I promised in a post almost two weeks ago now to write about Max’s bondage workshop. How time does fly, I feel like I’ve barely had any time to sit and write about anything, but I want to while it’s still in my mind.

Awhile back, despite the naysaying of several close friends, I decided to look for love outside of the BDSM community. “but you’ll never find someone compatible that way” was a common refrain. It’s true that you can take the girl out of the kink community, but not take the kink out of the girl. Still, one of the reasons for “going mainstream” as it were was that I wanted a different balance in my life. I wanted sex (and kink) to be a much smaller percentage of overall time and energy, and it was my experience that within the community, many people gave it the lion’s share of their attention. I also firmly believe that MOST of us have some kink in us, it’s just communicating and figuring out compatibilities. When I met Elliott, when conversation turned to more intimate matters, I didn’t hide my predilictions. I did probably ease into the discussions in a bit more gradual way though than I would have if he was someone I had met on Bondage.com. :)

Anyhow – long story short, I ended up meeting someone I truly feel that I’m meant to be with. It’s something I’ve not felt previously, even in seriously lust-addled brain space. And he wasn’t kinky. Or at least not in the way that I’d previously been exposed to, where that was his self-identity.

This brings me to Max’s bondage workshop. I’m not big on S/M. I’ve had some experiences with pain that were pleasurable, but it’s not something I seek out. Bondage, however, is something I’ve had a yen for my entire erotic life. Elliott was willing to experiment some to figure out what parts of it HE liked. Max’s wedding gift to us a couple of years ago was a private lesson with him. One of my wedding gifts to myself was a nice big batch of red rope from TwistedMonk. Post-lesson, we have played around quite a lot, as Elliott’s comfort (and enjoyment) with bondage has grown. Still, though, he’s someone who is pretty mainstream in what he’s been exposed to.

Why do I keep bringing this up? Because it can be intimidating to jump right in to a full weekend long class with a bunch of perverts (I use the term fondly) when you’re a mainstream kinda guy. Because one of the things I most appreciated about Max’s teaching style is how accessible and friendly it is. He manages to include everyone, from bedroom-only couples to lifestyle 24/7 kinkier-than-thou players, without ever sounding the least bit judgmental about where anyone is within the spectrum. I liked that he addressed everything in terms of a continuum, from 100% vanilla to seriously kinky. He did that with all these aspects of play and headspace, and it was a good jumping off point to further communication.

He’s also very funny – which also makes his classes feel fun, safe and respectful no matter the subject matter.

There was also huge attention to safety, which is a good thing. Bedroom (and non-bedroom) bondage might sound like a piece of cake, but honestly? You CAN get hurt or hurt someone if you’re not aware of how NOT to. Again, great presenting style and thoughts on how safety is basically risk assessment and management. You can probably never be 100% safe, but you can take steps to mitigate the risks.

In the course of the 2 days, we went from basic ties all the way to suspension. With help from a few assistants (some quite lovely, btw) a whole bunch of people got hands-on practice in the safest way possible.

Of course now that we’ve done this, I want to go to more of his classes. He teaches once a month before the SPCC Bondage is the Point parties. We missed the party the weekend we went, finding ourselves pretty tired out and just in need of chill-out time after the two full days, but Elliott is up for parties/classes in future too. Huge thanks to Monk, btw, for use of his rope for the class. I can’t recommend his products highly enough. Ditto on Max’s teaching.

~Jane

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