Performance: BOUND, London – 11/10/13

It was late by the time we managed to attend BOUND shibari night, held at The Flying Dutchman in London. It was Benjamin‘s birthday and we had already spent a large portion of the evening with close friends and a restaurant meal.

Most of our time spent at BOUND tends to be watching the performances and socialising (a large majority of our friends attend this same event), but this evening was different (despite being Benjamin‘s birthday) and it was not until the performance before the last that Nina Russ approached Benjamin and said “Oh, by the way, we have booked you in as the last performance of the evening. Happy Birthday!”

Nerves ran high (which is probably why nothing was said until about an hour before we were due to perform) and we almost bottled out of doing it. But in the end we swallowed hard and went on stage; as you can see from the simply amazing photos.

We have both been buzzing from the experience all weekend, after all, this was our first Shibari/Kinbaku performance.

I am just glad he had such an awesome birthday.

These images were taken from two different photographers (details are under each collection of photos). I have been told more people were taking photos, but these are what we have received to date.

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Photos courtesy of Amplified Pulse.
Photography by Rebecca Seal-Davis.
Images are Copyright © 2013 www.amplifiedpulse.com

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Photos courtesy of Sex is not Art.
Photography by Manolo Remiddi.
Images are Copyright © 2013 www.sexisnotart.com

More photos can be seen: Here.

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Dr Phil’s London Shibari Workshop

Benjamin and I have been on many Shibari and Kinbaku training courses over the past 9 months. We have had private tuition, attended workshops, demonstrations, performances and events or have even simply met and managed to discuss rope one-on-one with Riggers and Rope Models who have dedicated their lives to it and are simply amazing at what they do. Names like Bruce Esinem, Nina Russ, Gorgone, Kasami Ranki, Vinciens, Kirigami and Peter Slemrian to name but a few. However, I always seem to avoid going into depth about our experiences with them as it is often simply training or technical discussion; which can sometimes come across as tedious for those not interested in that particular subject or too much of a single type of study (Which is not always the best thing to fill up a blog as diverse as mine with; I prefer to mix in as many different aspects of my BDSM practices that I can).

I hope to change things and add a little more to my blog in the way of personal and lifestyle experiences. It has been suggested that I should write more; Ergo, I shall!

Dr Phil’s London Shibari Workshop:

Dr Phil is a French Rigger who has had a passion for bondage since the age of 24. Benjamin seemed eager to attend the rare opportunity of a rope workshop in London hosted by him at Chez Esinem, and we jumped at the chance when a couple of our friends announced that they would want to go along with us.

The class was quite small, consisting of only 5 Riggers and 4 Models (not including Dr Phil and his Model), so it allowed for discussion and getting to know people, which is always a bonus, and primarily concentrated on styles that we were already relatively familiar with (it is great when you understand the basics to begin with, it helps in noticing each Riggers individual and often subtle variations) but also included a little of the aesthetic and non suspension ties. The only harness that we remembered to take a photo of was a very pretty (non-suspension) version of Hojōjutsu.

untitled-1-3The latticework between the shoulders makes a great ‘handle’ for controlling your play partner.

Also joining us at the workshop was well known artist and frequent addition to BOUND: Isobel Williams, Who sat on the sidelines during the ‘throwing of string’ and sketched, inked or painted away. You can see some of her rendition of the day on her blog at: http://boulevardisme.blogspot.co.uk

It turned out to be both a fun and informative day. One I would gladly repeat.

Event review: BOUND Rope jam

Many of the events that Benjamin and I go to are organised by friends of ours and many people have been asking as of late what these events are like and if they are fun to attend.

I try my hardest to avoid events which I think I may dislike or which I have attended in the past and found wanting, and many of the events we do go to are usually because we have been invited or because we have a Kabunza trade stand. But to make things easier and to help those who wish to know, I have decided to write up a few reviews of some of the events which we tend to frequent regularly simply because it is a damn good night out.

I am going to start with Benjamin’s favorite: BOUND Rope jam at The Flying Dutchman in London.

This is a fantastic night out created by Esinem, Nina Russ & Gorgone in collaboration with The Flying Dutchman in Camberwell, London.

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A heady mix of Shibari demonstrations, tutorials, shows and socializing. If you enjoy rope bondage then it is simply a must to see.

Set in a small venue of a local historic London pub, whose mission is to promote difference, diversity, and the arts. Not only will you see live stage performances of full suspension rope bondage by some of the most world-wide recognized rope artists and models, but there is also ample space for those who attend to have a little bit of rope time themselves.

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From the minute you walk through the door, you are surrounded by people who know what they are doing when it comes to rope bondage; from the traditional Japanese styles to our own western adapted forms.

Even if you are simply curious about rope bondage or attempting to learn yourself, it is a great place for inspiration and the people who attend are open and friendly.

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The stage performances are of such a high caliber that I believe it is highly unlikely that you would get to see live rope art like this on a monthly basis anywhere else in the UK.

The event is held on the last Friday of every month, the night starts at 7pm and performances go on throughout the evening until 1am. Ticket prices range from: Early bird tickets: £5 (limited availability), Advance tickets: £15, On the door entrance: £20.

Some of the performers travel from as far as Tokyo to perform their talents, so as night-out’s go, BOUND is exceptional value for money.

This is not a large profit event and is run by local rope enthusiasts who put a lot of hard work and heart into making an evening which is entertaining and can be enjoyed by anyone of a like-minded interest, which is just one more thing that makes this event special.

Benjamin and I would highly recommend attending to anyone who has the inclination. It is simply a marvelous night out.

Photography used with the permission of http://bounduk.net/

Fire poi practice 24/02/13

After a night of Bound Rope Jam in London, Benjamin and I headed back to Chez Esinem for relaxation, good friends, more Japanese rope bondage, the best home cooked food anyone could hope for (supplied by the ever skillful Nina Russ) and even a little fire poi practice in the back garden (learning slowly, practice makes perfect. But having an audience of performers put on a little pressure).

An excellent couple of evenings.

This video is unedited.
Videography by Nina Russ.
All media is Copyright © 2013 AemiliaHawk. All Rights Reserved.

Kinbaku and Shibari: Private tuition with Esinem and Nina Russ – 14/10/12

From the 12th October -14th October, Benjamin and I spent the weekend in London under the tuition of the Shibari and Kinbaku professionals : Esinem and Nina Russ.

Rope play has always been an interest of mine (unfortunately, having claws can make it difficult to master effectively; ergo, I have never done advanced courses), but when Benjamin was introduced to images and movies of it, he fell in love with the artform and expressed a huge desire to learn it. I, in turn, have nurtured this desire (as well as offering to be his practice model) and after several months of play, practice and research, higher learning for him was inevitably required.

When it comes to any form of bondage, especially rope bondage, safety and knowledge is paramount. I highly recommend that it is not attempted without at least being taught the basics, either by research using the internet or books, or by attaining the services of an experienced teacher. There are many aspects to take note of during this kind of play; including asphyxiation and nerve damage. Do not be an idiot; Play safely.

To this end we contacted Esinem for his offer on residential private tuition and made plans to visit him at his home and studio in London for an intensive training course to further our learning.

After copious hours of practice and training with both Esinem and Nina Russ (living and breathing rope bondage for three days), I personally have developed a great respect for the rope bondage models that you see in all the images across the internet. I make it a personal rule to experience anything that I intend to put anyone else through (this is true for all forms of BDSM play that I practice). This kind of bondage can be incredibly painful (especially rope suspension). For me, the weekend was a significant learning experience which tested my endurance and stamina to great lengths. For Benjamin; well, let us just say he has returned from the experience with a slightly frazzled brain from taking in so much information, sore fingers from extensive use of the rope and a significantly vaster knowledge of the artform (as well as his own set of Asanawa Tossa Lite 6mm Jute ropes, a birthday present from me and my partner).

We do plan on having further private tuition with Esinem and Nina in the near future, but we must first put what we have learned over this last weekend into frequent practice. This kind of skill takes a great amount of time and dedication.

Thanks to the wonderful Nina Russ, I also experienced full rope suspension. Another thing which I do not recommend unless in the hands of an experienced and well practiced individual. To quote Esinem’s website:

“As safety is a prime concern, please be aware that, like so many good things in life, there is always possibility of accidental injury. Rope suspension is undoubtedly edge play and should only be undertaken by those who are physically and mentally up to the challenge. Suspension is safe but not without risk, regardless of proficiency or experience, so is definitely RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) rather than entirely SSC (Safe Sane and Consensual). The more extreme suspensions require a high degree of fitness and often a reasonable pain threshold, so don’t imagine everyone can do what professional models make look easy!”

Luckily, I was physically and mentally adequate, however, as I mentioned earlier in this blog post, the whole weekend experience (full suspension, partial suspension and constant floor practice) has given me a profound respect for rope bondage models. It is definitely not easy.

Despite the aches and pains that I was suffering by the end of the weekend and despite the fact that I am not naturally submissive, I could not resist the chance to be tied up and partially suspended by the man himself.

Enjoy the photos.

 

All photography is unedited.

Photos courtesy of Esinem and Nina Russ.
Photography by Nina Russ.
All images are Copyright © 2012 AemiliaHawk. All Rights Reserved.