Kinkfest 2015

Once again, I braved the largest kink event in the UK to teach workshops.

Every year Kinkfest UK hosts a large educational conference and party over the course of a weekend, centred around all aspects of BDSM and fetish. It has a huge assortment of workshops, classes and discussion groups.

Unfortunately, this year I did not manage to “get my rigger on” at the peer rope. But I did have lots of fun teaching several groups of tremendously awesome people.

If you get the chance to attend in 2016, it is something I highly recommend and I will be back for a third year to run workshops on the art of flogging. It is held at the Xtasia club in Birmingham. If you read my blog and spot me there in 2016, come over and say “Hi!”.

They have expressed a wish to have some kind of flogging performance at the next one. About the best I could do would probably be to just get up and play, but we shall see how it goes and what they have in mind closer to the date.

A lot of photos were taken of me at the 2015 event by the official photographers. But many contain nudity and are images of me at play while attending the afterparty, so I will be restricting my blog to having only a few. The rest can be seen in my Fetlife gallery if you are curious.

If photography at an event is something that makes you nervous, Know that the event photographers always seek permission before taking photographs and they are incredibly discrete. Any face in an image that is not the centre of attention is burred completely out.

All these photos were taken at my Art of Flogging workshops. Enjoy.

Photos courtesy of Kinkfest UK.
Photography by Red Fox Photography & Shadowofchaos.
All images are copyright © KinkfestUK 2015.

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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.

Something beginning with ‘K’

Recently it has been quite a busy time for me and mine. We have attended about 6 events in the past two weeks, hence why there has been such a delay in blog posts.

One form of our play that has lately been taking a large portion of our attention is Kinbaku.

In this post I am going to explain a little about what we go through before, during and after play of this kind. I must stress that these opinions are based solely from our own perspective and experiences.

“Kinbaku, for me, is the only style of rope that is really close to my heart because it is not simply about tying pretty patterns. It is about awakening emotions, senses and arousal. With any other type of rope play; you can tie someone, but with Kinbaku, you must put your heart and soul into it. It’s emotion, it’s connection, it’s control, it’s sensual.” – Benjamin.

Stage 1: Preparation

Before any play can take place, a little preparation is required.

If suspension is going to be played with (which should by no means be done without experience and correct tuition); This equipment needs to be set up, ropes need to be neat and within accessible reach of the playspace (messy ropes can mean play is interrupted with entanglements) and EMT shears (safety scissors) need to be equally accessible.

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“Anybody can tie someone in rope, but the biggest responsibility is being able to tie safely. The ability to read your partners body and signals is paramount. Benjamin can read me so well because of our incredibly close bond, which is reinforced through our other forms of play, but when tying someone for the first time; communication is key.” – Aemilia Hawk.

An aesthetic setting or props (even something as simple as a blanket or mat on the floor) can help set the mood.

Stage 2: Stretching

Stretching is important. It loosens the muscles of the model and lessens the possibility of discomfort or fatigue while in bondage. While the model is stretching, the artist is often going through his/her mind what effects are desired or what is intended to be accomplished during the course of play.

“A healthy diet, a nimble body and a kinky mind is beneficial. A sliver of masochism helps substantially.” – Aemilia Hawk.

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Stage 3: Floor work

The floor work is essentially the start of actual play. Some people prefer a standing start, others prefer seated (of course, each can be utilised for specific or desired effect). The aim of floor work is basically to set the tone and flow of play. It can be violent and rough or soft and sensual depending on the moods and preferences of the play partners (choice of music, if any is used, tends to influence and effect play). This stage is often when all the bondage is applied and readied for suspension, however, sometimes the duration of play can be nothing but floor work and have no suspension at all.

“To me, the floor work is is very important, it is about the closeness, the touch, awakening my partners senses and the choice of how I am going to go about controlling the flow of play. It is building the foundations of the play ahead and even though I am in control, I am sensitive to and guided by Aemilia‘s reactions. It is not about the rope, but how I choose to use the rope. This part of play is what has truly made me fall in love with Kinbaku.” – Benjamin.

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“Personally, I like it rough.” – Aemilia Hawk.

Stage 4: Partial/Full suspension (optional)

If suspension is a desired effect, the rigging is then applied.

WARNING: Partial or full rope suspension should not be attempted without training or tuition and even with such things, it can still be dangerous. Possible injuries can include permanent nerve damage.

“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!” – Bruce Esinem.

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Stage 5: Suspension transitioning (optional)

Some positions are more uncomfortable than others, every model is different and what some will find easy, others will find incredibly difficult. But regardless of the person, It is a good idea to keep the model moving and a bad idea to keep them suspended for lengthy periods of time. This may be as simple as spinning or gently swinging the model while in suspension or even changing (in part or in whole) the suspension itself.

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Stage 6: Back down to earth

If suspended, it is very important to bring the model back to the floor safely (untying the correct lines in sequence to ensure balance is maintained). Even when the main line is removed and there is no attachments to the suspension point, it is the artists responsibility to keep hold of the model until safely on the ground (light-headedness, euphoric emotions or sensory overload can cause the model to collapse easily).

The untying is just as important as the rest of the play. This is where the artist may decide to change the flow of play to opposite of what has been earlier.

“In my case, this point of play is often when I enjoy the more sensual and soft touch. For me, it is an unveiling of the skin beneath the ropes and I often add small touches to our play; like using the ends of the rope to caress or running the rope over sensitive erogenous zones while untying.” – Benjamin.

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Stage 7: Aftercare

Aftercare is important in any form of BDSM play. Rope bondage is painful (especially suspension), despite how easy a model can sometimes make it look. Aftercare can range from a soft and sensual embrace, applying skin creams to marked areas, gentle kisses and all kinds of affections shown. The list of possible aftercare is limitless and is often unique and personal between the play partners themselves. Aftercare should be just as significant as the play itself.

“I know Aemilia goes through a lot, emotionally and physically, during our rope play. The aftercare is an important way of showing my affection towards her. It is my way of saying thankyou.” – Benjamin.

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“I am not naturally a submissive person, but when the play is ending and I am recovering from the exertion and pain; and he warmly embraces me with a stubbly kiss on the neck, I just melt. I have no idea why. It is a unique sensation.” – Aemilia Hawk.

Or maybe, after all I have written here, it may just be a case of Benjamin having ‘Dirty old man’ syndrome and wanting to fondle me when I am lacking the ability to bite back.

He is nodding, so it must be true.

Photography by Raven Imaging.
All images are Copyright © 2012 AemiliaHawk. All Rights Reserved.