Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October is shaping up to be a landmark, deathmarch of a month. Between supplying rope to Max’s upcoming Portland intensive, Midori’s Kansas City Rope Dojo, restocking Kink.Com and the usual mountain of orders coming in via the site, I’m one busy boy.

How busy? This was my day yesterday
7AM Alarm goes off
7-8AM wander around the house in a daze searching for fresh coffee and clean socks (in that order)
8-9:00 Gym, lift heavy things till shoulders give out then do sit ups till I feel like I’m just about to puke, all the while threatening my trainer that one of these days I will get even with him by photo shopping him into donkey porn
9-10:00 Post workout coffee with Tambo, compare schedules for the week. She just looks at me funny and asks me if I want another cup of coffee.
10am Arrive at Abbey, crew has already been at it for an hour.
10-12 review new inbound orders, check email, phone messages, orders in progress, stock levels oh and the main water pump seems to have blown out. Race across town to get a replacement and fix it before the first dye job of the day is ready to be pulled.
12pm Pull first dye job, drink coffee,
12-2 Fill orders, send one minion home sick, send the another off to start billing orders, start second dye job of the day.
2pm Wolf down frozen Mac& Cheese, washed down with coffee, scan LJ/Fetlife/Blogosphere/ARA… nobody taking my name in vain? Nope? No rumors that I am dead or was maimed in a bizarre bondage accident? Nope? Ok, back to work.
2:15-4 Continue with filling orders.
4PM “Anyone else want coffee?”
4-6pm Pack finished orders, race to post office to make last call for a rush order, review new orders and begin setting up orders to be filled tomorrow… Man are we gonna need more rope, what we sold out of that book again?! Quickly dash back up to office and place stop gap orders for more Midori books.
7-9pm spend “Quality time” with alex,
9Pm untie alex, hop onto motorcycle, and roar into the chilly autumn night in search of much needed post play food.
9-10pm Ravenously attack dinner, waitress asks “you want coffee with that?” Response: “And how”
10 get alex home at a reasonable hour, somebody still has homework to do!
10-11pm check email, write blog, load up toybag for play date tomorrow, send Matisse “I miss you note” and wait for UPS Germany to open.
11pm, call Germany and sound like a dork cuz you only speak 6 words of German and 3 are obscene.
11:30 close up Abbey, hop on bike and head home. With any luck I’ll be in bed by midnight.

The clock on my laptop now reads 7:55am and I am looking at another day much like yesterday. After nearly 5 years of doing this, the trick I have found is that this is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. Balance between work, play, creativity and physical health is a delicate one but one that is needed if you want to keep this sort of lifestyle up for as long as I have.

Labels: ,

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Originally uploaded by Mr Monk

taking a break from the rope to shoot the shit with my shop neighbors.

5 Things I seem to be obsessed with as of late.

1) Oatmeal for breakfast, dunno maybe it is the shift in the weather?
2) The Watchmen movie. I loved the comic and have forced my dog-eared copy onto anyone willing to stand still long enough. 4 different directors have tried and the original writer of the piece has disavowed the film.
3) Tailored suits as fetish wear, I’ve spent the last 10 years avoiding wearing them and now I own 2. Something about the look and feel of a good, tailored suit that sets a certain tone and frankly I’ve about had it with PVC pants.
4) The physical manipulation of Sarah Palin’s image. The rhetorician in me is amazed at how her handlers have been subtly morphing her physical appearance and verbal habits. Anyone else notice that in her last 3 public interviews she has worn 3 different styles of glasses?
5) Steel suspension toys. My steel guy has been bringing me all sorts of cool new toys to try out. I think this Christmas we will be featuring a much more expanded line of suspension hardware options and the like.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lexicon of the Monk, cont

As I have written before, we have developed our own language over the years. Too many hours huddled over propane heaters and spending several days wedged in a booth doing a show will do that.

Today’s word, “Corn Flakes”
Definition: While you think what you are telling me is strange or hard to deal with, I’m more than ok with this information. While not wanting to pass it off as mundane, I’ve dealt with my issues surrounding whatever it might be and now it is just another aspect of life. As in “I’ve eaten stranger things on my corn flakes this morning”

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So have you seen this new "Perfect Oatmeal" that Starbucks is offering as part of the whole "healthy breakfast" kick they are on? Now, I love me some oatmeal. Nothing makes a cold, damp morning more bearable than big bowl of mill cut oats, maybe a nice banana and some brown sugar. Call me old fashioned but that is totally a childhood comfort food for me.

The other morning, after hitting the gym at an ungodly hour, Tambo and I hit the nearby starbucks for our post work out coffee and "dude, I must be outta my mind to do this everyday" session. Having skipped breakfast I was more than ready to rip into something with my coffee, now the urge...no make that the siren's call, of the top pot donut was strong, but I resisted. ( I'll save you the pain and not take the Iliad analogy any farther and describe how I had Tambo lash me to the mast, altho I'm sure you perverts would like that.)
No, not to undue all the good that an hour on the stair master had done me I opted for the oatmeal. The cold days of fall are upon us now so I thought something warm and hearty would suit me well and the photos of the meal showed a rich, hearty bowl of oats adorned with dried fruit.

Imagine my chagrin when upon ordering, the barista grabs a packet of instant oatmeal, empties it into a cup, adds hot water, grabs a tiny baggie of dried raisins and hands the mess to me.

Instant oatmeal?!

I just paid 3 bucks for a packet of instant oatmeal and a bag of rasins? I could have walked across the parking lot to the QFC and bought a box of the stuff for a buck asked for a cup of hot water. Of course this is from a company that has trained us that "Vente" is "large", it is perfectly normal to ask for an extra shot of protein in your vanilla latte and 5 bucks is cheap for a cup of coffee.

Next time I'm sticking with the donut. Sometimes I think we make life too difficult. It is just coffee and pastries, lets not get too complicated and forget why we are here. Caffeine and sugar.


Monday, September 22, 2008

yet more steel...

yet more steel...
Originally uploaded by Mr Monk

a new variation on the pussy hook, but with a 2 inch ball.

Friday, September 19, 2008

From the "OMFG Monk!" files

My awesome, awesome steel guy just sent me a photo of his newest creation. The Iron Fist. Just. fresh from the shop, what does he think? "I gotta snap a photo of this for Monk!" Can I say again how much I like this guy?

This bad boy is a hefty, SOLID 4 inch wide stainless steel ball on what has to be an 8 inch shaft. He promises to bring me a prototype on Monday so I can do some "field testing" with it and see if it gets the "Monk's Seal of Perverse Perfection"

In other news, Tambo and I are about to depart to go see Journey in concert tonight. Yup, one of my favofite customers/supporters/friends, Ayem Willing, came through with tickets for us as birthday/aniversary present to us both. Thanks again, Ayem, you are one of "the good ones".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Now, the plan was to post about the return of Color of the Month then I had to twitter....

After taking the summer months off, our massively popular "Color of the Month" feature was all set to return today. As you may remember, every month I make a small, one time color run and offer it up for sale. First come, first sold as the color will not be offered again once we run out... and we always run out. Now as my way of thanking you, the faithful blog reader, I do not announce the color on any other public forum. Giving you first crack at getting your hands on these limited edition colors.

This month's color is "Rustic Burgundy"

So last night, after Tambo uploaded the new graphics and enabled sales of the new color my plan was to say something on my twitter feed and then post the new color this morning. In between the twitter and this morning, you folks placed a LOT of rope orders.

As it stands right now: 09/18/08 10:15 am
4MM 70% sold out
6MM 80% sold out

Wow, so I guess this means folks really do read that twitter feed? Damned impressive really.

Oh and to those who say, "just make larger batches", not really an option... we already are making them as large as we dare push our equipment.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Attn Portland Area Rope Fans.
Max, of bondagelessons.com fame, just announced that he will be teaching one of his 2-day bondage intensives next month. For those who have attended one of Max's classes or heard me rave about his teaching style you will know that he is, hands down, one of the best instructors currently teaching. The 2 day intensive starts from the basics and ends with suspension, while keeping a solid grounding in safety.

Class size is very limited and they tend to fill up very quickly so I'd hurry if you wanted to take advantage of a great learning opportunity.

For more information go to BondageLessons.Com

Labels: ,

Monday, September 15, 2008


How did you become a sex worker? What school did you go to? Are there schools for teaching sex work-craft?

Well let me see, as I studied sex work along with communications at a junior college in Spokane. Later, due to high marks and the decline in popularity of disco, I was able to parlay my undergraduate success into a full scholarship at the prestigious Secret European Sex House University – the branch campus, in Hoboken, NJ - where I took a double major in Sex-Work and Art History. Far from home with not many friends I joined the fraternity system and eventually pledged to the historic, Eye Phelta Thi house.

Those times were tough and money was tight so I took a work study job at the campus peep show and eventually graduated with marks high enough to qualify me for the both the dean’s list and national honor society. I’m very proud of those days and in fact I am looking at my diploma as I type this.

Seriously dude, a school? You’re kidding right? Seeing as how this is illegal in the US, opening a school for prostitutes seems a bit unwise. No. Sadly there is no formal education for this sort of thing. While you can learn the mechanics, as it were, of the trade. The skills needed to be a good, safe and experienced SM top can be learned over time in a wide number of places. Understanding the mindset, the psychology and what exactly it is that you are selling--an experience, the freedom to explore, the opportunity for someone to better understand themselves and their sexuality, which is not something I’ve ever seen taught anywhere. Rather, if you are lucky like I am, you will find yourself some experienced sex-workers, befriend them and listen to what they have to share. The fact that I am a male sex worker who sees exclusively female clientele adds an extra wrinkle to things, but the end goal is the same: create an opportunity for someone to explore their sexuality, their kink and themselves and in the end have them feel good about doing so.

Much like the skilled trades of old, you become an apprentice to a “master of the craft” (or in this case, “Mistress”) where they take you under their wing and share their wealth of knowledge with you. Perhaps one day when the this uptight country gets it’s head out from up its collective ass and sex work is made legal, then maybe you can sign up for my “Boy Whore 101”. Hmm, “Professor Monk” I like the sound of that.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rope questions I’ve been emailed as of late:

We were wondering if you do custom thicknesses for the rope as well? Something in the range of 10-15mm. And what the price difference for that thickness would be?

The machinery that I use can only finish up to 8MM thickness. We have done 10MM in the past and it really sucked. Most hemp rope enthusiasts don’t use much thicker rope than 8MM as the 10-15MM thick ropes are far too bulky and unmanageable. Also the knots end up being HUGE! While a lot of MFP and synthetic rope fans encourage the thicker widths, once you make the switch to hemp you will find that thinner lines and more wraps are much more enjoyable and easier to manage. That said, if you are dead set on 15MM thick hemp, you might want to do a google search for raw hemp in that thickness and finish it yourself.

Is it possible to get a section of Bavarian Blonde rope in a 5 foot length? My fiancé and I are going to be married/handfasted in a few weeks and 10 feet just seems like an awful long length for the job.

I just did a hand fasting. 5ft seems a wee bit too short as I was able to do 3 passes over the couple's hands and have JUST enough to do a square knot. However there was not much extra line to hang down and drape nicely. I'd say 6ft is about perfect really.

We can sell you a custom length, $2 per foot. To place an order just call the Abbey 206-938-7527

I was wondering if you could help me with a quick rope question. I've seen pictures of a girl being forced to walk along a rope with periodic knots. The idea being that the knots will stimulate her clitoris. My question was, what type of rope is best for this sort of play. I want to torture my girl, but not cause rope burn. I was thinking linen or silk, but wanted to get your expert opinion before I tried it out.

An excellent idea for a scene and good call on the avoiding of rope burns. As you may know, all rope has what we call a "burn rate" that is how fast the rope must be pulled across skin before the friction causes discomfort and burns the skin. Synthetic ropes have a very low burn rate, that is it does not take much friction before it burns. Add to this a damp, sensitive skin area and you may find yourself with one pissed off bottom.

One of the major selling points for finished hemp is that it has a very high burn rate. It takes a lot of force to create friction and irritate the skin. Not saying that it can't happen, just that it is much more forgiving that synthetic.

Good call on the silk and linen options. In addition to being very soft with an insanely high burn rate, they are both very washable and can be put back to use after a quick hang dry. I'd opt for the linen as the silk has a bit of natural flex to it so you might get some unwanted slacking in the line while the linen will hold the tension more consistently.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

“I just figured it out; we are in a werewolf movie!”
Griffin pauses mid tap and looks up from his iphone where has been frantically tapping and making oddly obscene finger gestures in an attempt to connect and get his email. “Werewolves huh? Makes sense. Middle of nowhere, not enough population for a decent zombie attack and not enough cover for vampires to hide… “

“… and we are too old to do the hockey mask killer genre” I interject.
“Dude, we are doomed”
Welcome to my weekend in Montana…
When my sword swinging pal and sometimes booth bunny, Galahad, and his childhood sweetheart decided to finally get married they opted for a very memorable location to hold the ceremony. Now by memorable I mean WAY THE FUCK OUT OFF THE BEATEN TRACK. How far? Lemme see.. Tambo and I hopped in her uber bug on Thursday morning, pointed it east and drove, and drove for 10 hours to the middle of Montana. Glacier National Park to be exact. While beautiful landscape, we were definitely in “god’s country” as in there were billboards along the highway pointing out each of the 10 commandments and one town we passed through claim to fame as a 100ft cross mounted on the neighboring hillside.
Not satisfied with dragging their liberal, latte swilling, wifi addicted friends to this remote, yet stunning spot, the wedding was to take place in an even MORE remote spot.

An hour drive across the park to a remote, unpaved road and a white knuckled bounce and slide to just shy of the Canadian border you reach a tiny town of 30 people. Consisting of not much more than a general store/bakery and a saloon next door, the town of Polebridge only exists for the summer months. Providing supplies, mail services, amazing baked goods and a social center of the handful of individuals who call this remote corner of the world home. Oh and by some odd twist, this town while powered by propane fired generators and sporting exactly 2 bathrooms (one being an outhouse complete with a vintage sears catalog and several works of Danielle Steele should you get bored, or run out of TP) had public wifi. In fact it is the closest location for wifi with in 50 miles of the park entrance.

In between wedding festivities you were sure to find folks in one of two spots. Sitting on the covered porch of the Mercantile, laptops resting on the rough hewn tables as folks sucked down as much bandwidth as they could or in the saloon, where we were sucking down locally made beer served only in wide mouth mason jars.

So yeah, this was prime werewolf country. A remote village with little or no means of communication to the outside world. Locals eyeing the city folks with a mix of suspicion and interest. Anyone who has seen An American Werewolf In London knows just what I mean, that part when they are in the pub? Yeah, we were lycanthrope chow for sure.

Then they had to ruin it all by throwing a really terrific wedding.

About 100 of us made the trip from all over the US to watch these two tie the knot. Like most weddings there is that sort of awkward, “how do you know the couple” interaction as people from across the landscape of the couple’s lives all converge at one point. Thankfully, or as a testament to just how cool the couple is, that question was consistently answered by “wow, they have some cool friends.” With out going into too much detail, the ceremony was lovely and I was given the honor of tying the hand fasting cord. Funny considering that I’ve tied up more than just both of their hands over the years. However, after making countless cords for other’s ceremonies this was the first time I was asked to both make and tie the rope. A unique honor I must say. Vows exchanged, tears shed and procession marched we feasted on fresh trout and far too many baked goods made from wild huckleberries.

Eventually, as the sun dipped low behind one of the giant mountain peaks that surround the place, the saloon threw open its doors and revealed a tiny amphitheater where a blue grass band was just starting up.

There, there we danced. Under the stars, one hand holding our mason jars of freshly made beer, the other holding someone we loved all the while free range dogs milled about unfazed by it all.

Postscript: To my knowledge none of the wedding party were eaten or otherwise mauled, however it was not a full moon that weekend so I'm still not convinced.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Welcome home! Now get back to work...
Tambo and I arrived safe yesterday afternoon and promptly fell into our far too comfy bed. Today I'm back in the Abbey to check on how my crew faired while I was gone, answer the mountain of e-mails and yes, fill orders.

Stories to come after I get some stock made and bills paid.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

this one is for Alex

this one is for Alex
Originally uploaded by Mr Monk

in spokane there is a 100 yr old carosel, one of the last few hand carved ones in the US. tambo I used to ride this when we were children coming to the 74 worlds fair... I promised Alex that if I came back to spokane that I'd take a spin just for him.

Friday, September 05, 2008

You won't believe where I am updating from.

I'm sitting on the front porch of a mercantile store, in a town of 30, located at the end of a white knuckled, unpaved 2 lane highway, so close to the Canadian border that you can practically smell the maple syrup. Here, here is the closest wifi for FIFTY MILES.

energy vortex

energy vortex
Originally uploaded by Mr Monk

quantum mystery or roadside tourst trap? who cares? tambo loves the roadside mysteries like this. if she had her way we would go make crop circles too.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

like a bug frozen in amber...

like a bug frozen in amber...
Originally uploaded by Mr Monk

tambo and I returned for lunch at our favorite hang out from our high school days. dicks hamburgers in spokane. the place has not changed a bit in the 20 years since this was the destination for teenagers on a saturday night.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

While I finish packing and getting ready to head out to the middle of nowhere, check this out...

Lemme let you in on a little secret, anyone who tells you that they are a "fine art photographer" is just another guy with a camera who likes to take photos of naked people. Back when I fancied myself as one I had a whole stable of friends from the swinger world who were all more than happy to strip at a moments notice and prance around in front of my lens. Of course they were also happy to form huge puppy piles of naked bodies on my studio couch while waiting for me to setup the next shot. This always made for some interesting impromptu shots, like this one. The plan was to drag down a bunch of them during one of the long, 3 day parties at the local swing club, on a Saturday and shoot some group stuff shots. At the end of a long shooting day, they were not quite ready to put their clothes back on so we set the camera out in the parking lot and took this shot. No, contrary to what you might think this is not a composite. There I sat on my studio steps smoking a blunt while a half dozen naked sex fanatics mugged for the camera behind me. The planned images did not turn out as interesting as I had hoped, but the random last shot of the day makes for the perfect self portrait of Monk, circa the summer of 2002...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fell outta bed and into my work boots this morning...

Well dear readers, another week is upon us and your humble narrator is about to embark on another week of strange. Last week was pretty light on the updates as Tambo and I's anniversary plans were upended with multiple trips to the vet as we dealt with not one but both our furry "kids" and their various ailments and adventures. Thankfully that all seems to have calmed down and we can now get back to our regularly scheduled kink right?

Not so much....

See this weekend I am to take part in an old and dear friend;s wedding. Yep, more wedding photos for me. Thankfully I'll be just one of the guys in a suit standing off to the wings this time. However, said wedding is taking place in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, like the middle of freaking Montana, nowhere. So far off the grid in fact that there will be no cell or internet coverage. I know, what am I going to do being off-line for several days in a row? Make an adventure of it.

Tambo, who is quite possibly the coolest girl in the world when it comes to having an "adventure" with, is eager to take the trip as the route will take us through our home town. The plan is to tack on a few extra days and revisit where we grew up, even possibly visit the farm where I spent most of my formative years. A place I have not seen since the early 80's. I'm packing my camera so with any luck there will be a story to be told when it is all said and done.

However in the meantime I have 2 days to get as much done here at the Abbey, fortify my crew with stock and strict instructions to not kill each other regardless of who calls who a "taint twaddler" as well as fill a bunch of orders.