This weekly musing is a thought experiment on consent and the meaning of no. I write this as an invitation for contemplation on the grey zones of human interaction. If you are looking for a more concrete and practical first approach to consent in BDSM and tantra, then I recommend reading the text “Playing safer” instead.
This week I want to share one of my most valued things in life. That is insecurity. Or the idea of not having to know. Or to be sure. And it is reflected everywhere. It is the fundamental pillar of my life philosophy. Maybe and maybe not, says the businessman that turned into a Buddhist monk. I find it funny that I, a person that makes my living from teaching about polarities, put such a value of being in between them. Why is this? Maybe because of the mystery. To allow life to be a mystery. To be exciting.
My friend Michael is making an app called reLove that acts as a first point of contact for people curious about conscious relating, intimacy and embodiment. He asked me make a short introduction to practicing surrender – so here is my take on it. I hope you enjoy it.
BBC recently released their short documentary about me and my therapeutic rope bondage, and that led to a bunch of question around the subject of power, abuse and therapy. Being the victim of abuse is having ones power taken away. If the abuse is repetitive, the victim usually normalizes the behaviour, hence taking it for granted to have their power taken away. The result is generally that the person feels powerless and is unable to maintain healthy boundaries to people around them. It is like something has been taken away from them—a part of their spirit. But they are often unable to put the finger on it, as the traumatized state is the new normal. So why can rope bondage help, and what do I think is the keys to success?
This week I want to attempt to write about BDSM from a more philosophical and symbolic perspective. I do this to reach deeper because I experience that a logical approach limits me. I want to start in the ocean, as a symbol of life and motion. The depths can swallow me, and the waves can crush me. It is unpredictable and alluring. Temping me to let go. There is an ocean inside of me and an endless amount of unreleased potential. I’m 80% water. What would happen if I released its uncontrollable flow? Creative or destructive? Awesome or awful? Both at the same time. Ultimately the same. I have learnt to control my flow, to accept and respect the structures around me.
Did you do a beginner’s tantric rope workshop, and want to take the next step technically while still keeping the focus on the human connection?
Do you enjoy Andy more philosophical and experiential approach to bondage? And think that BDSM is more about power then whips and chains?
And do you prefer learning in small and intimate groups rather than big workshops? Great! Then this is the right thing for you.
I’m at the closing ceremony after a week-long gathering. We are sitting in a big circle, and the person on the microphone shouts out -Who is the most important person in your life? -ME ME ME! The crowd responses.
I’m observing a play party behind my mask. I see intimate couples in THEIR invisible bubbles fulfilling THEIR desires. In the opening workshop a few hours earlier the question is popped -What do YOU want tonight? What are YOUR dreams?
Hollywood is kidnapping the word love. They are using it to sell romantic comedies and reality shows. You know the Disney princess that marries the prince and lives happily ever after. There is a kinky roleplay scenario for this because it is a fantasy and not reality. Love is something else. I want to present a very orthodox Christian view on love. To give without expecting anything in return – to give without symmetry – how a parent provides for its child. Of course, they get something in return, but it is something different, something asymmetrical.
Do you want to include rope bondage in your sessions?
How do you dominate someone while still serving them professionally?
What are the seven keys to making a stranger trust you and surrender?
I’ve been developing my therapeutic rope bondage for the past ten years. I often meet bodyworkers that have discovered the power of bondage in my festival workshops and decided to include it in their session, with great success. But I get the questions, what to do in this and that situation, so I decided to do this two-day workshop dedicated to session givers.
In a traditional tantric relationship, there is the sexual polarity between the masculine and the feminine. The masculine oscillates between serving and dominating, while the feminine between surrendering and submitting. There is no strict connection to physical gender, or what one has between their legs. However, there is a risk of getting stuck in one polarity, and that can be very draining. I believe that every person need spaces to serve, dominate, surrender, and submit. That means to act out both their masculine and feminine.