Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beginning Rope Class FTW Part One: Playpal Ex Machina

“So take what you can from your experiences of heartbreak, yes. But be careful not to take too much, or you’ll wind up letting it define you. Don’t create new generalized fears that make it hard to hear your intuition—and hard to find the love you want and deserve.” Jaclyn Friedman, What You Really, Really Want

At the end of last week, I felt like I really had to give up a lot of my kinky dreams, especially submissiveness and public play. I was worried that there just wouldn’t be a safe place for them or any way to express them without being objectified. But a new friend came along at just the right time, like Playpal Ex Machina.

When I saw him (let’s say the Gentleman) seated at the diner table with his adorable wife, he was exactly as geeky-cute-tall-big as I remembered from the Poly Living conference, when he went upstairs to fetch me a pillow for the snuggle party. Plus, he had that thing I go bonkers for: really big hands. Long, wide, meaty, with a plain silver wedding band on his left hand.  The four of us had a nice lunch. He was kind of shy, and so was Sweetie, so I chatted mostly with the wife. I don’t have a nickname for her yet. I told them a little (but hopefully not too much) about my recent adventures and they didn’t run away screaming.

I also let him know (as opposed to asking) that I’d be writing about him here, without using names or cities, and that maybe someday I’d tell him where to find it. I’m thinking maybe like...eighth date for that? After that little spiel, I breathed a sigh of relief—I guess I have a creepy little fear now of being rejected for blogging, but in this case, he didn’t seem to mind at all.

Anyway so the rope class was in a conference room at a hotel. The Gentleman paid my admission, and after we signed our waivers, they gave us membership cards for next time. I liked that in a nerdy way—kinda like being in a superhero fan club.

A lot of the folks there seemed like they might be in a superhero fan club—it wasn’t a crowd that would’ve looked out of place in a comic shop, that’s for sure. While the presenter was setting up, one of the party organizers gave a demonstration. I was superpleased to see my new friend pull a set of bright, shiny, peacock-blue ropes out of his bag. We were learning a one-column tie. A column is any part of the body that you are isolating. The leader pointed out that if someone is working on one of your columns (in this case, our arms) then you could let someone practice on the other. Why is life so awesome sometimes?  As the gentleman worked on one arm, a nice little middle-aged lady with shortish purple hair worked on the other one. Standing there with my wrists out for them I felt a little burst of joy, like this is something I was made for.

I loved watching them work the rope, put it in the right place above my wrist, check the evenness of the tie. Other times with ropes, I hadn’t been allowed to watch, and that’s a shame. Learning with my eyes open, my clothes on, with someone who feels like an equal and not a pursuer or a mentor, this might actually work. In my education classes there’s something called the Zone of Proximal Development: that’s when learning is just challenging enough to be interesting but not so hard as to cause excessive frustration. That seems like a good place to be, and so is this.

Next: A Little Snuggle During the Demo

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