I was nervous about putting on the rope bondage performance at the art gallery last weekend. Not quite as nervous as my model, mind you, who called and wanted to cancel shortly before the performance. Still, I have been part of both the fetish world and the artsy gallery world, but this was the first time I was an active part of mixing the two.
My model, Alegra, was a great trooper–she is a natural ropeslut, but not a natural performer, and I suspect that her willingness to perform had more to do with her inclination to submit to me and less to do with any kind of desire to perform. It’s hard for me, who has been craving the audiences since I was 4, to remember that for most people, fear of public speaking (and, by association, performing) is greater than fear of death. So it is with extreme admiration that I tell you that she agreed to come to the gallery, to see how she would feel, and perhaps perform, if she felt up to it.
I had multiple plans, of course.
- Plan A was a piece using blacklight, flourescent ropes, and body paint (and no, I wasn’t copying Zamil-it was just a case of great minds thinking alike. But the body artist was out of town.
- Plan B was to do a combination of MST3K, tentacle sex, and Sesame Street. It is a great idea, and I hope to do it at Shibaricon, but there wasn’t time to adequately prepare.
- Plan C was a tribute to Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, with original music and vocal improvisation leading into “Here comes little red riding hood…” by Sam the Sham. We stayed with this plan the longest, but ended up ditching it, even with Plan C.5, where I had a t-shirt that read “WOLF”. It just wasn’t as funny as we’d hoped.
- Plan D consisted of “get up there and do something cool.” And that, with the help of my friend Atala, was what we did, using an aerial dance prop, some free-spinning carabiners, and music from Mastertouch
- Plan E was just to have the sculptures displayed all by themselves, with no performance at all.
So, we were covered.
I will go into more detail later, in my podcast, about the responses. Suffice it to say, I was a little nervous about how people who were not, as far as I knew, kinky would react to this. Would they see it as sensationalist sex? Would they consider it misogynistic?
No. I had one man come up and tell me that he was a hermeticist, and the energy that flowed between Alegra and myself had been incredible for him. I had another aerial performer tell me that she had been uncomfortable–because she knew how painful that hang was, but that the “deliberate” way I tied the knots (complete with her miming pulling them taut, and wincing) had made it very intense, and the ending — when I join the bound Alegra on the hoop, curling my own body around hers– had a tenderness that balanced the cruelty implied by the binding itself.
In short, they got it. They were able to see what I’d hoped they would, they were able to get beyond the sex without losing it, to the interaction and the sensuality and the power of interpersonal dynamic power exchange.
I realize I have been lucky. There will be other performances, I’m sure, where I will not be received as well. But this one…this one worked.
Pics, and possibly a video, as soon as I can get them from my friends.