The essence of rope for me is the interaction, communication and connection I make with the person tying me. Combining trust, exposure, submission, love, suffering, allowing the rope to reach all of these forces and bring us together, closer in a fierce embrace of the rope. This can be (for me) in a caressing soft embrace with some soft sensual rope, releasing endorphins in the most gentle of ways. Or it can be rough, loving, passionate, painful, all consuming rope. Both are very different, both send the same message, and I love them both just as much. I feel safe and close to him in his ropes wrapped in an extension of his love and protection, embrace and passion. How he sends the message is the fun part.
Submission, one of the places I feel utterly confident, strong, transformed, and away from my daily insecurities. It is just the two of us, him and I. Here I am safe, a place I can truly let go, trust in someone and give up control. I still have a mind of my own, am still a thinking, fully functioning, capable of decision (no matter how bad at it I am) and fully responsible for my own actions and those decisions I make, including being here in this submissive state in the first place. Knowing I have made decisions I feel are the right ones, happy with them, and loving these moments, is one of the most empowering feelings. It is funny that when we are at our most submissive often we can also be at our strongest.
I think a lot of people rush to learn suspension when learning to tie, often missing out on what rope is really about, the intimacy and connection. It is much more than showy suspensions, yes they show off your talents and think they have their place on stage and in clubs, particularly when the floor is a mucky sticky mess. For us, when it’s just the two of us, we can fly together with just one rope. If you get the desired emotional effect with one rope as you can with a full set, then you’re definitely doing something right. There is so much to be said for good floor work, and so little space here to say it.
Suspension offers a chance to push my body, test its endurance and physical limits, which I enjoy. I enjoy trying to maintain my endurance, listen to my body, it is when I am in this position I learn a lot about myself and my body, physically and emotionally. I enjoy the pain, risk, thrill and endorphin fueled adrenaline rush that suspension tends to intensify in a scene. There is no reason that suspension has to be disconnected either, like many say that it is. I don’t think I favour floorwork or suspension over the other, as they both have wonderful attributes and differences that could not be compared. It’s the mood an energy with my partner that draws me.
Through photography, I try to capture what it is that I love about rope, the feel of that moment in time and the story of the image. While every image can not always capture these elements, there are a few favorites that capture the perfect moment, a hint of the story of that raw emotion. Rope is different for each person; I want to capture what rope is for that person and share a glimpse into the dark fantasy of the moment. It takes a brave person to share that, to allow us in, and I am extremely grateful to those who have allowed me to share those moments.