Category: Thoughts and Musings

Inches from the ground…

Welcome back – it’s been a while since a long post because life has just gotten extremely busy – lovely, but I haven’t had the time to write which I would have liked. So, here it is, my ramblings on what’s been going on with rope lately.

We’ve been doing a lot of performances of late – quite fast paced and theatric ones – and I love them, the charge, the thrill, the delight of those who are witnessing it. But there is a price – It’s easy to get lost in the adrenaline rush and aesthetic pleasures of a performance piece with focus shifting outward, past that sphere of the “you and I”. Riding that balance between chemistry and spontaneity, and the constraints of time, themes and the audience. An audience whose attention spans and energy expectations are tuned to that of an evening of distraction and sensual stimuli, such as a loud venue, a club night or a more burlesque atmosphere. The purists may say “damn the audience, we’ll do what we want!” – but that is the whole premise of playing to an audience – for better or worse, you need to be aware of THEIR reactions and energies.

Recently I’ve been playing a lot more with low level and partial suspensions, and it’s been magical. There is a certain special tension and energy from holding someone just inches from the ground, bound tightly and so very close to landing, but held there – like the last moment of a fall to earth captured in amber, a drop of water hanging off a leaf, trembling to fall. You can feel the closeness of landing, yet knowing that the moment of release from that excrutiating anticipation is purely within the hands of another is its own delicious torture. There is a nearly palpable erotic charge between the body and the ground, with gravity trying to reclaim those particles tied and pulled away from its will. That psychological sadism of toying with the promise of release being held so close yet so far, allowing a limb to touch the ground and then taking it away again always brings a smile to my face.

The interplay of anticipation, building of tension and energy, exposure and slow languid sensuality, punctuated by those intense moments which draw a sharp sigh, of the body arcing slightly, then relaxing back like a wave hitting a crest, the beautiful agonized expression falling into a blissful release – of finding the right pattern and rhythm for each body and soul to unlock the way to their own path to abandon. These are journeys I always delight in embarking on.

These more deeply personal moments, where the play is just for you and I, where any observers are incidental and fade off into the event horizon, are those moments where we lose ourselves, where we can find the places that take time, that cannot be compressed into a set piece, that flow and change like the tides and currents just below the surface of a deceptively calm exterior. Perhaps a good analogy of the dichotomy of performance and play is the difference between pornography and intimate sex – one is a performance, and the things which make the meeting of two bodies and minds so deeply satisfying to the minds and bodies involved are an array of subtleties which are lost on an observer – without the intersection of all the senses, you end up relying on the visual, the aural, you’re playing WITH the audience, not just your partner. No matter how pure an intention, the observed cannot help but be altered by the observer.

Shifting focus between one sphere and another, bringing something back from one to the other, translating and adapting what’s been learned in one world to another – one finds new places in between, and those tiny spaces expand into their own vista of possibilities. There are so many places to explore in rope and play, and each new discovery or uncovering depths behind existing knowledge is a joyful experience.

It’s been a journey… and that road carries on and on.

Catch you in the ropes soon.

<3

Lillith


My Adventures in Hook Suspensions – First time for everything…

If you could reach around my back…
Would you feel stumps or cracks?
If you could reach around my back…
And pull the fucking skin back

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
It’s quiet – there is a stillness and everyone is silent and waiting. Air is cold on my skin. I’m shivering, leg twitching uncontrollably as the anticipation blends with the cold.
Waiting.
Breath in.
Breathe out.
He stands behind me, an intense figure – black mask on, black gloves holding the implements – the familiar become surreal, mystical. Serene precision of the hooks in his steady hands. The sacrament for which we’ve gathered here today.
“Ready?”
The voice is steady. The voice is calm.
My heart is racing. I breathe in.
“Yes.”
The bright pain pierces my back, my mind, steel punching through the skins. The moment escapes time – I am frozen in a an eternity of sweet, piercing pain. Face contorting as I exhale and scream in silence. Breath flows out of me. Thought flows out of me.
Sacrament.
Out.
The spike tunnels out the other side, another bright point marking the exit to this moment.
I gasp softly as the white pain becomes spreading warmth. Time has stabilized – the hook is a small presence that hangs silently on my back – a small consistent point of of ache.
Breathe in.
And out.
The other side now.
“Ready?”
The voice is right next to me but a long way away.
“Yes.”
It’s somehow worse the second time, the pain is more intense as if it had gathered strength from the first entry. Breath is pushed out of me even as the piercing pushes through me. When the ring is secured there is a sharper ache to remind me of it, like a jealous sibling calling attention to itself.
Funny, the right side of me always has the harder time being punctured.
The hooks are a glinting ache in my back and I walk slowly over to the suspension point, two metal cables hanging down thirty feet or so from the stone bridge above.

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He walks behind me and secures the hooks to the rings, to the cords. I look up, and a thrill of anticipation rides the throbbing of pain – a skip in a heartbeat. The clinking of the metal behind me like the sound of tiny bells.
“Do you need me there?” She asks, a calm and comforting presence, the Priestess to his Priest.
I don’t know. I’ll try without. I walk forward and back. The pain is intense when it pulls.
I am shaking – I am afraid. I know it will be ok, know it – my intellect has seen the others go up, seen the skin stay on their backs, seen the joy on their faces. My intellect KNOWS that it will be ok. But the animal is screaming. It screams “you will die, the pain will be beyond imagining, you cannot survive this.”
And it’s right, in a way.
I look up and she’s standing in front of me. My hands are in hers. Her eyes are calm, serene. “It’s ok, I’m here.” I rest my hands on her shoulders. I’m almost sobbing. Part of me wants to run. Instead I say
“Pull me up”
The pulling starts. And the pain gets worse, the pressure builds. I want to scream. I want to cry. I don’t know where the pain will end – there is no ceiling for it in my mind, no expectation – I have no context for this. My animal mind is screaming and gibbering that the skin is going to rip out my back. The pain is elongating, stretching with me. Will it keep going? I’m terrified that it will keep going. But I won’t turn back.
The animal struggles and claws at me in terror.
I slip
into black
disconnect

and then
There’s light.
I have passed through.

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The pain recedes. No, that’s not entirely true – the pain levels out, nowhere near the fevered heights of my fear of it. I’m lifted, my full weight on the hooks. The pain fades into the background with the fear, until the fear has passed through me, the pain has passed with it. I look up. I smile. I’m in the air. The animal now asleep in my arms, wrapped close and breathing easily.
Tentatively, I move.
I want to laugh. I feel serene. My small cheer is misread as a lack of enthusiasm – but I am so far away in this moment from registering an external reaction – this small cry is the most heartfelt sound I have made, free of the daily necessity of amplification – this is me, speaking in whispers, bombed out of my brain on the chemical cocktail that my own body has produced, on the intensity of the journey I’ve just made, blinking newly awakened – new set of eyes, wet wings on my back unfurling.
This experience – it is a feeling, it is mine, it is internal. I am here, centered – a floating rock in the flow of experience and sensation. It is everyone’s, they cry out my joy for me, we are all in this together, we’ve all shared this moment.
She grabs my legs and starts me swinging. It’s so peaceful. No need to hold onto anything, I am the thing itself, held on to the world. I am swinging, a pendulum of flesh, blood and thought. I kick and spin, dancing in midair.

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It’s so peaceful up here.
Higher.
Higher!
I am hoisted up, so high off the ground. No fear of falling.

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Level with the trees. Everyone is far away. I have passed through now, and the others smile knowingly. Soft breeze passes through me. This feeling so at odds with the blood, pain and terror of mere moments ago, like a lifetime lived in minutes. Altered, losing and finding myself again – literally connected to the earth, to the ground, but swinging from it – it’s holding me up and anchoring me at the same time.
Gravity pulls at me. Sky holds me. Hooks connect me.
It is so peaceful.

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I don’t want to come down, I am loving just being here in amongst the trees. Looking down and seeing air below my feet. Floating. Dancing in the air.
Eventually I am brought down.
Now the emotions bubble up and I want to whoop. I hug those around me. I’ve passed through.

A day later.
I am lying in bed, unable to get up. The moment is far away. The piercing of my skins, has let out a flood of infection, and I need this time in my cocoon, unthinking, uncaring, unable to. In this moment I am nothing, and the world is overwhelming and meaningless, a chaos of input and anxieties, survival terrors, everything demands my attention, all perspective lost – the dust has equal meaning to the heavens. The light is too bright. The sounds are too loud. The people are too present, too demanding, too many points of connections needing to be made, and my tendrils are tender and tired. They have been broken and are being reset. The touch of others is agony.
I retreat.

Two days later.
I wake up.
The serenity is there again. The pendulum swing completes, metamorphosis.
I unfurl.
The dust has equal meaning to the heavens.
I arise, eager to see where I have awoken.

My eternal thanks and love to Hebari (Priest) and Whippet_ (Priestess) for this experience, PorcelainX for being inspiring and everyone for sharing the experience and bringing the energies that you all did to the moment. It was beautiful and I hope to share more of these moments with you all. <3


Fluidity – Gender, Persona, Masculinity and Femininity

DSC07966-768x1150I’ve always been aware of and embracing of my gender fluidity – neither fully masculine nor feminine – but ebbing and flowing with the moment and how I interact with the world.

My androgynous appearance contributes greatly to this, and I have always allowed myself to inhabit feminine as well as masculine spaces, physically, mentally and sexually. My femininity does not detract from my masculinity and vice versa – I don’t feel like “a woman trapped in a man’s body” – I feel like I am who I am, and I enjoy being able to exist in spaces along the spectrum, comfortably and unselfconsciously.

Ironically “gender fluidity” becomes a meaningless segregation when we strip our way of thinking of many of the assumptions that have been programmed into us – when we take away the value judgement socially inherent in calling something “masculine” or “feminine”.  They are different types of energy, like a waveform oscillating between negative and positive. Light and dark, solid, liquid and gas, soft and hard, physical and mental, conscious and unconscious. There are too many binaries we are trapped into, without realising that they are just markers and words. Think of what you have classified as “masculine” or “feminine” traits, and then examine where they can be found… when you strip away preconceptions, they can be used as objective markers, and not as epithets or derogatory commentary when seen in the opposite sex. Might as well say that the colour blue is right and proper for the sky, and mock the sunsets for their pinkness and reds.  When we strip away the imaginary limitations of  sex, gender and persona, we become freer – we grow – we become more powerful and content.

This does not mean having no preferences or boundaries – but being free to explore them and have them form naturally.

I believe in having the freedom to express whatever part of the personality needs and desires to be expressed, regardless of where it sits along the gender binary.  Why should we limit ourselves to one section of the spectrum of human and personal expression?  What harm does it do to explore and engage, to push the boundaries of what we think of as male or female?  Our personalities and motivations are complex – to allow them freedom of movement and growth is a beautiful, empowering and transformative thing. We need not be one or the other, nor even stop anywhere along the line – we are ever changing, ever shifting, ever evolving, and a sense of fluidity and grace within our personal evolution is within all of our grasps if we just let go of the fear of judgement, and the judging of each other. To move uninhibited between both binaries brings a greater understanding of the other – engaging as the other gender to which we are biologically born can enrich and empower us, sexually, socially, creatively, mentally.

If we allow ourselves to be truly free in this sense, then many of the very ideas and concepts of discrimination and repression would be nullified.  Change throughout corporate, societal and sexual culture can only come about from an individual basis – so to live free, and true, is for everyone – and I believe that we must live truly to ourselves, not just for us but to allow others to do so as well. Because being true lets others see that they can be as well. Instead of casting up more barriers by segregating ourselves into smaller and smaller groups which then by their natures end up being pitted against one another, embrace the differences in everyone’s experience and interpretation of gender / persona makeup as a universal fluidity of nature.

When we take away the barriers of “oh I shouldn’t think this, that’s a male / female thing” – the possibilities for life and living and interaction open up dramatically. Our ability for empathy grows. When we allow ourselves to step into someone else’s shoes, we might just find that they are a better fit than the ones that we have been told to wear. This can take the form of many things, allowing ourselves to feel through emotions and desires uninhibited by what it has been taught to us to mean masculine or feminine, to try on aspects the “opposite” sex, to explore avenues of sexual behaviour, to try on different roles that society has programmed us into thinking are meant for one gender or the other.

And it’s just damn sexy to see the uninhibited self – stripped away of preconceptions of male / female step outside the requirements and boundaries of what society sees as appropriate or aesthetically pleasing, or judged attractive. There is an attraction and fascination in seeing the masculine within a feminine body, and the feminine within a masculine body that cannot be denied – and which can be found through all cultures throughout history and the world.

So cast off the preconceptions and explore – not just for yourself, but for everyone.

That’s what I think anyway, and I welcome anyone’s views or experiences in this.

Much love,

Jaiden Lillith