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#the human bondage

Freedom and restriction is one fundamental dynamic in the human existence. It’s a paradoxical relationship. Being bound grants freedom from choice and responsibility. It challenges trust and surrender. It touches upon the experience of both belonging and loneliness. But still, fundamentally, it’s always your choice. Holding this power is a paradox between expressing your own desire, and emphatically holding space for others. Shaping the body shapes the mind, altering thoughts and feelings, altering one’s entire experience. How can a single rope be a symbol for so much?

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UNKNOWN FACES - Once in one year I tied seventy-five people that I barely met before. It was an experiment on moments of vulnerability shared without words. It was beautiful. Ten years later I was struck with an creative urge to repeat, document, and share it.
RAWMOTIONS - Rawmotions is a poetic interpretation of rope bondage to avoid the pornographic cliches of Japanese rope bondage, or just plain documentation of the rope-practitioner’s work, and explore what rope can bring out in people emotionally.
Vad, hur och varför (SWE) - What is rope bondage, where did it come from, and why is it practiced? This is an attempt to answer that questions - in Swedish.
Video: Teater Tofta – Bunden (2016) - The trailer for a theatre play by Teater Tofta outside Göteborg in Sweden, that I advised for a rope scene. The name and the theme of the play is to be tied, in relationship, in love, and in ropes.
Workshop: Zen in semenawa with Saara Rei (2017) - One way to think of zen is a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Semenawa can be defined as rope that creates a feeling of helplessness and endurance, often with the use of pain and discomfort. In both Zen and Semenawa a key is the practice of letting go. Letting go of comparing the present experience with experiences from the past or future. No longer attempting to change the present, but accepting it while still being responsible for one's emotional and physical well-being. Practicing this paradox is the theme of this weekend. Semenawa can bring the height of dramatic expression and the depth of trust. It teaches us to slow down and tune into a universe of intimate nonverbal communication. The beauty of semenawa is the raw emotions that form a strong bond of trust and vulnerability between the top and the bottom. People often ask why one would like to be tied or tie another person. The answer is always vulnerability in the polarity between surrender and holding power. When done in a consensual and loving way it empowers intimacy, healing, and growth.
Eve Arm – Today I saw a dragon (2017) - Today I met the pain Raw, strong and fierce And suffering had to leave Through the magic of letting go Today, I met with shame Through humiliation and enjoyment It welcomed and already had to leave Was in a hurry to visit other’s homes Today, I met with my shadow And it was not so scary One step closer to freedom Shadow has been diffused by light Today I saw a dragon Spitting flames in the evening sky Stretching wings stretched out over the sea Witnessed only by few boats Chorus: This is Freedom This is Life Hand in hand with sadness, anger and joy Hand in hand with pain and with blaze of pleasure This is Freedom This is Life All feelings are OK
Dark woods, dark emotions (2018) - What does bondage look like in Japan? What is the aesthetic that we inspire to reach? These amazing photos by Ken Buslay speaks that to me. The decaying forest. The suffering body. Raw.
Ängsbacka Tantrafestival (2017) - I'm known for teaching "tantric ropes" but what is that really? More focus on giving time and space to experience what is going on. And less focus on achieving something. Maybe. Here are some photos from the Tantrafestival at Ängsbacka 2017.
Video: The Hangman (2015) - The girl in white is trapped in her apartment. She is patiently waiting for The Hangman whose duty it is to bind and liberate.
Audio: P1 Stil om Kinbaku (2014/SWE) - Interview about bondage on Swedish Radio in Swedish.
Video: Trust your brothers (2018) - Trust Your Brothers is a part of the project UNKNOWN FACES, were I tie people that I never met before. In my initial call for participants only 16% were male, so I decided to continue my search. The mens network Maniphesto answered my call and invited me to record sessions at the European Men's Gathering 2018.
Video: Unknown Faces trailer (2018) - Once in one year I tied seventy-five people that I barely met before. It was an experiment on moments of vulnerability shared without words. It was beautiful. Ten years later I was struck with an creative urge to repeat, document, and share it.
Video: Unge Ferrari – Balkong (2018) - One of my goals is to spread ropes outside our subculture. That's why I teach in a lot of non-rope festivals. This is me trying another path, a music video with the Norwegian artist Unge Ferrari, produced by Adam Falk.
How I learnt about Wabi-Sabi (2018) - Bondage and beauty is for me closely related. Both on a philosophical and aesthetical level. I truly enjoy the japanese imagery of bondage which is often related to suffering and mortality. It is often referred to as Wabi-Sabi, which is sometimes translated to the beauty of imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. A couple of years ago I wanted to learn about this. Many people said that only a japanese can truly understand Wabi-Sabi. But I wanted to try and here is my journey into the world of japanese aesthetics for those who want to follow in my footsteps.
Video: Andy & Rina (2016) - I’m still fascinated by documenting my early meetings with people whom I tie. This is the second time tying Rina that I met in Ubud in the beginning of 2017.
Video: Movement reaction from restriction (2016) - Every new person is a new possibility to develop. This is true in life and rope. I meet the Israeli dancer Cellar Door in Bali. Together we started to explore the reactions in movement that comes from restriction.
Video: In the eye of the public (2016) - To show bondage in a space were it isn't expected always gets me in touch with my vulnerability. It brings a emotional nakedness to show who I am and what I do. To be seen. And later meet the response of the audience. 
Workshop: Tantra meets kinbaku (2016) - In this workshop, you will learn how to use the ropes safely and successfully, to create a magic place where emotions can flow and a conscious play with power. You will learn to use ritualization to create your own magical place and negotiation of a consensual power dynamic. People's first reaction to Kinbaku is usually a surprisingly pleasurable encounter. They describe the ropes as extended arms in an embracing and bounding hug rather than restrictive. The communication between the person who ties and the person who gets tied is intimate and caring. However, under this pleasurable surface there is an array of emotional and physical experiences that can be explored in depth - pleasure, pain, power, surrender, playfulness, stillness and intimacy. In society today there is an imbalance that values power higher than surrender. The results are conflict and exhaustion in a non-consensual power dynamic. When done consensually letting go into surrender is peaceful and holding power is empowering, and together they create an intimate connection between two or more people. To responsibly hold power and letting go into surrender are skills that can be taught and practiced. Experience how power dynamics can temporarily help you let go of perfectionism, control freakishness and decisiveness, and feel the empowerment and sensuality of surrender.
Video: Studie i sårbarhet (2015) - Warning this video can be seen a violent and aggressive. The video 'Studie i sårbarhet' is an experiment to show the trust that is shared in rope bondage. The vulnerability is found in both how the physical body is challenge, and the trust in handing over control.
Boktips (2015/SWE) - One of the most common questions I get is about books. Here are three suggestions - the post in written Swedish.
Video: En känsla för rep (2015) - The video "En känsla för rep" is an introduction to the feeling shared through ropes in bondage. The idea is to give curious beginners a idea how an meeting with ropes can be.
Video: Grundknuten och friktionslåset (2015) - Video on the basic single column tie, and how to make a friction - with instructions in Swedish.
Video: Hur man rullar rep (2015) - A video on how to fold ropes together with written instructions in Swedish.
Rep som material (2015/SWE) - A guide to buying rope written in Swedish.
Rope Breaking Test (2013) - This is a short summary of the rope breaking tests I did at EURIX 2013 Spring a few days ago. I want to state that these tests are not aimed to be scientific evidence of anything.
Shame – a Road to Humiliation (2015) - I wanted to learn more about the emotional sides of BDSM, so I turned to three different books explaining three different models. “Masochism: A Jungian View” by Lyn Cowan, “Playing by Heart: The Vision and Practice of Belonging” by O. Fred Donaldson, and “Ut ur Kalahari: Drömmen om det goda livet” (in English something like; “Leaving Kalahari: Visions of the Good Life”) by Lasse Berg. This text is my attempt to put these three models together and create something through which I can view a tiny little part of a starlit night sky.
Pain and Kinbaku (2013) - This is a text about brains neurotransmitters how they affect us when practicing Kinbaku (Japanese rope bondage) or any kind of BDSM for that matter. The text will on a high level cover the inter-working between dopamine, endorphin, oxytocin and adrenalin. The text will also suggest how we can adapt our technique to better utilize the body's built in biochemical mechanisms to handle pain, give reward and create trust.
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