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Rope is Love

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Rope is Love Kinbaku Today 2

When it comes to rope, there seems to be a near obsession in the west with telling others how they should do their rope and what it means.  The latest theme seems to be the dichotomy between art and kink.  I’ve recently heard it phrased several ways, from different people.  But the crux of the argument is the same:  kinbaku is for perverts and those who enjoy it as art are either hiding their kink behind a front of respectability or in denial about their own sexual desires.

I have absolutely no interest in or opinion about what others get out of their rope, whether it be the heights of fine art of the depths of hentai.  I think the world of rope is big enough to accommodate all interests, from the most artistic to the most perverted.  And there is plenty of opportunity to blend the two.

What I do care about is my rope and how I share it with my partners.

Luckily for me, what others do with their rope has absolutely zero impact on what I do with mine.

What I have found, in my own rope journey, is that the kind of rope that attracts me and gets my attention is rope that has an aspect of love.

Love, like rope, is a complicated, multi-faceted, and complex matter.  In a way they are perfect analogs.

We can love erotically and passionately.  We can love platonically,  We can love things.  We can love people.  We can even love ideas, concepts, and abstractions.  We can love art and we can love artists.  We can love the light and we can love the darkness. Love can be clean, pure, and chaste and love can be really dirty, wet, and fucking messy (in good ways).

Kinbaku can be about art just as much as it can be about fucking your partner until they can’t walk.  It can be pleasure or pain.  It can be empowering or shameful.  It can be whatever moves you to express the deepest part of your psyche and connect with the psyche of your partner.

But at its best, for me, it always about love.

All love embodies vulnerability.  It means sharing the very deepest and most human part of our selves, bearing our soul to another.

I can think of nothing worse that telling another person that what most speaks to their soul, what best expresses who they are, is not legitimate, authentic, or real.

As with kink, sexual orientation, and the relationships we choose, no one has the right or the authority to tell us who, what or how to love.

And as is the case with love, those who aren’t happy in their own relationships are the ones who feel the need to meddle in the affairs of others.  Those who are in love, truly in love, have no need to tell others how to run their lives; they are too busy with their own.  The willingness to risk exposing who you are, who you really are, is the the essence of love.

And for me, rope is love.

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Zetsu has been studying rope since 2008 and kinbaku photography since 2010. He is a member of Yukimura Haruki’s kinbaku school in Japan under the name Haru Yutaka. He has participated in workshops in Tokyo with Suguira Norio and has had his work exhibited in Tokyo at Gallery Shinjukuza, run by the legendary kinbaku photographer Kanno Kei. While in Japan, he has participated in several “satsueikai” photo shoots, photographing the rope work of Naka Akira and Yukimura Haruki. He is a member of The Monarchs in Los Angeles and runs the Los Angeles Rope Dojo, and sells kinbaku books and rope through his shop at Ai Nawa