We’ve told you about the the hotel, the presenters, the spooky Cabaret and the pre-con intensives BUT what about the classes?
We had to make some tough decisions, but here it is! Without further ado, the ROPECRAFT Austin 2018 class list! The schedule is coming soon and we may make a few minor tweaks to the exact selections in one or two cases but this should be enough to get going on the daydreaming!
We all have a huge range of skills and abilities we bring to our scenes. But too often we hear amazing bottoms focus on what they can’t do. Whether your elbows touch or inversions make your lightheaded, you have things you bring to rope and recognizing those can help you and your top to build better scene. This class will be a facilitated discussion on how we find our own strengths in rope and approach our bottoming and negotiations from a place of “here’s what I can do” instead of “here’s what I can’t.”
We all know the dangers of kink and have heard a variety of BDSM horror stories, such as the dangers of flogging over the kidneys and or the risks of impact on bruises. But are they really true? Join me, a public health practitioner, to explore whether or not the risks we take as fact are really true and how we can address the things that really are risky. We’ll also go over some overlooked safety things – like how you really use those disinfectant wipes you find in the dungeon.
Full-Body Rope Handling
The classic image of the rigger kneeling behind the bottom and wrapping their arms comfortably around them is a very pretty one… but it’s not the only way to tie and handle rope. AltBronte has spent years developing an active style of tying that is well-suited to smaller tops tying larger bottoms, but it can be fun for anyone! Learn to think beyond static tying and use all the limbs and movement you have to tie while maintaining connection and energy. There will also be some classic rope handling skills and drills. Come dressed to MOVE!
Malice Aforethought: Anticipation as a Tool for Negotiation and Scene-Building
We love our spontaneous scenes that grow organically, but what if it were also true that you can construct a scene, down to the details, and still have it be fun and sexy? What if, even, the very fact that everyone knows what’s going to happen is what makes it fun and sexy? Consent is not the death of fun and options – it’s the basis for both.
You’ve decided that you’re ready to learn suspension? Great! This is the class for you. We are going to teach you to get your bottom in the air with a couple of basic suspension positions but also allowing you some creative license in where you put the rope and how you get them there. We will discuss the positions on a conceptual level and then give them a go.
If you’ve been doing suspension for a while, you’ve certainly run into a bottom who has to come down due to pain or numbness. We’re going to use this class to look at ways to move our bottom and change their position without having to bring them down. Dynamic suspension can significantly increase the length of your scenes. It is also the basis for rope performance. And most importantly, its fun! We will look at a few basic transitions while maintaining a strong focus on safety and sustainability.
Touch is one of the main ways we communicate in our daily interactions and it is especially important in our play. With touch, you can convey both simple and complex messages. You can make someone feel warm and fuzzy, scared out of their minds, or confused. In this class, we will break down the many aspects of this powerful tool through rope and the various ways you can use them together. Through discussion and practice we will explore the who, what, when, where, why, and how of touch in play.
Bigger Bottoms Agura
The biggest trick in tying this on any body shape is how you start your lift. Because the primary amount of weight is in the legs starting out in this tie, this can be a hard body lift. To avoid these extreme lifts and possible harm to your rigger, let’s look at the ways we can find your perfect flight in this beautiful and versatile sequence. • Let’s look at thigh band placements for thicker thighs. How many bands will fit on my legs? • To waist rope, or not to waist rope? Pre-reqs: Both riggers and bottoms should be experienced in suspension, be able to communicate through ties, and have safety tools.
Make It Your Own featuring the Front Hands Chest Harness
“For the first hour we will learn the Front Hands Chest Harness. This front hands chest harness is extremely sustainable for bigger bodies and prevents shoulder strain and possible exhaustion as seen in a traditional TK. Personally this harness saved me as a bottom, I don’t know what I would do without it. Don’t focus on the patterns! Modify placements and chest straps to make this harness your own. Load from any angle with options to create all the shapes.
Often times we find classes centered around a pattern rather than the needs of our bodies and mind. Instead, let’s look at the strengths of the bottom and top and come together to make a sequence that fits what you are wanting out of your time together.
Cynna will pass out note cards and pens. We will take 5-10 minutes to write down our strengths, favorite ties and positions, and what you want/ are needing from the rope today.
Tops will write down the same. Trade cards and talk about what you two as a team want to tie. See how you can incorporate the chest harness we learned in this class.
During this time the space is open. Tie like it’s only two of you in the room, ask questions, lab out position placement for bands. How can I make this tie better? What do I need to work on outside of class?
Feel free to do ground work, partials, or suspension (if experienced in suspension safety and has safety tools present).”
“Photorigging” – Tie ‘em up and shoot ‘em
“Hands-on learning; class participants should come with a DSLR that can shoot in manual mode and have a basic understanding of the photographic triangle.
Shooting a scene, whether your own or other people’s, requires some unique skills and extra awareness. This class will go over some best practices for shooting rope performances, scenes and play. We’ll discuss negotiating photos with partners, controlling poor light, shooting in tight spaces (bedrooms, hotel rooms, creepy attics…) and anticipating your shot. We’ll also go over taking photos without interrupting headspace or “ruining the mood,” flattering (or unflattering!) angles, and even using your camera as part of a scene. Bex will share some of her tips and experiences in front of the camera. In addition to shooting your own scenes, DWL will share some of his tricks for shooting other people’s play. Capturing facial expressions and real emotion, getting your shot without getting in the way, moving around your subjects, and being mindful of other people in a space will all be addressed. Dungeon-level photography skills – achievement unlocked!”
Ropesthetics – Applying Artistic Principles for Beauty in Rope
Discussion Based Class and hands-on learning; all levels welcome. One of the most unique aspects of rope bondage is the visual element it offers. From art installations to performances, photography projects to tattoo inspiration, there is something about the aesthetic of rope that draws people. In this class, we’ll discuss and demonstrate a variety of artistic principles from photography and how they can be applied to your tying. What kind of mood do different body shapes or poses evoke? How do your up-lines complete the “picture?” What do we mean when we talk about “clean” rope or “chaotic” rope? We’ll talk about things like lines and angles in both rope and bodies, directing the eye, different aesthetic styles, rules and how to break them, and the subjective nature of “”beauty””. Bring your rope and your creativity for this one!
Back to the Lab Again – Rope Bottoming Lab
(Hands-on class – all levels) Have you been trying to find your perfect futomomo placement, or wondering what a Guatamalan torture tie feels like? This workshop is the place for bottoms to explore in an educational, low-pressure environment where the focus is on you. We’ll talk about some of the challenges bottoms may find in rope, and ways to troubleshoot them, as well as some common solutions and alternatives. Then, grab your stunt top – it’s bottoming lab time! This is your time to troubleshoot those tough ties, or see what something new feels like. Hip rope vs waist rope? Box-ties and chest harnesses? Single futomomo suspensions? Foot cuffs vs ankle cuffs? Let’s play with some rope! This a bottom-focused workshop, but bringing a rigger who you’re comfortable working with is encouraged!
Above the Ring: Innovative Temporary Hard Point Construction
We all know a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, but do we all know how to spot the weakest link? In this class we will focus on the links that are often taken for granted, the links above the ring. We will discuss various methods of creating a functional and safe hard point from natural objects (such as tree limbs) and man made objects (such as ceiling joist). We will go over proper use of sling straps, carabiners and other commonly (mis)used climbing gear. We will discuss how to use block and tackle pulley systems in way that we can safely and quickly raise our lower our bottom(s) and more using tried and true techniques developed by mountain climbers, rescue teams and professional stage riggers. Included in this class will be downloadable notes and links to suggested equipment.
Bloodborne Pathogens and Universal Precautions for Kink
A lot of us would never consider having unprotected sex with a new partner, but woudn’t think twice about using a single tail that can draw blood on a first play date. If your play involves any sort of body fluids, or you play in public spaces where other’s play does, you should take this course. There is a lot outdated and flat out incorrect information when it comes to the proper protocols for dealing with bloodborne pathogens in our community. In this class I will teach the most up to date and thorough ways to not only protect ourselves and our partners, but those that will share space with us as well. Even the most experienced kinkster will likely learn some valuable information from this class. Included in this class will be downloadable notes and links to suggested equipment.
Tree Faerie Tie
Lew’s incredibly aesthetically pleasing tie he called his “Tree Faerie” tie is an unusual, ground breaking and rule breaking tie. Even when he first created it he didn’t think it was going to work right up to the lift when it did work. Not only does it have pleasing lines but one thing many people don’t know is that it is also a dynamic tie. The person in suspension can move and create different pleasing positions. Learning this tie is both simple and complex at the same time. Please have a bit of suspension experience, a mechanical lift of some kind and at least 400ft of rope.
Self Puppeteer Suspension
Lew’s dynamic suspension in which the suspended person can change their own position from right-side up to upside down to splits to many other positions all by themselves! Of course interaction in this fun tie can be fun too! People who have tried it are amazed at how comfy it is and liken it to a bondage yoga workout session. What is surprising is that you don’t HAVE to be strong to do it! Lew teaches how to move in this often counter-intuitive and amazingly fun suspension. You MUST HAVE suspension experience! Synthetic rope is best but anything will work
Predicament Bondage Intensive
(all day Friday)
see link for information HERE
Tensions with Intention and Rope Freestyle
“In this two part class Lexa will begin with some rope handling drills that will help you practice movement and tension. Tops will then use those skills we are practicing to engage in a single rope tie on their bottoms while telling different stories or conveying different energies through varying tensions, speeds, pressures, and connections. In the second portion, we will be doing an exercise in tensions, frictions and munter hitches. In this portion, Lexa forgoes the patterns and focuses on teaching you to utilize these tools in creative, free form ways. The finished ties will immobilize the bottom, but not in a planned or symmetrical way. Students will fine tune their skills with tensions, frictions and munters while simultaneously learning how to use them in a very organic way that forgoes traditional rope “rules”.
Low suspensions and partials for body handling
In this class Lexa teaches the skills needed to perform low suspensions and partial suspensions without the need for a TK or complicated patterns. These suspensions and partials will be done in a way to avoid most major nerve bundles to minimize risk and allow for more movement in the rope. Students should have a basic understanding of non-collapsible single and double column ties.
The Power of Mind/Body in Rope
Body and mental self-awareness are key things to have in your top and bottom skill set, and they might be a little more intertwined than you’d think. Sometimes tapping into deep headspace isn’t just about letting go of emotional noise, but mindfully willing your body to work with you to reach that state too. Additionally, managing a tie isn’t just about engaging a certain muscle group to shift weight or align for optimal movement – it’s about training the mind to identify the issue in the first place, and using the power of mind/body in tandem to get the experience you want to have. This class will cover exercises, ranging from mindfulness and somatics to psychophysiology, to build body awareness in and out of rope. And perhaps more importantly, teach us how to respect the interconnectedness of mind and body so we can use that intrinsic strength to reach our rope happy place.
Saturday Midnight Master Class – Painting with Light Exploration
(90 minute midnight masterclass)
One light, two and three lights. I provide all the lights, those attending bring a camera or phone.
Masterclass: Jazz Tying Transition Suspensions
Advanced Students for hands on, auditing all levels. Hands-on class.
One of the most difficult parts of learning dynamic transition suspensions is learning to think freely about where and how to manipulate the body. In this masterclass, students will be forced to think outside of the box and not follow a pattern when executing transitions during a suspension. This class will have a limited number of hands on participants.
Requirements: 8-12 ropes of at least 26 ft in length and proper suspension equipment. Tops must know how to tie a secure chest harness, hip, harness, and a safe single column tie. Tops must have a good understanding of upline management and must have done suspensions before in the past. Bottoms must have suspension experience and must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with their top. Bottoms must have a good understanding of their own body.
Intermediate Level Class. Hands on class
A futomomo (or ‘fat leg’) is a great way to bind the ankle to thigh to limit mobility for playing. During this hands-on class, M0co and Beemo go over various types of futomomos and show how these ties can be incorporated into your everyday play.
Requirements: 3-8 ropes, 26 to 30 ft in length. The class will need to know how to quickly and safely tie a single column tie.
The Beginning / Handle This
Learning terminology and safety as you begin your journey in to rope bondage. There is so much more to beginning rope than the single column tie. This class will run through some very accessible rope handling exercises to impart skills that can be used right away to help to create more satisfying rope scenes. You, no matter what your skill level is, will enjoy learning new ways of being able to control a length of rope from end to end. This class will have you dancing with your partner, using rope as your tool.
Rox the Box
There are so many variations of the box tie (takate kote or “TK” or gote), a tie which is the foundation of Japanese bondage. The basic components of a box tie are necessary to keep the integrity of the tie. This class will share the common version of a basic 2 rope box tie and break it in to 4 sections for ease of learning. It will provide a general understanding of structure, tension and safety with respect to making sure that your frictions are like rocks in the box tie.
Rope Bottoming Intensive
(all day Friday)
see link for information HERE
SelfTying and SelfSuspension
Learn how to safely tie your favorite person: you! Learn a few ways to restrain yourself for either preparation for your partner or as the prelude to some romantic “alone time”. Then students will learn how to suspend themselves without the need for a partner. Safety, preparation, methods of quick release, and exploration of the “worst case scenario” will all be discussed before a single student will be suspended.
A class focused on an energetic as well as a power dynamic during rope. Diving deep in to the role of a rope bottom and how to hold space for your top and give back as a bottom as well as forming boundaries to stay safe, aware and responsible for your safety as a bottom. Additional therapeutic movements to help lubricate joints, stretch muscles and stay aware in the body while bottoming.
It’s bound to be great, whatever we call it.
Bondage: The UnScience of ‘Newton’ Style and Speed
Sir Isaac Newton invented 3 Laws of Motion which set the physics world on fire and are still found to be as true today as they were when they were invented in 1686. These laws are applicable not only in the physical nature of what we do in bondage, but also in the emotional and spiritual realm as well. This class is not about physics or geometry in bondage, but about the motion of the human condition in bondage. How does a person react when things are done? How do we practice reading that? What do we do with that information once we have it? Along the way, we will cover and discuss the ways we can use those and our own body mechanics to increase the speed of our tying through the efficiencies and movements in reaction to the actions of ourselves, our partners, and the next path our rope is to take. There is no “one twue” answer but this class will delve into drills and practices which can be employed to help discover a variety of answers.
“Pre-Requisites: Box tie of your choosing
What to Bring: At least Six (6) 8m hanks of rope and a someone to tie/be tied by if desired
Fundamental Faux Pas
Throughout my rope journey, I have noticed a commonality in pretty much every teacher I have had exposure to. They focused on the subtle changes that could be made to the fundamental components rather than the overall pattern they were teaching. In this class, we will explore how the fundamentals that we use in so many ties can be adjusted to make any tie cleaner, more stable, more effective, and prevent tension changes. Participants will leave with an understanding of how to use these techniques and advance their bondage in aspects of aesthetics, stability, sustainability, and enhance the sensation of being bound for their partners.
“What to Bring: At least Four (4) 8m hanks of rope and a someone to tie/be tied by if desired