Celebrate Difference – Be Yourself!

Differnet people all posing together, one in a wheelchair, one gay, others Goth or transgender

Difference. What does it matter?

I’ve been musing on this subject for a while now. Then Bisexuality Day came along to remind me just what a challenging word this is. We live life as though all is set in stone, and anything ‘outside the norm’ seems to provoke a lot of negative reactions from  people.

That’s always seemed alien to me. I love the different, the strange, the unusual. I think I was born that way, and grew up that way because I had parents who raised me to accept difference. We lived in an area of high immigration in the days when we needed people from other countries to come and work in our mills and factories. I played with Muslims, Sikhs and Caribbean children. They accepted us in their homes and we reciprocated. At school I had a friend who was a thalidomide victim. She had a stump for a hand. I never commented on it, and held ‘hands’ in the playground without acknowledging it. I knew it embarrassed her, and I didn’t see the point of bringing it up. In later life I had a polio victim friend. I’d known her a year when she asked my why I’d never mentioned her limp and clumsy footing on occasion. I replied it didn’t matter to me. What mattered was that we liked each other and were friends. She was thrilled and said she’d never met anyone who had resisted asking before.

I’ve never seen the need to reject, insult or judge anyone on the basis of their looks, health issues, sexual preference, sexual orientation or relationship arrangements. Who am I to tell someone else how to live?  Of course, there are completely unacceptable behaviors such as murder, pedophilia, rape. They are harming others, and no-one can or would want to condone that kind of behaviour.

I live by the credo ‘Do as you will and harm none.’ Harm none includes myself.

All that said, why are human beings so afraid of difference in each other? We divide and subdivide ourselves into little groups that war with other little groups. Why? I suppose it’s buried deep in the lizard brain to suspect anything we don’t understand and see that as a threat to our survival. We have to work at acceptance. Reason with ourselves. Think before making snap judgements. Remember that underneath that hoodie might be a nice young man who is cold and hungry. We spotted one hoodie getting all excited and concentrating hard on what he was doing at the edge of a roundabout. We watched suspiciously. It turned out all he was doing and getting excited about was photographing a rainbow. How cute is that? So what if someone is into kink or is gay or transgender? Or Black or yellow or whatever. What matters is the personality of the human inhabiting that body. What people do with their sex lives, personal taste and dress code is up to them. You might not like what they wear or do, but tolerance is needed. After all, they might not like what you wear or do, and you expect tolerance at the very least, if not acceptance from the world around you.

I thrive on those differences, use them in my work. And I’m here because I want to write and share some of the contents of my mind, which as you can see is pretty open. So I write. I have a fair whack of experience to draw on, and I think the contents of my mind might entertain people who enjoy BDSM, kinky sex, sex with more than one partner and lesbian sex and more. Who knows where my imagination will go next? I’m working on a new novella right now, and enjoying creating characters who are different. Who like to buck society’s constraints and find their own way to enjoy their kinks. Who have the bravery and strength of personality to be themselves.

Difference gives the opportunity to learn from each other. We can broaden our horizons, learn how different difficulties affect other people and learn solutions for problems we might not have understood previously. Speaking for myself and Fulani, our lives are richer for the people we have met and interacted with.

If I was to meet you, I’d accept you until you did something unacceptable, like treating me badly, abusing my trust or behaving badly to someone else. In other words, I’d be nice to you as long as you were nice to me. Celebrate difference, enjoy meeting interesting-because-they-are-different people, and have as much fun as you want in your sex lives.

I hope you come back to us, enjoy our stories, make use of the information we can gather for you here and enjoy being yourself, a unique individual who celebrates being different!

Whatever or whoever you are, you’re welcome here. Just be nice, please!

VelvetTripp xx

If you’re interested in stories that ARE different, that tickle your imagination in the sex arena, you might like the novellas Fulani and I wrote in Naked Delirium, an anthology of five stories out in illustrated paperback or on Kindle now. They’re tales of sex during altered states, all wildly different to each other and all, we hope you think, great reads. All of our other published work can be found here.


Our friends at Freak Clubwear have just done a short instructional video on caning they’re rather pleased about.

You may remember from previous posts we lived about 100 metres from Freak Clubwear up until a few months ago, when we moved house. They’ve been selling fetish gear, clothing and toys for almost 10 years now, manufacture a lot of their own products and clothing, and can give good advice on most aspects of bdsm play.

Quick highlights:

– there are many different kinds of canes, from thin whippy ones to thick thuddy ones, made from a wide range of materials (NB ‘bamboo’ canes are usually made, actually, from rattan; bamboos, which are a different plant species, are not much liked because of the plant structure and the possibility of the bamboo snapping. Also, don’t use regular garden canes because they may have been treated with poison-based compounds or similar to prolong their life in a garden setting. If you want to cane someone, use a cane bought from a fetish supplier!).

– there are many right ways to use canes, but also some wrong ones. For example accuracy is very important because as a cane is used, the tip tends to flex back on the stroke and has extra momentum when it hits. At the point of impact it will whip back into shape and can bite into skin, causing unintended injury. (It’s not mentioned in the video, but practicing on something like a cushion is a good way to build accuracy and gauge the level of impact. For practicing impact control, try putting e.g. a banana on the cushion and hitting hard enough to mark/dent it without tearing its skin. You can probably think up many practice strategies yourself.)

– repeated softer hits can build intensity more effectively than one or two more severe strokes. After all do you really want a scene that only lasts for one or two strokes?

– watch the body language of the sub. It tells the person using the cane a lot about what the sub is experiencing.

– canes can be used in a range of sensuous ways, e.g. using the tip to stroke the sub, as well as painful ones. Anticipation and expectation are important parts of the scene.

One useful part of the video is that you not only get to hear the ‘how to’ part of using a cane, but the sub talking about how he experiences the caning.

As to growing your own canes, incidentally – as an experiment we have a ‘walking stick cabbage’ (Brassica oleracea palmifolia) growing in the garden, which used to be grown specifically because the stems could be used to make walking sticks (though the cabbage-like top is also edible). We’ll see in a few months whether the cane-like stem is suitable for drying, smoothing, varnishing and using for bdsm purposes…

Bondage how-to no. 3 by Fulani – ‘shinju’ style breast bondage

Things at Castle Fulani have been a little hectic recently: new projects happening, some of which may sooner or later make their way onto here. Meanwhile, here’s something I wrote a while back about breast bondage.

It’s a version of a Japanese tie called the ‘Shinju’, which I gather means ‘pearls’. A pearl, of course, is a round and smooth shape found encapsulated in the shell of an oyster and the style of bondage gives, hopefully, a nice round and smooth shape encapsulated between ropes, so it’s not such a fanciful metaphor.


One of the fun things about bondage is being able to use ropes to compress skin, making it more sensitive while the ropes are on and also when they come off. This is particularly true of breast bondage. There are literally hundreds of possible ways of putting ropes on and around breasts, so what follows is a very basic guide to a simple and straightforward tie and you should feel free to improvise and adapt as required.

Obvious cautions apply, however. Don’t do breast bondage on someone who has had implants, or who has known medical problems with their breasts. In this case, since the ropes are around the upper chest area, it’s also highly inadvisible to do it on someone who has breathing problems. Yes, I’ve used it on people with athsma, provided their inhaler was handy. But yes, I’ve refused to do it on someone who wanted very much to be tied, told me they didn’t have any medical problems, and then managed to mention, as the ropes went on, they’d just been discharged from hospital after a bout of pneumonia!

Figure 1 shows the result of the first part of the tie. I started by folding the rope in two, so the middle of the rope was by the model’s spine and both strands went around the torso under the breasts; take the ends around the body again, back through the loop, and  around the torso the other way above the breasts. I then ran the ropes back though the same loop.but this time put one strand over each shoulder. They run over the tope of the upper strands at the front and under the lower torso ropes.

Figure 1

NB: when I say the mid-point of the rope, which becomes the loop through which the ropes feed and which will ultimately become the site of a knot, is ‘by’ the model’s spine, the point is that it doesn’t sit on the spine inself. This could press into vertebrae and become painful quite quickly, especially if the bondagee ends up lying on the floor with their body weight pressing down on it. It could also, obviously, cause nerve damage.

The next step is to pull the torso ropes together, compressing the top and bottom of the breasts. All I’ve done here is take the two ends of the rope and feed them around the top torso rope, back under the lower torso rope, pulled them tight and taken them back over the shoulders again – but with the left hand rope over the right shoulder and vice versa. Figures 2 and 3 show the degree of compression I’ve already been able to apply, and at this point I’ve tied off the system with a hitch at the back.

Figure 2

Figure 2 (front view)

Figure 3

Figure 3 (side view)

OK, so now you have the ropes coming one over each shoulder at the victim’s back. Taking both ropes together, I pushed a loop of each rope under a couple of the torso ropes, fed a second loop through the first one, and the rest of the ropes through that loop – in other words, I used exactly the same knot as you’ll have seen used on wrists in Bondage How-to No. 1.

Figure 4 shows the completed knot.

Figure 4

Figure 4

Something I didn’t do that is a variant on this pattern and often seen in Japanese bondage images, is include the arms inside the tie. It’s perfectly possible to do this, and then fold the victim’s arms behind their back and use the last length of rope to secure them in position. Again, many patterns and styles of doing this but you should aim to end up with the same loop-style knot that How-to No. 1 illustrated. If you do include the victim’s upper arms in the tie, though, there are two things to watch out for.

First, use a short length of rope to cinch the front and back segments of the topmost rope – or indeed all the ropes – together, between the body and the each arm. This makes it more difficult, if not impossible, for the victim to move the ropes by repeated shrugging of the shoulders – and means among other things they’re at less risk of accidentally strangling themselves by getting the upper wrap of ropes off their shoulders and around their neck.

Second, though, it significantly tightens the bondage so if you intend to do this, don’t go too tightly around the body to start with. And remember if it exerts too much compression on the upper arm can, after a comparatively short while it can create muscle and possible nerve damage. Be alert, periodically make sure the victim can still feel their fingers, move the rope by an inch or two on the arms every so often, and basically make sure you won’t be in the position of having to explain to a nurse or doctor how your victim got injured.

Depending on the size of your victim this tie shouldn’t take more than 5-6 metres of rope – though yes, I have done this once or twice on larger sized people and found I used a whole 10-metre length! If you have a longer length, options include: more wraps around the body to start with than I’ve illustrated, or using the remaining 4-5 metres to do something else, like put the victim kneeling or face-down and tie their ankles.

Which reminds me. Maybe sometime soon I should something on hobble ties…

Finally, if the tie is well-adjusted, not only will your bondage bunny be happy in these ropes for an hour or more, they may well look reproachful when you decide to take the ropes off. The sensitivity created by the tie, however, should last for some time after the ropes are removed…

As always, we are not responsible for the conditions under which you use your ropes, expect you to exercise due care and caution, and accept no liability for anything at all.


And finally: If you found this item useful or interesting, you may also like the following stories by Fulani which include some technical descriptions of bondage ties:

Sex, art and aromatherapy, by Fulani. Xcite Books

‘Zen and the Art of Bondage’, by Fulani, in the Cocktales: Kiss in the Dark collection. Xcite Books

Karada! – bondage how-to no. 2 by Fulani

One of the best-known types of shibari – Japanese style bondage – is the ‘karada’. This is the well-known tie that creates a series of diamond patterns down your victim’s body. I have a series of thoughts about ‘shibari’, its history and influences, and other things but they’re best left for another post… this one just concentrates on the ‘how-to’ of this particular tie.

Sometimes described as a ‘rope dress’, it might more accurately be thought of as a rope corset. In essence it consists of a loop that sits over the shoulders, and two long strands that run down the front, between the legs, up the back, and then criss-cross around the torso. It gives a very strong sense of restriction, the knots can sit in sensitive places, and it looks good. There are many different ways to tie it and what’s shown here is a mix-and-match of two different techniques. Once you have the basics, a lot of experimentation and refinement is possible.

On the model shown, who is 5 feet 5, I used 10 metres of rope. On more ample-bodied women, 10-12 metres should work; on male subjects, 12-15 metres is likely to be needed. I’ve used 8mm diameter rope. Much thinner and it tends to cut into the skin. Much thicker and the knots become bulky. Yes, the model’s wearing a T-shirt – you’re supposed to be studying the ropes, not the tits! Sorry about that…

figure 1

Figure 1

1. The first stage is the loop over the shoulders (Figure 1). At the back, the bottom of the loop sits above the shoulder blades. I’ve tied this off with a figure of eight knot because it won’t slip – it mustn’t move and cut into your model’s windpipe!

Figure 2

Figure 2

2. I put some ordinary overhand knots into the rope down the front of the body. These are easier than figure of eight knots to loosen and adjust to make them sit exactly where you want them (Figure 2). The close-up below shows both knots, the overhand on the left and the figure of eight on the right (Figure 3).

Figure 3

Figure 3

I haven’t put knots up the back (see later) but if you do, you will have to make sure they sit to one side of the spine. They become uncomfortable if they rub on vertebrae and can cause injury if you lay someone on their back.

By way of explanation, some purists will say you shouldn’t need to put any knots in the ropes other than the initial figure-of-eight and the reef knot that finishes the whole thing off. They may refer to historical sources that say the ties come from ways of holding prisoners and high-status prisoners would be demeaned or insulted if knots were used. Others may say the knots are useful because they create pressure on erotic pressure points (and you can refer to discussions of shiatsu massage or chakras to find out more about those). What I’m showing here is the front with knots and the back without – you can mix-and-match. Your milage may vary. Practice, experimentation and discussion with your sub should result in a style that suits you both.

Figure 4

Figure 4

3. The two tails go between the legs and up the back, then through the shoulder loop (I had the model hold the ends out of the way). You’ll see one knot sits between the legs – bear in mind as you tighten the ropes all the knots will move an inch or two upwards (Figure 4).

Figure 5

Figure 5

4. Next: those two tails go one under each arm and through the front part of the shoulder loop, then back to the ropes at the back, forwards again to make the first diamond (between the shoulder loop and the knot on the chest), return to the back, forwards again to make the second diamond shape and so on. As you do this the ropes down the front, between the legs and up the back begin to tighten interestingly (Figure 5).

Figure 6

Figure 6

5. There are several ways to do the back. You could disregard the ropes up the back and just take each end completely round the body working from one diamond to the next on the front. You could put knots up the back – but position them so they’re not on the spine – and make diamonds front and back. What I’ve done (Figure 6) is cross the ropes over. As you look at the back, the tail from the left loops around the right-hand vertical rope and vice versa. The result is a ‘woven’ set of diamonds, and you can do this at the front as well if you want to cut down on the number of knots.

I haven’t illustrated this, but tweaking the position of the ropes above and below the breasts can compress them in a way that feels good and looks perky and attractive – so-called ‘anime breasts’.

Figure 7

Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 8

6. I’ve carried on winding the ropes until I have just enough left to tie a reef knot at the base of the spine, though I’ve tied this around some of the other ropes and wound the ends back into the other ropes just for the sake of tidiness (Figures 7, 8). The next photo in the sequence shows a side view of the finished karada (Figure 9). You’ll see at one point I decided to make a ‘diamond’ into a ‘hexagon’ by running ropes between two knots a second time. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do this if it looks good.

Figure 9

Figure 9

7. So when someone’s wearing a karada, what can you do with them? The final picture (Figure 10) shows my model on the floor. The cushion at her chest is there to ease the pressure of the knots against her chest, but I’ve taken a second 10-metre rope, tied her hands, anchored the rope to the karada and run it around her ankles, then tied it off back next to the first anchor point. There are of course plenty of other possibilities…

Figure 10

Figure 10

After a while, if done right, your model will begin to find the ropes and knots pressing in ways they will find quite erotic. These feelings usually persist even after the ropes come off.

Perhaps obviously, the victim’s arms aren’t tied into the karada, hence the separate restraint. If you do tie their arms in and they’re fond of being escape artists, they’ll be able to reach the final knot and untie the ropes or shrug them off unless you do some other stuff I haven’t discussed here. Alternatively they’ll end up dragging ropes from around their upper arms over their shoulders and possibly even get them caught around their throat, which tends to be life-threatening… On the whole, a separate tie for the arms tends to be a better plan…

Safety issues. First, while the ropes need to be tight your model needs to be able to breathe. Experienced subs will almost automatically breathe in as ropes are tightened, to ensure that they’ll have room to fill their lungs when the ropes are tight. Inexperienced subs take note, and do likewise! Second, making someone lie on the knots can be very uncomfortable and potentially interfere with breathing – hence the cushion in the photo above. Never leave someone unattended when tied up; monitor them and have scissors handy. If you’re interested, the European Commission for the Prevention of Torture has criticised several European police forces and prison services for leaving prisoners face down and hogtied for periods of time, resulting in them suffocating because they couldn’t change position enough to breathe. If people experienced in the use of restraints can make such mistakes, they can happen in your bedroom too…

Third, be aware of any medical conditions your model has, and consider carefully if they are contra-indications for restrictive bondage. Low blood pressure or conditions that leave someone at risk of thrombosis would be examples. Always remember that people’s mileage will vary. The model in the photos is an experienced bondage bunny, was tied for about 20 minutes in the hogtie position and had pretty much reached her limit by that stage.

How you use your ropes and the conditions under which you use them are your own responsibility. We take no responsibility for any problems you encounter or injuries you cause. But on the other hand we hope you play safely and have fun!


Photos for this piece are courtesy of Sintheticnation, a special effects and graphic design freelance (but the photos are real and unedited!). An earlier version of this piece appeared in a now-defunct magazine, Midlands Fetish Scene.


Oh yeah – Fulani has published a couple of stories that revolve around, and describe, this kind of bondage. You might like Sex, Art and Aromatherapy, or Zen and the Art of Bondage, the latter in the Cocktales: Kiss in the Dark collection. Both published by Xcite.

Freak Clubwear how-to video – whips, crops, floggers and canes

Freak Clubwear are friends of ours who we’ve known for years and who live a few streets away. They’re well-known for their floggers and their own distinctive designs of fetish clothing. Their latest project is Kinky For Reel, a series of online free videos available on Youtube and their own website, demonstrating a range of BDSM techniques. The videos are aimed at beginners and show how to introduce kink into the bedroom, in a safe and fun way.

Their latest offering is a live scene featuring the use of whips, crops, floggers and canes. It runs about five and a half minutes and if you like it they have their own Freak Clubwear Youtube channel with a bunch of other how-to and instructional videos.

In addition they produce Curious Magazine, available for free from their stalls at fetish fairs and from their website. It features a range of articles on BDSM topics, interviews with members of the UK fetish scene, and photography by Velvet Tripp.

Vicky of Freak Clubwear says “Many couples are interested in introducing a bit of kink into the bedroom but are concerned about how to start out and safety. We hope these videos will inspire people that fetish can be fun and is about building trust and intimacy with your partner.”

Have fun!

Bondage how-to no. 1 – a useful bondage knot (by Fulani)

Velvet has a running joke that despite the amount of bondage I do, I still can’t tie my own shoelaces. It may not be entirely accurate, but it does make the point that you don’t have to know much in the way of knots to be effective at bondage. In fact, 99% of the time, you really only need to know one knot.

It has several technical names and may be familiar to people who ride horses or go rock climbing, since it’s sometimes used as a hitch-knot. However, when I first learned it, it was just called ‘the bondage knot’ and that’s good enough for me.

It’s based on the use of repeated loops, and it has one serious advantage for bondage work – done properly, it will neither loosen nor tighten up. Your sub remains secure, but at the same time the use of this knot avoids one of the main ways in which hands and feet can end up with their circulation cut off.

You can use the knot in almost all situations. The description below is based on one wrist, but with slight modifications it can be used on two wrists together, or a torso, as a tether around some suitable fixed point, etc.

If I’m using this to tie one wrist – for example so I can tie the wrist to a bedpost – I tend to use about three metres (ten feet) of rope. It’s always surprising how much rope you end up using once you start tying someone, and out of a three-metre lenth around one metre will be taken up in the tie itself and there will be two one-metre lengths left over you can use to secure the wrist to the bed, chair, rafter or whatever…

Figure 1

Figure 1

1. Find the mid-point of the rope, and double the rope. A lot of people, incidentally, make some kind of mark on the rope at the mid-point because almost all bondage relies on having the rope doubled. This is especially true of ‘Japanese’ bondage, or shibari (how much Japanese bondage is actually Japanese in origin is a whole other question and I may post about this some other time!). Place the mid-point on the wrist and bring both ends all the way – the same way – around the wrist and pull them through the loop. This gives you a basic hitch called a lark’s head (Figure 1).

Figure 2

Figure 2

2. Now bring the two strands back around the wrist the way they came.  There’s a loop of doubled rope formed where the two strands fed around the centre of the rope, and you put a loop of the strands through that (Figure 2).

Figure 3

Figure 3

3. Pull the ropes through about 6 inches/15 cm – and put another loop through the one you just made (Figure 3).

Figure 4

Figure 4

4. Finally, pull the whole remaining length of the rope through that last loop, and snug the knot down against the wrist (Figure 4).

If you’ve done all that properly you should have one wrist, four strands of rope around it, one biggish knot made of repeated loops and two ends that feed out of the knot from the same place. And if you give it a good tug, you should find it doesn’t tighten up.

I normally arrange the knot so it’s at the front of the wrist and the person who’s tied can close their fingers around the knot, which give them something to hang onto. Unless they have double-jointed fingers they won’t have the purchase on the rope to pull the loops loose.

If you’re tying two wrists together, the process is very slightly different. You tie the same knot, but around both wrists thather than just one, and do it loosely because your next move is to repeat the procedure on the loop of rope itself, between the wrists. Take the two ropes and feed a loop between them, feed a loop of the rope that’s left into the ‘tongue’ that sticks out, loop through that loop, the rest of the rope all the way through that. You should end up with the first set of loops around the wrists and the second set, between the wrists, cinching the first set tight.

While I’ve described this knot as if it’s going around a wrist, you can use it in most situations. The same knot – though obviously using rather more rope – is the basis of a tie that can go around the body. Once you know the knot, you’ll find plenty of ways you can use it.

And you should also find that once you pull the ends back through the last loop you made, the whole knot should unravel all the way back to the original lark’s head with one pull. This means it’s quick to get off when it needs to come off in a hurry.

Safety stuff

First, keep the knots off the wrist pulse and base of the thumb, because pressure there will make the hands numb quite quickly.

Second, do a ‘pinky test’. If you can’t slide your little finger underneath the ropes, they’re too tight (though obviously if you can get much more than that underneath the rope your captive is going to pull free quite quickly).

Third, have scissors handy. In an emergency, it’s better to lose a few pounds’ or dollars’ worth of rope than have someone struggling with permanent nerve damage.  I don’t know anyone who does bondage who doesn’t have scissors in their kit bag, and most pharmacies sell useful bandage scissors with sharp blades and blunt ends.

Fourth, check for circulation every 5-10 minutes. There are several ways to do this. Unless you’ve gagged someone they can probably tell you they’re losing feeling in their hands. Other tests include: put a finger in the captive’s hand and ask them if they can grip it (if they can’t, they need out); squeeze the end of a finger, which should go white, and make sure colour returns when you take the pressure off; stroke the inside of their thumb and ask if they can feel it. If you have someone’s hands above their head do this rigorously because by elevating their hands you’re reducing the blood supply to start with, and pressure on the ropes will reduce blood supply further. And while people may get pins and needles as circulation returns when they’re released from bondage, a feeling of pins and needles while tied up is a clear indicator of pressure on nerves. Release them straight away!

By way of a disclaimer, I should point out that like most things in life, your knot-work will improve with practice. I regularly use this knot on one wrist, invite people to suspend my full body weight on that one wrist, and then show them that (a) it hasn’t tightened and (b) I have no bruising. However, telling you how to do a knot doesn’t mean I have any control over how you use it and if you have (or cause!) any problems I’m not going to take any responsibility for them. There are no substitutes for knowing your sub, being aware of any medical or other problems that may be an issue for bondage, and using a modicum of common sense…

But that said – have fun!


Text by Fulani. Illustrations courtesy of SintheticNation. Text and pics first appeared in a now-defunct fetish magazine, Midlands Fetish Scene, several years ago.


If you found this item useful or interesting, you may also like the following stories by Fulani which include some technical descriptions of bondage ties:

Sex, art and aromatherapy, by Fulani. Xcite Books

‘Zen and the Art of Bondage’, by Fulani, in the Cocktales: Kiss in the Dark collection. Xcite Books