The class was great: if you get the chance, I highly recommend getting a session with Max. In addition to having a ton of fun, we both learned a great deal. In general, I found the most useful information to be the little tips and tricks that came up during the course of running through a few basic positions.
The usual disclaimers apply. Although there's no explicit sexual activity in the images, they do show real bondage and suggestive imagery. If images like that are likely to upset you, maybe you shouldn't look at them.
Going in, my one specific agenda item was to learn how to tie hair. There are all kinds of fun things you can do if you're able to tie up someone's hair, and I'd never been able to pull it off before. Max started out by tying up Silver's hair himself (we unfortunately didn't get a picture of his work, which was much tidier than mine). After that, I had a go, with the results you see here. It's a little messy, but it held very nicely for the rest of the session.
Here's a closeup of the same work. The basic idea is to place a bunch of very tight wraps at the base of the ponytail, braid the standing end into the hair, and finish with another set of tight wraps at the end of the braid.
- Get the wraps really, really tight. This was actually something of a recurring theme during the class.
- Use 4mm hemp for the wraps (or possibly leather bootlaces). Oh, no: time for another Monk order!
Moving on, we put Silver in a couple of different hogties. Here you can see that we've tied her wrists to her ankles, and although we've put a basic chest harness on her, we're not using it. Instead, we've tied the hair rope directly to the wrists & ankles.
- Think really hard about your frapping turns. It turns out that subtle changes in how you frap, and in how you connect to your fraps, makes the difference between a binding that tightens when you pull on it (probably bad) and one that loosens (probably good, within reason).
- Pay attention to the details when you apply a chest harness. Small changes make a big difference in how high the harness rides, and how snug it is.
Here you can see that we've redone the hogtie, and have added a vertical line. The chest harness has been redone to be snugger, and we've connected it to the ankles, which are now bound together. Traditionally, the wrists would be bound either to each other or to the ankles, but we've skipped that part. The vertical line is attached to an anchor point in the ceiling, and serves to apply some tension to the arrangement. This tightens everything up (which feels good), and pulls the body into a bowed position (which is attractive).
- The vertical line is secured with a taut line hitch, an extremely cool knot that I'd never used before. It's secure, but can easily slide up and down the line to adjust position.
- This particular chest harness has two wraps above the breasts and two below. It turns out that by alternating above and below, and by laying the second wraps outside the first ones (ie, the second top wrap goes above the first top wrap), you get a significantly snugger harness.
To finish up, we moved on to a partial suspension. Silver's chest harness is now attached directly to the suspension ring above her, pulling her onto her toes. In addition, we've attached one of her legs to an anchor point on the wall, leaving her balanced on one foot. Just for grins, I've bound her wrists and am holding the standing end of that line.
You can see that we're again using a taut line hitch (slippery, so it can be released quickly) for the vertical line, but a simpler (and faster) knot for the suspended leg.
- This is a considerably more advanced position, and it entails considerably more potential risk than the previous positions. Should anything go wrong with the vertical line, Silver would probably topple over onto the floor. Since her hands are bound, she'd be unable to protect herself from injury. At my present skill level, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing something like this without Max watching over my shoulder.
- This is also a considerably more strenuous position. Silver was forced to choose between raising up on her toes (which was uncomfortable for her leg), and resting her leg by taking weight on the chest harness (which restricted her breathing). That kind of predicament can be fun, but it obviously calls for heightened vigilance on the top's part.
- Anytime you set up a position like this, you want to think very carefully about your contingency plans (for example, what you'll do if your bottom faints), and your exit strategy (how you'll quickly but safely untie your bottom if an emergency arises).
Many thanks to Silver for a great Christmas present, and to Max for a great class and for taking these pictures.