Sadie Allison doesn’t choose to take that opportunity. The book is illustrated and the illustrations and text refer almost exclusively to hetero couples. The pictures of solo play depicted all depict female-bodied people. Even the chapter on anal play only has passing reference to the male prostate and otherwise assumes female-receptive anal sex. The only image in the book that depicts a same-sex couple is of two women in the section on double-ended dildos.
Beyond the huge blindspot of non-hetero sex, the book also has a somewhat obnoxious tone. Dr. Sadie Allison’s attempts to come off as playful and flirty end up sounding juvenile and embarrassing. The jokes and puns all sound dorky and forced and they often come at the expense of complete information.
My final critique is the the book doesn’t make a single toy recommendation. Perhaps this is an attempt to appear neutral or keep the material up-to-date but some reference of particular toys and manufacturers would be an incredibly useful element that is simply not included.
In summary, Toygasms: The Insider’s Guide to Sex Toys, is a book that is stymied by inadequate scope. If you have no information whatsoever about sex toys at your disposal it might be helpful. But if you are sitting here right now, reading this review, you don’t fall in that category. With so much quality, specific, up-to-date, and gender-sensitive information available online, I can’t think of a reason to read a book like this. A great place to start, in fact, would be the Good Vibrations Magazine.