Remember that particular song for a festival or retreat? The one that made that exercise so extraordinary. I’m often asked for music and playlists, and almost always, I’m actually DJ:ing while teaching, so there is no one playlist. However, here is a yearly mix of what I liked and played for the past months. Enjoy.
The first fear is strangely connected to consent. Or the question, what can I consent to? In my background of BDSM, there is a practice of radical self-expression, or as it’s often said, “Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is okay” (YKINMKBYKIO). It comes from the belief that sexual minorities need to stay together because they often face substantial social stigma, sometimes even being illegal or considered a pathology. So it’s fundamental to be inclusive. But unfortunately, many people entering BDSM in this hype of “kink is the new pink” are utterly ignorant of the suffering of generations before them. So they tend to be more judgemental. Many spiritual communities choose not to be inclusive because they want to limit themselves to like-minded people who share their beliefs. Like veganism, non-violence, soberness, income and labour division based on need, rather than performance, etc. Because that is the reason they left the greater society in the first place. Some communities dears to be outspoken about it, while others don’t.
Fundamentally, it requires a judgemental attitude because it’s crucial to judge who belongs and who doesn’t. And when the shared belief system is more about actual beliefs and less about concrete regulations, things become increasingly tricky because the answer is often more of an intuitive feeling. And then comes the question, whose feeling is it that counts? Probably the one with the highest status in the community, and hence the power hierarchy is born. Often, from a non-conscious nor consensual place. However, I don’t think human beings are stupid, so somewhere deep down, I think we understand that if I enter the spiritual community of a random guru, then that guru’s opinion will be valued higher than mine. And if I want to become someone in this community, I need to climb the social hierarchy.
Here is some of the music that I’ve played at my events during 2021.
A few days ago, I was at the gala premiere of a new movie called PLEASURE. The director spent the last six years infiltrating or befriending the pornography scene in Los Angeles to the point that she got some of the most influential people to act in her movie. The story is told through the eyes of Bella Cherry, a nineteen-year-old “Swedish girl-next-door virgin” that moves to L.A. to make a career. In a way, it’s about her losing her innocence, quickly emerging herself in rougher and rougher sex, but without demonizing and glorifying. Bella reflects this by being both a fucking awesome superhero and a lost fucked-up teenager. The movie also shows the commercialization of sex and the power hierarchy of a vast industry, where people are fighting for dominance. I think Oscar Wild said. Everything is about sex, except sex; sex is about power.
What does it mean to be a volunteer or assistant at my events? I often get this question, so I thought it was worth answering it more in-depth in this musing. Most important is to be of service, which means that you are more interested in the experience of others than your own. And there are three essential aspects of this.
The movie 50 Shades of Gray came out in 2015, revealing a not very recent subject. Since it dates from the time leather, whips, and free sexual expression dominated the gay subculture. Today, this topic has given rise to much debate in our society, and everyone wants to know “What is BDSM?”, To answer all your questions, we will bring a knowledgeable teacher of the gray space between the tantra and BDSM. Both topics are super interesting on their own, but mixing these practices will turn your sexual intimacy into an almost spiritual experience; that’s how good it is. Leave the taboos aside, and don’t miss this episode with Andy Buru to learn more about these fascinating topics.
For some reason, some people are turned on by violence and degradation, and I believe that the most empowering thing we can do is create a community and knowledge, so people can choose how to live their lives. Maybe in a hundred years, when patriarchal values are balanced with matriarchal values, and gender no longer is a thing to debate, then perhaps BDSM won’t be a thing. Or we will all be kinky as hell. But meanwhile, saying that women cannot consent to their desires only replaces one oppressive system with another. And that is not feminism in my eyes.
It’s more and more common for me to encounter people shocked by BDSM imagery. Lately when the Swedish gallery Fotografiska posted a self-portrait of a thirty-year-old Chinese photographer in rope bondage. People on social media were outraged; they thought he was a child, in pain, or didn’t consent to his own selfie picture. After asking people why they are so affected by the image, it often came down to power.
“BDSM FOR BEGINNERS
In this weeks episode I connect with the teacher and bodyworker Andy Buru for a conversation about conscious kink and BDSM. Andy is teaching European and Japanese rope bondage with the intention to create magical rooms where people can rest, heal and grow. What is it with powerplay that awakens the curiosity and arousal of so many?
Andy invites us for a philosophical approach to BDSM where presence and pleasure is the north star.
In this conversation you will hear us talk about:
• How to build the trust to play safely
• How to talk about consent and fantasies
• Why polarity and powerplay is a way to increase arousal
• How to explore your boundaries when you’re new to BDSM”
Hello Andy, good afternoon, you have been coming up more and more, on my newsfeed etc., and I had this understanding, how your work plays a big metaphorical part right now in where we are. Collectively. With COVID. With understanding the magic in sometimes being bound in something. And allowing the acceptance and surrender, of being bound in something, can actually create freedom and opportunity for different kinds of movement, though surrender. I saw the amazing rope thing you did with that guy, yeah just wondering if there is a piece of art or inspiration around, COVID, surrender, being bound by something, but actually still managing to find freedom within that. Within the self, the expression of self, somehow.
“You helped me see my skeleton woman and I’m so fucking grateful for that. I was so bored with everyone around trying to make a good impression on me. So scared of what happens if I didn’t impress someone. If I didn’t make others need me and let go of my need to desperately hold on.
You were doing the strangest thing truly not giving a fuck how did it make me see you. All out of nowhere I just wanted to trust you so badly. I was so inspired and turned on by this. Not by you or what you did but just by this attitude.
Now I feel like I can fall in the rabbit hole of complete delirium but as long as I’m passionate it will carry me on like a parachute and so I can hold on to the ones I care about with open arms. I don’t have to be scared any more cause I see in the darkness how all the insanity can glow lighting up a path and make all the sense there is.”
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.
“Andy is an avid writer, researcher and teacher of his topic and frames the subject of BDSM, rope bondage and power play with a very philosophical approach.
Engaging with our primal essence and integrating it so we can work with it and not against it can be a challenge, but through the channels of power play and BDSM we can learn a lot about ourselves, create space to safely play with our wild side and create containers to hold the full spectrum of our humanity.”
Well, this summer was a bit of a COVID-bummer but at least I spent two weeks at Ängsbacka teaching the things I love. Here are some of the songs that I used.