Hi. This is Alex, and I’m the founder of both RVA Rope and Rope Study. In this post, I’m going to share a little history and explain why I’ve decided to make Rope Study a separate organization from RVA Rope.
Rope Study got its start in the fall of 2015. At that time, it went by a different name, but the goals and general approach were the same. And at that time, it was a separate group from the other rope groups that were happening then: Rope Bite, Top-less Tying (a self-tying group), and a little later on, Acro-Rope.
In 2016, I created RVA Rope in an attempt to consolidate those different groups and provide more leadership opportunities for more people. That “unified model” worked well for the next two years as RVA Rope expanded its leadership, created an official Rope Board, and created or participated in a variety of special events beyond the regular group meetings.
In the summer of 2018, RVA Rope had a lot of turnover in leadership … not for any negative reasons, just the demands of “real life” cutting into the time that some could devote to leading a group dedicated to people tying each other up for fun with dead grass. Thankfully, others were able to step forward and become the “next wave” of leadership. But that process allowed me to really think about the future that I saw for both RVA Rope and for Rope Study.
What I realized was that I wanted RVA Rope to be able to continue to grow and evolve in whatever ways would best meet the needs of the local community. I also realized long ago that I may not be the best person to recognize those needs or help to meet them (which is why I created RVA Rope and a leadership board to begin with), and that as the organization evolves, my role within it would likely change or go away completely. And I see all of that as a healthy, positive, and exciting way for a group to evolve.
On the other hand, Rope Study has always been driven by a desire to develop a comprehensive curriculum for the study of the fundamentals of rope bondage. As such, it’s not a group that’s directly tied to a specific, local community (as RVA Rope is and should be), but instead, it intentionally focuses on foundational concepts and skills that can transcend local or individual quirks and preferences. Also, I have to admit that my wide-ranging background in and passion for education means I’m much more likely to want to continue to have a leading influence in whatever Rope Study might become in the future.
So, breaking Rope Study off into a separate organization again allows for that focus on the more global (and less local) aspects of rope to continue … a focus which is a positive thing for Rope Study but could too-easily become a negative thing for RVA Rope. It also opens up leadership and teaching opportunities in Rope Study for people who may happily dedicate themselves to the educational focus of Rope Study but who may not have been able to commit to the larger, more amorphous responsibilities of RVA Rope leadership. Finally, it allows Rope Study to potentially serve and benefit other rope groups and communities in the future, should the approach and curriculum we offer be deemed useful to them.
However, Rope Study will still be working closely with RVA Rope. Our priority is still to determine the needs of the Richmond rope community and do our best to meet those needs. I will still be a member of the RVA Rope board (at least for now). And Richmond will always be “home” to Rope Study.
We are looking forward to the next chapters for both RVA Rope and Rope Study. We’re excited about the opportunities that partnership will provide as well as the growth that independence will afford. If you’re local, we hope you’ll join us in both groups. And if you’re not local, but you’ve been accessing and benefiting from the Rope Study resources under RVA Rope, we hope you will continue to do so now and find even more benefit in the future as Rope Study expands its online offerings.
Thanks for giving this a read. I welcome your thoughts and perspectives, either in the comments or through the contact page.
I wish you well in your rope journey and hope that Rope Study can be a positive part of it.