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 17/11/12

After an event filled and incredibly fun weekend, I have returned to my Bristol dungeon feeling emotionally replenished.

No doubt I will be writing up a short story or two about some of the antics that my Benjamin and I got up to, but for the moment I simply wanted to highlight the only media footage that we managed to procure during the course of the two days.

As some will know from reading my previous post, ‘Great balls of fire‘, I have always had desires to learn some of the heavier and performance forms of fire play. I have always had a fascination with flame.

When I received a set of basic fire poi for my birthday a few weeks ago, I was eager to start practicing.

So, in the big warehouse at Exodus UK in the latter of a Saturday afternoon, under the watchful gaze of the venues owner (who regularly plays with fire whips), doused in freezing cold water (so the clothing would be significantly less likely to catch aflame), the chill of winter creeping in, my sexy play partner on standby holding a huge water doused towel (ready to be thrown over anything, including me, should the worst happen) and fire extinguishers at the ready; I began my first attempt at the artform of fire poi.

Thankfully, you use them exactly like you would use a set of dual floggers. However my form still looks quite rigid due to the fact that I was “freezing my arse off”.

Here are the videos, part one and part two of the same practice session, taken using my iPhone (hence the limited resolution) by another watchful friend.

Enjoy.

My Birthday: The MDS Halloween Extravaganza 2012

I have always placed a huge emphasis on birthdays. For me, they are the most important reason to celebrate (far more important than Christmas, Halloween or any other religious or fallacy event).

This year (in a kind of ‘last minute’ planning), I decided to visit the Marquis de Sade (MDS) Halloween Extravaganza event in Weston-super-mare to celebrate on my birthday (28th October).

Once the organisers realised that I was the owner of Kabunza Craftwerks and thanks to some very smooth talking by my Benjamin; it was requested that we host a trade stand at the event (despite the fact that all the trade stand slots had already been filled). How could I refuse?

My partner played host at the stand for the majority of the evening. Unfortunately, our stock was incredibly limited due to a lot of recent sales, but I think we managed to put together a decent enough little stall for people to browse through and we always have our order booklet at hand in case anyone wishes to order something specific to be created and posted to them after the event (any order taken at events are always sent to the purchaser postage free).
In case you are all wondering or in case you missed us at the event; You can visit our Kabunza Etsy shop, our Kabunza blog, Kabunza on Facebook or Kabunza on Fetlife by following the links here or in this blog’s side bar.

Also at the event (quite randomly and ‘out of the blue’), I was requested to put on a florentine style flogging demonstration; the Mistress who originally had agreed to do the demonstration was a little reluctant (which is a shame because I rarely get to see others do this style of flogging). It was incredibly unprepared, But again, how could I refuse?

By far, the highlight of the evening was when (unbeknownst to me) Benjamin had arranged for my birthday to be announced over the comm/tannoy and over 100 BDSM Dominants and submissives sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me whilst Benjamin brought out a surprise, candle lit, home made birthday cake.

The majority of the rest of the evening involved a little play with my Benjamin, social mingling and teaching numerous people how to florentine. All in all: A fantastic birthday.

Thankyou’s:

The organisers of MDS: for all their encouragement and flattery, for supplying the photography for this blog post and for allowing us a trade stand when there really was no more room.

My partner: for being there when she is not really into BDSM, for her continuing support and for hosting the Kabunza trade stand; which in turn allowed me to socialise at ease and enjoy my birthday.

My Benjamin: for arranging everything with the MDS organisers when I simply said “Do it”, for the much appreciated surprises, for taking every random beating that I dished out upon him during the course of the evening (all of which were carefully applied aftercare in the form of Savlon cream and cuddles on returning home) and for making my birthday a very special one indeed.

A Velvet Thought – Mistresses Musings: “Demandez, et l’on vous donnera.”

Translation: “Ask, and you shall receive.” (probably)

Anyone who actually takes the time to get to know me a little will probably tell you that I am far from prudish, that I am outgoing, that I am open minded and that I have a relatively pleasant demeanor despite being quite eccentric (I do try to quell most of my instincts when in polite society).

Once you get past the evil aura, teeth, claws, demonic nature, unholy eating habits, disgust of the mundane, and other small, often unnoticeable abominable characteristics; I am actually not so bad.

My point is: I am not adverse to hosting workshops or demos at events, I am not adverse to performing on stage, I am not adverse to doing fun BDSM/fetish orientated things for “good” causes or venues and I am definitely not adverse to giving play demonstrations or play tips to people who meet me and make an effort to talk/chat to me at events (just remember that I am often there with my own submissive and partner or for my own reasons, so do not believe this is an invitation to take up my entire evening). Indeed, I have done all of these things and more/others in the past.

There is simply a small price: You must swallow your fear or aversions, approach me, make an effort to talk to me and request it.

If you do not ask, if you do not make your hopes known to me, you will have no chance at all; because I will rarely, if ever, volunteer.

Exodus UK photoshoot 06/10/12

I had a wonderful time teaching a flogging workshop at the Exodus UK over the weekend. The venue is huge, well equipped, warm, welcoming and many new friends were made.

Naturally, seeing as there was a photographer at the event, I could not resist getting some photos of myself practicing 6 point florentine with Scylla and Charybdis:

Getting a few photos of a couple of my knife play blades was also mandatory:

Photos were also taken with my Benjamin, but these will be shown soon in a post which will introduce him properly.

I hope the images are enjoyed. They will be added to the blog gallery.

Comments welcome.

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

A Velvet Thought – Mistresses Musings: What is the difference?

Recently I was asked what the difference is between a professional Dominatrix and a lifestyle Dominatrix. I thought my reply was worth posting to blog and I have thrown financial Domination in the mix as well because this has also been asked of me in the past:

A financial Dominatrix has no skill in any of the BDSM arts. They are not a true Mistress, they simply pose as one. It is unlikely you will meet them anywhere apart from online. All they will do is demand that you give them money or pay their bills. They demand cash in exchange for nothing (aside from possible verbal abuse or online humiliation).
These people tend to give professional Domination a bad name because many people fail to differentiate between financial and professional Domination as there are quite a few professional Dominants who practice financial Domination.
I personally loath this practice. In my opinion they are on a par with beggars or ‘spongers’. I believe that money given should be money earned and I class financial Dominants as lower than pond scum on the evolutionary ladder.

A professional Dominatrix is basically one who plays in a dungeon with a paying client. The client has a fetish, kink or BDSM fantasy and would like to act it out. It is a form of drama therapy and while it may be erotic or sensual, there is never any sex ( if sex is involved then they are a prostitute, not a Dominatrix).
The majority of professional Dominatrices have a normal life when they leave the dungeon (When I say majority, I can only comment on my own experiences and acquaintances. Around 90% of all I have met. And when I say normal, I mean of course a vanilla existence). They do not spend a large portion of their life studying BDSM practices. They have a very basic knowledge of the equipment, normally what they have been told by friends, played with in the bedroom, have seen on TV or what they may have had shown to them by other Mistresses or submissives at their dungeon of residence. This level of skill coupled with common sense and safety is often enough to deal with a large portion of paying clients. Most clients have a very generalised fetish (often something they have seen on television or on the internet) which tend to be very simple to do. They do not often attend BDSM events or clubs because they consider the play their job and there is no profit in attending such places.
I must stress that this opinion is based solely on the professional Dominants that I have met. The other 10% tend to be incredibly skilled because they are usually both lifestyle as well as professional. The key is, of course, noticing this before passing judgement simply on their choice of profession. The lifestyle professionals tend to do it for a living because they love BDSM so much.

A lifestyler (or lifestyle Dominatrix, if you prefer) is one who does it because they love it. It is part of their everyday life. They often go to great lengths to get high quality or specialised equipment (I rarely use the equipment on show in the dungeon as I prefer my own) and they spend a great deal of time learning the skills involved in their chosen BDSM activities. They tend to attend the events, clubs and venues because it is their passion and not simply a job.

Essentially it comes down to this: Give a financial Dominatrix a flogger and she will demand money from you to have the privilege of passing it to her hand (and she will have no clue as to how to use it or have any inclination to do so. Of course, this is if you actually manage to meet them in the flesh), give a professional Dominatrix a flogger and (9 times out of 10) she will show you how to hit someone with it for money, give a lifestyle Dominatrix a flogger (preferably someone that has a few years experience) and she will show you how to make it dance.

There is a lot of information on the internet about the differences. These are of course just my own observations and opinions. I am forever hoping to have these opinions improved upon, but this is how they stand to date.

I am both lifestyle and professional. I am of the minority. I do this for a living next to my small business (even my small business is BDSM orientated) and it has been my passion and a major part of my life for almost 10 years.

Constructive opinions appreciated if anyone would care to give their own interpretations. Is my opinion flawed?