Part of an on-going series.
The weather has been crazy nice this week so I’ve been wandering around New Haven after support hours. It’s gorgeous, and a little wacky, seeing all the different architecture. On a single bock you’ll go from Gothic to Georgian to Neo-Modern to Victorian. I love it. It’s like a microcosm of Yale’s history.
I hadn’t been much for architecture until very recently. Specifically until @Alyska introduced me to Brutalism which feels so intensely utilitarian that I find it a little laughable. Functional extremism is just odd to me as humans are aesthetic, artistic beings. Why strip things down that much such that they become so lifeless? It’s dystopian.
- Brutalist buildings usually are formed with striking repetitive angular geometries, and, where concrete is used, often revealing the texture of the wooden forms used for the in-situ casting. Although concrete is the material most widely associated with Brutalist architecture, not all Brutalist buildings are formed from concrete. Instead, a building may achieve its Brutalist quality through a rough, blocky appearance, and the expression of its structural materials, forms, and (in some cases) services on its exterior.
The English/Humanities building on the UW campus is a Brutalist construction, which is especially funny as the building feels so drab and lifeless for an arts-type space.
Bt that touchstone in Brutalism has triggered more ,earning and investigation which has been fun. I’m hoping to better able to identify building styles better on site soon.
Things I learned at Shibaricon.
This was my first Shibaricon and my fourth kink and sexuality convention. Overall it was a good experience and I learned many good things both because of classes and because of people around me.
Old schools and new. Beware: I’m about to make some very gross generalizations that are likely going to anger some of you. I took a couple of classes from folks I consider part of the Old School of kink – and I don’t mean “old” here in a pejorative way. Old School kinksters seem to ascribe to more traditional views of BDSM – women are bottoms, men are tops; kink is a serious thing; there are right ways and wrong ways to do kink. And, if you don’t agree with me or do things my way, you’re an idiot and should be in the scene.
It boggles my mind that anyone thinks like this but I think it is generation. The people I know in the scene are open, understanding and egalitarian people and I don’t understand why anyone would be actively close minded about different ways of doing things. The Old Schoolers had a hell of a time finding acceptance fr what they do and built the community I now enjoy. But would that fight not open your mind to others? To accepting other viewpoints or ways of doing things? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Why do we not have a standard lexicon for the things we do, especially in Shibari? I don’t care if you’re tying Western or Traditional Japanese, using “matanawa” as hip harness or “matanawa” as crotch rope, why can’t we agree on varies things we should all know at various levels of skill? I loved that Shibaricon attempted to attribute levels of mastery to classes so teachers didn’t have to waste their time teaching the one person in the room who didn’t know a single column tie.
But the various instructors didn’t have consistent definitions for expectations for each level. Knots and ties are fairly discrete and thorough cataloged in many of the books available to us; ties have discrete components that add to or moderate the level of understanding of those discrete features needed to accomplish them.
It seems like this could be fairly easily solved with a rubric and clear layout of terms/names for knots and ties.
I enjoyed the classes the most that had a clear intention and progression. For example, Sir C’s Hojojutsu class had a clear structure: hojo history> making a hojo bundle> basic takedown techniques> basic hojo tie. And tis prpgress fit very nicely into an hour point five.
It was glorious. A little forethought, organization and preparation can make for an extremely rewarding experience.
Fun for mentals
I’m missing some basic understanding of rope tying and I think part of it was jumping in before I had a good foundation. I have a few consistent problems, some I find kind of embarrassing when I go to tie.
Not knowing how to secure a line – @Alyska can regularly slip out of my ties but not because of hypermobility, because I don’t recognize when I need to secure a line.
Direction kannuki – when tying a basic friction when crossing two lines, you can get the working end moving in any direction. I regularly blank on how to accomplish that. IN many cases, this leads to my above problem.
I default to lab mode because I’m always trying to figure out a tie rather than just doing. This revelation came almost immediately from Lochai defining the lab vs play mode dynamic and I’m grateful – I’d never made that dichotomy and I think it is extremely important for me to differentiate. In particular, I have *entirely different expectations for myself between the two states.
The short of it is that I would like to practice more and need to create a space at home and a dedicated time to practice.
Holy crap, am I out of my league at Shibaricon. The main room on Sunday, the night @Alyska and I were playing, was Suspension Central. All the cool kids were there doing their very impressive things and she and I were at the kids table, trying some futumomo leg ties because we had differing ideas on how it was accomplished in an image we saw.
It was… humbling? Infuriating? I think to a degree I feel more comfortable with my skill level in Madsion because of how we approach classes. We tend to review basic stuff frequently, particularly at SMtR, which is populated with more newbies more often. I think it gives me an exaggerated sense of ability.
Sidebar: this was part of my reference about being bad at Cons. I am mediocre at best at play which, at Shibaricon at least, feels more like showing off than anything done because people like it. I can imagine this is especially frustrating for those leading the classes who are far, far more advanced than they seemingly ever get to teach.
Learning, exploration, and curiosity are of the utmost importance to me. I don’t get people who aren’t curious, who don’t ask why. And its not that I think everyone can and should be able to answer it, or if there even is an answer. I want people to know they don’t know or that they can’t answer something and understand that it is OK not to know. I don’t get being offended about it.
Inspiration is serendipitous and can be facilitated by bumping minds with people who really grok things. This goes hand-in-hand with gthe above – people who really get something and can help me explain it facilitate the sort of serendipitous connections of ideas that generate great ideas.
I had a few of these moments and have many ideas for the future of Bunny Rope and my own kinky development I owe to these sorts of moments. I just need to get over my brain and bashfulness t talk to more people who seem to grok things that I want to grok.
Lots of coworkers go to IML. Many of them in very little leather….
And really, self, you can’t eat just one of those dark chocolate nuts and it will ruin your night faster and more consistently than you think. Stop bringing sugar to conventions; it’ll be better for everyone.
Such a big list of things to do coming from this weekend. Such a big list.