Trust: Rope Journaling 6-10
Trust has been a difficult thing for me in recent years. Especially in regards to sexual intimacy. Even more intensely when rope is added to the equation. It’s very seldom I’ll surrender my heart or body to a new person without an elaborate courtship.
So it astounds me to be given this same brand of trust by someone else. To walk into a room convinced that since I’ve come here alone no one will want to play with me. That though many years have passed, I’m still the chubby, friendless, loner eating lunch in a bathroom stall throughout high school to prevent being bullied into a locker. That in moments of intense social awkwardness that teenager surely bcomes visible inside me, making me even less desirable.
It’s ridiculous. In reality I enter a room full of rope people and half of them tend to be friends, smiling acquaintances, play partners past and present. This is the one part of the universe where I fit. Where I’m not the weirdo, or if I am there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s little to fear here. But that girl from several lives and thousands of miles of geography ago follows sucking at my self esteem, making me feel unworthy of asking for a partner. Better to be self sufficient, instruct the class I’m here to teach by tying up myself.
“Don’t be silly.” My lover says, “What about her?” He points at a painfully thin girl who is more his taste than mine. Besides she’s snatched up by a more established male rope top in seconds. This man whom I sometimes meet for afternoon trysts and feel no jealousy about sharing widely, shrugs sheepishly as his own rope partner for the evening appears, drawing him away. I watch my lover giggle with another woman, warmed through with happiness; full of what poly folks call compersion.
Another friend appears and the flirtation of our interaction eases my nerves, we banter and eye the room like leering old men looking for the catch of the day. He has no trouble, drawing someone in within seconds, I pout jokingly as he readies to leave my side as well. “Ooo, him!”
I look but only see a muscled tattooed arm. “Yeah, he’s hot. I’m totally into disembodied arms.”
“Just wait. I tied him once up in Seattle. He’s hot.” Dubious I wait, trying not to stare obviously as he turns the corner.
He is the definition of tall, dark and handsome. Tight shirt hugging his physique, tattoos peaking from shirt sleeves, un-pretentious pompadour in his slick hair. My friend elbows me. “Heck yes!” I say. Matching-making complete he laughs at me in that boyish way and hurries off.
Emboldened I bound to the section of the room where the unpaired folks stand and declare, “I’m Emily, I’m teaching the beginners class and I need a partner. Who wants to be tied up?” If Amanda Palmer can do this, so can I, damn it.
The gorgeous man lights up, steps closer and introduces himself before anyone else has a chance. I refuse to blush. Despite my brain weasels, I deserve this, I am worthy. The cutest boy in the room wants to hang out with me? Okay!
Now we have the length of the room to become acquainted, to negotiate, and get comfortable together. Somehow it works, we banter and carry on naturally as if we’ve always known each other. Though in my nervousness I’ve already forgotten his name and will spend the rest of the evening hoping he’ll introduce himself to someone else so I can eavesdrop.
As always, I spend the class pretending to know exactly what I’m doing—fake it until you make it!—to display as much confidence and authority as possible while making jokes and puns. The group is getting it! I’m a good teacher! I’m making new connections.
It’s dizzying to see these couples new to rope understanding the required gestures, knots, and steps it takes for a tie to work and click for the first time. The flicker of recognition on their faces as they learn something that they’re excited about. Often I dread teaching the 101 classes because I’ve done these ties so many times its almost painful to talk about them again. But this night I realize what a gift it is to be a part of these first rope experiences. I feed on their smiles and moans, the stress of the day replaced by elation.
Through it all he’s there, the subtle clean yet musky smell of him as he’s all too willing to take off his shirt to expose more muscle and ink. I remind myself to be a professional, but with my toppy hat on I can’t help but smirk at him coyly, eying my prize. He kneels, more out of being taller than me than submission; even still my belly flips. I forget what I’m saying. His skin is so soft and foreign to me. Why this fetish for the new when I have such treasured loves already? My scant panties are wet and I’m grateful for the tights I’m wearing even in the heat to disguise the smell of my arousal
The only way I can focus is to stand a foot away from his body at all times, something I would usually scold a class for, preaching intimacy and connection. But with this new body has me spinning. I’m not shy about telling him he’s attractive, he already knows how pleasing he is. He doesn’t return the compliment but he smiles game for everything I ask of him. Even when I say, “How would you feel about touching my chest?”
He does a double take, cocks his head and smiles hungrily. “Pretty good.”
“Okay!” I return the smile. Turning him to the class I prove that sometimes it’s easier to tie two wrists together if you put your partner’s hands on your chest. It places their wrists the perfect distance away for tying and besides who doesn’t like being touched. I nearly lose my place in the tie I’m teaching when I look down at him looking up at me, strong hands on my breasts. Fuck!
And at the end of the night the crowd thanks us, not just me. As if we’re a collective. As if we’re a team. Which I guess we were for the two hours of our acquaintance. And I remember that one of the things I love most about rope is the way it transports reality. How it makes something sizable from two people and a few knots. That this stranger and I had enough of a connection to convince the class we were regular partners. The love of rope made us that. Nothing more, nothing less.
I got the trust, respect and sexy smile of this man, this stranger. It meant the world to me to make that connection. To be given the gift of his beautiful body for decorating and manipulating briefly. Then we went on our separate ways.
Heading home, I had a warm heart and cunt. Newly reminded of why I love rope. My confidence newly bolstered. A new flirtation to smile myself to sleep over. I don’t know why he trusted me but I’m glad he did. I’d like to think I’ve now earned it.