Video  —  Posted: February 16, 2019 by Isaac Cross in Art



XCBDSM is THRILLED to announce that we are now offering online webinars of select workshops.

We will be posting them here, as they become available, as well as across all social media platforms.

You can see a list of offered classes anytime by clicking the image.

Or you can subscribe to our email list to receive invites to classes as they are posted.

We are also offering two options for community groups and venues.

Webcast Public Classes

If you would like to host an event locally to view and participate in one or more of our classes, we will be happy to work with you to set that up. In general, we ask that proper video and audio are available for the number of people who will be attending, and that an experienced organizer be in charge of operating the computer during the class in order to pass on questions from the group or lead any breakout discussions during the workshop.

The group registration in online classes is generally cost effective for groups of 10 or more.

Contact us for more information

Custom Private Classes

If you are a community group or venue that would love to have live education from an international sex and kink educator, but can’t afford the cost of flying one in, XCBDSM will work with your group to set up custom private online webinars streamed into your venue. In addition to our core faculty of world-class educators, we also work with a number of other presenters around the country to arrange these events, as well. So if there is a Presenter you’ve always wanted to see, but couldn’t afford to host, let us know and we’ll work with you to arrange it.

Custom private classes are generally cost effective for groups of at least 20-30, but we can work with smaller groups, as well.

Contact us for more information

Dispel the Dogma

Posted: May 8, 2021 by Isaac Cross in Learn Something, Philosophy

Any group of people that grows large enough becomes a religion. All religions have dogma.

Kink and nonmonogamy communities are rife with dogma. Much of it is as disconnected from reality as any religious dogma is. And while some of it may have a net benefit, that doesn’t make it any less false, at its core.

A person who accepts the dogma blindly and does not dissect it and dispel the bullshit is at risk of harming others in the name of their religion, no matter what religion it is or how detached from what we think of as spirituality.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is your “Help” helping?

Posted: January 24, 2021 by Isaac Cross in Uncategorized

Takeaway: You don’t get to decide what “Help” means to someone else.

You are not helping | Dank Memes Amino
Read the rest of this entry »

The Irreplaceable Value of Discomfort

Posted: August 10, 2020 by Isaac Cross in Uncategorized

You think discomfort is bad. We build a lot of our lives and the choices we make around achieving or maintaining comfort. But discomfort is absolutely essential and if you hope to be a good, well-developed human being, you have to embrace discomfort and seek it out.

Simple Creatures - Thanks, I Hate It (2019, File) | Discogs
Read the rest of this entry »

“A promise is a prison…do not make yourself another’s jailer.”
– Star Trek: Picard, Season 1, Episode 4

I will never make or accept a lifetime commitment. I believe that promising to love someone forever is inherently dishonest. I believe that promising to be with someone forever is, in most cases, setting yourself up for either failure or misery. I think that people should realistically expect and prepare for their relationships, as they know them, to change or end. Because all relationships do one or the other eventually.

Wow. Sounds super cynical, right?

Actually, I think of it as romantic. And if you stick with me, maybe you will, too. Read the rest of this entry »

For most people in western societies and in many other cultures around the world, a successful relationship is one that lasts “forever”.

But this is an inadequate definition for many reasons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rough Take: Self-Sabotage

Posted: September 17, 2019 by Isaac Cross in Advice, Learn Something, Rough Take

I host/facilitate/staff a lot of social events within sex-positive communities. As a result, I overhear a LOT of flirtatious conversations.

There is this heartbreaking thing that I see happen CONSTANTLY where I’m listening in on a conversation and this dude is about to get laid in a life-changing way. I know her, she’s gonna turn your world upside down, my dude. Just DONT FUCK IT UP.

And then the guy says something gross about trans people or says he would only be in a threesome with two girls, or whatever. Something completely unnecessary to say that shows he isn’t ready for the good good. And maybe never will be.

And she hears it and her whole demeanor changes. He doesn’t notice, he still thinks he’s in, cuz she was flirting a second ago, but he didn’t notice that he just cock-blocked himself by saying some ignorant, closed-minded bullshit.

Now she’s looking for the posted exits from this conversation but he’s just plowing on like the black knight refusing to acknowledge the mortal wound his chances with her has just suffered.

The guy probably isn’t a bad person. But he hasn’t realized he’s in a room where you need better than a penis and high school level charm to get anywhere. He hasn’t realized that there’s homework he hasn’t done. These hot alt folks are a master class in human sexuality and he’s not even up to date on the remedials, let alone the full list of prerequisites. But she might have waved those requirements if he had just not said some stupid shit that didn’t need to be said. For one night of fun, she might have been willing to not look too close at him, but then he felt the need to shove his asshole in her face like a cat so she can’t possibly ignore it.

And I just cry inside. Because he doesn’t know what just happened and probably never will.

I’ll pour one out for you later, man. After I subtly suggest you attend one of my classes.

Rigging, Load Ratings, and Suspension

Posted: September 13, 2019 by Isaac Cross in Uncategorized

I am not a rope person. I don’t do rope suspensions.

In kink, however, we often have to draw from sources of information that are designed for similar applications. I think that theater is one of the best analogies for a rope suspension scene.

It just so happens that I worked professionally as a theater technician for a number of years. The information below comes primarily from the Backstage Handbook and the Stage Rigging Handbook, two excellent sources of information for anyone interest in the subject of rigging. However, I have links to online resources along the way as well.

In other words, while I am not a “rope person”, I did dangle very heavy things (and even sometimes people) over other people’s heads for a living, so I have some idea of what I’m talking about.

Here is the question being addressed (Paraphrased):

Many people in the rope community say that every part of a suspension rig requires a load capacity (rating) of at least 10x the weight of the heaviest person that will be suspended from it. But I can’t find a formula that supports that.

Short answer.

There isn’t one.

The formulas tell us that roughly 3x is the safe load capacity. And since manufacturers also buffer their numbers, the load rating on a piece of equipment will likely be well below the weight at which it will actually fail. So if you set up your rig at 3x or 4x the max static weight that will be hung from the system, you will probably be ok.

But if you want to be extra safe, at very little cost, kicking that up to 10x shows that the safety of your bottom matters to you.

Resultant Force

If you are hoisting your bottom (Pulling on the loose end of the rope to lift them up off the ground) then the formulas will tell you that you need a load capacity of, at minimum, 2x the weight of the bottom for a hoist at direct downward pull or 1.907x at a 35 degree angle. This is called Resultant Force.

Variable Affecting Resultant Force

This formula does not include the friction coefficient or account for other factors which can increase the force necessary to lift the object, and can increase the weight capacity to well above 2x the weight of the person.

Weight of Suspension Equipment

Also necessary to consider is the fact that the rigging itself has weight, which is applied upward (here referring to direction of systemic force, not necessarily in the opposite direction of gravity) in the system, so if your suspension ring and pulleys and clips and rope all weigh 10-20 lbs, that is all added to the calculation as well.

Dynamic Weight and Shock Force

That formula also assumes that the load is completely static, and that the force on the line is equal to their weight, this is rarely true. A drop of as little as 3 inches (called shock force) for an average weight person (80kg, 175 pounds) will add about 134 pounds (approximately 600 newtons) of force to your line. (Formulas for these calculations are gravitational potential energy and work-energy principle. That three inch drop can easily occur if the bottom is squirming, and you would do well to calculate for 6 inch (+263 pounds) or 12 inch (+526 pounds) drops to be safe. This calculator works well, but you will have to convert from pounds and inches to kilograms and meters and then convert back from newtons to force pounds.

This means that an acceptable safe minimum for a suspension point under just normal conditions, with average or below-average weighted individuals, with nothing unexpected happening, is roughly 3-4x, or about 1000lbs.

The Give-a-Shit Buffer

Increasing the load capacity of your suspension rig and it’s various components is relatively easy and inexpensive. So if you care about your bottoms (and I am assuming that you do), why not go ahead and increase the rating to 4000lbs or more, just to be safe?

What If I’m Wrong?

Some rope folks call bullshit and say that 2x the weight of the bottom is more than enough. Some even go so far as to say that the weight of the bottom plus 50-60 pounds is plenty.

I think the important question to ask is what happens if I’m wrong.

The bottom line is that if I am wrong and I use a 4000 pound capacity when a 300 pound capacity would have been enough, it means that I are being more safe than I need to be and everyone walks away happy, though it cost me a few bucks more than it needed to.

If I go with the lower capacity, though, and I am wrong, it means that I am putting partners at risk of serious injury or death because I’m too lazy and/or cheap to use something better.

Given the relative consequences of the two, I prefer to err on the side of being too safe.

Note on Intention:

I want to clarify that I am not trying to be the safety police of the scene. In fact, I have been actively and aggressively criticized over the years for being willing to teach both a safer method for something and a less-safe method side-by-side, one of many things that earned me the moniker of Unsafe Asshole in certain groups on Fetlife. I tend to draw from the philosophy applied in comprehensive sex-ed that giving more information and letting people decide is the best way to go, and has the best results in the long run.

When you treat people like children by withholding information from them and simply telling them what the “right” thing to do is, they tend not to trust you and make worse decisions for it. That’s why areas with “abstinence only” sex-ed also tend to have the highest teen pregnancy rates.

While I don’t do rope suspensions, I am hoping to begin doing hook suspensions soon, and so these numbers were important to me as I began my research. This post is, more or less, the thought process that I used to arrive at what I felt was a comfortable safety margin (10x), but I also wanted to be clear that someone using 3-5x was not necessarily being unsafe, since I have seen that accusation being made in some circles.

More than anything, I want people to have information from good, credible sources so they can make informed decisions about their own safety and the safety of their partners, instead of dogma passed from others that may or may not be reliable.