a Barak & Sheba Article

Why Are You Touching My Rope?
Wefnesday April 8, 2015

"I am trying to help you learn this tie."

"Then don't touch my rope, and let me learn it."

Learning to tie, for many people, is mostly kinesthetic. It doesn't matter your gender, your height, your eye color… all of us need to actually tie the tie. Not just once, but dozens of times. Over and over, until it becomes completely understood. Not just by the mind, or the eyes, but completely comprehended by the body: the fingers, the muscles of the arm.

Unless I ask you to specifically show me the tie with my rope, you are committing a crime. What crime you ask? Firstly, when you take my rope out of my hands without my consent to “show me” something? It's non-consensual. But the real crime is that you are stealing my experience. At best you are delaying my integration of the skill. At worst, you have shifted my focus, my intention, and my chi – away from the learning of the tie – to now being frustrated and angry because you have insulted me.

Yes. I understand that you might think you are “doing me a service.” But how about I go to your place and arrange your closet the way I think it should be? Wouldn't that be a service? What if I were to take that flogger out of your hand, and show you a technique I learned last month. Don't worry, your bottom can wait while I spin it and twirl it this way and that. No need to be offended, I am just “doing you a service.”

I do know what it's like. Part of the rope community ethos is “share your knowledge and skill.” As a somewhat experienced rigger, I see people sometimes struggling with a tie. Or I see something that can be made nicer, cleaner, smoother, more comfortable... more (insert whatever adjective you want here...) I want to help.

I want to show them the joy of rigging something fantastic. I want them to have that huge grin as suddenly it all comes together for them - cause I know how it feels for me. And truthfully, I also like that little ego boost when I share my skill and have someone, just for a moment, think that I am really cool – or an amazing rigger.

But the truth is… Like "The Lessons of the Butterfly..." it is absolutely imperative that we allow each other the space and distance to struggle, to learn, to experience – in order for the lesson to stay with each of us. So when you see someone that you really “want to help?” Let them ask. Be open, be available, but be respectful. Respectful of their space, of their gear, their partner/bottom, and most of all? Be respectful of their experience – and let it be theirs…

Think about it ...

Good luck in your journey-

Barak & Sheba

©2015 Barak & Brat Sheba

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