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Really Good Jealousy

Tonight we played with pegs, putting them on our skin and stretching our bodies. And afterwards had a long discussion about jealousy. It was a lovely evening: people were comfortable and open to share things about themselves and I was too.

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Adventures in Self-Suspension

This week there was a containing after the Unshibari week-end, to bring the group back into a clearer structure. After discussions with N, we decided we would focus on self-suspension using the Arisoe Go harness, which is the simplest to get into the air, it's a little restrictive because it is one sided. I was happily surprised that everybody in fact got into the air.

Before that, however, we returned to the contact improvisation work that we had begun on the week-end: very simple exercises or scores just about sharing weight with another person. Everybody had smiles on their faces after that. One of the things I enjoyed was asking people to work with someone they haven't worked with before, to challenge themselves in this way.

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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.

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Really Good Dirty Talk

Real Sex at Schwelle Sydney last night was unexpected in its confrontation and learnings though I am not sure why. I am still processing. Peter gave the group four choices and the group, after a brief discussion, seemed to naturally flow to a decision of what would take place.

The meditative exercise gave me an opportunity to become present into my body and yet for me I was still ungrounded. It was an opportunity to become present in the space. Peter’s voice helped me find the space, it was my own inner voices that made me find it difficult. I ignored the feeling of not being present and ignored my body just telling me to rest in the corner.

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Tantric Shibari 9 July

'Ephemeral human installations' was the expression that formed in my mind as I watched M. and X., as well as Lily and Sion working together. There were moments of stillness which captured my attention. The limbs would be resting or tensing in certain positions, a chest could be supporting the other's back, there were expressions on faces that would stay there for a few seconds before dissolving, moving, changing into, becoming something else. Of course the rope was there and it was interesting to watch how X. was using it to move M. into different positions, or to build fluid constructions and patterns on his body.

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The Week-end with Witcher

Peter had invited me to Schwelle Sydney for what he called a „Weekend with Witcher“. We had discussed 
before a lot about what I would teach.  Peter liked the fact that the weekend would allow people to see a large part of my kinky personality – from pressure point play through knife play all the way to my very personal style of bondage. It was indeed a beautiful opportunity to share and discuss some of my ideas on intention and connection with a very eager group of participants.

Schwelle Sydney is a very unique setting, as it is literally Peter’s living room. That gives it a very homely feeling, especially due to the kindness and hospitality of Peter and N. On the Friday when I arrived I met in the evening also Likita my model for the weekend. Peter was proposing that we should do some meditation to relax and then maybe do some rope together – however we had started to do rope before Peter was finished speaking ;) It was a great way to connect and I’m so grateful to Likita for helping me make this weekend something very special.

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Really Good Sex, First Session

How to put this into words? I came prepared with one idea or thought, as well as the reading of a book. The one idea was that a movement or body practice is an essential ingredient for really good sex. If I have to choose between a partner who is kinky and a partner who is in his/her body, I would choose the partner who is in their body. Because at a deeper level body awareness is felt when you are with someone...and that holds my interest more deeply, more enduringly than any particular kink or BDSM activity. If you have a body practice and body awareness, it will speak out in the way any sexual interaction takes place. If your partner has that awareness, it will make being with them physically more interesting...whatever you are doing. For this reason, when I curate the Xplore festival, I always make sure that there are many workshops focused on body awareness and research, such as yoga, breathwork, dance and sound intimacy.

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Tantric Shibari 25th June

Following from last week, tonight we tied Artemisia and Kari on the couch and after went on with 

the class. (Artemisia and Kari had requested this.) Kari wanted to feel what N. had experienced last week, but of course it was quite different.  

But still it created a very unusual atmosphere. To continue the class 'normally', while two bodies were lying there, quite still and tied and half-blindfolded. This was extremely challenging and anxiety provoking: a kind of mixing together what shouldn't be mixed together, the BDSM session, on the one hand, and the technique class on the other. To teach and learn while a session is going on provokes anxiety. But if there is a request, then why not?

At the conclusion of the class, where we just practiced the Takate Kote, I was reminded of something Felix wrote about cultivating the BDSM ritual as an art form. I guess that's what we are doing. I thought even though the space is small, this is a Schwelle, where a certain research is pursued that is allied to what they do in Berlin. 

This was the last evening of weekly tantric Shibari. From next week, there will also be Really Good Sex. From now on, Tantric Shibari will be every fortnight rather than every week, and alternating with Really Good Sex. This provoked a discussion from Scarlet and Jake about the relationship between Sex and Shibari and how indeed there are different viewpoints and perspectives on it. I've noticed in my teaching I often tell people there are multiple perspectives on a particular question. I don't give people an answer: 1.) Shibari is not for sex, is an independent art/performance form; 2.) Shibari is a preparation for sex; 3.) Shibari and sex can be powerfully combined and indeed are inseparable. Osada Steve and Dasniya Sommer separate the two radically. Paolo sees shibari as a foreplay. Kinoko and Witcher are willing to bring the two together and is willing to recognize that it is fun to do so. American bondage, like in Kink.com, seem to make them inseparable. I think what students should do is be conscious of the benefits of each approach. Be willing to experiment. And find what suits them best.

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Tantric Shibari 18th June 2013

This week we experimented with having a rope session going on while the class took place. The effects were powerful for everyone. 

A thinking according to the impasse or aporia...an exposing of it, which also displaces and changes it: N. and I were at an impasse in terms of our different roles in running the class. N. did not know where to situate herself as neither teacher nor student. We exposed this impasse (rather than resolve it) by doing a session together through the class, while the class was going on.

Difficult for me because I had two tasks...to take care of N. and at the same time lead the group, which provoked anxiety, because you can't be concerned with both at the same time.

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Tantric Shibari 30th April, 2013

This week we focused on two technical points: the change in direction and the 'Nodome'. Both of which are decorative and also functional.

We began with a meditation, but before we could meditate Artemisia came in with a story, which made her giggle uncontrollably. She had been aggressed on the street on the way to the class by a man who called out to her in a snide way by making a remark about her breasts. She turned the aggression around by chasing him down the street. After the class was over, she stayed for a while and said as a woman we are taught that we should respond to men’s aggression by being above it, by not going down to their level, by thinking of ourselves as more conscious and evolved than they are. By chasing him down the street, she broke with that thinking and was an ‘animal’, a tiger, who responds to aggression with aggression. For her, she said that this was a really important event. Perhaps we didn’t appreciate it.

During the class she gave Nick an experience of 'realization', of what it is to be tied up. He wrote to me today saying: “I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.” I didn’t watch the session, but I saw its effect on him.

Part of what the class is about is to interrupt people’s expectations and give them new experiences. 

Abe worked with Kari. He wrote to me to today saying he “would appreciate a quick revision next week to lock the knots in”. Firstly, they are not knots, they are frictions. And I don’t want to help people to “lock things in”. I want to keep them loose, so things can happen and not be in a rush. It reminded me of something Osada Steve said, when asked why he thought Westerners want to learn shibari. He said they want to learn pretty ties. In other words, it’s surface. I want to talk about the distinction between deep learning and strategic learning. Shibari is not a goal-directed practice.

While working with N., she drew my attention to two different aesthetic effects that can be created by the same change in direction technique. She also reminded me of a way to rub the ropes off the body that Dasniya had taught. When this happened, I was reminded of a thought I had while Dasniya was here: that women riggers truly bring a quality to the practice of shibari that isn’t present when shibari is taught and practiced only by men. Perhaps this is also true of philosophy.