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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?


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: Session with Cim (2019) - Me and my friend Cim left a camera on during one of our sessions. For fun, I decided to edit the two hours in to six minutes, to give an insight in how an rope session can look.
Gallery: Tantric ropes (2019) - These pictures where taken by amazing Ken Buslay at Ängsbacka this summer.
Week 2 – A Dialogue in Rope (2019) - https://andy-buru.teachable.com/p/tantric-rope-journey-week-2 90 minutes of lecture, 5 hours of exercises, and the first step out of seven in a mixture of technique, philosophy and rituals!​​ Week 2 - A Dialogue in Rope
Rope study groups (2020) - Welcome to join the two upcoming rope study group of spring 2020. Themes for this season is Suspending with Andy and a repeat of the Tantric Rope Journey. The study groups are small and inmate with only four couples taking place in my home close to Skanstull (Stockholm/Sweden). This will be the sixth or seventh year and as reported by many participants before you will during four months find your own tranquil rope oasis far away from everyday life in my home.
How you are feeling right now (2019) - "Show me how you are feeling right now." "I don't want to." "Why?" "Because I don't want that to be the focus," she tells me. "I already know my suffering, and I'm curious about you."
Bondage and pressure points (2019) - I spontaneously offered a workshop on pressure points during the autumn edition of the European Riggers (and models) Exchange, and now in the aftermath, I want to share some notes and references. Maybe you will find it useful even if you didn't participate in the workshop.
Week 1 – Basics in Deep Details (2019) - https://andy-buru.teachable.com/p/tantric-rope-journey-week-1 60 minutes of lecture, 4 hours of exercises, and the first step out of seven in a mixture of technique, philosophy and rituals!​​ Week 1 - Basics in Deep Details
Vulnerability as a top (2019) - Being tied or topped is an act of vulnerability. It is evident because of the surrender of one's body and mind. As a top, you will encounter another kind of vulnerability. You will expose your perverted and socially-deviant desires. But usually, it doesn't start there when first learning about bondage. The learning experience begins as a technical challenge and as a way to provide an experience. Later it can expand into being about desires of the top. The more bondage and dominance you apply, the more space you get to express your desires, and the more responsible you get for how the scene unfolds. The bottom will witness and experience you. Unexpectedly many people love to feel the unmoderated desire of someone they trust. Of course, their encouraging reactions fuel for your actions. But ultimately, you are the doer, and this makes you vulnerable. You will be the one tying people up and making them helpless. You will be the one bringing out shame and humiliation in others. You will be the one sexually ravaging like a predator. All the things that we shouldn't do in modern society. And for me, this becomes the significant challenge of showing vulnerability as the person tying.
Tantric rope journey online trailer (2019) - Hopefully coming soon, is my seven week online course called the Tantric Rope Journey Online! Stay tuned!
Sexuality in bondage (2019) - I never wrote a text on bondage and sexuality, probably because I see them so obviously intertwined. Still, I meet many people that are confused about the topic. Why are we turned on by being tied up?
Suffering in bondage (2019) - I think our relationship to suffering in everyday life is very harmful. Especially living in Sweden, that is protected from significant suffering for such a long time. Add the instant gratification culture of social media where we are being taught to receive only positive experiences instantly. Like like like. The result is that we are no longer geared to deal with hard and challenging experiences, and hence, we are not ready to suffer.
Video: Kontinuum (2019) - Kontinuum - The Piano Project" is a collaboration made during Ropescape 2019. Based on a idea by Andy Buru, that is also the rigger, it mixes shibari rope suspension with piano improvisation. The composer and player is SiS, and the models are Airam Txiki, Aisha Cruz, Margout Darko, Mireia, Saara Rei, Subiana and Usagi Momo. It was shot and edited by Zor Neurobashing using Blackmagic and lumix cameras.
Workshop: Perverted ol’ man rope (2019) - In this workshop, the focus is the perverted desire of the rigger, rather than engineering experiences for the bottom. And we will explore ties and theories that help the rigger to express this perverted desire. Through objectification, exposure, shame-play, forced serving and simply taking pleasure from our bottom beyond emphatically following along on their journey. The rope bondage then becomes the key tool to motivate and manipulate the bottom through both pain and pleasure. So they remain curious about going down the rabbit hole of the riggers desire.
Workshop: Creative Rope Retreat (2019) - Welcome to a three-day retreat where you can learn how to tie and get tied in an intuitive, present, and creative manner, independently of your previous experience. We will work with strategies for improvisation, breakdown the ideas of beauty, and see how it shapes relationships in a tie. And in the meanwhile hang out with magical people in beautiful nature.
Video: KajHolst – Give Me Some Truth (2019) - I'm sick and tired of hearing things From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth I've had enough of reading things By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me With just a pocketful of hope Money for dope Money for rope
Tips and tricks for building muscle memory (2019) - What is (one of) the most important skill to have a great rope session? The boring answer is muscle memory, because that will transform the bondage from monologue with your memory, to a dialog with your partner. Here are my best tips-and-tricks when building muscle memory for rope bondage.
Workshop: Men tying men (2019) - Do you trust men? In this hands-on workshop, you'll be tied up with ropes, and held by another man without force or violence. You will receive the gift of another man's full attention and care, and you'll practice doing the same for another man. Andy will share techniques on how to gently guide the body and mind to relax, trust, let go of control, and maybe even fully surrender.
Bondage and story, or why yoga pants doesn’t belong in my bondage (2019) - The human bondage experience tells a story between two people. In the simplest form of rope bondage, between the person tying and the person being tied. The story is created by individual fantasies coming together. Fantasies are like seeds in our unconscious waiting to be discovered and cultivated. By telling the story with our action, we learn about ourselves.
Workshop: Tantric rope journey (2019) - After teaching rope for almost ten years in different subcultures. The tantric community in Scandinavia has a special place in my heart. It taught me so much. To celebrate that I want to make a longer workshop tailored for the qualities and quirks that make it special to me. That is consciously being with the present experience - how does it feel right now? Breath in, breath out. Welcoming all emotions and giving them space. No fuckin' charity still apply. This is for you and your experience.
I did a rope love scene in a feature film (2019) - …or I ghost rigged it. Ghost rigging is the deal that I make a beautiful tie for some kind of video recording or photoshoot, but we make it look like someone else did it. In this example a young girl suspending an older man. Being busy the past years with my theatre studies, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around bondage and performance. One possible element is a story and character development, that the acts to tying ropes move the story somewhere. This is possible in a dedicated rope performance, but often feels forced and a bit out of place. However, being a part of the story that unravels in a feature film gives other possibilities. In the clip below has Stefan has walked away from his ten year wedding anniversary, after an awkward dinner conversation about old lovers, commitment, abortion, loyalty and freedom. He needs a break from this day and the complexity of life. Faith leads him to Saga. As many times before. She is a university student of his. They share a secret.
Two rope study groups (2019) - I'm coming home to Stockholm this autumn and I'm super-hyped to start up the weekly rope teaching again. I can't believe that two years of theatre and directing studies are over. Looking back on what I've learnt and how I've been tying the past years I decided to run two bi-weekly rope groups this autumn on very different subjects.
What is tantra? (2019) - Hi Andy! Tantric Rope bondage! How is it tantric? What kind of tantra are you connecting it to? White, red, black, Hindu, Buddhistic, or TNT? I have received this question many times, so I wanted to answer properly here. First off, I'm NOT a tantric historian. I started to learn rope bondage in the BDSM community. It was about 10 years ago that I got invited to share my knowledge in various different tantric gatherings. It started with Sexsibility in Sweden that is much inspired by Barbara Carellas Urban Tantra. Funnily enough, I've heard it said that Barbara regrets calling it "Tantra" in the first place because of this question in particular. Because in essence what we practice is a handful of concrete technique and values, that makes sense alone, without connecting them to a spiritual and mystical legacy. It doesn't matter if you associate the techniques with a Hindu or Buddhist deity, or none at all because they work anyway (for most people). But the question is still important, so I'll explain myself deeper.
Motion born out of restriction (2018) - This photo shot together with Joakim Erixson Flodman from 2018 was a continuations of RAW:MOTIONS. We wanted to explore what kind of motion that is born out of restriction. It was shot at the top on Hammarby Backen i Stockholm on a sunny summer afternoon.
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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