Last Sunday we had the privilege to host and learn from WykD Dave. We had been wanting tuition from him for a very long time, so we were obviously very excited about this.
And it didn’t disappoint. Not one bit.
What I thought would be a few hours of knots and frictions, turned into an inspirational afternoon. For those who don’t know, Wykd Dave is one of the most experienced riggers in Europe and probably the world, given his decades of tying. He is also a skilled and thoughtful teacher, an excellent and stimulating communicator, with an incredible talent for reading people. As FredHatt’s model, I was actually prepared to be somewhat passive in the experience as I expected it to be more like a technical ‘lab time’ session, but I ended up feeling like the focus of the experience. It all makes sense really as Wykd Dave says: “I don’t do rope, I do people, but I do them with rope”.
‘Rope is about people’.
Somewhere in between our pursuit of technical knowledge and our involvement in event organisation, I think we temporarily forgot about that. Of course bondage is about people, of course it’s about communication and partnership, of course it’s about emotions and sexual emotions above all. Bondage is first and foremost about connection and feelings, about intimacy and play. Trying to disconnect those two elements from each other leaves a bit of a hole. And for that reason the lesson was a beautiful reminder of this truth.
I’m still processing all the things we learned on Sunday, both the technical elements, the connection elements and all the things in between that Dave spoke about. But even in the muddle of it all, what has transpired is a sense of returning to the essence of bondage and to how we want to do rope with each other.
FredHatt and I have always sought out as much tuition as we could reasonably afford (in terms of time and money), as we’ve always believed there is absolutely no shortcut for doing good rope. There is no doubt that Dave is worth every penny. If you are are serious about rope, pay the money, find a way, find the time. You won’t regret it. Dave is one of the most talented riggers in the world, and we are lucky that he lives in the UK. Take advantage of that.
Outside of it all, Dave and his partner Clover, are just wonderful people. It’s obvious how much they love and respect each other and this is the principal reason their performances are so moving. The rope they do on stage is of course of the highest quality, and the bondage itself is immensely satisfying and inspiring to watch, but regardless of that, what really moves the audience is their connection and affection for each other. It’s encouraging to meet and befriend people in the rope world who are not only fantastic at what they do, but also genuine, grounded and good at heart.
I can’t wait for next time.
I should also add, that as a couple they are absolutely a pleasure to work with. I was lucky enough to do a photo shoot with them in March. Clover is a talented photographer together they create wonderful art. I had never done a naked photo shoot before this and felt completely relaxed and safe with them both. I love the pictures they took, and soon one of them will be hanging in our living room.