Manchester Rope Jam – October 2021

Ahhh the Rope Jam…. after an amazing afternoon enjoying our rope and photo shoot, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Northern Soul Grilled Cheese then headed over to the Rope Jam. As soon as we passed over the threshold and up the stairs we were greeted by friends in what is quickly becoming our spiritual home.

Over the last couple of months, we have attended a number of events with some of the rope jam regulars in attendance, whom we have been able to share experiences and build relationships beyond just simply tying in the same room. For privacy’s sake we haven’t written about all those events, but they have been such wonderful experiences and built some amazing memories and common experience, that when we returned to the rope jam, it felt even more homely. Despite it only being our second time at Rope Jam, we were at ease and comfortable.

Further to that we were also greeted by a number of friends from the Manchester Fetish discord, a group of salacious reprobates we have had the pleasure of getting to know online and at some in person events over the last year. Many of whom had bought tickets to rope jam to experience rope for the first time, after being inspired by conversations in the group by some of the more seasoned rope aficionados. So between both these groups there were very few people we didn’t know, or weren’t welcoming us with hugs and kind words.

So time for some rope?? Nope, first it was time for a cup of tea, the day was already long and we were already tired, so rather than rush into some rope, we instead settled with a nice cup of tea and took a moment of quiet reflection before heading upstairs to the suspension room.

After we were suitably refreshed, upstairs we head for some lovely rope times. Being full of excitement from our shoot we opted to try the same position, but push it further to really stretch into the limit of where we could take that position. Pixie felt she could quite comfortably get her upper leg to the ring, giving a much more dramatic positioning.

She was not wrong.

During our First Photo Shoot, earlier in the day, we had this wonderful shape, some mild torsion, beautiful angles…. hair to mouth rope.

Whereas during the Jam

We took it to a little more of an extreme, really working that upper leg as high as was tolerable…. then a little extra for a little added discomfort.

One thing I really love about the Jam is that while working with ties and shapes you are comfortable with, not trying anything completely new or extreme, you are able to explore some of the nuances in how you tie. This example of adding the foot rope, changing the angle of the hair rope, switching the side on which Pixie was suspended, gave us the ability to really examine the different sensations within this harness combination, while staying well within our safety profile.

Another really lovely element is when you are tired out from a long day (or in some cases hungover from an excessive evening) its also nice to just relax in the space and talk to other likeminded ropey folks about all kinds of things at one point in the evening everyone sat for about 20 minutes, little groups and pockets of conversations with very little rope happening in the room, just the enjoyment of good company.

With batteries recharged from both rest and some social interaction Pixie decided she wanted to try getting tied up by someone else, which she had discussed previously with Dasabi. Pixie and I had discussed that although we haven’t yet fully dialled in our TK suspensions it was something she had considered. After some negotiation and agreement on the type of tie they proceeded with a TK based suspension, coupled with a gunslinger type leg harness and some slight inversion.

Stuck with no bottom and a handful of rope, while Pixie was being suspended, I took the option to do some self suspension, which I hadn’t seen any of at the rope jam before. I never profess to be a self suspender and certain a rope bottom I am not. However, in the interests of testing harnesses I have a tendency to try them myself before tying Pixie, so I have a basis of understanding for loading, where the pressure will sit, how the harness feels and distorts under load. This time I chose the Bones and Rope hip harness, something I’ve tried a few times on both myself and Pixie, coupled with a Shinju chest harness and some ankle support in the form of a single column tie.

It was certainly fun to play around with this harness setup, having the freedom to move legs and arms in self suspension can make for some creative expression, with some interesting contortion. I was also able to lift and lower myself a number of times from just the hip harness, putting it thoroughly through its paces.

After finally bringing myself back to the ground, it was almost time for us to ready ourselves for home, another wonderful day of rope, connection, expression, art and friendship under our belt, filling up our cups of joy and creativity.

There never seems to be a worse time than leaving Rope Jam, knowing it will be another month before we return.

Manchester Rope Jam – September 2021

A little later than I planned to write this up, but sometimes life happens and time becomes constrained.

For our second foray in tying in public, we attended the first post covid Manchester Rope Jam, hosted in a beautiful central manchester location, the space is amazing… the people, even better.

Hosted by @Lou_Lou_C and @Beasttt, with whom we had briefly spoken to in the past, the Rope Jam is an informal space for practice, socialisation and inspiration. Being predominantly self taught in many aspects of our rope, with the exception of a workshop many moons ago, the array of Online workshops over lockdown and the exceptional private tuition from Christian Red, tying with others hasn’t been something we have been able to experience often. Usually when we have this has been with friends who often have never picked up rope and we spend time showing them basic safety and a good solid (Somerville flavoured) single column tie.

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Online Class Thoughts – Tying for Riggers Pleasure – Soptik & Ravi

As soon as I saw this class, hosted by Studio Kokoro, I was super intrigued. Throughout our shibari journey I have always approached rope as a shared experience, one where we work together to achieve a sense of connectedness and reach a stronger and deeper understanding of each other through the expression of rope.

My personal history makes me cautious of those in a position of power over the vulnerable, which inevitably and ironically is the default position of being a rope top. There have certainly been times when we have been labbing new ties/patterns and I’ve left Seraphina feeling more like a mannequin than a person, where my focus is more on the rope than each other and that creeping dread of non consensual objectification creeps in, where I feel like a selfish boar.

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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.

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