Thursday rope jam wrist bands :)

Last night we introduced our new Thursday Rope Jam wrist bands! On Thursdays our ‘House Cats’ wear red to indicate they are helpers in the studio (ask them anything from ‘where is the toilet paper’ to ‘what is shibari’), and yellow bracelets are for those who wish to indicate they’d like to be approached about doing rope! You still have to figure out on what end of the rope you’d like to be in 🙂

We are hoping this will make socialising a little easier for those who feel a bit shy or coming on their own ❤

Did you enjoy this system yesterday? Let us know your thoughts 🙂

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-45-27

Self-Suspended Dolls & Zombie Ropes

Some days we ditch the mop bucket and rope treating for creative fun with ropes and cameras. This was one such day a few weeks ago when the amazing multi-talented Kissmedeadly Doll came for a short flash visit to our studio.

It had been a long time since we played with self-suspension and it was nice to get back into it thanks to Kissmedeadly Doll. Thank you!

•••

Photography by Kissmedeadly Doll • Models are Kissmedeadly Doll & Anna Bones • Camera Operator and Creative Assistance by Sophia.

Photography by Kissmedeadly Doll • Model Anna Bones • Twine bondage by Photography by Kissmedeadly Doll & Sophia.

More than a body : rope bottoming matters!

“What is a rope bottom?” is one of the most frequently typed in search terms on our website, so what does it mean? A ‘rope bottom’ or ‘rope model’ or sometimes ‘rope bunny’ refer to the person inside the ropes – and ‘rigger’ or ‘rope top’ refers to the person doing the tying.

10923749_1550404155242143_5435669781371746910_o (1)

Unless you are tying a piece of furniture, rope bottoming makes up 50% of the rope equation and is a skill than can be cultivated in its own right. Luckily in the last few years there has been a real and tangible shift in rope events, classes and workshops to recognise this and there is a lot more information being delivered to rope bottoms directly in classes. There has also been an explosion of workshops, talks and events specifically for rope bottoming and it is becoming more and more common to see pre-requisites listed for rope bottoms to attend classes.

This is really exciting for us because Anatomie Studio was created by a rope bottom (Anna ‘Bones’) so we are really committed to delivering information about rope bottoming as much as about tying and rigging. As a tying duo, Fred and Anna are very aware that rope is a constant back and forth between rigger and model – the rigger’s rope brings out the strength in the model, and the model brings out the strength in the rigger.

“How can I learn about rope bottoming?”

A really good place to start learning is by reading about it. If you have joined us on a Thursday Rope Jam you will know there are two readings we always recommend: Clover’s Rope Bottming Guide (free PDF), and The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up by Evie Vane (£7.99 on Amazon). Clover‘s guide was the first ever document written specifically for rope bottoms, and for a long time it was the only document available. Clover has updated the guide this year and it is available in multiple languages.

Both these documents have plenty of important information about safety, body awareness, choosing partners, negotiating rope experiences and more. Although the readings are geared towards rope bottoming, we highly recommend these readings to those who are primarily interested in tying as well.

We also distribute free flyers with an anatomical diagram of nerves to consider in rope produced by Place des Cordes in Paris. It is really important and useful to get to know your anatomy, in particular, by locating the radial and ulnar nerves in the upper arms (by palpating and poking – you’ll know when you’ve hit a nerve!) since these are commonly affected when doing rope.

PDC nerve info sheet - printer
Our Thursday rope jams are also a great place to start because we always cover aspects about rope bottoming (the classes are in fact almost exclusively taught by rope bottoms who tie!).

“What is there to actually learn?”

It depends! It’s just like tying, some people just want to learn some basics so they can have a bit of safe fun, others want to go all in and attend all the workshops to become as proficient as they can at it. If you’re after a bit of bedroom fun, then it’s probably not super important to learn about body management in suspension, but it’s a very good idea to learn about anatomy, the different kinds of pins and needles you can get, wrap tensioning and placement, and how to use safety shears.

A lot of the rope bottoms who do rope either professionally or as part of a serious hobby tend to enjoy and benefit from activities such as yoga, aerial yoga and/or pilates. When in ropes, many times the body is being passively stretched into challenging poses, so it’s a good idea to do activities outside of rope which strengthen the body’s muscles in order to protect fragile joints during these poses.

An experienced rope bottom will also have really good body awareness and body management skills, meaning they know how to move inside the ropes and how to play with the balance in the tie from within the ropes. This requires a degree of core strength (not necessarily loads of flexibility, although that helps too), and an understanding of one’s own body and how it reacts inside the ropes. This comes with lots of practice, which is why some of the best rope bottoms have a few years of experience.

Rope bottoming also requires a good degree of pain processing abilities, because.. rope can be painful! It’s especially useful to learn to distinguish ‘good pain’ versus ‘bad pain’, meaning the kinds of pains that are not harmful (for example the kinds of pain you get after a vigorous workout), and the kinds of pains that are actually harmful (for example any kind of sharp joint pain). Sometimes this takes time to learn, so it will involve lots of trial and error until eventually your brain is able to recognise when it’s okay to push through a sensation and when it’s time to tap out.

1559540_1709179452661899_4818286207712449576_o (1)
… Which bring us to one last but super important skill: communication! Perhaps this is the most important part of rope bottoming: learning how to effectively communicate from inside the ropes. The more specific you can be, the better, this also comes with experience – for example, what kinds of pins and needles you are feeling, if there are sensations you are not enjoying, if a rope placement needs to be reviewed, etc. Communication can also be non-verbal, and this can be established beforehand. It’s also a good idea to learn how to negotiate before doing rope with someone such asking the rigger questions as well as knowing what kinds of important information to disclose. These can include: any kind of physical issues you may have (for example, you sprained your ankle and it is still fragile), any medication you may be on, the kinds of sensations you feel like/don’t feel like, or body parts you are not okay having rope on. These things can change over time or even day to day, so the conversation is always ongoing.

It’s important to acknowledge that communicating effectively can be difficult, some rope bottoms ‘space out’ and become non-verbal or forget to maintain body awareness, other rope bottoms find it difficult to express their needs or communicate unpleasant sensations out of not wanting to cause offence of because they don’t want the ropes to come off just yet. This is totally okay, the important thing is to acknowledge this and try to have a conversation about this beforehand.

“What about the person tying me?”

Just as it is difficult to learn to tie without partners, it is also difficult to learn rope bottoming without partners! After all, riggers are 50% of the equation… 🙂

The resources we mentioned above – Clover’s Rope Bottming Guide and The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up by Evie Vane – contain sections on how to meet and vet potential rope partners. In the studio we believe the safest and most fun way to learn and meet people to do rope with is by going to events and making friends (see our writing on “How to Learn Rope?”). There are lots of different rope styles and different people enjoy different techniques and sensations, so it’s really useful (and also loads of fun) to watch people tying and making friends in the community. The good thing about events like peer rope events and rope jams is that there’s lots of people around, so there’s always someone you can ask for advice or help.

12376318_1697366847212837_2251187567724749799_n
One really important factor when observing people is to notice how the person tying is interacting with their rope model – are they attentive? are they moving ropes when asked? are they untying when asked? etc. More than the rope skills themselves, this is the most important thing about rope: recognising that it is about people and that it is a partnership!

“What are these rope bottom pre-requisites for workshops?”

There are no pre-requisites for either rope bottoms or riggers for any of the beginner jams beginner jams or classes as we assume zero knowledge and provide lots of information for both. For more intermediate or advanced classes we at the very least require rope bottoms to be familiar with the differences between nerve and circulation impingement and to be able to communicate effectively.

Besides recognising rope bottoming as a skill, the pre-requisites are there for the safety of all the workshop attendees. Workshops can be intense for both riggers and models, and very physically demanding – this is especially true of suspension focused workshops.

Example of pre-requisites for a non-beginner class:

        • Riggers: must know solid three rope Takate Kote taught to you in a class, workshop, or private tuition.

        • Rope Bottoms/Models: must be comfortable in a Takate Kote (2 or 3 rope), they must be familiar with the differences between nerve and circulation impingement and be able to communicate effectively.

Inexperienced models who do not know their bodies well are less likely to communicate when something is hurting or tingling, but riggers rely heavily on model feedback in these workshop environments because often they must focus on a particular rope technique which they are learning, all the while listening to the teacher’s instruction and being mindful of others around them. This is the perfect storm for small nerve injuries and in the couple of instances where we have seen this happen, the rope models were not able to recognise nerve and circulation impingements and therefore did not communicate what they were feeling.

“Does this mean I have to be super fit and bendy to do this?”

Nope! Rope is not one size fits all, it’s a very diverse activity enjoyed by grown-ups of all ages, all physical compositions, backgrounds, genders and sexes.

Just like any physical activity, it’s about finding the kind of rope you enjoy doing and finding the kinds of rope partners who want to do that with you. Different people have different bodies, different degrees of flexibility and different pain thresholds, and the beauty is in this diversity.

It is also worth noting that although most of the shibari rope imagery online typically depicts petite young bendy girls tied by males, this is not the reality of what you will see when you go to local rope events – there are lots of male identified persons who enjoy being in the ropes, and lots of female identified persons who enjoy tying, and if you’re not into binaries, there is a lot of gender queerness in the rope scene as well. In sum, the rope bottoming world (and the rope world in general) is a lot more diverse that you may think by just googling ‘shibari’ on your browser!


For questions and more information, email us at anatomie.studio@gmail.com

Osada Ryu workshop with Barkas next week!

Hi all! There are currently three places left for our upcoming Osada Ryu workshop with Barkas happening next week!

13086743_1713456498937205_1817878037350003834_o (2)

This is a rare opportunity to learn Osada Ryu style rope and suspension in London – Barkas just happened to be travelling through Europe, had one free weekend to teach, and we were fast enough to snatch him! 🙂

This will also be the last two day suspension focused workshop of 2016.

Barkas is an absolutely fantastic teacher, he is one of the most sought after rope presenters out there, regularly travels the world for workshops and performances, and also regularly travels to Japan to visit and learn from his teacher Osada Steve.

So if you’re on the fence… don’t be!

Event listing & ticket link here.


Barkas will also be available for privates on the Friday before the workshop – for bookings, drop us a line at anatomie.studio@gmail.com.

Body, Movement, Connection, Pleasure : Kristina Marlen makes sense of rope over two weekends in London!

We first met Kristina Marlen at EURIX autumn 2015 and it was love at first class. She made so much sense of how the body mechanics works and how this can be married with a rope practice that we proceeded to sit in all the classes we could by her over the course of the week : from dance to improv, to rope, to exchange, we were truly inspired!

It has taken almost exactly 1 year to finally get her to London, and we could not be more excited about her visit!

She will be offering two weekend-long workshops at the end of August/start of September, one for complete beginners and one for non-beginners, in both cases the focus will be on body and partnership (programs below):

‘Rope Makes Sense’  (August 27th & 28th 2016)
‘Going Deeper’ (September 3rd & 4th 2016)

Tickets will be released to the mailing list Wednesday July 27th! More information about this here.

More about Kristina

Kristina Marlen works as a tantric dominatrix in Berlin. She studied law and later physiotherapy. She is also a yoga and movement teacher. Her teaching and practice is influenced by her background as dancer and performer.

Her rope work is built upon the multi-angled knowledge she accumulated from her different professions. Clear knowledge of the body and its mechanics, physical manipulation, kinesthetic pleasure, inspired by dance, a personal connection as well as a sense of composition and timing are the elements that carry her through a rope session.

For her, the experience is complete if precise technique is met by a sense of improvisation.

“This way, our bodies become sensual, receptive, and permeable for spontaneity. The perception is being sharpened, the curiosity is awakened and we open ourselves for strong as well as for subtle impulses, surrender, pain, intensity and lust.”

See you soon!

For queries email us at anatomie.studio@gmail.com.

“This is how it starts” : The Soap Box (June)

“This is how it all starts, with a hand, a gesture, a touch.”

Our third Soap Box event saw three beautiful moving performances with all female cast of rope artists. The three shows by our guests LacedLines & Laura Cylon, Edna & Ana, and SkinnyRedHead were raw, sensual and bold.

Because there is no story without a beginning, here are our favourite photos from the start of each show.

DSC_0292
LacedLines & Laura Cylon
DSC_0738
SkinnyRedHead
DSC_0448 (1)
Edna and Anna Capaken

More photos from the performances below:

LacedLines & Laura Cylon

 

Edna & Ana Capaken

 

 

SkinnyRedHead

 


The Soap Box is a bi-monthly evening of curiosities curated by Gestalta and brought to you by Anatomie Studio.

Websites:
http://soapboxshibari.com/
https://anatomiestudio.com/thesoapbox/

The Neuroscience of Rope (JULY 23rd 2-3pm)

Want to know what your brain looks like on rope?

Not long to go now for this month’s #RopeTalk on ‘The Neuroscience of Rope’ with our amazing guest presenter ‘Blue’ all the way for the US’s West Coast!

Join us on July 23 for a discussion by Blue on the data and results found in this study. She will walk you through some of the inspired reads, providing visuals, conclusions drawn from all three participants, and with reflections on how this has informed her rope experience since then. Q&A to follow.

RopeTalk July 2016

Our #RopeTalk sessions are FREE to attend.

Event listing here.

Last year, Blue and her partner (USA) got together with neuroscientist and kinkster Neuromancer to ask the question: what happens to the brain’s activity during a rope suspension?

A wireless EEG unit was attached to Blue’s head and off she and Kanso went into a 40 minute rope session. When they re-emerged, they looked up at Neuromancer28 to find him sitting with analyses in hand, and tears in his eyes.

“Oh! Rope made science cry!” was Blue’s first delighted thought!

One Year.

One year anniversary

Last Friday June 24th we celebrated our one year anniversary party! We had an amazing turnout of about 50+ guests and drew a raffle with a total of 11 prizes generously donated by Wykd Dave & Clover, Anna D’Alessandro Jewellery, Ruby Rouge, Dee Lu (aka SingingTree), Isobel Williams, The Bondage Man, JessicaWabbitt and ourselves. There was also a record number of eating with over 8 cakes, home cooked sweets and even home made sushi brought by our wonderful attendees! The night ended around 2am after the post cake rope came to an end.

IMG_20160624_200534

In case you missed it, we leave you here with an edited snipped of the speech by studio owners Anna and Fred, explaining some of the ideas behind Anatomie’s conception:

[…] Given Fred and I’s academic backgrounds (Physics and Physical Anthropology) the name ‘Anatomie’ encompasses a desire for the pursuit of knowledge, and references both our academic fields with the words ‘Atom’ and ‘Anatomy’ contained within the name. The choice of the spelling ‘Anatomie’ with a foreign twist also reflect Fred and I’s diverse backgrounds (Portuguese-Canadian and Scottish), as well as my own French-Canadian heritage and French education.

[…]

We desired for Anatomie to be a place of learning and discovery and wanted to be able to offer the very best, most solid rope education we could find. And we wanted safety and technique, as well as values such as respect, tolerance and inclusivity, to be at the forefront of that education. Anatomie is like a home to us and we wanted to host presenters who are also good people, people we respect and with whom we’d want to hang out. Most importantly we wanted to invite presenters who are themselves students for life and who are themselves thirsty for knowledge. We’ve been really pleased so far, and we’re committed to continue bringing you the very best we can bring.

But, we also desired the place to be playful and fun – because what’s the point of learning all those knots and tricks if you’re not going to play with them! For this reason, we wished the space to be positive, welcoming and inclusive, by promoting a culture of consent and tolerance, and being openly LGBTQ+ positive but without militantism or policing. We wanted the space to be almost devoid of written rules and protocols, so that we could instead allow for a culture of good people with good hearts and playful minds to flourish organically. It’s truly amazing to see the friendships, and even relationships that have formed here as a result.

Lastly we desired rope education to be as accessible and affordable as we possibly could by offering classes of various formats, lengths, structures and price points. We wanted at the very least for people who attend our beginners jam once to get solid information and tools that they can play with safely.

It’s really incredible to see how far people have progressed in the last year and the beautiful things you are doing in rope means we must be doing something right!  It’s the most satisfying feeling. And the fact that ‘Peeping over the Balcony at Anatomie studio’ is now a ‘hobby’, is our biggest pride and joy!

We are so proud of the London Rope Community and we are very grateful that we can share this home with you.

Thank you for an amazing year!

[…]

And here’s to another amazing year to come!

Shibari for ‘The Act, 2016’ – by Julia Fullerton-Batten

We are so excited to be able to share this image with you by multi-award winning photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten. This image is part of a collection of images from her personal project entitled ‘The Act, 2016’ which deals with the subject of young women engaged in the sex industry. We are very proud that Fred of Anatomie Studio was asked to do the rope work in this image featuring the beautiful Maisy Taylor.

Read the full interview and write-up about Maisy Taylor below!

 

559
Full set of images here.


/ / / / /  

 

Project “The Act, 2016”
Maisy Taylor, Aerial Circus Artiste

Living in boats, buses and trailers with her performing parents from birth, well spoken Miss Maisy seems to have only ever known the traveller life. When her mother began her own circus school in Brighton, it triggered a love for aerial contortion and a passion that has evolved into adulthood. Then, aged fifteen, Maisy chose to explore the performance profession over traditional academia, having realised her time as an artiste was greater spent in the air, than a classroom. Having attended a few circus events during that time, the decision was made by what fed her soul; training became her and performance became life.

Once accepted at the National Centre for Circus Arts, Maisy achieved a degree from three years of vigorous circus practice specialising in rope. “I never imagined myself doing any sort of sexual work, but now it’s something I enjoy. I like being open minded, so I focus on sexual aerial acts, like kink and such.”

Kink (spanking, restriction sex games etc), became part of Maisy’s life when several stars aligned all at once. “I had just come out of a vanilla relationship. It was very loving, but I always wanted something more…I just never realised the ‘thing’ it was lacking, was kink. So when I came out of that relationship, I decided to research my lusts a bit further and pursue what I know now. I met my current boyfriend that way infact, then we began to explore it together.”

“For performance, it’s Shibari (Japanese bondage meaning ‘to tie’) as an element of kink that I love most. It’s the pain and restriction, or loss of control, that puts you in a euphoric state of mind. It’s ineffably sublime and almost peaceful with no decisions to make. Imagine just letting yourself…be. It’s not the scary experience one might assume.”

“Having rope bound around you ensures panic by nature, but eventually you’re forced to submit to it. Once you have trained your mind to think in that way, it’s the most incredible feeling of bliss.”

Performing rope acts in this unique way, is quite the opposite to the ‘normal’ aerial work that circus school teaches. Where Maisy’s initial training taught her body about complete control, Shibari has taught her mind to enjoy a complete confliction. “I have trained myself to be able to do both, but I still get the jubilant sense of euphoria I get from kink when I’m in pain with grazes and sweaty from both acts…which I guess makes them quite similar in part”. The natural non-drug induced effect that Maisy describes, somehow makes it easier to comprehend the addiction.

Looking at young Maisy, she’s the last person we’d expect (physically) as a sex worker…and listening to her speak only supports those presumptions. Her incredibly well written blog ‘Dreaming Bruises’ expresses her innate adoration for the industry that owns her, contradicting all prejudice exposed from her refusal of academia. Which leads us to question our self aware preconceptions…of what actually is a ‘sex worker’? What does a sex worker really look like? Does a sex worker know he or she, is?

“It’s an intellectual interest. I like to watch people’s reactions when I go from being someone who is qutie sensible and innocent, to something a lot more. There is so much to sexuality that fascinates me. I want my work to connote exploring that and challenging the ideas people have, rather than it just being a ‘sexy act’. I don’t really consider myself a sex worker, but not because I wouldn’t want to be…I just feel it’s a bit melodramatic to call myself that. What I perform feels more about the subtleties of sexuality, but I guess I’m still working out if I am [a sex worker] or not.”

Maisy Taylor is beyond most capabilities on so many levels; a strong heart, strong body and strong mind. Her refreshing vision, voiced with hypnotic grace, opens eyes to the subtle beauty of unique sexuality and individual desire – that reaches new altitudes of euphoria. Maisy Taylor; of youth only by years and of maturity in every other way.

Text by Jen Brook
Interview by Julia Fullerton-Batten