You can listen to this musing here, or read it below.
I’m often asked; why people pay to be bound in rope, and the answer depends heavily on the person paying. And most of my clients are female, about 75%, I would estimate, and this musing is a fictional description of a much too common life situation.
Basic facts; she is both successful and intelligent and around 40 years old. Successful in the sense that she knows how to navigate the patriarchal and capitalistic business landscape. She usually has a career in a male-dominated business, so she has a solid connection to her masculinity. She can dominate, take a ton of responsibility, and claim her place in the hierarchy. There is usually also children, and sometimes as a family, but more commonly as a single mother. She is the boss, the project manager and the entrepreneur of all aspects of her life. However, to achieve this success, she has learnt to endure, control and harbour her own needs and feelings while waiting for that vacation, spa weekend or glass of wine that feels so far away. Of course, behind all of this, there is a dream of letting go, falling madly in love, being taken by life, and surrendering, just like the women in romantic movies, and maybe even as she did in her youth. But somehow, there is no space for this in her modern lifestyle. Perhaps there is yoga on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but that’s it.
The men she meets are either in the same situation as she, so they also long for being held and have little bandwidth left for her. Or they are losers that are not worthy of her surrender or incompetent in creating that polarity. Or they are driven by porn and sex addiction, trapped in a fantasy, which makes them incapable of doing it together with her. She has maybe tried looking for a lover on Tinder or going to a bar with another female friend. But it seems impossible to find someone willing to share this rediscovery of her sexuality. Because to her, it’s so much more than just sex.
Shame and performance anxiety lurks in the shadows, and maybe even traumatic experiences. Being middle-aged with kids and a career means that she probably started to down-prioritize her own needs, say 10-15-20 years ago. That’s two decades without catering to the connection to her body, her sexuality, and femininity. She has often considered if she could be happy living life as the man. Maybe she should just find a nice and caring velour husband to take some of the load off her shoulders, give her backrub once in a while, and some encouraging words from the sideline. But it’s not really enough, or what she wants.
So is it possible to find a way to balance the masculine and feminine in her life? Because there is no way she is giving up what she fought so hard to attain, and generations of women before her thought so hard to make it possible. And, of course, she shouldn’t. But she needs to make this journey for herself, but with someone where there is no fear of being too much or not being enough. And where there is no real relationship that she needs to take responsibility for. She wants someone that sees her and understands her situation. Someone that knows that being successful at the patriarchal game makes it so much harder. If she also is strong, beautiful, creative, intelligent, social, empathic, cultural, well educated, and empowered as fuck, then where should she find this person worthy of her surrender? How does she practice vulnerability, acceptance and submission when all the strategies she knows are about leading, doing and essentially dominating? She longs for a place where she can try, fail, and get up over and over again without judgement or drama. And she longs for being held and guided through the process.
That is the reason why she pays money to be bound in ropes. And why does rope help? That you can read about in the text Why rope bondage is a kick-ass spiritual practice.