beta_vulgaris: Two feet bound in red and natural hemp at the ankle (Default)
Sorry things have been quiet around here! We've been mostly focusing on getting ready for baby to arrive (due in a week and a half! Ahhhh!). However, my partner really wanted pregnant rope pics, so the three of us did a photoshoot with her fancy new camera yesterday and I got permission to post a few of these pics.

The rigging is by me, model is partner J., and photographer is partner A.

PLEASE don't repost these anywhere!

NSFW images of mostly naked very pregnant lady in rope )
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I am a book person. It will shock those who know me and my line of work to hear this :)

I have been collecting books on rope bondage for the past couple of years. I've referenced or outright learned from each of them and I have developed my own opinions about each! Here's a quick reference list of those opinions in general order of the books I use the most to the ones I use the least :)

Books reviewed under the cut! )

Rope Games

Apr. 23rd, 2015 06:36 pm
beta_vulgaris: Two feet bound in red and natural hemp at the ankle (Rope Feet)
I went out of the country for a handful of days away from active kink partners and came back home with an incredible sense of having missed rope. During my moments alone I decompressed by browsing and queuing up my rope inspiration tumblrI've done rope nearly every day in the six days since my return and I am so happy about that.

I think I've come a long way in my rope practice, and I'm thinking about ways to set myself challenges to continue improving. I'm moving in with two of my partners in a few months, and spending a lot of time with them in general. I do rope at least once a week with one of them, and since we are both switches who are energized by rope in general and one another in particular, I'm getting a lot of practice and insight as both a learning top and a teaching bottom.

I've become much more confident than I was, and I understand how the rope I use works in ways I didn't quite see before. I understand its physical properties, how it bends, how it grips, why the frictions in a particular tie work, how it will feel laid or dragged against various places on a person, how it holds weight. I'm beginning to be able to identify at a glance which lines are central to a tie's physically restrictive properties and which are decorative or flair.

Over the past weekend I've done rope in private with my partner, as a participant learner at two separate rope teaching sessions--at one of which I tied a bottom who had never done rope before, at a play event, and on myself while watching tv with my girlfriend. Each of those contexts has a different feel for me, with different goals, styles of focus, and I find them all valuable and I like deciding what to bring from one context to another.

I'm thinking about doing a month of rope every day as a self-challenge, probably in June since May is so busy for me. Since I'm clearly terrible at blogging everything I won't be reporting back on all, perhaps not even most, of it. And since I know my learning style I'll probably spend a lot of time doing the rope I normally would do, rather than try to ~do something different~ every day. But I can put together a little list of goals/activities/ties to choose from in that month. Also since Twisted Tryst is in June I'm likely to get some interesting outdoor rope experiences there :)

Here is a list of ideas! Thoughts/comments/suggestions welcome!

Drills and Games
Stopwatch ties! How fast can I whip out a TK?
Variations: tie three different hip harnesses
Blindfolded tying of a chest harness
Reverse engineer a design from a picture
Dueling riggers!
Rope from a prompt (ie., make a heart in the harness! Do rope based on a concept or emotion!)
Designing rope for two bottoms

Rope I've been meaning to look into/practice
Wide wrap designs
Rope collars
Delicate appendage rope (fingers)
Rope + clamps
Thin/rough rope for painful/difficult bondage
Face rope
Hair bondage
Incorporating inanimate objects into the restrictions
Bondage photography
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So, here I am blurring my identities a bit, but I'm excited and readers of this blog may appreciate this!

Slightly NSFW rope bondage art by Allie Kleber below the cut! )
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On New Year's Day I had a lovely lazy day with two of my partners, a married couple with a new house and king sized beds. One of them has been a professional photographer and she and I have been talking about getting into some erotic photography. We decided to do a trial run taking pics of me tying myself up.

Content note: I'll be talking about my own negative body image under the cut.

On pics in the bedroom, body image, and erotic imagery. )
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I was browsing Netflix for something to watch the other night and stumbled across this film. It's an hour long experimental documentary-ish type film that is, on its surface, an attempt by Franco and his co-director Travis Mathews to recreate the 40-minute footage that was cut by the ratings board from the 1980 Al Pacino film "Cruising". In the cut footage, Pacino's character, a detective, reportedly went undercover in a gay S/M bar. Nobody involved in the making of this new film has seen that footage, so their goal was to imagine what it could have been.

cover of interior. leather bar. two men in dark blue club dancing

Spoilers ahoy, if you care about spoilers for a documentaryish film--you might! )
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cover of The Leather Daddy and the Femme

I want more of this book. I want ten thousand of this book and all its queer siblings. I'm appalled that I hadn't read it before and sad that it was so slim that I burned through it in two sittings.

This is a series of connected stories/moments in the life of a queer kinkster in SF in probably the 90's. The protagonist starts out in boy drag as Randy and picks up a leather daddy, Jack, at a gay leather bar. Unlike many of the gay men she's taken home before, Jack accepts Randy's gender fluidity and doesn't skip a beat when she transforms herself into her femme self, Miranda. A couple of chapters later, Jack's longtime lover, a Black man named Demetrius, comes home from his travels and they embark on a sexy, fun, caring, intentional journey to knitting themselves and others into a family of choice.

This is unabashed queer leather erotica. My favorite thing about it is that the characters spend just as much time discussing gender, sexual identity, queerness, sex work, the experiences of genderqueers and trans women, roleplay, BDSM, leather, alt sex cultures as they do having inventive hot sex. It makes the sex incredibly hot and it feeds a deepseated need in my soul for fiction that reflects my experiences building intentional relationships and being open to experiences beyond those circumscribed by their cultures or apparent sexualities. Miranda may be a woman much of the time, and a woman with a cunt all the time, but her attraction to gay leathermen over straight men really resonated for me, and Jack and Demetrius's willingness to see her as the complicated sexy fuckable genderfluid slutty bottom that she is was marvelous.

We need more erotica like this, that explores relationships in a low-drama way, that doesn't privilege romance over self-discovery and long-term close friendships, that reflects the diversity of queer communities on many axes, and that sees the heart of why people do the BDSM they do, and how identity labels can work for and against people. I loved the moments when Miranda or Jack come up against the censure and expectations of their own alt communities, who view their decisions as something of traitorous to their own queer selves by taking up with an ostensibly het relationship. I loved that the story didn't shy away from that, but dealt with it head-on while showing that this relationship helped each person involved grow into their queerness and explore beyond the constraints of identity politics. I like that it also didn't wholly trash or ask the characters to reject the more structured or separatist communities and community histories that they have been a part of, but rather showed the characters moving between spaces and roles with all the complexity and realism that I have seen in my own life.

This was a really fun book and I'm proud to have it on my shelf. I liked it even better than Macho Sluts, it had way fewer instances of dubious consent. I think this book's realistic depiction of a life lived, with all the context that that entails, rather than heightening that life with a layer of fantasy, gives it a stronger footing. This book isn't perfect but it's really really excellent and I recommend it. It's also fabulously sexy in a way I so rarely see in fiction--a way that resonated with my own relatively complex approach to BDSM, queer identity and gender fluidity, while not being about me in specifics, it was about me in spirit. A+ would rec again.
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Pain play is a core element of my kink practice. As I have gained experiences with different kinds of pain and different partners and scenes, I've learned a lot about myself, about pain processing, and about the emotional and physical takeaways I get from it.

Pain processing & visualization )
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Animal play is one of those kinks that I have that I was kind of embarrassed about exploring at first. I'm still a bit reticent about it mostly because it has such a bad rep and it's such a comforting kink for me that I don't like feeling defensive about it, even moreso than other kinks.

Puppy play and what it is to me. )
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I spent hours this morning looking at rope reference, and I started a Pinterest to collect the images (many are not safe for work).

If anyone has recs for good rope bondage tumblrs or pics, particularly any that feature genderqueer people, plus-size models, models of color, or in-progress ropework photography, please link me!

I really enjoyed running across Kinky Clover's work, too. It's cool to see a bondage model and photographer do such stunning work.
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I've been in a pretty exciting learning mode for the past several months, thanks to a confluence of events that has me feeling more confident to explore interests on the topping end of things.

(I know, I am getting behind on Kinky November. It might end up being Kinky November-and-a-half... sorry.)

A few thoughts on learning to top, and what 'topping' means to me )
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So I was complaining to a friend of mine that I couldn't seem to find original fiction with a BDSM focus that I was interested in reading. She recommended I try this series The Slave Breakers by [ profile] maculategiraffe, which is available online in several LJ posts (though it seems the author is also publishing through Amazon).

I have now read the first two stories, and I care so much about the characters even as I am sitting with the disquiet I always feel reading BDSM world AUs and stories about sexual slavery. If those things are not something you read, I definitely recommend against reading this series. A lot of it is about recovery from trauma, but still operates within a slaveowning paradigm.

Semi-spoilery discussion of The Slave Breakers: Bran and The Slave Breakers: Jesse )
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I picked this up on a trip to the Tool Shed in Milwaukee a couple of days ago.

Cover of Playing with Disabilities, image of an assistive device for a leg, wearing a black stiletto, and with a small dominatrix doll coming out of a compartment in the leg

Power Exchange Books: Playing with Disabilities ed. Robert J Rubel & Angela Stassinopoulos

I read this book in one sitting. It's a collection of short personal essays and a couple of pieces of fiction from BDSMers with a variety of disabilites, and it comes off as rather light. This series was originally a magazine, with the editor choosing eventually to publish in book form to give the work a bit more permanence.

The range of voices is well-chosen in this book, particularly in terms of disability, and centers the voices of people with disabilities over abled people (with one exception, when the husband of a person with DID/MPD discusses the needs of his wife's various alters and the way they work with her alters to have satisfying BDSM in their lives).

Much of the book is full of practical, personal-life advice aimed at kinksters. I felt that some wider context of disability activism and social movements could have helped this book, or at least placed it beyond the personal experience. The book is published in 2007 and consists of some reprints from the magazine, so the contents feel dated in some ways. I hesitate to fully criticize the individual authors for their work as each is so personal about their journey, that even when I read something that I might call out as inapporpriate if a person without disabilities said it, I felt that it was part of this individual's honest lived experience and perspective and I think there is great value in people having an in-group space to share their stories without feeling they must self-censor for the cause.

Some of the entries made me raise my eyebrow (the Deaf person who explicitly uses her lack of hearing to seduce people, and partners who threw her hearing aids across the room during scenes with little regard to their expense and without prior negotiation about removing them, but it's presented as a positive in that she found the vulnerability of that scene enhanced her enjoyment?). Others made me nod my head--the submissive who experiences panic attacks and the ways he and his Dommes have communicated about them and worked through them.

I think this series seems to have a strong focus on service and master/slave identities, which interested me particularly in terms of submissives and dominants incorporating changing ability status into their protocols.

In general this is a nice collection of personal experiences, none of which I found particularly brilliant in terms of writing, but all of which felt very honest to that person's place on their journey. For that reason I found it interesting, and there certainly were some pieces that gave good advice based in an individual's experience. I would have liked some stronger writing and analysis, but ultimately I think this book has enough honest integrity that I am glad it exists.
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I didn't find time to post yesterday, unfortunately! I'll try to play catch-up today.

Kinky Fanvids!

Today I am reccing some kinky fanvids. For anyone not familiar with fandom, fanvids are clips from media sources set to music (the definitions of 'media sources' and 'music' may be broad).

Because of the nature of fanvids, which reappropriate visual source that, often, does NOT have an explicitly kinky context, there's a certain amount of constraint and interpretation that goes into constructing the kink by balancing image and audio cues. Fanvidders often become adept at using this audiovisual language to construct new contexts and tell stories in ways that the source's creators might not have imagined or meant. I'm not a vid expert by any means, but I do appreciate them and I particularly enjoy the work that goes into bringing kink out in the following vids.

This is an absolutely partial and incomplete list of kinky vids I recommend! I haven't been keeping up enough with more recent trends in vidding, so I would appreciate any recs people have particularly for recent kinky vids.

A great and more complete reclist of kinky vids than this, from which I borrow heavily, was compiled by [personal profile] thingswithwings.

If you like what you see, please consider dropping a nice comment to the creator!

A Pervert Is A Person In Your Neighborhood by [personal profile] theleaveswant. Multi source vid, multiple kinks represented. Snarky and funny and sweet, this one makes me smile a lot because it's definitely remarking upon a real thing I sometimes get awkward about in life.

Trembling Heart by [personal profile] thingswithwings, Dottie Gets Spanked, spanking. This one is about a young child's intense fixation on a tv actress, particularly a scene where she gets spanked. I have a lot of feelings about it as a proto-kink realization/behavior story. The child gets grief from a parent in this, by way of a warning.

Can't Touch This by [ profile] bitter_crimson, Pushing Daisies, sensory deprivation. In the canon, these two characters want each other but if they physically touch, one of them will die. They work around that! Again, a funny, great vid that kind of gets me in my denial place :)

Hands by [ profile] newkidfan, Stargate: Atlantis, hand kink. This one is short but the fetish fixation is SO apparent.

Poison by Scape Sisters. Farscape, Crichton/Scorpius. So full of leather outfits and angry painplay/bloodkink/bondage and D/s overtones.

Where I end (and you begin) by [personal profile] penthesilea, Punish Me, femdom. A friend of mine sat me down to watch this movie and it is beautiful, one of my favorite kink movies out there, and this vid does it such justice.

Sweet the Sting by [personal profile] isagel, Gilda, kink negotiation/painplay/D/s. This is a great example of a vidder bringing out a kink interpretation from source that (probably?) wasn't trying to go there. I love the way the song lyrics and the clips of talking emphasize negotiation and communication.

a lieutenant colonel is being beaten by [personal profile] thingswithwings, Stargate:Atlantis, John Sheppard's masochism. Really, [personal profile] thingswithwings has a LOT of great kinky vids, but I restricted myself to two for this rec list. This is one of my core favorites, highlighting the beauty of John Sheppard's, well, masochism.
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I recently had a good friend ask me for suggestions about where/how to get good starter rope. I... wrote her a novel-length email in response. I had a lot of feelings, okay? I have rewritten and expanded that email for today's post.

Disclaimer: as with all of these posts, this is personal opinion/advice based on my experiences, and other people have wildly different preferences!

Rooooooooooope! )
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This is a post about kink_bingo, and how it helped me work through a lot of my feelings and interests around kink enough to begin practicing it with my physical body and in non-fannish spaces. This is absolutely only my journey and how it relates to kink_bingo and is not a comment on the things anyone else does or should get out of this community, whose members may have wildly different experiences and reasons for participating and following than I do!

Kink_bingo and me )

I'd love some recs for kinky fanworks in comments! It doesn't have to come from kink_bingo, though it'd be cool if it does. If you feel like describing what about the fanwork appeals to you in terms of its depiction of kink, that'd be great but isn't necessary, either. A future Kinky November post will be fanwork recs, and I'd love to be able to collate recs from more sources than just myself :)

Also, anon commenting is now available on this blog, though there is a text captcha so I can avoid spam. This means you don't need a Dreamwidth account to comment.
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I'm going to cheat and chunk this up into a few posts, because it's actually a big topic.

I do a lot of self-bondage with rope at home. I use it as a stress-relief, a way to cycle my brain in a relaxed way and exercise my developing rope skills and my puzzle-game-spatial intelligence side as well.

Self-Bondage safety and basic ties )
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