Ties That Bind

Self-Suspension: From floor to flying – Shay & Stephanos

You don’t need a top to fly! Self-suspension can be used for meditation, athletic dynamic movement, exploring bondage masochism, a tool for learning as a rigger, and more. After a discussion of general principles and safety considerations specific to self-suspension, Shay will lead the class through self-tying a basic chest harness and hip harness. Participants with adequate rope experience will then be guided through a basic face-up self suspension, with a possible transition to an inversion.

All experience levels are welcome to come and watch, and at least attempt the floor work portion of the class!

Supplies:

  • Cutting tool
  • Hardware: Six suspension-worthy carabiners, or at least four carabiners and a suspension ring or rigging plate.
    rated nylon sling or similar to hang your hard point (3 – 4′ in length).
    Adequate rope to tie a suspension-worthy chest harness and a hip harness, with a few extra pieces left over (minimum 4 x 30′ and 2 x 15′).
  • If you don’t own any suspension worthy rope, we recommend Twisted Monk for hemp – this kit was put together specifically for our classes! For nylon, we recommend this kit from KnotHead Nylon (also put together to meet the supply requirements for our suspension classes).
  • 2 x ~30′ (8m-10m) rope for support lines – should provide a breaking strength of at least 10x the suspended person’s weight in it’s final configuration. Most natural fiber rope (aside from perhaps 8mm hemp) does not meet this requirement. 6mm POSH is highly recommended and available from Twisted Monk (use code “Remedial” for 10% off!). Nylon/MFP is acceptable but not recommended for support lines as it is slippery and difficult to manage.

Pre-requisites to self-suspend in class:

  • Knowledge of safety/health for bondage and evaluating/setting up hard points for suspension
  • Proficiency with a basic, suspension-worthy chest and hip harness (we will review harnesses in class, but if this class is your first time tying harnesses, we ask that you not attempt to self-suspend).
  • Since you will be suspending (and potentially inverting) yourself, you must be healthy enough for suspension/inversion, and able to maintain a clear headspace while suspended.

Your Brain on Rope – Orannis

What does being lowered into that waist line have in common with running from a bear? How does aftercare have anything to do with what your brain might look like on MDMA (ecstasy)? In this class we will talk about neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, and rope. We will explore the vascular structures supplying oxygen to your brain when you are in neck rope, the nerve endings telling you where your body is in space and where the rope is on your body, and neurochemicals designed to help you survive and thrive through such a harrowing experience. Expect to leave “This is your brain on rope” with a greater understanding and appreciation of what your body naturally does and how it enhances rope play and scenes.

Ranboo – Barkas & Addie

In 2011, Barkas started to develop his personal way of doing ropes, which was very stormy and overwhelming. His Sensei Osada Steve called it ranboo and since then, this way of doing ropes became one of the well-known styles in the world of kinbaku. Within this class, the participants get a first insight into ranboo. Some key terms of ranboo, such as proper distance and proper intensity at the proper moment are the framework to tie in this way.

Content:

Key terms of Ranboo
How to start a scene
Madame Butterfly
Hojo Jutsu (some techniques to catch your partner)
Application of the principles of Ranboo
Tips and tricks for rope bottoming by Addie

Prerequisites: Single column tie.

Yukimura Ryu Newaza – Barkas & Addie

Newaza, literally translated, means “non-standing techniques”. The grand master Yukimura Haruki Sensei elaborated this style over the last 4 decades. His technique requires smooth, gentle, effortless body handling and manipulation, and a focus on mental rather than physical suffering through the medium of ropes. Yukimura Ryu deals with the masterful juxtaposition of elegant shame play, and a deep regard for the individuality and humanness of the person being tied. In this class, participants will learn about using leverage and invitation to position the tied person, and about communicating emotion through focus and intention.

Content:

Positions on the floor and their stability/instability
Gote Shibari (a type of body harnesses)
Presentation of the partner and shame
Leverage
Kata Ashi zuri (one leg partial suspension)
Tips and tricks for the person being tied

Prerequisites:

Single column tie, a level of familiarity between the tying persons is recommended.

The TK – Addie & Barkas

The Takate Kote (TK, box tie, Gote, etc) in all its various forms is one of the staples of rope bondage. When applied correctly and adapted to the situation and the person wearing it, this tie offers a sustainable and reliable base for many scenes, both floor and air. The TK also presents many micro-techniques – finger tricks, tensioning and placement challenges, rope handling possibilities, that help a tying person develop their skills. This workshop provides an introduction to TK basics, including a TK pattern which is suitable for floorwork and one which, once practiced extensively*, is suitable for suspension. We will look at the functions of basic elements of this tie, as well as some details and modification possibilities to compensate for common issues. We will also discuss communication between the tying and tied persons, and body knowledge for the person being tied, including finding nerve spots to avoid, checking hands, and evaluating the comfort and sustainability of the tie.

Pre-requisites:

Tying participants should be able to tie a non-collapsing single column tie on the first try. Participants being tied should be able to hold their hands behind their back for several minutes at a time. We will look at a hands in front version of the TK as well, and we often use hands in front TKs in our own work, but for the sake of thorough learning it is best for the person tying to be able to practice both hands in front and in back during this workshop.

Required material: Rope, approx. 4 lengths.

Sadomasochistic Rope – Lizard & Orannis

Level: All levels

Rope is not just a tool used for restraint. It can be a medium for creating powerful sensations with your partner. Participants will discuss the various ways to inflict or experience intense sensation (often pain) using only the rope at hand. Several methods will be demonstrated. Active participation is encouraged. All participants should be familiar with basic rope safety. Bottoms may find it helpful have some experience in pain processing.

CW: demonstrations of violence, sexual objectification, and breath play.

Participants will need:
2 lengths of natural fiber ropes (7-8 meters each)
emergency rope cutting tool
note taking supplies (optional)

Microbondage: The Last Inch – Lizard & Orannis

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Imagine taking your partner’s last inch of movement. Imagine surrendering your sense of self beneath hood made of rope. From fingers and toes to facial features, incorporating these small elements can have a powerful mental and emotional impact on your scene. Using one to two lengths of rope, we will go through a series of concepts and techniques which explore this. The devil is in the details. Bring a partner, rope, and an open mind. 

All participants should be familiar with basic rope safety. Safety considerations will be discussed as it pertains to specific ties, however this is not a class on rope safety. It is helpful (but not necessary) to have some experience with freeform rope bondage.

CW: demonstrations of violence, sensory deprivation, dehumanization, fear play, abandonment, and breath play.

Participants will need:
2 lengths of 3-6mm diameter ropes (7-8 meters each in length)
emergency rope cutting tool
a scarf or pillowcase (optional)
note taking supplies (optional)

Hojo Fusion Suspension – Lizard & Orannis

Level: Advanced

AKA “How to put neck rope on ALL THE THINGS!” This class will introduce strategies, patterns, and safety considerations for incorporating neck rope into harnesses commonly used for suspension. Suspension use will be demonstrated. Participants may chose to learn these patterns as floor work, only. If practicing suspension during this class, then prior suspension experience is required for both participants. Experience with carotid compression play is recommended for all participants.

CW: demonstrations of carotid compression play and fear play

Participants will need:

8-12 lengths of natural fiber ropes (7-8 meters each) 
emergency rope cutting tool
suspension hardware
note taking supplies (optional)

The Art of Mindful Risk-Taking – Lizard

Level: All Levels

Drawing from her experiences in healthcare, Lizard introduces a new framework with which to examine risk in rope bondage. This approach is not only helpful in rope, but other kinks, as well as in life choices outside of the kink world.

Participants will need:
Note-taking supplies

Efficiency in Motion – Belle

Have you ever wondered how those rope performers are able to tie so fast and make it look like it takes no effort at all? This is class for you! In this class, we will discuss and practice some of the techniques that tops can use in order to tie more efficiently. This will lead to less fumbling with the rope and a better experience for both top and bottom.

Bottom’s Up! – Belle

Bottom’s up! is a rope class designed around the new rope bottom but shares vital information for tops as well. As a hybrid lecture, discussion, and hands-on class, we will discuss healthy and fitness for rope, techniques for staying in rope longer, communication, and negotiation from the perspective of the bottom. Each section of the class also includes a hands-on activity in order to illustrate or help cement the content from that section. Sharing of personal experiences is strongly encouraged.