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Shibari Relaxation and Anxious Projection

I began by asking everyone where they were with their rope, which in a way was a very surprising question. I wanted to listen to where people were at with it, because there are so many different ways one may go. After listening, I felt that what people deeply wanted was relaxation. We are so weighed down and burdened by life.

So we began with bodywork, working in couples very gently lifting the leg so as to explore the movement in the hips. I said the slower the movement, the more exquisite the feeling. I stay still with this thought that the body can be experienced as a source of pleasure rather than just irritation, discomfort, limitation, disfunction. We also did some rocking from the feet so as to awaken the spine. (We also could have rocked the pelvis or given momentum from the head). These are exercises drawn from BodyMindCentering. We did not swap partners.

Then I demonstrated with N using the rope as kind of rag to massage the body. And then the elementary Unshibari technique of looping around the body. What was interesting about the demonstration was that I mentioned that it was like dancing with one's partner, taking the impulses from the music, while being aware of one's body in space. Keeping the tension on the rope to keep the connection with one's partner. These were enough indications to get everyone working very creatively. I had a wonderful session with Natalia. We discovered the sensual potential of putting rope inside the clothes of your partner, and then slowly pulling the rope. I could see that Jake had had a strong experience, he said at the beginning it had been very difficult for him to relax. Scarlet said that she was feeling more confident.

The discussion we had at the end over tea was noteworthy because the question of time and borders came up. Both Artemisia and Jake said they felt anxious because they were worried that the class time was up and were not sure when they should stop. This was interesting, because of course I don't want people to feel anxious about when they should stop or when they should leave. But, on the other hand, we have limits around time and do not want to feel abused by people staying too late. It's a complex question. In general, I like that the classes finish at 10pm or at the latest 10:30pm. But I also like to leave the space for people to finish in their own time. Sometimes it is not an issue, because the ending is clear. Perhaps we could raise this question next time. Perhaps it might be helpful to ring the bell to let people know clearly, so they don't need to feel anxious worry about it.

"I'll make a decision about what we'll do, but first I want to listen." Kari. That was quite a strong moment.

What I most learned from the evening was this thought of creating a narrative with the rope for the person who is being tied. For that to happen there has to be space for such a narrative to be created for the bottom. It reminded me of when Paul Hassler did a session with me in Poland. Because he was such a good bottom, he could be such a good top. He takes the person on a voyage. But the voyage that the top is having is not necessarily the same as the bottom is having. This voyage happens when the imagination of the bottom is activated, i.e., the creative mind. The top has to create spaces with the rope so the imagination can be activated. I also asked the question of who is the generous one, the tier or the one who s being tied. I think in a way the generous one is probably more the bottom, because he/she has to take away the judgmental attitude, as it were, assessing the top.