First Rope Bondage Workshop

“Do you switch, or do you just bottom?”

It took me a second before I could respond. “I just bottom,” I said, the words feeling heavy and difficult in my mouth. I had never said them before; I had never said anything of the sort to anyone who wasn’t my partner.

Tonight, he and I went to the Rope Bondage Peer Workshop in San Francisco. I was incredibly nervous before going into the Citadel, where the workshop was being hosted — mostly because I was about to “go public” with an aspect of my life that, until now, had been intensely private.

At first, we stood around awkwardly while some of the regulars set up their equipment for suspension bondage, and for a minute, I was afraid that we were going to be expected to know what to do, or that I was going to say or do something that would be “wrong” or mark me as a total newbie. But everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful, and a few of the regulars (including the hosts, Madame Butterfly and Lane) instructed a few of us in some basics. By the end of the night, I was in a full harness, stretching into “stockings” running to my ankles, and tied by one wrist to a cross. It felt pretty awesome.

I was surprised by how casual everything seemed, how normal. But then, I’m not sure why that was so surprising — after all, any hobbyists’ club is designed to give people a place where their interests or obsessions are completely normal. It’s like a sci fi convention or a birdwatchers’ meeting. I suppose the real shock, then, was that kink is no different — that sex can be a hobby.

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