A few weeks ago, at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, the first person I recognized when I walked in was Lee Harrington. It was a delight to meet him and to learn that he uses the word “squee” as both an adjective and a verb. That’s a nice friend for a kitten. I was starstruck, but I found the presence of mind to ask him just the right question: “What spiritual advice do you have for a beginning rope bottom?” He said, “Spend some time thinking about why you want rope.”
So, true to form, I’ve been journaling about it for a couple of weeks, but last weekend Sweetie and I got a chance to work on some, uh, more hands-on research. By the time Sweetie put the ropes on me Saturday afternoon (after a good long spate of snoozing and novel-reading, of course) I’d been feeling separate from her for a couple of weeks. I’d been missing my connection to her and doubting my ability to connect to others—worry and doubt that made me feel frustrated and disjointed from my body and hers. As soon as she started winding the ropes around me, though, it brought me into the present and into my body. I let my guard down and the wall of fear we’d had between us came down too. Like the Tantric dancing I’ve been experimenting with, the ropes helped me to free my body from the tyranny and noise of my head, and I gave myself a break from doubt and worry. I let myself off the hook.
We’re sticking to decorative for now, no restraint, but she did get the courage to pull tighter, and I loved it. I could feel the ropes squeezing my tensions away, especially when she wound them around my waist—I love the feeling of having my waist pulled in, I suppose it might be nice to try a corset sometime.
The overwhelming emotion was relief—standing naked before her as she wove me a harness that pulled me tighter and tighter; I felt a loved, safe, like a place had finally been made for me in the world. Anchored, grounded. I think I’ve compared ropes to Temple Grandin’s hugging machine before—that’s a little bit what it’s like—secure and loved, but in a different, more autonomous way then when you are being squeezed by actual arms. But lots of squeezing-with-actual-arms happened too.
When I wondered aloud “Why does this make me feel so good?” Sweetie said, “You don’t have to hold yourself together, so you can yourself go.” That’s close. It’s transcendence, but instead of pulling me heavenward, it pushes me deeper into myself, into my deep, awesome (in the traditional sense of the word) animal nature. She said the yowls and wails I let out as soon as she touched me made me sound like she was killing me, but those loud yelps are the pleasure and glee of giving in to my body and hers. I think maybe those things come more naturally to other people, maybe I just need that extra push/smush to let it out.
The volume of every sensation was turned way, way up, especially on my nipples, ass, and mouth. She touched me or pulled the crotch rope this way and that, and I wailed, and I kissed her and sucked her wrist, which is the thing I do when I’m most turned on by her. I don’t know why her wrist—maybe because it’s where her pulse is?
But it isn’t just about the nice bottomy sensations of laying there being touched and yowling and beautiful, there’s also this big, growly toppish side that comes out of me when I’m bound-but-not-restrained. I want to ravish her, and I do. This time, I was so aggressive that I thought I might hurt her, but I didn’t. Her body, though prone to any number of health concerns, is not the fragile paper flower I normally see it as. Her body is resilient, violent, full and wound up with power, the power between us, the abandon. When you’ve been married a long time, you can’t always fuck with abandon, but I’d like to heartily thank the pretty pink ropes for shutting off my fussy little concerns, for removing my sense of remove. When we can put the everyday aside and just be together, I think it’s a miracle. I think we are a miracle.
Maybe this seems obvious, but as I was floating around the house afterwards getting us water and making us lunch, it sunk in: I have a fetish, and there’s no reason to hold back from using it. Whatever reasons I want ropes, my body is made for them and I love them the way I love writing, or walking, or music, or Mad Men. I want to celebrate them, take full advantage, embrace the ropes as my own. This is a love letter to them, I guess, and to Sweetie, and to my own good-sport body finding the things it was made for.