I woke up Saturday morning, groggy and tired, but knowing I could not sleep through the first class session. For every class session at WinterFire, there were sound checks and projector requirements. I threw on a pair of black boxer shorts and wore my Zim jacket over my gray pirate t-shirt which I’d slept in.
The plan was to setup a projector for a class and go right back to bed. The class was about Fem Domme images throughout history, a topic that seemed interesting but did not capture my attention enough to warrant the sacrifice of my sleep.
As I setup the equipment, a lovely woman entered the class and complimented me on my ass. This was quite a nice start to my day.
Having finished up, the presenter’s slide show projected onto the screen, I happened to see Gray on his way to his class. He was teaching Apocalyptakink, the new name for his RACK Role Play class that I took at Rope Camp. It just so happened that his class was right next door to the one class I contemplated taking for the first morning session, Claire Adams’ Rope Tops Boot Camp.
As he passed by, he asked what I was up to. I told him I was contemplating either taking Claire Adams’ class or going back to bed. When I gave him the name of the presentation, he informed me I would probably not learn much from it. Later I found out he was quite right. The information given was geared towards those new to rope; it would have been an unnecessary refresher.
So I stood at the corner between Claire’s class and his, wondering what I should do. I could take the chance that I would gain something from Claire’s class and go in, or I could just go back to bed. Lord knows my body could’ve used the extra sleep.
But then a third option came to me. Why not just go to Gray’s class? Yes, I had taken it before, so I knew each scenario that would be given. However, I also knew it was a fun presentation. And, frankly, I was tired but I wasn’t sure if I was able to go back to sleep. I was at WinterFire; my body said sleep, but the adrenaline pumping through my veins screamed STAY UP.
Instead of trying to force my eyelids closed, I opted to take Gray’s class.
I sat next to Twisted View and K2. N3rddom, KnownUnknown, and Nomad also sat by me. As Gray welcomed folks in, he greeted a beautiful tall blonde woman. Her name was Chey.
Gray sat and chatted with folks, wanting to sip his morning coffee. However, a conundrum. Gray had the coffee and his desired taste additives, but nothing to stir it with. Instead, he pulled out his new knife, a pretty piece of sharp and pointy. He snapped it open and stirred his brew.
As I watched, my heart quickened. I don’t like coffee, at all, but I would’ve licked it off of Gray’s knife if he had allowed me. Instead, the knife came to his tongue. He ran the blade, forward and backward, lapping up the warm caffeine. I sat, gawking, and sighed, “That was worth staying up for.”
Gray ran his class just as he had the instance I’d seen before. He gave three scenarios, asking folks to run through the mock situations. For the first scenario, Chey volunteered to be tested. It was a simple negotiation, where she was to be a rope top asking a bottom questions before their scene.
As Chey spoke, I sat both in awe of her beauty and her intelligence. She is an ER nurse and was only the second person to pull from the bottom that they were diabetic. I noted her style of questioning for when I would negotiate for rope scenes later.
The second scenario found Jocasta, a strong willed woman, dealing with a rude sub and a pushy individual touching her equipment and asking rude questions. She redded out of the scene, then learned the pushy individual was a Dungeon Monitor. The lesson I pulled from her ordeal, “Go away and live to play another day.”
The third scenario was a test for a bottom, seeing when the over crowding of a space made it unsafe for a scene. The bottom was hit in the face with a flogger, had a puppy mock pee on him, two lovers in amorous affection by his feet, and a group of littles singing ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ rather loudly, not to mention it seemed like his top didn’t care about the bothers and only half knew what he was doing. The bottom redded out of this scene as well.
The point of the third scenario: bottoms can’t rely simply on their tops to take care of them. Bottoms do not abdicate taking care of themselves just because they have a top.
For the last part of the class, Gray separated us into three groups: Bottoms, Switches, and Tops. He asked us to talk about different issues that have come up in our play, and possibly create a test around an issue.
In the switches group, I sat on the floor and flipped my notebook to a fresh page. I asked people to come in close so we could talk. I asked what issues they had on their minds, what scenarios they had gone through lately as a switch.
The idea of a switch negotiating a bottom scene, but then wanting to take over as the top was popular. I asked how they wanted to create a test from this, and who would be tested. The idea for testing the top seemed fuzzy. I tried to pull out a more concrete scenario, but time ran out.
We as a group spoke to the rest of the class about the turning-the-tables scenario. It was agreed this was less of a problem and more just an example of switch play in general. The bottoms talked about tops who pushed their boundaries or ignored them completely, a thought that made me cringe.
The tops actually had a test. Gray turned to the switches, asking if anyone wanted to be tested as a top. I threw my hand up, until I realized I needed to be in top space. I then politely declined. Gray jumped into the role.
Chey volunteered to be the bottom, since she already knew the scenario. She had Gray tie her hands together and above her head. They spoke for a moment before she fainted.
He called out her name, trying to get a reaction. He grabbed her body, took out his knife, and mock cut the standing line. He called over Twisted View and asked him to help get her to the ground. He asked Twisted View to elevate her legs. He continued to talk to her. She made sounds. Gray again asked her how she was doing. Lazily she sighed, “Gray, you’re awesome.”
The test complete, Gray cursed himself for not having his safety shears right by his side. They were, in fact, on a table not fifteen feet away. He noted how, though he “used” his knife, it was to cut the standing line, NOT the ropes by her hands.
Chey spoke about the latest position nurses used when an individual passed out: having them lie on their left side so that they are less likely to vomit, but if they did it would simply flow out of their mouths, thereby helping to prevent choking.
I was very happy I didn’t volunteer to be the top in the scenario.
At the end of the class, Gray noted that it was an open source presentation, welcoming whatever scenarios people came up with later. He also told us that all of his scenarios would change for the next iteration of the class, hence why I mentioned them here.
I will, most definitely, take the class again.
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