I’m not often asked to play. I don’t wanna dive into the reasons for that, because I have a Demon who loves to chew idly on the deepest recesses of my guts by idly speculating it is because I’m a fat dowdy blowhard that no one really wants, anyway.
Most of the time I don’t believe her.
SO! When someone DOES invite me to trip the kink fantastic, and I feel a good sort of connection to them, and I haven’t heard any Bad Shit about their skills, and none of my Rumbly Inside Voices are suddenly on alert, even for “No Apparent Reason,” I’ll say yes. A little bit ago, I was hanging out in one of the informal lounge areas at Kinko De Mayo, a really fun event in Ohio. I was unwinding from having presented a class, and was shooting the shit with another presenter. I’d met Cannon a few times in the past, and in the past few years he was cropping up as someone with a passion to learn and teach about rope. In the course of our conversation one of his partners, Tifereth joined us. They both mentioned that the other person in their family, Fen, sent her salutations and was bummed she wasn’t able to make the event. We talked about the rigors of presenting, news and notes from around the scene, some juicy gossip, and we even told on ourselves, when it came to hard-won lessons and “Fucking Opportunities for Growth” that, despite occasionally inducing winces, ultimately mold us into who we are. I was privately impressed at the degree of humility Cannon displayed in sharing about some of his own “Growth Ops,” as he did so with a candor and self-effacing humor that, frankly? I don’t observe in many dominant type people. It was refreshing to see that, and to hear of the credit he paid his partners in facilitating his growth as a dominant.
As the conversation hopped and sprinted and meandered, eventually, as it should, to rope, I mentioned how I’d had a rather disappointing moment during a negotiation to play. Due to a rotator cuff issue, I am not able to assume the Tried-And-True “takate-kote” position favored by…well….Almost. Every. Rigger. Who does Japanese-style rope bondage when creating a base for a rope scene. When I mentioned I can’t maintain it safely/comfortably for more than a few minutes, that Rigger said “Oh, well we can’t do rope then. That’s the basis for my ties.” and decided we’d not incorporate rope into the scene. Mind you, I have been rigged hundreds of times without that particular tie, but the fact that this rigger dismissed me as a potential rope bottom because of my limitation broke my heart a little.
Cannon lit up. “I’ve been working on a tie…” he began, with that look I do so love to see in a fellow pervert. That mix of pure deviousness and childlike glee. “…a tie that specifically avoids that position. I would love to share that with you, if you’d be interested in doing a scene with me.”
Now, I played it cool, because bursting into tears isn’t The Move when in the middle of a fucking event. But the truth is? I was moved deeply. Because, despite all of my seeming confidence, when someone says to me “I won’t do that with you.” what part of me says is “…because you’re broken.” In one moment, Cannon had managed to not only remind me I wasn’t broken but offered to share, with me, something in which he took pride. That’s a pretty big deal for me, and so I kept it together and said “Of course, I would love to!”
AND I didn’t even cry.
We worked out some details about who was doing what and when with whom, and came up with a tentative time to get together to play. Did that initial negotiation thing, and before we parted ways he said “Before we play, please make sure you’ve had something to eat, and are hydrated and everything, and are warmed up a bit.” Part of my brain threw back her head and laughed “I was getting tied up, suspended from the ceiling and whipped to within an inch of my life when you were in Elementary School playing Super Nintendo, kiddo!” and then the rest of my brain beat the everloving fuck out of that part of my brain and thought “That is some thoughtful shit, yo.” Because, seriously…assuming anyone always remembers that shit is foolhardy. I forget to eat all the time. Years and years of Executive Perving aside. And as much as I run around, taking time to warm up has been known to fall by the wayside. But the MOST vital thing that a top does when they remind the bottom they’re playing with to do self-care is to remind us that they care, and they remind us to give a fuck about ourselves, because sometimes? Let us be honest….we forget. Or we aren’t well-trained in the art of putting ourselves in the lineup when it comes to prioritizing shit. SO yeah, you’re damn right I had something to drink, made sure I’d eaten long enough before not to feel barfy but with enough time to know I was fortified.
It took awhile to find somewhere to play, because so many people were getting their kink on all over the place and the party was bumping, but we found an out-of-the-way corner and settled in. I appreciated the fact that Cannon and his partner Tifereth also checked in with one another, because I’ve seen some situations where poly folks don’t take the time to do so when they play with other people and, yeah, it can feel strained not only for the people in the relationship but the people stepping into that circle, even for a little while.
It was great to be able to have a calm space, out of the relative frenzy of all kinda people doing all kinda play all over the dungeon. It was wonderful to have someone who truly enjoyed his rope, and our connection, paid attention to me and my reactions, laughed, and remained present and connected throughout the scene. And if you’d watched it, you wouldn’t have seen a flashy suspension, or some Epic Sadism or Massive Feats of Masochismo. Cannon seemed to be in the “Do it Right, Bring ‘Em Back & Leave ‘Em Wanting More” camp and after a purely delightful journey of rope on, rope moved, and rope off, I was certainly ready to sign up for more.
I appreciate rope tops who know that every moment, every coil, each knot, every tug can be fraught. And I especially love that moment when they see me enjoying something, or twitching away from something else, smile, and push those buttons. The sweet eroticism of rope isn’t something that everyone can appreciate purely and simply, and I always marvel when that blissed-out purr slips from my own contented insides and resonates for and brings a smile to the person tying me up.
Thankfully, because we weren’t taking up equipment, we were able to chill out after our scene and watch Tifereth do a truly beautiful dynamic self-suspension that would have been in place in a Cirque Du Soleil performance. The kid has skills.
After we played, he checked in. Not only that day, but a few days later. To be honest, I haven’t had a top do that in…years. Years and years. Yeah, we are all busy. Shit slips through the cracks. But to have Cannon pop up on IM and re-connect after our scene, coupled with that fact that I had to wrack my brains to think of the last person who had taken the time and energy to do so, touched me again.
Sometimes, it is the simple things that are the most moving, the most touching, and that re-ignite a previously forgotten type of chivalry and etiquette that I feel would be wonderful to see restored.
Since then, we have chatted online. I think we will be friends. His partner Tifereth is also making her way in becoming a presenter, and she and I had a really great conversation about some of what it takes to traverse this strange landscape.
So thanks, Cannon, for not only the stuff you knew you did but the stuff you didn’t know, until right now. And…er…thanks for raising the bar a little bit higher.
Thanks a LOT!!