Performer // Photographer // Educator // Rope Expert (Kinbaku//Shibari)

Sweet Black Angel (En)

Sweet Black Angel (En)

Dear Nicolas,

I promised I would write about objects and shadows. The last one you got, but the first one was more of a mystery to you. Bear with me, I will get there.

But first the shadows. Did you know they act as mirrors? In their silhouettes, they show you how others can see you. During the first part of our scene, they were my anchor. Showing me the shapes you created with my body, and helping me anticipate your movements when looking at you directly was still too confrontational.

It took me a while to figure out our dynamic. I now realize why: I included myself in it. Where I had to be something, instead of just be. That’s where the object part came in. You skillfully turned me into one. The only thing I needed was to be beautiful for you. And I wanted to. It didn’t matter if beautiful was being scared, in pain, or just holding a certain shape. You showed me and I stayed there, for you and Leica.

I can just hope I made both of you proud.

Much love,

Sweet Black Angel

Sometimes being an experienced rope model can work against you. You know just which moves to make, how to ease certain pain, when ropes are ok or just that tiny little bit off, and how to influence a scene to make it the way you are craving for. Add being a control freak to the mix, and that makes it even worse. For too long, I grew into these habits and with each superficial encounter, I lost a little love for rope, until I stopped tying almost entirely.

After that, I learned that rope to me is not about cool tricks or being able to endure better or longer for the sake of enduring. Rope is intimacy to me. It is about meeting on a subconscious level. It is also honest. If there is no match, or if it’s not the right time, the rope will brutally drag that out into the spotlight.

Tying together took me on that journey again, all within one scene. Starting as equals, feeling out who we are when we are together, what parts we want to show and what to leave out of the equation. Verbal communication. Tying my body, twisting it in shapes that reminded me of bonsai trees. Showing you how the ropes affect me by making little sounds and breathing. But still consciously, orchestrated, you are tying my body, not yet my mind.

“I like what you are doing” I say when you find a creative way to use my throat as an upline. You laugh, and I am not sure whether with your remark you are joking or trying to find out if this really is the first thing that interests me from all the things that you did so far. Looking back, that might have been the first piece of balance I lost right there.

From there on, you kept on slowly decomposing me. Taking away my face with ropes, not even bothering to put any tension on them. Overwhelming me whenever I try to be a bit bratty. That is not my place today, and not where I want to be. Figuring out I hate the sound of a threatening impact even more than the impact itself, but that I love how walls don’t give in. Bringing your camera into our play instead of just silently snapping a picture every now and then.
Meeting you meant losing myself. Becoming an object for your art. Still knowing how to shift my weight to lift the pressure on my throat, but it doesn’t matter anymore, as you don’t want me to. So I don’t. That is where I feel the real play started, where we connected. You as an artist, me as the canvas. Where everything became a blur of moments and impressions.

The buildup is gradual, so is the cooldown. You coiling your ropes is still very much part of the scene. Calmly observing me while I try to stay still as well as I can, suffering in so many unspeakable little ways. Getting overwhelmed again, high intensity followed by stillness. Compose myself, first the inside, then slowly the outside follows. Taking small trembling steps to becoming me, a person.
A tap on the mat, and our scene is over. There is tea, and the conversations we have feel different then the ones we had up front. Both in our own minds, processing, but not wanting to influence the process of the other. The snowglobe has been shaken, now we’re just waiting for the snow to fall.