I confess. I was stalking him. I had no other reason to go to Columbus than to see my friend Lochai…but how to get there? How to weasel my way in?
“I know!” I thought. “I’ll offer to be his ‘Teaching Assistant’. He told me he’s into T&A…that’s what it stands for, right?”All joking aside, it was a deliberate attempt to learn something from my friend – because like every rope top I’ve interviewed from Midori to Arisue Go, everybody is still learning. Lochai has tied up thousands of bodies, and thousands more have been tied up because people have learned from him and been inspired by his work. So yeah, while I thought I would also be able to help out, I knew in my selfish heart of hearts that I’d learn a lot, as well.
The Adventures in Sexuality crew was amazing. From the “Perversion Diversion” munch that DoNotGoGently and I attended (discovering that that she is amazing at making playing that bad look that good) to the opening of the space, Barak, Brat Sheba, and the rest of the crew have an amazing group out there. And the furniture! OMG, the frames were gorgeous…including the “Pleasure Portal” OctaBeam (think of a Steampunk Stargate Rope Frame. Yeah. It’s that cool).
But the workshop itself – the things that we learned from Lochai as he taught them using his Baby Girl Molly – that’s where it really became a special day. In the “Conversational Shrapnel” tradition of past GRUEs, here’s some bullets:
- It’s about being confident. Sure, he showed techniques, but the real point of his intensive was to give people confidence in whatever they were doing with rope.
- “The right rope is…the one that works for you.” Whether it’s mohair from Maui or 4-strand from Monk, use what you like – not what others say is cool. Unless you hear it on the Ropecast. Then you should definitely use it.
- “This rope talks to me.” That’s how you know you’ve found the Right Rope. He continued, “It says…I will bind her for you. I will control her…I will keep her safe.”
- “The perfect length of rope…” “...is about 3″ longer than the piece I’m using” was my contribution, but Lochai noted that it’s the length that, when doubled, is about three arm-stretches for you. That’s why his name was on the intensive. He’s so smart. The reason to measure it off of YOUR body, not your bottom’s, is because it’s likely that your body will be the most consistent size body you’ll encounter when tying different people.
- On Speed Bondage: “There is a difference between doing things faster, and doing things with an economy of time.” See “Zamil” for examples of this, but it’s one of the most profound and true statements of rope style I’ve ever heard.
- Hurt vs. Harm: “…is the difference between consensual and nonconsensual, between ‘she comes back’ and ‘you never see her again.'”
- “That rope ain’t comin’ unloose.” Best. Knot. Ever.
The day went all too fast, and he honored us by sharing his girl Molly’s first suspension in a quick demonstration of the principles he’d taught all day. But judging from the rope that was running through hands and over bodies that night, what he taught stuck with us all.
Thanks, AIS and Lochai. Let’s do it again soon, ok?