Since 2013, rope bondage artists Ma’iitsoh Yazhi and Bound Light have been organizing small group play sessions and instructional classes in the Richmond area, but this past summer, the couple officially formed RVA Rope. Offering online educational resources, a rope skills curriculum, social gatherings and other group activities, the collective aims to bring the physical grace of rope bondage to a wider audience. Ma’iitsoh Yazhi spent his younger years doing landscape photography, a background that informs his sessions with Bound Light. They will often seek out natural spaces to perform their highly technical scenes and suspensions, then document these fleeting moments in all their erotic beauty. As a top/bottom duo, they have studied rope craft with other practitioners throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan, always eager to improve their skillset.
Both are drawn to rope arts because of the challenge involved. Many of the techniques can cause permanent physical injury if not performed correctly. Ma’iitsoh Yazhi and Bound Light have spent years building a foundation of trust and communication that enables them to create advanced scenes. Beyond the purely physical elements, they also appreciate the emotional level of their work. Depending on the type of bondage involved, some positions can feel like a huge hug, while others can be draining in a way that pushes the boundaries of one’s endurance. Bound Light notes that the unconventional aesthetic makes her feel pretty in a way that society often doesn’t. As she puts it, “Many of the positions or ways the rope affects the body are not flattering by typical standards, so to find confidence and beauty in myself in those scenarios is refreshing given our general culture of poor self-image.” Though there is an undeniably erotic aspect to his photography, Ma’iitsoh Yazhi strives to be respectful of his subjects so that their inherent beauty shines through. In his words, “Often, art that has a sexual or sexualized aspect to it is seen as inferior to other forms of art. We hope that our work will help to remove that stigma.”
For those who are new to rope bondage, they both stress that going slow is the right approach. It’s easy to get carried away by flashy poses or dynamic suspensions, but without the proper foundational skills, you risk hurting yourself or others. The Rope RVA website provides links to many community groups for beginners. They also host several meetups each month including casual social gatherings and advanced sessions featuring self-tying, self-suspension, and acro-shibari (a combination of rope tying, yoga, and acrobatics).
Learn more about RVA Rope at rvarope.com.
Model: Bound Light
Photography: Ma’iitsoh Yazhi