Posts tagged trust
The Reciprocity of Trust: Rope Journaling 6-2

Somewhere along the way while sharing my rope stories I noticed something I wasn’t expecting started was happening. People kept saying “I trust you.” Or “I know from your reputation that you’re a safe person to explore this.” Or, and this blows my mind every time: “I really want you to be the first one to tie me up.  Like, really tie me up.”

And holy fuck if I don’t smile and beam and giggle and say “oh my god yes I’d be flattered, please come to me and my rope.” But on the inside I’m ugly crying as that broken, hurt part of me that’s been raped and violated and had her trust tattered again and again by shitty rope tops melts.  She gets smaller and less prickly every time someone tells me I’m trustworthy.  That means I’ve done everything right, I’m nothing like that monster who raped me. 

So I gladly put people in my rope and blast them out of this world with intimacy and happy brain chemicals as I wrap them up in my rope and my arms.  But they probably don’t notice me planted firmly on the ground, processing the experience and working every second to make sure they’re safe while they aren’t fully in control of their body.  That’s a heady experience and a lot of work.  But so worth it to show people how beautiful rope and kink can be when there’s trust and a connection. 

The problem with being the safe safest very most safe rope lady is I often can’t mix rope and sex, it gets so confusing since consent is something I never want to violate. I mean I’m all about people feeling pleasantly used and abused at the end of our time together if that’s what they’re into. I like providing that.  Fuck yeah!  But it takes me a long while to believe the person I’m tying up when they say sexy stuff is welcome along with rope, it isn’t something I can do casually. 

Jump to last weekend where I spent a blissfully large amount of time with the new fellow

I’ve been smooching on. Dear reader, it was our third date and we were out in daylight hiking, sharing food and drinks in the sun, then snuggled up in my bed all night participating in the holy and oh so rare for me trinity of rope/sex/cuddling. I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve shared that with!  So I was swooning with happiness.

On our first date he too said some variety of “I’m super curious to experience real rope, from you especially.”  And I almost died of delight. I’ve been looking for someone I like in life and in kink at the same time for a long while…and here he was.  So I was more than happy to tie him up during our second date, adoring the way he melted into the rope and against my body as I timidly bound him and touched and kissed him but not much else before releasing him so we could explore one another as equals.

And during that hike it was him that kept bringing up rope, the cheeky boy. Which made getting through dinner a multi hour tease, during which I was already picturing him naked. In my bedroom it was me that was nervous while I bound him and he calmly rolled around in my lines as I experimented with sensations to see what he might like.  Though his body let me know he was enjoying himself, practically yelling at me to take him, I couldn’t, he was too quiet and I’m too cautious.

So I untied him and we were back to the awkward but sexy fumble of trying to figure one another out with hands, and mouths and eventually merging body parts.  But not finding satisfaction we were at the odd moment of “now what?”

“I liked being in the blindfold while I was tied up.”  He demurred. As in, hint, hint lady tie me up again!

This was new, I’d (no hyperbole) never ever been in bed with someone and had them request more thorough or more frequent rope.  Nope, I’ve always been the one begging for rope time. So you better bet I got up and untangled that mess of rope on the floor and bound him up tight and vulnerable and naked at the center of my bed.  And instantly his body was alert and willing where it had been soft and lovely at rest seconds before.

And this time I trusted him (because that’s a big thing rarely talked about isn’t it, that the trust goes both ways, because I need to trust that my bottom actually wants or can handle what they’ve asked for in addition to them trusting me to not cross boundaries) and tied him so that he was exposed and there for the taking.  It took my breath way to see him there.

So oh did I take! Taking pleasure in pleasuring him, lapping at his body as if he were the cure to something, so tempted to ride that which was exposed to me but deciding to wait until later.  But the knowing I could trust that he would enjoy that taking, that riding, that shared vulnerability was heady.  I trust him in so many ways, rewarding his trust of me by returning it. 

He’s not a monster (not even close) and neither am I.  So it’s okay (more than okay!) if sex and rope and more all happen at the same time.  Now to remind myself of that next time I have him in my rope…

Life is Just One Big Ole Trigger Warning

The first time I was raped, a man kept me in a hotel room for three days, violating me in every way possible.  The graphic details aren’t important, it doesn’t help anyone to know how many times he held me down and in what positions.  What is important is that I was scared.  So scared that he didn’t have to physically hold me hostage, I came back to the hotel each day to endure hours of violence “of my own free will.”  Is what he said.  He also said, “If you don’t show up I’ll tell your parents what a whore you are.” 

He had a lot of threats, that’s the one I remember all these years later.  I believed him. He knew where I lived, worked and went to school.  So I showed up and like a statue lay there while he took what he thought I owed him for being female.  This was only the third time I’d been naked with a man so he also took my ability to think of sex acts as intimate or arousing.   

Later my mother found a piece of paper with a rape support line written on it and cornered me. “What’s this? Who did it?” I said his name.  “That’s what you get for hanging out with older men and going to hotels with them. What did you expect?”  She took the number from me and closed me in my room to cry. 

When I told my then boyfriend he asked, “Why did you cheat on me? I don’t know if I can forgive you.”

So of course I thought it was my fault.  For two years I went ahead and slept with anyone who looked in my direction.  I deserved to be used, I was worthless, a whore, just a body to be used.  I got no pleasure from sex; not with these random encounters, not with boyfriends, not with tender female lovers.  It was all penance I was paying with my body, hoping one day to have fucked away the memories of that man.

My male roommates seeing the parade of one night stands stage whispered from just outside my door so I would hear, “Her legs are like a map; spread wide open and impossible to fold closed.”  Laughter. 

Later one of those boy roommates would threaten to kill me with a machete and send an email full of nude pictures he’d found while going through my things to everyone in our creative writing group.  All because I wouldn’t sleep with him.  He was owed it after seeing everyone else in school have a turn at me after all.  When I refused to live with him any longer I was an over reacting bitch.

The second time I was raped was by a man I was learning rope from, he was sexy and fun until he decided to take the one thing I didn’t want to give him.   There was no rope the night he put himself inside me, the event so shocking I didn’t struggle, simply left as soon as it was over.  After all the intensely physical and consensually rough scenes we’d shared it was the tenderness of the act, the lack of bondage or sadism that hurt the most.

We had been intimate for months without any hint of this.  He was a rope pro, everyone in town loved learning from him and going to his parties.  So did I.  This was a decade into my exploration of kink.  One of the things I enjoyed most about BDSM is the focus on negotiating, boundaries and consent. Finally I was enjoying physical intimacy; kinky sex and play made me feel safe.  Especially when this man declared, “Don’t worry, I have no interest in your cunt.  You couldn’t handle the chi of my penis anyway.”  A joke to let me know how safe I was with him.

He went ahead and stuck it inside me anyway.  And when raping me wasn’t enough he went ahead and ruined my reputation in the kink world through the typical “he said, she said” bullshit as well. No one wanted to believe me, I was the crazy ex. He had a venue, taught classes and had been around for years, I had nothing to offer other than my story and that was easy to ignore it. 

When other women spoke up, dozens of us, it was harder to ignore but he still taught, I got the side eye for ruining the rope community in Portland. I stopped playing, I couldn’t even trust kinky folks.  I was the rope slut who didn’t do rope.  Later he rapes a famous rope bottom at a famous conference and people get interested in my story.  He’s run out of the scene, the rope community gathering around with bamboo pitchforks and hemp nooses.  She shouldn't have had to go through that, (none of us should have) his time in the scene should have come to an end the second one person spoke up.

In the aftermath people say, “Oh I believed you all along.” 

I get a lot more selective about who’s allowed in my life and my bed.  So no surprise the scent of trauma and pain on me makes me a perfect victim for a narcissist.  He swoops in with love and lust and big protective papa bear arms.  He’s going to heal me with consensual sex and this unbreakable bond we have.  Oh it’s sexy and exciting and he’s the only thing in my life: he’s that bright and shiny and comfy.  We understand one another like no one else could ever understand us.

Until he leaves me for his next victim.  It’s only after therapy and SSRI’s that I realize he had made sure he was the only thing in my life on purpose.  Cut me off of from everyone else to better manipulate and gas light and break me into some sad suicidal victim.  #3: soul rape.

The fourth time I’m only almost raped.  He’s drunk.  “But I have a condom!”  He wines.  I push him away from my held open legs and torn stockings, my friends watching, knowing I can handle this, I need to handle this on my own. He cries like he’s the victim, as if I was the one that had a hand on his throat a minute earlier.

He goes home with his partner, my friend, and takes it out on her with cruel words.  We’re strong, smart, capable women but she can’t get away from him and I don’t stop her from going home with him while he’s that drunk and angry.  I’m a terrible friend, I saved myself that night but not her.   

She’s free now and we promise one another, “Never again, never men like that, we’re worth so much more.”  We’re a pack of fierce women looking after one another now, there’s safety in numbers and in unconditional sister love.

The fifth kick in the gut is an email from the person that’s supposed to be protecting my manuscript.  About one of my early explorations with kink that didn’t go perfectly she confronts me with the metaphor “So, if a dude walks up to me and punches me in the face, even if my nose isn't broken and I'm not traumatized by's still assault.” 

As if she gets to define trauma for me.  As if I need more hurt in my life. As if I haven't experienced enough pain to know what is and isn't trauma. As if it’s her or anyone’s place to tell me or anyone what I should be troubled by. 

This book is my gift to the world, to all the sad or lonely souls who are suffering and don’t know yet that they aren’t to blame.  I want to garner more healing and love in the world.  There’s enough suffering and pain. Every day is a struggle to lift someone up, to make good from the cruelty of suffering and death.  Sometimes all I can do is lift myself out of bed and I call that success.

But here is another women trying to take me down a peg instead of lifting me up.  Adding to the weight of the world.  Cutting a sister down at the knee for no good reason.  I’ve known so many women like this before and I’ve called them mother, metamor, lover, self.  So much violence for women and here we are heaping more on one another.

I say no thank you to anymore of that. 

To those of people that instead of being led by their fear or by their empathy-less logic, chose to be guided by their hearts, the ones who share words, space and open arms I love you.  Let’s not let the triggers of the world get us down. I don’t need anyone telling me what should hurt.  I don’t think anyone does.