About Us

The Oakland Rope Collective (ORC) is a family of rope bondage practitioners that is passionate about building values based rope community, promoting accessible, high quality education, and sharing our love of rope.  Our mission is to build values based rope community and create new generations of passionate, skilled, and safety conscious rope artists who lead with their values and integrity and become core members of the local community.

Oakland Rope Collective Cohort

ORC was originally an 18 month cohort style program designed to cultivate high level rope artists who will become contributing core members of their local communities. As of August 2019, we have graduated one generation of students who have completed this program, and based on internal discussions, we are shifting to a weekly module based system designed to be more accessible and flexible without the need to make an 18 month commitment.

Students who join our community will receive ongoing instruction, mentorship, personal investment, attention, and support from multiple instructors (with additional guest instructors and experienced rope bottoms) beyond what is typically offered in a public drop in class. The cohorts who progress through modules together will also create a family of peer practitioners who have grown up in the scene together and serve as a support and resource sharing network.

The full program will take students from absolute beginning rope work through dynamic suspension. Students who complete the full program can expect to have a solid foundational understanding of rope play that will empower them to continue to grow independently in their play and studies. Special emphasis will be placed on developing the context in which rope is practiced, understanding the underlying logic of the choices that can be made and learning to apply technique in the way that best serves the moment and the people involved, and in exploring rope as a medium of connection and intimacy.

Classes will cover basic anatomy and rope safety, biomechanics and body manipulation, touch and connection in rope play, rope bottoming, patterns and aesthetics, improvisation in rope, rope handling and technique, and rope suspension. Guided practice sessions will include a discussion period in which we explore negotiation and consent, history and current context of the US and international rope scene, cultural challenges facing the rope scene, issues facing rope bottoms, how to maintain safe spaces and promote accountability, and other topics tangential to technical rope. Classes will also devote time to applying the techniques in actual play, giving students the opportunity from the beginning to learn how to build and explore play scenes with their partners, how to incorporate other forms of sensation play in rope, and how the techniques they are learning are actually applied in context.

Module Breakdown (each module includes 1 weekly class and an optional open practice night):

Foundations (4 weeks):

The curriculum will cover basic physical safety; emotional safety, communication, power dynamics, and negotiation; cultural and historical context; body manipulation and physical connection, scene building, and a range of Japanese inspired rope techniques and patterns that will empower participants to confidently top and bottom a diversity of floor based (non suspension) rope scenes.

Intermediate Technique and Partial Suspension (12 weeks):

The curriculum will cover more advanced anatomy and safety knowledge, foundational suspension ties, more advanced tension and placement awareness, how to safely tie suspension lines, and how to combine knowledge acquired thus far to create a diversity of partial suspension based scenes.

Basic Suspension (4 weeks):

The curriculum will cover a range of introductory suspension techniques, presenting themes and elements in exercises designed to give students an understanding of how suspension works, and how you can organically evolve and build suspension based scenes adapted to each partner you play with. The final class will introduce techniques to begin transitioning in the air.

Advanced Suspension (currently 1 class per month):

This class is an ongoing open ended class for anyone who has been through our 18 month program previously, or all 16 weeks of modules. In this class, we will explore more advanced suspension exercises that incorporate more intense forms of play, more movement and complexity, refine our emotional and psychological dynamics, and improve our ability to hold scene space.

Current Offerings:

August 2019 Foundations: apply here

September 2019 Foundations: apply here

October-December 2019 Intermediate Technique and Partial Suspensions: application coming soon (but you need to do either the Aug or Sep foundations).

Facilitators / Instructors

FutureFlowering

Gina is a queer rope switch and self-tier who has been exploring kink for the last 6 years, with a focus on rope for the last 4. She has taught and performed at events in the Bay Area and NYC, including Folsom Street Fair and Bare Bottomed Blues. Her love of rope began with self-tying as a method of meditative introspection and aesthetic exploration, and she now enjoys being tied and tying others as well. She loves exploring the range of experiences that rope offers, from the tenderly sensual to the excruciatingly sadistic.
Gina has been teaching dance and other movement arts for nearly a decade and is excited to bring her skills as an educator to the Oakland Rope Collective. A dedicated student of rope herself, she actively seeks out opportunities to expand her pool of knowledge so that she can give each of her students something valuable to incorporate into their rope practice, regardless of their skill level or goals.

SweetZephyr

SweetZephyr found their way to rope after 14 years of serious recreational exploration of martial arts, circus and rock climbing. They are fascinated by rope as a movement practice, meditation, and rich experience of relationship. They identify as queer, nonbinary, and a switch, and have been tying for about four and a half years, and study under a variety of international instructors. They are most inspired by Naka Akira san, Riccardo Wildties, Nicolas Yoroi, Nawashi Kanna san, and Kinoko Hajime san.
They are a founder and co-instructor of Oakland Rope Collective and are a steering committee member of NARIX, a North American peer to peer education and community event/organization. They also spend about 3 months a year traveling, studying, and visiting rope communities across the world, drawn by their passion for community and knowledge.
When they’re not playing with rope, they can be found rock climbing, petting dogs, reading nerdy fantasy novels, or giggling at memes.