These are some crazy and long days here at the Abbey, the shop where we make all our lovely rope. Our next major public sales event, KinkFest, is coming up in a few weeks in Portland, OR. This event has a special place in our hearts; see, this was the very first leather conference we attended as vendors. Now a lot has changed in the 3 years since we nervously setup our little table that first year. While long and tiring, conferences like KinkFest are always fun events for me. An exciting mix of long days, late nights in the dungeon, bad hotel food and way too much caffeine. The real fun, however, is that I get to connect with my customers as well as meeting a lot of big “names” in the industry. I see that the legendary porn star and sex educator, Nina Hartley, will be at this year’s KinkFest. I’ve met once Nina before, at last year’s “Thunder in the Mountains” in Denver.

I must confess that I still get a thrill when I meet someone “famous” (or is that infamous?). Yeah, I know they are normal folks just like me, but having only known them by their work and then to meet them in the flesh is very exciting. Now with Nina, I fear I had a bit of a fan boy moment. See, I’ve been, um “enjoying” her body of work since I was a pimply adolescent. You can only imagine my horror when a mutual friend first introduced us and I sort of stammered a greeting. Now I had something funny and charming that I wanted to say to her, but I think I blurted something like, “Um, yeah wow, Hi… yeah… wow, um totally honored to meet you… um I really love your boobs…er I mean work!”

She must get that often because with out so much of a pause or raised brow she just smiled at me and said, “I’m so glad to have helped get you through Jr. High”

Talk about cool. Thankfully there were several mutual friends in attendance that weekend that assured her that I was not a complete dork. Eventually I even regained control of my wayward tongue and over the course of the weekend enjoyed several conversations with her and her husband Ernest Greene. It was during one such conversation that I offered to show her a couple of rope ties. Things were slow at the convention and the vending area was all but deserted, so she took me up on the offer. Seems she was doing a lot of shots lately where she was topping and wanted to know some fast, simple ties to use on sometimes very inexperienced bondage bottoms. All we needed was a demo body to practice on. Enter my ever patient and giving wife Tambo.

We walk through some basic limb ties and chest harnesses. I talk, Nina ties and Tambo, well, Tambo just stands there and grins. No, grin would be too gentle a word. She was grinning when the chest harness went on. By the time we got to the crotch rope ties, you thought the top of her head might fall clean off if she smiled any wider. I know, I know - she makes such sacrifices for my career.

“What I really need,” asks Nina mid tie, “is a harness for when I’m fucking a girl with a strap-on. You know, something with handles so I can really pile drive her.”

I grab a couple free lengths from the display and quickly make a couple passes around Tambo’s waist and jeans-covered ass to make a hip harness, complete with a set of strategically placed hand-holds along either side. As I explain the process, Nina nods and makes mental notes and then as I step back to let Nina get a closer look, she takes the back of Tambo’s chest harness and one of the hip harnesses in hand and proceeds to “test” the tie out. Now by “test” I mean she all but threw Tambo over the top of the display table, sending neatly stacked piles of rope flying about the room and begins to wildly dry hump her with an imaginary strap-on.

“Yeah, this works GREAT!” exclaims Nina. “What do you think?”

“AWESOME!” shouts Tambo between bouts of enthusiastic laughter.

When I mentioned to Tambo that Nina would be at KinkFest this year her response was, “Do you think she might need a refresher lesson, or twelve?”

Monk was once hailed as “An Outstanding Young American” by then President Regan; he also makes and sells the world’s finest hemp bondage rope at