So, since we last had a proper chat (and I don’t mean about yoga…) I’ve attended three rope sessions. There has been some suspension, some inversion and some semenawa. All of it has been carried out in a drafty shed with a concrete floor, next to a creek where the chill just seems to set into your bones as you wait like the patient rope bunny you are.
For some reason every memory of rope I have has involved me freezing my tits off while getting said rope applied. I long for a rope experience in a warm room…maybe in front of a crackling fire, while my rigger feeds me roasted marshmallows (on reflection, maybe the marshmallows should come AFTER the suspension because possibility of vomit) but instead I get cold as fuck dance studios, unheated halls or backyard sheds. Maybe I should also consider getting involved in rope in the summer, instead of the middle of fucking winter like I always do.
Rope workshops always involve a lot of standing around for bunnies. There’s also not typically a lot of clothing (I don’t mean people are naked, but you can’t wear an overcoat while someone is trying to tie a TK on you.) Both of these things also lead to being cold.
But allow me to stop whining about the cold and talk about the actual rope. It had been well over a year since my last rope suspension. My body quickly realised that it wasn’t something I was used to and the next day I was sore in all sorts of weird places. That kind of affirmed the fact that I really needed to shape up before the proper workshop in July.
A lot of people say that suspensions shouldn’t hurt. I guess that may be true if you are some waif-like person who doesn’t feel their own body weight bearing down on them like a brick shithouse when there’s only a few strands of rope holding you aloft. Personally, I always find suspensions ouchie, no matter how talented the rigger. It’s not a get-me-down-from-here-now! kind of pain but it’s a pinchy slow burn that I kind of feel is akin to trying to hold yourself in a plank. Honestly speaking, some part of me would probably be disappointed if there wasn’t some level of discomfort involved in rope.
The suspension involved me trying not to hit my head on the chest freezer that was in the shed.The inversion involved having a hip harness put on me and then flipping myself upside-down like I used to do at aerial yoga. It looks a lot more showy than it actually is and once you lose the fear of falling on your head, it’s fun.
I’d post some pics of said rope, but unfortunately my laptop is slowly dying and freezes every time I try and do something with a jpeg. (New laptop is on the way and should be here in 10 days! Squee! I’ll be retiring my 5 year old Toshiba and giving it to M to play with instead.)
Rope is another thing that sounds sexier than it usually is in reality. If it’s a part of a scene with your significant other and they are a talented rigger and you are flexible enough to twist yourself into all sorts of poses and have a properly set up area to do all this in (without chest freezers to hit your head on or dogs running into the shed to lick your face while you’ve got your hands tied behind your back), it may look like some of those pictures you see plastered all over the internet.
One of the things instructors are really big on in shibari is connection between the bunny and rigger. There are supposed to be lots of lingering touches, grunts, inhalations and other assorted things to make the rope experience more connective and meaningful (actually it’s a bit more complicated than that and involves lots of Japanese concepts that I’ll write about into another entry) but it’s very hard to feel anything other than awkward if your rigger is a friend who you don’t really know very well and there are lots of other people in the drafty shed.
It’s about three weeks until the Japanese gentleman arrives. I’ve got another practise session in the drafty shed next weekend and then it will be on. Happy times.