While I’m writing this I am in a plane on my way back home. I just finished a short tour to Prague and the Prague shibari festival and to Moscow where the RopeMarks Ryu weekend intensive was happening, preluded by a masquerade ball themed Russian mass murderers (what’s in a name :)). In this blog I will talk a bit about my Moscow experience.

Moscow and the Moscow rope scene has a special place for me, I love the city, I love the people, there have not been many places where you are welcomed as warm as in Russia and the Russian rope scene. Coming back after Moscow Knot last April felt like coming home. It was great to see so many familiar faces in Club Predel where the RopeMarks Ryu workshop weekend was held. But, first the weekend was kicked of by going back in time to attend an eighteenth century party.

The Ball

Club Predel was transformed in the estate of Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova (aka Saltychikha, 1730-1801), a Russian noblewoman, sadist and serial killer from Moscow who became notorious for torturing and killing more than one hundred of her serfs, mostly woman and girls

With this background for the ball it really was no surprise that during the evening the guests could witness several intriguing, BDSM, scenes at the two stages. It all felt really intense and real, even more since everybody was dressed up in the most amazing 18nth century dresses and costumes while 18nth century classical music was playing in the background.

My character for the evening was Russia monarch Tsar Peter Alexeyevich (1672-1725), aka Peter 1st, aka Peter the Great, who in is youth has spend time in the Netherlands. As Peter the Great (why not), I was brought back to life by a beautiful but crazy witch (my own Spring) that was scaring the party guest. I used my ropes to catch and torture this crazy creature and the audience was very pleased to see her being tied, tortured and suspended in difficult positions.

The workshop

Next day, back in the 21th century, the RopeMarks Ryu workshop weekend started and this weekend was an experience, for me, but as I learned, also for the participants. For one, I am from Europe (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Moscow is not Europe (duh), the culture, their history, their rope influences, their way of thinking it’s all so different that I had to change my mindset on teaching.

Around twelve couples joined us for an intensive weekend about Japanese bondage. Since the Moscow rope scene is still quite young and many riggers thought themselves how to tie, there were many requests to ‘learn something else than we can find on the internet’. And that’s what we did. Our program was build up from refreshing and refining gote techniques, to safely playing with traditional and creative transitions. We also paid attention to physical safety, scene negotiations and communication. Especially if you tie with different people, it’s very important to always communicate about wishes, intentions and boundaries. It was great to see how quickly riggers and models started using their new skills to get more out of their play in every aspect.

Until next time

Way to soon it was time to say goodbye. This second goodbye this year was even harder than last time, so I guess that means we will come back. Thank you Natalya for your hospitality and thank you again Vlada and Falco for organizing this RopeMarks weekend!

Original text by Spring and butchered before publishing by Bob / RopeMarks

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