A Velvet Thought – Mistresses Musings: Update 09/06/14

My blog has been going through a little neglect as of late due to life being incredibly busy.

Kabunza has moved into its own offices and we are trying to get everything up and running while also trying to keep the business stocked with lots of groovy creations (a Kabunza bullwhip being one of the things currently being tested), I have been going through some serious Japanese rope bondage tuition, a lot of events (many of which I am doing workshops or demonstrations at. See my Events page for listed ones near you), discussions and meetings about possible future photoshoots and talking at BDSM conferences, and this is to name but a few of the things on my list.

But, rest assured, I will be writing blog posts about everything I can as soon as I get some free time to do so!

In the meantime; watch this space, keep safe and stay kinky 😉

Advertisements

I tie.

A common misconception seems to be that because I tend to get tied up, I do not tie.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

All of the rope workshops and tuition that I have attended with Benjamin have been learning experiences for me as well. I simply choose to avoid having my rope photographed in abundance.

Eventually, when I feel as though my skill level has developed to a decent point, things may change and I may end up having photos or videos done every time I tie, but for the moment I am happy honing my skills on willing friends (I tend to prefer tying girls) and having fun.

AAAP1070121

My new rope. Soaked in the blood of my victims.

I have two sets of rope. My newest set, purchased from and treated by Benjamin, consists of eight 8.4m lengths of 5mm Tossa Jute which have been dyed blood red.

Benjamin has started up a small business treating and selling premium asanawa jute and you can check out his new site at: http://shibaribybenjamin.wordpress.com/

The other (my first set of ropes) is a very special set of eight 9m lengths of 6mm single ply Jute, imported from Japan, that Benjamin gave to me as a gift last year. I will now be keeping this set for special occasions.

AAADSCF2469

My special Japanese jute.

So, yes. I tie.
😉

And in all likelihood, I will have some photos of my ropework here on my blog eventually.

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.

Flogging workshop and first-time Kabunza trade stand at the BBB

Whenever I am asked to host a workshop, give tuition or give a demonstration, I always leap at the chance. It is incredibly rewarding and I truly believe that one of the best things anyone with a well practiced skill can do for the BDSM community is to pass on their knowledge to willing students safely. There are a lot of people out there who are reckless (even dangerous) but teach their activities anyway, (often simply to stroke their own egos) despite how unsafe it may be. It can sometimes be very confusing or even scary enough to put people off trying or learning new things. My recommendation to anyone taking advice from anyone on any BDSM activity is to do a little research into the competence of the person(s) giving out their information and also briefly on the subject matter in question (be it flogging, whips, shibari or any BDSM skill) using that magical tool: The internet. Trust me, for the safety of both yourself and those you play with, it never hurts to do a little research and anyone with real knowledge or skill will be apparent from the tat.

I tend to be very hands-on and interactive in my workshops; I like people to ask questions, I like people to talk to me about their own experiences so that I can explain or perhaps even learn something new myself (nobody ever stops learning) and I always try to get people out of their seats to physically practice anything I am trying to teach. Actual practice of any skill makes perfect and I think being able to actively talk people through and demonstrate safely as they are attempting new skills tends to alleviate a very large portion of simple first-time learning hiccups.

Having said that; I am happy to say that the flogging workshop at the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar received some wonderful feedback and comments. It seemed as though everyone had a wonderful time and I cannot express how rewarding it is to watch people putting their new-found teachings into practice over the course of an event (having a room full of flying florantining floggers can be an incredibly fun thing to watch).

Even the lovely Mistress Victoria from Uberkinky (who was a pleasure to finally meet face to face) wrote a sparkling review of the experience, which you can read on her website blog: Here.

In response to the many people who have asked me to do some Youtube videos and tutorials: I do hope to get some made eventually, but it is finding someone who would be willing to film me and has decent enough equipment and software to do so. It will be done, it is just a question of time and expense (anyone wishing to participate in this kind of project, please feel free to contact me).

And to answer the question that so many people directed at me about my collection of floggers at the workshop: The straight handled floggers were from Jack’s Floggers, The ball handled floggers were from Jack’s floggers and Edgeplay and the majority of the floggers that you saw that evening (the poi floggers) were from our very own Kabunza Craftwerks (we do accept custom orders if you would like a personalised set made).

As well as the workshop, it was also Kabunza‘s first ever trade stand at the BBB. We received some wonderful feedback on our products and many people walked home with shiny new Kabunza collars, jewellery and floggers. We are gleefully looking forward to any possibilities of trading there again. The atmosphere and people at this event are simply awesome.

To sum up this post, I would just like to send out a few thankyou’s :

  • To the BBB market and after party organizers for offering us the opportunity to have our Kabunza trade stand represented at their event, for the ample support they gave us, for allowing me the honour of hosting a workshop for them and for their very encouraging and complimentary words throughout.
  • To everyone who made a purchase at the Kabunza trade stand. We know from all your lovely comments and appreciation photos that our hard work is going to good homes. We hope you get as much joy from them through their use and wear as we have had in creating them.
  • To everyone who attended the workshop. I hope everyone had fun (I know many did from the comments that I have received on Facebook and Fetlife but I never tire from hearing your thoughts and I am sure the readers of my blog would love to hear your comments if anyone would like to post any below).
  • To my ever diligent partner for pouring her blood, sweat and tears (three of my favourite things to squeeze out of her) into customising and altering almost every purchased Kabunza item at the event. She really worked hard.
  • To my Benjamin. Who, without him, none of the above would of happened and who embraced everything that I inflicted upon him at the workshop (and afterwards) with a delicious smile. As I have always said; “It takes two to play”, and in that respect I am always greatly appreciative of him and feel incredibly lucky to have him as my own.

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.

Jute004a

“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.

_MG_0058cropped _MG_0060cropped _MG_0062cropped

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.

_MG_0085cropped _MG_0139cropped _MG_0153cropped _MG_0166 _MG_0145cropped

“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.

_MG_0177cropped _MG_0180 _MG_0216 _MG_0220 _MG_0236 _MG_0274 _MG_0293

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.

_MG_0283 _MG_0457 _MG_0455 _MG_0468_MG_0498

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.

_MG_0520 _MG_0536cropped _MG_0543cropped _MG_0570cropped _MG_0579cropped

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.

_MG_0584 _MG_0588cropped

“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.

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.