Online Class Thoughts – Leif’s Hug Harness – Shibari Study

Having seen that LeifBound and IcarusBound were doing a class on the Hug Harness, another Arms from variation that offers an alternative to the traditional box tie, I was super excited to try it out and give us a basis of comparison to the Arm Front Harness taught to us by Christian Red. Having seen the Hug Harness used many times by other ropey folks, we simply had to make the time for this class.

Opening with an explanation of the history of the development of the harness, Lief and Icky touched upon why the harness was developed, its specific requirements as a risk mitigation for specific needs and how they had developed several variations, which would be covered in the class.

The first of which was an adaptation to suit those with top surgery, something clearly personal following Icky’s surgery earlier in the year. This thoughtful adaptation skillfully avoided the placement of any rope that would put pressure on surgery scars, while still maintaining the core shape and functionality of the harness, by lowering the initial column tie from chest to waist, and ensuring the horizontal bands were placed suitably.

Secondly Leif demonstrated the “original”, or current standard, form of the Harness, starting with a single column around the chest, explaining each step in detail, anticipating questions and clearly demonstrating the process end to end. We were able to tie alongside this in almost real time, a small reassurance of my growing skills as a rope top, mostly listening to the instructions rather than relying on watching, and very much feeling my rope. 

Leif’s Hug Harness

The one major downside being due to the length of my rope and Pixies shoulder width, we were left with a rope join right on the front of the harness. I did my best to place this above the arm pit, where it wouldn’t be in contact with Pixies body, but It did result in me wanting to avoid this in the future on purely aesthetic reason.

With the standard harness in place, Leif showed through the various attachment points for face up, side and face down suspensions, showcasing the versatility of the harness.

Finally, Leif demonstrated an adaptation for larger bodies, which builds upon the standard form of the harness with some addition wraps and the introduction of some side frictions which lock the chest bands together, giving a wider distribution of force under loading. Seeing such an adaptable harness that is unequivocally suitable for all body types, being super inclusive and sustainable was a pleasure to watch.

Leif Suspending Icarus in the Hug Harness

Rounding off the class was a demonstration of using the harness in suspension, showing the possibilities to transition between different positions and the suitability of the harness for different types of scenes and play.

We took a lot from this class and were eager to try the harness ourselves in a suspension situation, so we immediately took to our rope room to test it out and see how we felt about this harness.

Being able to watch more online classes has been critical in our rope journey through lockdown, while learning online alone cannot teach the intricacies of tension, nor allow for the tactile feedback of others, something in person classes can never be replaced for, it has allowed us to learn from a variety of different rope practitioners that simply wouldn’t have been possible without the growth in online classes and resources over the last year.

Footnote

You can find Lief on Instagram, Twitter and Fetlife or Subscribe to their OnlyFans. Icarus can also be found on Instagram

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