Way back in 2016 we were scrolling the depths of Tumblr, our dashboard being a mix of random things, mostly relating to parenting interspersed with the occasional bit of art and subversive media for our own entertainment.
Having a history of kinky behaviours in our relationship we had often explored BDSM together, Pixie had even attached handled to the bedframe “to make it easier to carry” for any of our vanilla friends and family that might come to notice, but the reality was as a convenient anchor point for rope restraints that often occurred as part of general play. Blindfolds, sensory toys, impact play all formed part of our shared experience, with a little rope serving only as a handy restraint for other form of debauchery, restricting hands and legs from escape while all manner of immoral depravity took hold in our exploration of the human form and our ever-deepening connection of souls. So, it goes without saying some of our tumblring had its toe dipped firmly into the kinky pond, with a variety of D/s inspired art and meme’s that we would share together, beautiful erotic photography and stories that we would use as inspiration for our own sinful bedroom wickedness, alongside various other fetish inspired posts and blogs that tickled our interest.
Then something caught both of our attention in a way that would dramatically change the way we explore our connection with each other, both inside and outside of our bedroom proclivities. The image we saw was a striking installation of artwork made entirely of rope, and poised gracefully among the myriad of cordage, a lone naked figure was ensnared, caught helpless and exposed within a room sized mass of rope. Hanging from her body, a large stone, itself suspended, pulling her down, creating a beautiful dichotomy of pain and pleasure, as her body was contorted in picturesque yet unnatural ways. In delving deeper, we found more similar images, sometimes with one person, sometimes a pair, each one a 3-dimensional intersection of beauty and struggle. Never had we really been exposed to rope being used in such a way, so intrigued we delved further and further, clicking hashtags, following various blogs and thrown hearts on every image we could find. We were hooked, exploring something we had come to learn is known as Shibari, using rope in ways we had never imagined in its intricacy, awe inspiringly creating images of such wondrously erotic balance between suffering and escape, binding tightly, yet seemingly also liberating the models from themselves, victims of someone else’s vision of their beauty, expressed through positioning and predicament and sometimes pain.
Unfortunately, as we learned happens too often in this community, we no longer feel comfortable advocating the person who originally inspired us to look into this amazing form of art. Despite being a well-regarded rope artist with an extensive portfolio, allegations surfaced in 2020 of what many in our community call consent violations, or as we would prefer the more accurate terms of sexual assault.
Despite this unfortunate development, we discovered many many other wonderful rope artists we have come to be inspired by, who have had far greater influence on us, our style and our approach to rope, such as Hajime Kinoko, WykdDave &Clover Brook, Gestalta, Midori, Naka Akira, Riccardo WildTies and RedSabbath, Alexander Ma & Natasha NawaTaNeko, Amaury Grisele, Gorgone, Shingonawa Bingo, Fred Hatt & Anna Bones, Kanna & Kagura to name but a few, that this individual of moral repent pales into insignificance
That said course for those victims who suffered through that indignity, the memories and scars they may still hold, it is for them we acknowledge that darkness that remains an important part of how we started and shaped our ethos.
Further to this I also feel it is important to recognise the mixture of top and bottom rope artists in the above list, as Shibari to me is a convergence of individuals expressing themselves both through and within the rope and without a bottom to tie, it would be nothing. After all you cannot tango alone, so in contrast to many “inspiration” lists I have seen before I make a conscious choice to recognise the important contribution bottoms make into this art form and how their submission and suffering is a key component in the artistry for which tops have often been solely credited for. This may be something we discuss further in terms of the difference between modelling rope, bottoming in rope and simply being in rope.
Back to 2016… this discover lead us to research more and more, eventually towards the end of that year pick up some rope ourselves and start to learn some fundamental basic patterns, commencing with the crucially important single column tie, particularly the Somerville bowline, popularised by Topologist.
This progressed to various forms of full body or Karada ties, Futomomo/Bent Leg Leg ties, Chest harnesses and Box Ties / Gote. Taking inspiration from other artists along the way and seeking Tutorial’s from anywhere we could.
Over the last 5 years this has developed from simply exploring rope together to becoming an integral and important part of how we express our love for one another, eventually progressing to 2021 where we are looking towards doing more rope with others, both privately and through attending more rope jams and workshops where we can. Our journey in that 5 years has had many changes, from attending our first in person workshop with Phoenix_Flight, Cad and Raegun, to taking 18 months off rope completely to focus on other matters, being determined to gain in person tuition for suspension in 2020 and attend more workshops, which was delayed by some 16 months due to Covid. Eventually in 2021 we have been able to get private tuition, alongside attending many great online classes during lockdown and expanding our circle of rope friends which we strongly hope to convert into some in person relationships in the near future as UK Covid restrictions are eased.