I recently had the opportunity to attend a rope studio event which changed my view of rope forever.
I've seen shabari before. I've seen elaborate knotwork and ties and the girls in prone positions, positioned like marionettes. It did nothing for me.
Bondage itself was fun, but in my mind, always decorative. I've wanted subs to submit to want to submit to me, not be forced. My power, I felt, should be innate, not externalized, and so I saw rope as a more convenient means to an end.
But in the rope studio, seeing even a simple rope scene, all that changed. I saw power, control and intimacy. I saw motions that looked like martial arts and the grace of ballet. I saw a power dynamic of shared experience, of giving and receiving. I saw a practice that requires skill and in its expression, a projection of the rope top's inner world.
I may never be an expert rope top, but I now understand the art form, have an appreciation for not just the raw power, but the inner beauty, the subtlety of movement and grace of connection that I never had before.