Japanese Rope Bondage Taught Me about Vulnerability

Japanese Rope Bondage Taught Me about Vulnerability | Passion by Kait

A few weeks ago I found myself in the workshop space of a sex toy store for a Japanese rope bondage class.

Yup – lil’ old vanilla me!

I was at once super nervous and ridiculously excited. You see, ever since I wrote my vanilla manifesto, I made a commitment to go outside my comfort zone. This is one of the best take-aways from Catalyst – to be comfortable with discomfort and to actively move towards situations that challenge me.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m 100% ok with being vanilla. But I also want to ensure that I’m bringing you the best and most inclusive sex info and advice there is. That means doing the research and sharing my results with you.  Because we know that underneath this educator is a (neuro)scientist just itching to run experiments. 😉

Plus, I get to have some seriously awesome experiences.

Back to that Japanese rope bondage class! The focus of the evening was on “connective tying.” In other words, we wouldn’t be learning intricate knots but rather focusing on connecting and building intimacy. Since “intimacy” is so often a euphemism for “sex,” I feel like this is a good place to say no sex took place. This was not an orgy, clothes were kept on, etc. Just in case you, like me, had a totally different idea about what BDSM and kink was all about.

Moving on.

I had zero clue what to expect but somehow knew my assumptions would be challenged. The main reason I attended this class was because I already knew and felt totally safe with its teacher, Hedwig. I knew that at any point I could stop or leave and no one would take offense or question my decision.

Anyway, after a talk about connective bondage and a demonstration, I partnered with my top (the person doing the tying) and we discussed my boundaries as well as how I could communicate during the session. I felt honored to be partnered with the head of NYC’s Hitchin’ Bitches because I could immediately and intuitively tell that I could trust her completely.

The first exercise was focused on physically and energetically connecting pairs + building trust. It as about getting to know each other, grounding, getting present, and relaxing into the space and experience. Its similar to the breath work you do at the beginning of a yoga class or the first few touches given by a masseuse. The next two exercises involved the rope, which my top let me feel first just so I’d be prepared! Since the goal of the event was connection, there were no intricate knots or designs. Instead the focus was on trust, consent, and being present. There were lots of giggles, relaxed sighs, stumbles, and moments on the line between exhilarating and terrifying.

It was effin’ amazing.

My few experiences with kink (ok my one…) and conversing with kink communities have been so consent-focused and body-positive that it sometimes makes me sad these values aren’t translated into mainstream sexual interactions.

I left the Japanese rope bondage session feeling so full of energy. Credit certainly goes to me for being brave and open but also to my top and to Hedwig for creating such an inclusive space.

But what does this all have to do with vulnerability? When we’re operating from a space of shame, its hard to strip down for a partner– figuratively and literally! No one is alone in this. Before we even began I told my top that I have trouble letting go physically even when consciously trying to relax. Many a masseuse have told me this; however, throughout the night I felt myself getting deeper and deeper out of fear for what would happen and shame over my body and into this place of pure bliss.

In other words, I let myself be completely and utterly vulnerable. I was literally at the mercy of my top. I trusted her completely but also knew that if she wanted to, she could control me simply by pressing the right pressure point. So I had to shed away the layers of lies my ego has been feeding me and lean into the experience fully.

None of this was easy especially not at first. By taking the risk, though, I was able to have a transformative experience that connected my more deeply to my deeper self. This is amazing in and of itself. But as an added benefit, I saw my relationship strengthen as well. You see, vulnerability lets us be more real, trusting, and open with ourselves and our loved ones. This, in turn, allows for a deeper connection, both because you’ve grown as an individual and because you’re allowing others in. Finally, this connection means you can have better sex, deeper org*sms, and more meaningful cuddle time. In short…

vulnerability –> intimacy –> better sex Tweet that!

So the next time you’re finding yourself afraid to open up, to reveal yourself and your true desires, remember that simple connection and be brave. I know you can do it!

Know someone who struggles to be vulnerable or who lets fear rule? Share this post. They’ll thank you and so will I.

Your Partner in Passion,

Kait xo