How To Be Knotty Rope Bondage Demo: Phoenix
Just a short time ago I got a chance to review Lord Morpheous' new book "How To Be Knotty: The Essential Guide To Modern Rope Bondage" and was thoroughly impressed with it, giving it the coveted but hard to come by XCritic Pick rating. So, when Morpheous mentioned to me that he was stopping in Phoenix to do a little demo, I had to block out some time in my life to make sure that I could go check it out up close and personally. Upon checking into it, I found out that the book's cover model, Stevie Shae, was going to be the rope bunny for the night. Now, with full disclosure, I was aware of who she is but her onscreen performances started to dwindle off about the time I started reviewing and paying attention to who was actually who in the world of adult movie making, so I haven't been actively reviewing her.
Let me quickly cover Stevie first, before I get to to the main body of this article first and then go off on a separate tangent.
Stevie: Wow. This is a very pretty girl. Never mind any of that objectification BS. During her time modeling as the rope bunny, she was very in tune with Lord Morpheous and the audience. Due to restrictions placed by the location, she had to wear some teeny clothing to cover her "naughty bits" and she made it clear to the audience, before the demo even began, that she would have preferred not to have had that restriction placed upon her. She was cool with the ropes restricting her but would have rather been totally exposed and unclothed so she could enjoy the sensations to the fullest. As the two hour demo flew by, she was tied up in a few ways, none of which were overly complicated or harrowing due to the time constraints and the constraints of the physical location (ie. she wasn't suspended by her toes or nipples). Morpheous asked the audience if there was anything (ties) in particular they wanted to see and during a leg tie, someone wanted it taken a bit further into a hog tie. She was cool with that and was soon face down on a padded bench, hogtied. That's when my longtime girlfriend got really interested in the whole thing. She mentioned to me that she could see a calm come over Stevie's face and a change in her breathing pattern. After the demo was over and we were doing introductions during the book signing she had a talk with Stevie about this - I don't have the deets on that because I was talking to Morpheous briefly and trying not to hold up his book signing line. Long story short: My lady is totally comfy with plenty of kinks AND the fact that I have more porn lying around this house than anyone should AND that I converse with porn superstars on twitter A Lot. I'm sure she had reservations about what we were tweeting and such but after talking to Stevie she Gets It now. Porn Stars are people too. She was thoroughly impressed with Stevie and how down-to-Earth she is. She was impressed with how Stevie calmly and directly communicated to Morpheous that her arms weren't quite comfortable and he immediately rectified that situation. Now, let me leave Stevie and my GF's view of her alone and talk about the demo itself. Bottom line: Stevie is genuine, hot, and super-friendly. She speaks well And uses bad words fluidly while she's doing it. She's a great conversationalist!
The Demo: Morpheous came out, introduced himself, his model, his wife, and started talking about the book (as expected). He then went on to pass around some different kinds of rope while explaining what they were and were not good for in his opinion. He also discussed consensuality at length. Let me say this now: I hadn't seen any pictures of Morpheous before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I can assure you that the guy I had pictured is not him. I pictured a svelte egomaniac who would be gruff and aggressive to listen to. WRONG. This guy is the epitome of a dude you wanna hang out with and invite your friends and neighbors to hang out with at a backyard BBQ. All the while the audience is touching and smelling different kinds of rope at his direction. He's like Penn & Teller in that sense. He started passing rope around and explaining it while casually talking to his friend, Stevie, and prepping her for what they were doing at the moment. Some of the audience was attentively watching that while others were checking out rope they hadn't encountered before. Once everyone's focus was back on the demo, his wife "Princess" piped up and explained that he and Stevie had only exchanged a few words but they have a long running relationship and they can do that: beginners or those with a new partner are encouraged to have a much longer, much more explicit convo about what can and cannot happen. He had breezed by that with a quick joke as he pulled a rope through Stevie's crotch while she smiled.
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The ties he did during the demo weren't anything spectacular. He's not one for doing fancy knots when the knot you know well (yes, that knot) will suffice. Morpheous did a leg tie, a hogtie, a hair tie, and a breast tie. Not in that order mind you but they were simple and effective. He stepped back from the complexity of the book at the very beginning and demonstrated simple knots and patterns which not everyone in the audience was familiar with. Now, the ties may not have been spectacular but they were effective and the reasons behind each was communicated well with Stevie and the audience. It was very informative.
The Location: Hustler Hollywood gave him the location for the evening and their employees were highly knowledgeable about a lot of things. The "really naughty area" guy did an excellent demo for the gathering crowd awaiting the bondage demo start involving electrical play and the attachments they have. The staff overall was excellent. The store is clean and inviting to couples. Unfortunately, they have "drop ceilings" so suspensions during Morpeous' demos were off the table. It's definitely not The Armory (RIP). If you are in Phoenix and looking for a new place to shop for lingerie, videos, or toys - it's at Metrocenter.
Princess (Morpheous' Wife): I shook her hand. She was dressed impeccably in a safe for work, safe for naughty play kind of outfit. She's very beautiful. She's very well-spoken (she covered the stuff that Morpheous breezed over in much depth from the sidelines). My girlfriend took a left turn as we were exiting and had a long conversation with her about whatever they talked about (kinky girl talk I wasn't privy to). After we left, my girlfriend wanted to turn back and join them all for dinner and drinks without the crowd. She had found a camaraderie amongst people in the industry that drew her in and was sad it only lasted a few moments while standing in a line.
Closing Statements: Wow. A much bigger crowd than I expected at a new store on the outer loop of the now-defunct mall that used to be the center of attention and activity in Phoenix. Gotta give props to Hustler Hollywood for the space and time, the free drinks and nibbles. That said, the temperature in the building rose considerably during the demo - I think they weren't expecting the crowd of 50 couples that they got and weren't quite prepared for it. Morpheous and his awesome couple of ladies presented a very concise, very informative, very entertaining show. Morpheous, Princess, and Stevie are all people I (and my GF) would hang out with if we all lived in the same city. That's not because of the rope factor...that's because these are good, fun, genuine people!
I sat down to write this with the intention of it being maybe a paragraph or two but I really had to let my readers know just how cool this demo was. It was a 3 city tour (one of which got postponed due to Hurricane Harvey) and I strongly encourage anyone to go check Morpheous out if he's coming to your area.
<Technical Note> Sadly, my favored good camera got stolen last month so I improvised with the backup camera which I'm not as familiar with so my shots of Stevie aren't as great as they should have been. There are no photos of Morpheous or his wife at their request.