Thursday, August 11, 2016

Workshops, from both sides

This fall will be full of learning experiences, and I'll both be teacher and student.

It starts off in about a week. I've been asked to hold a one-evening long workshop in basic rope bondage for a BDSM organisation in a neighbouring town. I'm flattered to be asked, and more than a little nervous. I've never viewed myself as any kind of expert in rope bondage.

Of course, an expert isn't what they want. They want someone to teach them the basics. And so I've agreed to do the workshop, as that's something I think I can do.

A BDSM youth organisation (for people ages 16 to 30) has also asked if I would do a similar workshop for them. I've not agreed yet, as I want to wait and see how the first workshop will go. But assuming the first one goes well, I'll probably agree to do the same workshop for them as well.

Back in 2014, T and I held a lecture on aftercare at a BDSM conference. Since then, T has been to several cities and held the same lecture for smaller groups. So it's been more of a workshop/discussion kind of format.

Now, we've been asked to hold the same lecture/workshop here in our local BDSM club. And this time, we're doing it together again. This time, the aftercare lecture will be coupled with a lecture about pain. So T and I have been working together to make the new lecture as well.

It's fun to work with him on these projects, as we have such different approaches to BDSM in general and pain specifically. I'm a sadist. I enjoy hurting people. He's a service top and to a degree a dominant. He likes doing stuff that the other person likes. This means I'm much more inclined to push on the sub's boundaries, to show them that they can take more than they thought they could. To laugh at their pain. To revel in it. T is such a good guy... So while he is willing to hurt people, he's always doing it for them. Not for himself. That's the fundamental difference, I think. And I think both those perspectives are useful in a lecture on pain. (I'd probably come off as too scary for the newbies, if T wasn't there to temper the impression. )

On the learning side, I've signed up to participate in two fabulous bondage workshops this October. One about the "rope interview" and how to communicate through rope. The other on floor work, spontaneous bondage and basic suspension. There's a limited number of spots, and I don't know if I get in yet. But I hope I do.

For the first workshop, I'll be going with Saint. I'm so looking forward to spending a whole evening with him in ropes. I want us to learn and to grow together. Amsterdam was really good for us, and I want to build on that.

For the second workshop, Saint wasn't able to go. So I made my first ever add on Fetlife, where I announced that I was searching for a rope bunny for this specific workshop. I'd expected to be flooded with bullshit replies, but to my surprise I wasn't. Maybe because I'd been so specific in my add about the kind of person I was looking for.. Maybe because I wasn't looking for a sexual partner or anything long term, just a bunny for the workshop.. I don't know. I got a couple of replies that were terribly written, and where I still don't understand what the message was, but that was about it. The remaining small handful of replies were thoughtful and nice.

In the end, there was only one candidate that seemed a good enough match. Last Sunday we met up for the first time, to chat and potentially do some bondage if the mood was right. He turned out to be a quiet, nervous 45 year old (for reference, I'm 30). He had quite a bit of bondage experience, but very little experience as a sub. And he was obviously craving to let the sub out. I tied his hands, quickly put them behind his head, and tied a rope around his chest. His reaction was immediate, spontaneous and obviously submissive, and I couldn't help but respond with more dominance.

However, dominance wasn't the deal. It wasn't what I'd planned, and it wasn't what we'd agreed. So I backed off. He was obviously craving more, asking for more, and in doing more bondage he also got a bit more dominance on the side. But I didn't try to keep up the tension, I didn't make it into a session, I kept backing off. Kept letting him back "up" mentally, kept talking to him as an equal.

Still, he kept submitting to me at the slightest touch of the ropes. I don't think he even understood what he was doing, what signals he kept sending out. He couldn't help himself. And when someone is so obviously a sub, and you have them tied up, and they're responding so clearly and strongly, not moving forward is really hard. Still, I think I managed fairly well.

In the end, he was ecstatic. He kept thanking me, saying that I had a way with the ropes unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. I explained to him that for me this was no big deal. So while this might have a deep and personal effect on him, he shouldn't expect the same from me. I was also VERY clear that we would be partners at the workshop, and only that. I didn't want to hurt him, and I didn't want to get involved with him.

He said he understood. As a sub, I think he was like a man stranded in the desert. He'd take any sip of water, no matter how little, and be grateful for it. Sure, he's craving more. But I don't have any more to give. I'm looking forward to tying him up during the workshop, but that will be learning. Not play. And he knows that.

Hopefully, there won't be any hard feelings or drama after this. I think I've been clear enough.