Testimonial by Becki H.,
Participant "Shibari & Conscious Kink Retreat", Crestone CO, 2022
I was introduced to Shibari about 12 years ago. I have dabbled in it more in the last two years after purchasing some ropes for self tying. I’m a novice for sure. I lean towards bondage and submission, with a tiny dash of masochism in my kink. Before this retreat I had only gotten kinky with one person, and every once in a while two people at a time.
When I said yes to this retreat I knew I needed to be led to my edges in service to feeling safe enough to articulate what I want. I wanted the ropes to help me leave the hamster wheel of my head and be fully present in my body. Those were my clearest intentions going in.
I got everything I asked for and then some.
There is what I think Shibari, or kink, or dominant, or submissive, or top, or bottom means based on what I have absorbed through my family, my culture, and the media. Then, there is what I experienced with these incredibly knowledgeable, patient, encouraging, deeply caring facilitators and equally curious, supportive, open, and courageous participants.
I had heard stories of people having big emotional releases during Yoga but this was the first time I had ever experienced it.
Everyday Maud guided us through 2 hours of yoga. I had heard stories of people having big emotional releases during yoga, but this was the first time I had ever experienced it. Everyday my body released something it had been holding onto and the tears would come. It felt amazing. I did more yoga that week than I have done in my life. I aspire someday to inhabit my body as fully and as joyfully as Maud.
Leela’s workshops led me easily into my underworld
Leela’s workshops led me easily into my underworld where I faced off with things that hide in the dark and keep me believing that I am not allowed to have what I want. She led me throu
gh the process of writing my own myth about facing my monsters, surrendering to the mystery, and touching the light of my own erotic innocence.
It tickled a deep delight in Me
Sascha’s expert instruction in all things Shibari was nothing short of inspiring. Before this retreat, I would have self identified as a rope bottom. It was through his guidance that I discovered that I actually enjoyed rope topping. It tickled a deep delight I get from creating environments for people to have transformative experiences.
And these words really only speak to their expertise as individuals. The alchemy they created together was also deeply impactful for me. I participated in two “play nights'' during the retreat. These were times where we got to practice negotiation, technical skills, and aftercare through play. In all transparency I was terrified that first night. In hindsight, the internal dialogue that was going through my head is quite comical. I’ll repeat what I said before. There is what I thought would happen and what actually did. Our facilitators made it so easy to let go of my brain’s need to do everything right so that I could fully engage in erotic play with these beautiful souls that I was journeying with.
I also want to give a special thank you to Michael and Lydia of Coyote
Mountain. I have a deep personal
appreciation for the way they choose to live so close to the earth and cultivate community. From opening their amazing space, to cooking delicious locally sourced meals, to their amazing album collection, and their sweet and sassy pets, they took such heartfelt care of us.
What an epic journey. In this safe and sacred container we created together, I experienced tears, laughter, joy, pain, and the stripping of layers of armor until I was laid bare, raw, and glistening.
My life is forever changed in the best way and I can not wait to do it all again with them next time.