"...And as I don't want to make the decision yet, I tie a waist rope..." We just got back from teaching the "Bodies under Pressure" workshop in Kinbaku Lounge Copenhagen, and the waist rope was super present in all the exercises throughout the weekend. My partner loves the waist rope! Last week he wrote "Meditation on Waist Rope", you can read it HERE, and I wanted to add something from the rope bottom's perspective...
It definitely matters which part of the body is tied! In our beginner’s workshop, we practice the same tie (e.g., single column tie) on different parts of the body. Wrists, ankles, tights… rope tops are getting stuck figuring out the knot, rope bottoms get visibly bored… when we get to the waist, the atmosphere in the room immdiately changes! Suddenly there is movement, a bit of looking, a bit of touching, some kissing… When we tie the waist, we are forced to come nose-to-nose, forced to notice each other… Waist rope is probably the least objectifying rope ever. One can tie the chest in an objectifying manner, no way you can do that with the waist rope! 🙂
For me as a female identified person, when my partner chooses to tie a waist rope, it has something to do with making me look and feel beautiful. It shapes my body into the “sand clock” shape, it pulls me up on my tippi-toes… Isn’t it the same reason that for centuries women would wear corsages, tight belts, high heels?
As is often the case, for beauty, we suffer. Waist rope is definitely a very impactful tie! Reducing breathing capacity, squeezing our precious parts, our internal organs. It’s no joke. It can easily make us a little nervous, a little anxious, our brain gets all alarmed, anticipating the danger, producing inner dialogues: “…Did they remember to make a placement correctly? What if it’s wrong? Should I say something? Could it be dangerous for me? What is that burning, is it my poor kidney? I will wait a bit and then I will definitely say something…”
Suspension / loaded waist rope: Whoa, that’s a challenge level up! We need to have a lot of self-trust as well as trust and love for our partners to be able to accept it. From here it goes from the technical to the relational level. As Alexander said, the waist line often becomes the line that separates those who go for seme-nawa and those who stay in recreational bondage (which is not at all bad, just different).
The waist rope hardly ever feels “calming”, it’s not something you can fall into… It often feels disturbing, wrong, scary, we might feel halved in two (heavy) parts pulling down… almost broken. Especially scary when there is no contact with the ground, no stability under our feet, total loss of control. We intuitively tense up, hold the air in, try to regain the wholeness of ourselves, the safety, the ground.
The way to sustain it though is the most counterintuitive – relax, exhale, let the air out of your guts, allow yourself to feel the disturbing sensation, allow it right into your guts… cry if you need to, but don’t fight it. You don’t have to hold on, they have you. That’s the feeling…
If you are up for the challenge, practice slowly, step by step. Your body can learn to fall into it. Here is an idea for a controlled practice in partial vertical suspension.
Ask your partner to tie a gote on you and pull the waist rope until you are standing on your toes and then tie it off. Slowly relax your posture and let yourself fall into the waist rope. Notice if you hold your breath. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax your legs. Let them hang. Stay like this for a while, watching your breath. Slowly come back to control your posture.
At all times, take it slow and listen to yourself. Trust your body, it will pick it up…
*** Picture thanks to LucardDK***