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Category: #the human bondage

Gallery: Silent woods (2022)

Recently my musing has become much more silent. The reason is that I’m working on a book by putting my thought process from the last five years into a single narrative and combining that with some personal stories. It will probably take a year; meanwhile, I’ll try to post more pictures—this time from the autumn woods in Austria.

Ode to the throat (2022)

Finally, the tongue, I almost forgot it. It grows surprisingly deeply into the throat. Tying it, pulling it out and directing its movement affects the whole throat and, therefore, the spine, the limbs and the entire body. There is something animal-like about it—to interact with the world using the tongue. Licking as a sign of appreciation and drooling as a sign of excitement, and tasting as an exploration. It’s one of the first evaluations of what goes into the body and what doesn’t.

Workshop: Happily masochistic (2022)

Is the experience still masochistic if the protagonist is no longer the one in pain? During this time, we will explore the perversions and taboos of the dominant using the mutual trust built in our previous physical and emotional masochistic practices. I think there is a seed of curiosity planted after experiencing the vulnerability of masochism, and it’s also healthy to put the dominant in the centre, in the place of being, after days of doing. There is, or could be, an exciting turn in the narrative here. In the question: will the dominant instantly fulfil their desire, or do they prefer to stay on the edge of their excitement? In a way, edging or denying themselves the climax, and therefore diving into the masochistic fantasy as the protagonist themselves.

What emotions are welcome in your bondage? (2022)

For me, the negative emotion closest at hand in bondage is sadness. I often describe my sessions as sad love stories, and my soundtrack almost always plays in the minor scales. There is a sense of longing, longing for belonging, and longing for freedom. But it never gets there. When diving deeply into a power dynamic, sometimes even climaxing, there is always a coming back to equals, average, and status quo. The polarity is too volatile to keep forever, especially if it has been strong. I believe that being entirely immersed in dominance, control, submission, and surrender for too long is not healthy. It’s like we, at some point, need to raise the head about the water if just for a single breath or pull the parachute in the middle of free falling, independently of how mesmerizing the movement is. Leaving this state brings sadness, and so does knowing that it’s not for real and not forever. However, there is great potential in learning to let go and say goodbye. People often ask me if it doesn’t hurt, and sure it does, but it hurts because it meant something. It was meaningful.

Word words words or; Kinky Kinbaku vs Shibari “Healing” (2022)

I’m in Brazil, mostly for vacation, living in a tropical eco-village on the coastline of Bahia. There is a small sex-positive festival happening here in a couple of days, and of course, I’m teaching some rope bondage. But what kind of bondage? Japanese? Swedish? It’s a practice, and a legacy, that I learned in Japan, then brought to Sweden, and now I’m moving it to Brazil. Swedish and Japanese culture is similar in many ways but also vastly different, and Brazilian culture is vastly different yet again. (I think I’ve only been here for a week so far). The bondage I learned to love in Japan grew out of perversion and taboo, and my favourite European teachers kept that spirit, and so do I in my private bedroom practice. Then I work professionally in the field of tantra, conscious kink and alternative therapies. This calls for a colossal adaptation in terms of consent and a strange mixture of rationality and spirituality. When I try to explain to someone in Tokyo’s red-light district that I teach bondage in European (and now Brazilian) spiritual communities, they look perplexed. They might tell how they turn their statues of Shinto deities away from a rope bondage scene, as the practice is considered unholy and dirty. But then the heteronormative gender roles of Japan where “maledom” (male domination) isn’t a kink but everyday life, and “femdom” is a popular perversion. This, obviously doesn’t work in Scandinavia. Instead, the words “sadisto” and “masochisto” are much more used, as the power dynamic is already assumed. And then, in terms of alternative therapy, everything is again thrown upside-down as there is a money transaction involved, and the goal is no longer mutual pleasure. Rope bondage, as a practice, has traveled with me for many years, and it changes all the time depending on context. But then we have the words that describe the practice. This musing I want to dedicate to those words.

The act of undressing (2022)

The whole situation is created. By asking her to wear the kimono. By telling her to dress in the bathroom. By everyone else being so dressed differently. And she loves it. She feels safe and vulnerable at the same time. And she has everyone’s attention on her. The situation would be completely different if she started naked. Tying rope is like telling a story, and so is undressing your partner. It is the transformation from covered to exposed that is the point. And that makes a tiny inch of bare skin so much more erotic.

asperitas dark clouds in gloomy sky

The soundtrack of my rope bondage (2021)

I often describe my rope bondage as a sad love story, where we witness a hidden desire slowly being reviled. There is rawness and vulnerability. Another way of seeing it, or maybe more correctly hearing, is that my soundtrack plays in the minor scales. My tying style has three essential roles: the person tying, the one being tied, and the one witnessing. Music adds a fourth, the one leading. I often find it complicated to demonstrate rope bondage because people risk copying our emotional expressions rather than expressing themselves. Yet, I still do the demonstrations because it’s worth it. The non-verbal message is so powerful. And music is a little bit the same for me because it dictates the scene’s mood.

Why is shibari so complicated? (2021)

A widespread misunderstanding that I face is that rope bondage is complicated. Especially the Japanese inspired styles of shibari and kinbaku. People often think that it is only about the aesthetics, shapes and knots, while they claim to be only interested in “bondage”. There is a fundamental belief here that first needs to be clarified. Imagine that you have one rope in your hand. The rope itself doesn’t have a predecided function. Like a pair of leather cuffs do. It is flexible, so the person tying needs to decide their intention. That hopefully, it is shared by the person being in the ropes. Is it either to make the most complete tie possible with the one rope with different styles of knots, rope patterns, and body positions, making the most of the one rope, so to say. Or is it to make the most straightforward tie to fulfil a specific play or fantasy, similarly, making as little as possible of the same rope. Here the subculture is divided; some aim to perfect the complexity of rope bondage, while others aim to perfect the simplicity. Some would say that shibari, the verb for tying, is more about complexity, while kinbaku, the philosophy of connection through rope, is more about simplicity. But I think the terms are used too interchangeably to make this distinction. However, the open-ended-ness in rope bondage allows for the question even to be a question. 

The evolution of patterns (2021)

I am grabbing the hands, folding the arms, and locking the wrist in preparation to wrap the body in rope. Every wrapping is another layer of holding and another step on a journey into trust and bravery. For me, tying the upper body is the most fundamental technique in rope bondage. It is the introduction, the handshake, the getting-to-know-each-other movement that I love the most. Somehow it’s almost sacred if this should be some spiritual practice. So it was; the first thing I learnt on my bondage journey, the first thing I teach, and the last thing I’ll probably do.

When I first started studying old Japanese bondage pictures, I was fascinated by the wrapped bodies. In the old photographs, the wrapping was crud and the rope thick. With time, patterns evolved into something sophisticated—the materials got refined, to the hand-made Ogawa jute that I use today. In this musing, I want to write about some of the steps I discovered when learning to love the upper-body tie.

Workshop: Bonding rituals (2021)

Rope bondage is excellent for exploring power and surrender and provides many interesting technical challenges for suspensions. There is the Japanese heritage with its aesthetics, narratives, and patterns. And finally, there is the communal practice. To join together and explore the ritual practice of being bound.

Aftercare for vulnerable dominants (2021)

A rope bondage scene is a story that unfolds another world. We take off the uniforms of the everyday-life. Uniforms are given to us, indicating our place in the global hierarchy. To make us feel safe. In the story, I’m allowed to be someone else. It’s often a parody that helps me cope with all the stupid power games of reality. I’ve learned a magical ritual over the past decades to create this rift into the otherworldly. It allows me, the one tying, to enjoy magnificent power, a power given to me in the form of another’s submission, suffering, and surrender. In return, I take them on a journey that they never could venture alone. Aftercare is the return, to the conventional, to the equal, to the status quo. It is commonly said that the submissive is the one in need of aftercare from the dominant. But I don’t agree, not in the way that I play and teach BDSM. Let me explain why.