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Continuing EducationSeattle, WA -- This past weekend was devoted primarily to a series of workshops, social events and play sessions focused on one of my favorite BDSM activities, rope bondage. While rope is not always present, it is a component of most of the scenes I create. Rope is one of my passions and I am always eager to learn more whether it is from structured training or the exchange of ideas with other riggers. The last few days provided many of these opportunities.

Max, who produces the Bondage Lessons series, brought in Mark Yu to present three workshops: Basic Body Assessment for Rope Bondage, Anatomy of a Suspension, and Hojojutsu Arm Binders. The photos above and below should be a special treat to a few of you that requested them and shouldn't come as much of a surprise. That's me in one of the Arm Binders taught by Mark. They are simple, fast and beautiful.

Continuing EducationYes, I'm a switch. Although there might still be some members of the broader BDSM community that would consider me a "second class player," in accordance with the Old Guard protocols identified by Guy Baldwin's article, "The History of Leather Traditions," I can assure you that is not the case within my community of family and friends. While my brothers and I carry on many of the Old Guard principles that we were brought into the scene with, this is one of those we have discarded over the years as not applicable for a variety of reasons. First, we believe in the value of experiencing the elements of our play from both perspectives. Second, it makes no sense to discourage those of us who have grown into our dominant roles through years of service, training and experience as boys and in relational based roles from their continued growth. Moreover, some of the heaviest, most experienced and respected players we know are switches... far from second-class players that can't make up their minds.

For me, as a true sadomasochist I derive pleasure from both inflicting and receiving pain and wouldn't let some social construct prevent me from perusing my personal enjoyment. I've always learned from the bottom up, as it were and I don't top scenes I haven't bottomed to, so if I want to continue to develop new skills switching is my only choice. Luckily, I've found a community that understands and respects these things and hope you do as well.