That moment when someone is bound for the first time.
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Wondering whether they will take to it – do those shoulders relax, or tense? Does their breathing quicken or slow? Does that look in their eye, that quizzical furrow of a new sensation bode well? Do they breathe that tell-tale sigh as I feel their body, mind and spirit submitting to the sensation of ropes and binding? Is it the wrapping, or the release that pushes them into the depths? The moment where they wait, having surrendered their control, unsure of what the next move will be. Is that their pleasure or their fear?

And what do we do with that?

That moment when someone is lifted off the ground for the first time.

The testing of the harness. The first bit of lift, of rope starting to remove them from the grasp of gravity. Watching them close, as in that final moment, the last limb connecting them to the earth is taken up, and they are floating, spinning, hanging – like a freeze frame, like a butterfly in amber.

Do they release a breath, sink deep into the ropes and float? Do they struggle, gasp for air and resurface? Do they seek the quiet bliss in stillness or the sound and fury of movement and sensation? The deliciously slow anticipation and infliction of that deep aching? A quick strike? A slow spin? The promise of the shape can be drawn out of them, coaxing, pulling and guiding into a new configuration… Will they suffer for me? Will they hang effortlessly? Do they form a graceful arc, or a solid bold stroke?

The gasp, the ropes sliding across skin, the closeness, the touch of flesh to flesh, skin to skin. Teasing, smelling, tasting, dancing around them. The way the rope takes to their body, the way each tie is crafted to the one that is being tied. Tailoring the rope, reading flesh, bone, musculature and writing a poem on their skin. Reading deeper, the heart, mind, thoughts, and throwing a rope around the scattered pieces, drawing it tight and bringing them home.

The rope is a brush, a pen, a string, an instrument. Nothing more, nothing less. The intersection of will and spirit – the song, the letter, the poem, the picture, the dance.

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Sometimes it ends in silliness and giggles. Sometimes the tie ends early because of discomfort. Sometimes we’re practicing, like walking through the steps of the dance, sometimes it’s like absentmindedly stroking someone’s hair as we watch the television. Sometimes it’s that moment of internal suspension, that deep bliss and head trip. Sometimes it’s two people sitting under the stars content in the stillness of silent companionship. Sometimes like two friends laughing uproariously as they wrestle. Sometimes it’s like fucking with rope. Sometimes it’s fucking with rope.

When it ends, bringing you back to the ground gently, unwrapping you, holding you. Or perhaps, doing something stupid like messing up your hair and running away laughing. The unravelling, more than an appendix, is vital… I love that the ending of the rope takes its own arc, is every bit as essential to the experience to the beginning and middle. Sometimes we forget how important the way we end things is.

Every time is different, the second, third, fourth, twentieth, hundredth… a seduction that never ends, each time discovering anew.

Every time, everyone, every moment, something different, something changes.

And when it reaches deep, when it passes through the skin… The world tilts.

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