EP 34

EP 34

Lu discusses their journey in the kink community, emphasizing the importance of communication and safety. They explore topics like social media, parenting, and community involvement, offering insights into their experiences and reflections on navigating the kink scene.

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Guest Bio

Bimbo Daddy Lu has been an involved community member in the greater Los Angeles area since 2017. Dabbling in everything from bottoming, topping, sex work and adult entertainment production. They strive to make space for marginalized folks and give back to the rope community as much as possible.

Instagram: @bimboxdaddy


[00:00:09] Wicked Wren Greetings to all my guys, gals and non-binary pals. Welcome to the Shibari Study Podcast. I'm your host, Wicked Wren. Shibari Study is an online learning resource offering video tutorials for beginners through advanced practitioners. Whether you're new to the world of Shibari and needing to learn the basics, or a seasoned rigger or rope bottom seeking inspiration to push your practice to new places, there's something for you at shibaristudy.com. Today I'm talking to Lu. Lu goes by they/them pronouns. They're a switchy rope person in Los Angeles and they're super involved in the community here. How about it Lu? How are you?

[00:00:49] Lu Hello!

[00:00:50] Wicked Wren We were talking earlier and you were saying that you have a huge collection of animal bones.

[00:00:56] Lu I do.

[00:00:58] Wicked Wren What – I mean, what? How do you find them? What kind of animal?

[00:01:02] Lu So I started out in college with going to a place called the Bone Room. And there I bought a articulated taxidermied pigeon as well as a duck skull. I got the pigeon because, hello, I was living in San Francisco, and there's pigeons everywhere, so, of course, I wanted to have a taxidermy pigeon. Ducks are one of my favorite animals, so that was like the second thing I picked up.

[00:01:30] Wicked Wren The name The Bone Room. Pretty funny.

[00:01:35] Lu Yeah. And then, from there, I actually met someone in the shop who has a collection of flesh eating beetles. So when my guinea pig in college died, I went and I took him over to Georgina, and she helped me to clean his bones and keep his pelt, in exchange for the service she asked that she can keep the heart. So she has, like, a library full of animal hearts that she's collected from all of the jobs that she's done.

[00:02:04] Wicked Wren What does she do with – the hearts are just on display?

[00:02:06] Lu Yeah.

[00:02:07] Wicked Wren That's so cool.

[00:02:07] Lu So she preserves them and has them in jars, and they're in this, like, beautiful library that has, like, backlit shelving. So it's literally just jars and jars of animal hearts.

[00:02:18] Wicked Wren When you said articulating, you mean as in like you can pose it and you can do stuff with it?

[00:02:24] Lu Uhhh... No. So with taxidermy, when you reassemble the skeleton to look as though it was the animal that existed. That's what that means. So putting the skeleton back together.

[00:02:40] Wicked Wren In my mind, it did seem as if you could pose it like an action figure, which is probably not respectable to that animal, but that's what my brain went to.

[00:02:51] Lu The funny thing, though, is that doing research online, there are actually companies that will like action pose your like cat or your dog or your mouse or whatever sort of animal it may be. There was like a place that had like a dog jumping to catch a frisbee. And like the owners of that dog, like, wanted that pose. So the dog is forever catching a frisbee.

[00:03:14] Wicked Wren How... this might be a weird thing to ask, but your relationship to I guess mortality like, because the idea doing that to one of my animals, I don't think I could do it. I don't think I could see that and be a part of it. Where did you get that... Vibe, I guess? I don't know.

[00:03:39] Lu I went to school for sculpture, and I was hell bent on figuring out how to cast a goldfish in metal. So I went around to different pet stores in the bay trying to buy dead goldfish. And Petco, oddly enough, will not let you buy an already dead goldfish. So I had to pay the guy who was working there 20 bucks, and I was like, please just sell me the dead goldfish.

[00:04:06] Wicked Wren Yes.

[00:04:07] Lu And from that process, after my guinea pig had passed and I found out that I could get his bones back, I made molds of all of his bones. So I actually use my guinea pig's bones. My childhood cat's bones. My dog that passed. Like I have bones from all the different pets that I've had, and made jewelry out of them so that they can, like, live on and have beautiful new lives with people.

[00:04:35] Wicked Wren That is so cool.

[00:04:37] Lu Strange but cool.

[00:04:39] Wicked Wren It is strange, but I feel like everything we've talked about on this podcast is quite strange, so I think it's fine. When you said Bone Room earlier, I thought it was so funny cause I was like, that could take on so many meanings in this podcast.

[00:04:50] Lu Oh, yes. Euphemisms.

[00:04:53] Wicked Wren Yes. So how did you find (…)? How do you find rope?

[00:04:57] Lu So being in San Francisco for school, I actually went to my first Folsom Street fair, I think back in 2008? Stumbled across the fair, was with, I think like two grad students that were from Korea, my friends from Norway and someone's mom. So she was in town and she was like, Oh, I heard this cool thing is happening. We have to go check it out.

[00:05:20] Wicked Wren Oh my God.

[00:05:21] Lu So this like 50 year old mother was traveling along with these like five college students to just, like, go to this street fair. Everyone was like really shocked and like, Oh my gosh, I don't know how long you can stay here. And I was just like, What is this? I am so intrigued. Yeah, so up until Covid hit, I think I've missed maybe two Folsom Street fairs since... 2008?

[00:05:48] Wicked Wren It's a lot of Folsoms.

[00:05:49] Lu Yeah. And my (…) journey started... I randomly met a couple at the street fair, and they were like, Oh, come over for dinner. We would love to, like, chat with you and sort of, like, expose you to these things!

[00:06:04] Wicked Wren Yeah.

[00:06:06] Lu Didn't know what FL was. Didn't know that there was a whole community of folks that, like, do this thing. So I was basically in a D/s relationship with this couple, who had like a home dungeon for like three and a half years.

[00:06:19] Wicked Wren That story usually isn't a positive story.

[00:06:22] Lu I only think it was positive because – and hopefully no one's offended by this – because the relationship was led by the female. So she was the Dom of her husband as well as myself, and he was sort of a switch in my life.

[00:06:39] Wicked Wren Yeah. You found (…) in kind of the coolest way you could. You just found a couple that you vibed with.

[00:06:46] Lu Well, moving away from San Francisco, the, like, de-escalation of the relationship didn't really exist. It was like, Okay, well, you're relocating to the city, and unfortunately, we just have to cut you off. So that part was really hard. But hopping on Tinder, actually, I met someone who was like, Oh, you're moving to L.A. and you're into all these cool, (…) things? Check out FL. Check out these rope groups. Do all these things. Like there are people out there that, like, meet in bars. And I was like, oh, this is what munches are. So it was like, well, I can make friends that are into these things, and I don't have to just exist on the internet.

[00:07:28] Wicked Wren How do you describe the L.A. (…) community world scene?

[00:07:34] Lu L.A. is interesting. I think it's very divided because it's so vast. But at the same time, we all know each other. You know? So even if you're not going to the same classes or existing in the same spaces, we all seem to sort of like, know what's going on.

[00:07:54] Wicked Wren Isn't that kind of the ethos of what Los Angeles is?

[00:07:57] Lu Yes, absolutely.

[00:07:59] Wicked Wren Everyone kind of knows everyone. Everyone kind of...

[00:08:03] Lu Yeah. And it doesn't even matter what industry or hobby you're into. It's just sort of like once you pick your thing, it, it's really interesting how like, special interests or hobbies connect people, even though LA is so vast.

[00:08:18] Wicked Wren Yes. People ask me often how the scene is here and it's so hard for me to describe. It's so different than anywhere else.

[00:08:27] Lu Yeah. There's too... There's there's almost too much going on, you know?

[00:08:30] Wicked Wren Yes. When you found Folsom for the first time. First off, how... You were with someone's mom. I mean, how did that go?

[00:08:39] Lu Oh, I mean, at that time, I was in a very monogamous relationship with someone who I ended up being with for 12 years. We have a child together. Being in the (…) community has helped me realize, like, my sexuality. My identity as a person. You know, even living in San Francisco, queer was not a term that existed when I was in college. At least not in a positive way. You know, it was a bunch of, like, butch lesbians or just regular old lesbians or like, gay men. You know, I had no idea... Of all the different terms for all the different ways that you can identify. So being a part of the LA community and sort of finding my people, I was like, Oh, wait a second. Like, I'm not actually a straight cis female.

[00:09:32] Wicked Wren Yeah, yeah. There's variation there. There's different things going on. Yeah. Do you think that younger (…), younger people have more access to learn these things more? Because I didn't even know what being trans was. I didn't know what being queer was like... No idea.

[00:09:53] Lu As much as I do think it, it, there's more information for younger folks that are coming into queerness, I... at this – by the same token, it also scares me a little bit at how much being queer has been like sort of like a popularity badge or like folks feel like they need to identify as queer to be in the spaces with, like, the quote unquote cool people they want to hang out with. So it's just this really interesting thing. Like, there's a lot of information and access and like, good things going on to help you learn more about yourself. But at the same time, like, it's a little bit hard when folks use the term queer to sort of fit in.

[00:10:44] Wicked Wren Yeah, yeah, totally. I think there is that pressure to do that. You want to make yourself unique and all these things.

[00:10:53] Lu I think a lot of folks think that like just because you identify in a different way and you're not cisgendered, that, Oh, we hate all straight people. I'm like, I love straight people. I love the vanilla friends in my life.

[00:11:07] Wicked Wren So you at some point found rope. At some point. And what was your in there and like, how did you see it? What did you, what appealed to about it?

[00:11:16] Lu So the couple that I was under in San Francisco actually introduced me to rope. But coming to LA, I was told directly, You need to sign up for FL, and you need to check out Devil's Mask Society. And I was just like, Okay, I guess I'm going to do this thing. And it's just like, I don't know how to become part of this community. So I'm just going to show up to a munch, and I'm just going to see if I get along with anybody.

[00:11:44] Wicked Wren And how did that go?

[00:11:45] Lu I mean, seven years later, I am a graduate of the program. I am very fortunate to be close with a lot of these people, and it's just been really nice to sort of give back, you know?

[00:12:00] Wicked Wren Were you afraid to go to that munch?

[00:12:02] Lu Oh, absolutely. I did, like I am a five foot little nothing, you know, like... Bright eyed and bushy tailed and like, high energy. And I'm like, I like some really (…) up (…). Can we be friends?

[00:12:15] Wicked Wren Yeah. You're really putting yourself out there when you're, like, saying these are the things that I like. Very, very scary to do that. What were some of your biggest fears, I guess, with going to the munch? Because I've, I, the reason why I'm asking this is... It's a common thing. I think a lot of people feel this really afraid to go and just meet people.

[00:12:39] Lu I think it's sort of like... I could compare it to, like, going to a speed dating event or something like that, you know? It's just like, what kind of people are going to be there? Are there going to be younger people there? Are there going to be a wide range of folks there, like, are there are there going to be any other Asian people there. Or colored folks there? Like I, I had no idea what to expect. And like you look at the guest list for the munch and it's like a bunch of people, you know, and it's just like, Ahhhh....

[00:13:09] Wicked Wren Yeah, yeah, yeah, I felt the same thing. I mean, I've, I still feel that going somewhere and not knowing a lot of the people or whatever. It's scary. It's a lot of stuff.

[00:13:21] Lu Absolutely. Like nowadays, if there's an event and I don't know at least one other person going, the chances of me going are very slim.

[00:13:28] Wicked Wren I'm not going. Yeah.

[00:13:30] Lu Power in numbers. I want to have at least one buddy, you know?

[00:13:33] Wicked Wren Yeah, exactly. We'll just stand next to each other the whole time. Yes, yes. So your intro to rope was self-suspending?

[00:13:42] Lu So I was a bottom first. I found myself unpartnered, and I was like,You know what? (…) it. I don't need a top. I want to learn how to do this. And like, seeing all these other folks like, beautifully self-suspend, you know, and making it look so like nice and (…) and sensual and all these other things. And I get up there and I'm like, dripping sweat, like making all these ugly faces. And I'm just like, I don't think this is for me.

[00:14:10] Wicked Wren Yeah.

[00:14:12] Lu So, but, by learning and like Shibari study was my first reference of like, Okay, I'm going to learn how to do this thing. As a beginner, I will say way above my learning curve. Well above my learning curve. So it was like, Okay, well applications are opening up for eighth cell, I'm gonna go for it. Didn't end up getting in the first try. Didn't give up though. Got into ninth cell. Got bit by the switch bug. And I'm just like, Oh, this is sort of like compersion in polyamory. Like being happy for my partner. Like, I enjoy tying people in a very (…) way because I love being a (…). So I'm like, Uh, you like the same type of rope that I do. You're going to have a great time.

[00:15:04] Wicked Wren Yeah, I've never heard it described like that. Compersion. For the person you're tying or whoever gets off. That's really cool. You were talking about your rope style a little bit. And you said that you're really (…).

[00:15:16] Lu I am. I am super (…). And unfortunately, my learning style – online learning is not for me. I have tried it and I just, it doesn't end up working out. Also, learning very complicated structured patterns is very, very difficult for me unless I have the time to just do it over and over and over and over and over again, which, like, lab time, is very important. But that's not always super fun. So going through the Devil's Mask program and learning the basics behind building your own ties as well, or learning the mechanics around why you use different hitches or different knots and building stems and all these things. It was just like, Oh, I can still safely do this, having a foundation and use... I can literally use a single-column and running cuffs and build something for someone to be partially suspendable or fully suspendable.

[00:16:16] Wicked Wren It sounds like Devil's Mask unlocked a lot of different ways to connect with a person.

[00:16:22] Lu Yes. I, like, definitely had moments in class where I would like break down and cry because like, I literally couldn't figure it out or I couldn't remember, you know, I could, I always needed like, my notes or like to look at a video right before I was going to do a thing. I just would get so nervous. And it was just like, Hey, bud, take a breath, you know. Like if you, if this is not your learning style, we can try something else in lab time. Like, you're, you're good at this. You really want to, like, learn how to do this, and just because you can't learn... A Naka pattern or something that KissMeDeadlyDoll is doing, it's okay. It doesn't mean that you're not able to do this. So sort of working with like, I guess you could say it's disability. I'm not really sure? But working with how my brain is wired, they sort of let me know and guided me down a path where it was like, Oh, check out these other riggers who kind of use the same style as you. Like, take a class with Fuoco. Like, learn other people's styles because you don't always have to emulate what you're seeing on the internet.

[00:17:36] Wicked Wren Yeah. Also, catering to your learning style is huge. It's not that people are bad at things. I don't think that anyone is inherently bad at doing rope or whatever. It's just... How are you going to learn that stuff? I find myself in intensives glazing over, very quickly. Because it's so much information so quickly. And... You're like, How am I supposed to keep up with all this stuff? I don't know. It, it's a double-edged thing because then I understand its teachers need to teach full and complete things so students feel like they've gotten enough out of it, but it's a very weird place to learn, the show and tell. I'm not good at that.

[00:18:23] Lu I think that cons and intensives are good for, at least for me, for ideas and for seeing how different people do things. But my takeaway might be different from the average person going, because I'm obviously not going to easily be able to replicate super complicated things that I'm seeing. If that makes sense.

[00:18:48] Wicked Wren What are... Well, I'm sure you are. You definitely are, just not.. Right then. You have to take it back and lab it and work on it, I suppose. And I think that that's most people.

[00:19:00] Lu Well, in a lot of folks think that when I go into, like tying for a performance or like playing at a space, it's like, Oh, you're just like (…) around and finding out. And it's like, No, like, I've practiced these different things with people and based off of, like, what we've done together, I can sort of read someone's body, you know? And also I'm constantly checking in. I do not care about talking during a scene. I do not care about, like checking in 20 times. Like, it doesn't need to be this, like hand signal, silent, (…) thing. Like, I want to laugh. I want to talk. I want to make someone scream. You know? I want the full range of emotions.

[00:19:36] Wicked Wren Have you always been like that?

[00:19:38] Lu I think so.

[00:19:40] Wicked Wren Because I think that is a thing that most people are scared about. They don't want to ruin the moment or ruin the vibe. They want to be cool and they don't want to ask stuff. And... Can you talk a little bit about how you're checking in? Like what are some things that you're asking? What are some things that you're looking for?

[00:20:01] Lu So with all of my bottoms that I regularly tie with, you know, like the, just making sure they're checking their hands throughout the tie, you know? But, like, if I notice toes are going purple or, like, we've been in a position for too long, I will literally just go down and be like, Hey, bud, you doing good? Anything need adjustments? You know? You want to keep going? Suck more or less? You know, it doesn't have to be a full conversation, but just, like, very quick, like, You okay? You good? You know? Sweet little check ins.

[00:20:34] Wicked Wren I love that. Do you think that being a switch informs your tying?

[00:20:41] Lu Yes. So as a bottom coming into the LA community, I was very reckless, you know? I was very in your face, like, Let's tie together. Let's tie together. Let's tie together. If someone tells me no, it's fine. I'll just ask somebody else, you know? Like, go for it, go for it, go for it.

[00:20:56] Wicked Wren Same.

[00:20:56] Lu Where like as a top, I am much more mindful because I know what I'm willing to put myself through. And I know if I get nerve damage, I'm not... You know, that's a risk that you take as a bottom. I'm aware of it. I am quote unquote okay with it, you know? But doing that to somebody else, I think it has a much higher consequence. So as a top, I think it's like, Okay, let's step back and think about all the ways I have acted during my rope journey as a, as a bottom. And like let's have a conversation and check in with like, how long have you been doing this? Who else have you tied with? You know? What harnesses have you been in or positions like? And it's okay if people don't know names of things or don't have photos for reference, but it's just like we need to form a base.

[00:21:53] Wicked Wren What have you done? The little intake. You brought up a really cool point there where everyone gets bottom frenzy. It comes up a lot in this podcast. No one has any really great ways to solve it, other than one of the missions of this podcast is to have a landing place for people that are interested in rope to come in, listen to some stuff, and just listen to people talk about things. And if that could happen for any new bottom, at least one, this podcast would be worth it. It's hard because you learn about something on your own and then you're like, I want to do it, and then you'll message anyone and do it because you don't realize the community has been around for a while. Like the scene has layers, and...

[00:22:35] Lu The best advice I could give someone that is looking to bottom consistently is like, just keep showing up.

[00:22:42] Wicked Wren Yeah. Yes, yes, yes.

[00:22:44] Lu Keep showing up. And like, don't be discouraged if you just have to watch people's scenes. Like take notes on like what you liked about watching somebody else. Take notes about like, if you know that your strongest part of your body is your legs, then like, see what types of things people are doing. So when you approach someone, you can ask for something. You know, when I was a bottom, it was just like, Oh, anything and everything. Yeah. Which as a top I'm just like, that is not the answer I want to hear.

[00:23:13] Wicked Wren That's the number one red flag. Yes. If you have no limits, if you are like – I also think that the discourse around calling people tanks and power bottoms and saying, Oh, you can do anything to this person. I think that's actually really problematic and harmful because it builds this thing up to where, when I do want to say something, I'm not able to advocate for myself.

[00:23:36] Lu Right.

[00:23:37] Wicked Wren I think the other piece is that it's actually a compliment. If you're not getting tied in the beginning, in a way. Because a top that's going to tie with someone that's brand new and says something like, I'm up for anything, whatever, it's probably not the best situation in the world. Right? But a really good top is going to wait.

[00:24:01] Lu Yeah. And with new folks that approach me like, I take it very slowly, you know? And sometimes folks are really disappointed and end up not wanting to tie again. And it's just like, just because I know how to suspend you doesn't mean that that's what we're doing. Because I have to be comfortable with it and I need to learn your body.

[00:24:19] Wicked Wren Yeah, totally. Yeah!

[00:24:21] Lu Like it's it's a scary, dangerous thing.

[00:24:24] Wicked Wren Yeah, yeah. I think a lot of the negotiation and intake process is based around... Physical stuff. I don't want rope here. Don't, don't do this to me. I don't like this. I like this feeling. But a lot of it is emotional. And we don't really talk about... What emotions do you want to feel out of it. Like, those are things that individuals talk about, but it's not talked about on the greater scheme of like, the negotiation process, like, but I do feel like it's a, it's really better served in talking about what a... What do you want to get out of this? What do you want to feel out of this? Because if someone wants to tie with you. They don't need to be suspended to feel... Like they're being pushed to their limits.

[00:25:10] Lu Yeah. No.

[00:25:10] Wicked Wren There are partials that are way worse than suspensions I've been in.

[00:25:13] Lu Oh, yeah.

[00:25:13] Wicked Wren You know, it's like...

[00:25:15] Lu I mean, I've, I've been tied in, like, boring ties, but for me it was just like the most stressful thing. And since I'm not flipping upside down and doing all these transitions and that, that ,and the other people are like, Did you have fun? And I was like, I had a great time. I was sobbing. I was stressed out. That was great.

[00:25:34] Wicked Wren Yeah. That's something that I've stopped doing is worrying at the bottoms having a good time, because I realized there's –I've never been in rope and had a bad time, I suppose. I mean, there's exceptions to that when things have gone poorly, but that hasn't been the ropes problem. Like, I've never been in rope being like, Damn I'm bored. I wish I could get more. It's like...

[00:25:58] Lu Yeah, it's usually like the interpersonal relationship you have with somebody or like the – if, if you're just having a bad day and, you know, like you go into play, it's going to affect your mood, you know. Or if like your top's having a bad day also. Like emotions, things that happened earlier in the day, things that you're stressed out about, things that you're worried about, like it all affects everything.

[00:26:21] Wicked Wren Yeah. How do you feel about social media and like photos and things?

[00:26:28] Lu I am not the best with it. I do it because I feel the need to, but like, I don't have a huge following and honestly, I don't really care. You know, when I go into tying with friends, I always feel super pressured into taking photos because the few times that I haven't with folks, it's like... They're almost, like, offended, you know? And it's just like, I'm sorry, I was too focused in what we were doing to pick up my phone. You know? Like, so that, that's also like, part of my negotiation style now is like, are you expecting images and would you like them to be on my device or your device? And I kind of hate that... That's the time that we live in right now. Sometimes I just want to have a fun time and not have to let everybody on the internet know what I'm doing.

[00:27:21] Wicked Wren Yeah. It sounds like what you're saying is that photos for you kind of detract from a scene.

[00:27:31] Lu Yeah. So unless I'm, like, setting up... A set or like, going to a destination. Like, sometimes I just want to play, you know. Sometimes I don't want to whip out my camera. And it seems like I'm really into social media, but really, it is not....

[00:27:50] Wicked Wren Do you feel, because sometimes I find this conversation is connected to this thought. And it's that... Do you think that (…) needs to be more mainstream? Do you think more people need to know about (…)?

[00:28:07] Lu I mean, I think it's just happening because of all the things that are coming up on, like streaming platforms like Netflix and all the other, HBO. Like there have been little slivers of rope put into things. There are like the The (…) Dungeon show and  50 Shades of Gray, of course. And who else knows what's out there? But like, I feel like... Now it is at least easier for me to share that I know shibari because people have seen it in music videos, so it's not something I have to hide. But at the same time I'm not sharing like... My, I don't know, single futo suspension with someone drooling and crying like... That, that's not really something I think that needs to be exposed to the masses.

[00:28:59] Wicked Wren I agree.

[00:29:00] Lu But do I want people to know that (…) is out there? Definitely. But I do think it needs to be tempered.

[00:29:07] Wicked Wren Yeah, I agree it loses the context.

[00:29:09] Lu Yeah. Like I, I have an eight year old daughter. I don't want her seeing these things. And unfortunately, as soon as she gets a phone and is on social media, I'm sure she's going to stumble across things that are (…) related that I maybe might not feel prepared for her to see, depending on what age she's at, you know? But with the, the time that we live in now. Everything is oversexualized.

[00:29:39] Wicked Wren Yeah, everything is oversexualized. But nothing is like inherently... We get on Instagram and it's constant softcore 24/7. It's so hard to look at all day long.

[00:29:53] Lu There's no way around it, you know? I can't put my blinders on and think that, Oh, it's going to be fine. She's so sweet and innocent now. Everything's fine. It's like, this is just...

[00:30:04] Wicked Wren Do you feel pressured to give her a phone? When will she get a phone?

[00:30:08] Lu Oh, she doesn't want one.

[00:30:10] Wicked Wren Wow.

[00:30:11] Lu Yeah.

[00:30:13] Wicked Wren That's not common.

[00:30:14] Lu I know.

[00:30:15] Wicked Wren Why doesn't she want a phone?

[00:30:17] Lu Well, she... She already has had older friends who, you know, they're on TikTok, they're on Instagram, and they're ignoring her. And she sees, like, her grandparents, on the phone all the time, you know, or like her dad on the phone all the time. So she's just like, I don't want to have a phone because I want to go play. I want to be outside, I want to go do this, and I want to go do that. So I think the fact that her dad and I have been really mindful about doing a lot of outdoor activities and like keeping her busy on things other than devices, has sort of influenced her as a person. And I mean, she has a phone when she wants it, but as of now she's fine not having it. She has an iPad. But... Yeah.

[00:31:11] Wicked Wren I do not have kids, but I can imagine how difficult it would be. Because we see so many iPad kids and we see so many kids that are just stuck on their devices.

[00:31:23] Lu Yeah.

[00:31:24] Wicked Wren And for me, it's difficult. I'm an adult. Like, I wish I didn't have to be on devices.

[00:31:29] Lu Well, and I mean, there have been times where it's just like, Okay, I'm just going to give her her iPad and we're going to turn something on because she needs to be distracted. You know, like, play on your switch.

[00:31:37] Wicked Wren Yeah. That's always existed. You know.

[00:31:41] Lu I think there just needs to be a good balance. And, like, luckily, she gets really bored being on a device for too long. I am very fortunate that she is not just, like, glued to video games.

[00:31:51] Wicked Wren Yes. Are you going to have a (…) talk with her?

[00:31:58] Lu Oh, absolutely. So we've already ventured into talking about, like, transgender folks. I did date a trans girl not that long ago, and Ellie was sort of like, So, mommy, why does Liz wear dresses? And I was like, Well, Liz is a girl. Don't girls wear dresses? Oh, yeah. Well, what, like, it, it's just very interesting, you know? And it's like, Well, mommy, like you shaved your head. Why? Because I wanted to. Well, why do you use they/them pronouns? Because, you know, sometimes you're born as a woman and you don't feel that way anymore. You know? So just slowly introducing her to small ideas of like, different types of folks.

[00:32:55] Wicked Wren Yeah. Does she have anybody... Like, are her friends having conversations about queerness or like, any of those parents, queer, trans or on any kind of spectrum?

[00:33:09] Lu I am the weirdest parent at the school.

[00:33:14] Wicked Wren I'm going to be honest, I don't think that, that's not shocking to us.

[00:33:19] Lu I mean, she she does go to school in Orange County.

[00:33:21] Wicked Wren Yeah. Again, not shocking to us.

[00:33:24] Lu Yeah. But you know, I, I don't know of any other even just lesbian or gay couples at her school. I am the token like, billboard for queerness, you know, but also, like, I think... She's fortunate that I am not a very aggressive person when it comes to sort of like gender and being misgendered, or if people have questions, you know. I've, I've had little kids, like, follow us in Target just to be like, Are you a mommy or a daddy? I'm like, Oh, I'm her mommy. Oh, okay. And they just walk away, you know? And parents will be like, I'm so sorry. And I'm like, Why? You're making a bigger deal out of this than I am like, it's really okay.

[00:34:10] Wicked Wren Yeah. You're like, it's actually kind of good. In a way. You know, it's like, they get to like, they just learn like, Oh, okay. Cool. You know? Do you feel... Pressure being like, the pillar of queerness in those groups? Do you feel like, is that daunting?

[00:34:33] Lu I much prefer it with other parents and especially kids then, say, in a corporate environment.

[00:34:42] Wicked Wren Oh, totally.

[00:34:42] Lu I was the token queer when I worked at a very corporate job for three and a half years, and towards the end of it, I started showing up wearing more masculine clothes and started getting very like shocked responses from my direct manager. And it was just like, You know, you're a grown adult. Working in like mainstream entertainment. Like, get with it, dude. So I, I think when it comes to educating other parents and like educating children, it's much more productive for me. And it doesn't make me... Heated or it doesn't, it doesn't really stress me out.

[00:35:19] Wicked Wren Well, speaking of that, you're really involved in the community and LA in general, like [00:35:25](inaudible) [0.0s] and stuff.

[00:35:26] Lu I am! I love to be busy and I love to be around my friends. So the easiest way to do that is to help with events or teach classes or, you know, always have my hands in something.

[00:35:37] Wicked Wren You've kind of reverse engineered it. Yeah, I guess my question is like, you've kind of answered this, but what does that give to you? Like, I know accessibility is really important. I know that teaching is really important. But like, what is community, like...?

[00:35:58] Lu I mean, I've been able to find myself through meeting different types of (…) workers and different types of folks that are in the community, and I feel like the easiest way for me to give back is to be seen, you know? Other folks, for some reason or another, are always very excited to show up to things that I'm either going to or hosting or a part of. But like, as I think about it now, it's like, well, because they're, they're seeing someone like them, you know, doing these things. It's not another white man. It's not another cis person, you know. I am brown and I'm queer and I'm leaning towards like, transitioning. So... you know.

[00:36:43] Wicked Wren What do you think makes a really good event?

[00:36:47] Lu Oh, that's a hard question.

[00:36:50] Wicked Wren We ask the hard hitting questions on the Shibari Study Podcast.

[00:36:53] Lu You know, for me, a good event is one where everybody has a good time and everybody feels quote unquote, safe. You know? And I for me, a good event is one that does not contain drugs or alcohol. For me, it's not mixing necessarily like, (…) and raves together, which is like kind of a controversial thing for me to say, because a lot of, some of the events that I perform at are those types of events, you know, but it, it's, it's really strange to me that (…) is becoming like a rave party...

[00:37:33] Wicked Wren Yeah.

[00:37:35] Lu ...EDM mixed thing.

[00:37:38] Wicked Wren And do you think it's off of the mainstream adoption of (…)?

[00:37:42] Lu Unfortunately, yes.

[00:37:44] Wicked Wren You said... You talked about safety. Quote unquote safe. And I think saying phrases like safe space are a little bit goofy because what is safety, etc., etc..

[00:37:59] Lu So I think especially when we dive in to like the LGBTQIA community, sometimes we... We get really hurt out of friendships and relationships. And I think that we can sort of conflate like, a bad breakup or like, a partnership de-escalation with like, folks being unsafe. And for me, you know, we are in a really niche thing. Just because you have a bad breakup doesn't mean your ex or you should be excommunicated from everything, you know? For me, safety more comes down to like harm towards the community. So, is this person harmful to the greater community? Not just like, did this person hurt your feelings? And I don't mean to like, diminish anyone in feeling like someone should or should not be there because they were hurt. I understand situations can be very hurtful. I've been in very hurtful situations, but at the same time, I think we all sort of need to take a step back and like acknowledge that, like, banishing your ex from an event is not going to help them be a better person. You getting banished from an event for hurting someone's feelings is not going to help you grow. So quote unquote safety I think has a lot more to do with like harm. Like very serious harm that's done, versus like maybe just feelings being hurt.

[00:39:36] Wicked Wren Yeah.

[00:39:36] Lu Which is a very hard thing to say.

[00:39:38] Wicked Wren It is. It's really difficult. There's no governing body that we have to talk about these things. The only way we can really do stuff is banish the person. And like you said, that doesn't really do anything because they're going to continue to find new people and do the same stuff with them.

[00:39:59] Lu Right. So it's sort of like as a whole, how do we help people to be better? Because ultimately that's what I want. I want us all to be mutuals, and I want us all to, you know, be able to communicate effectively and like, even if it's something you don't want to hear or don't agree with, like, we can all just sort of, you know, work on stuff.

[00:40:22] Wicked Wren Agree.

[00:40:23] Lu Communicating is like the hardest part.

[00:40:27] Wicked Wren It really is.

[00:40:27] Lu The hardest part.

[00:40:28] Wicked Wren It really is. And it comes in waves because in the beginning you think you're really good communicator because you don't really know anything. And then you learn more stuff and you're like, Oh, I didn't communicate well. I realized all these things going on, all these power dynamics that were there, I didn't even know were there. And then you get a little bit better at it and you have to kind of relearn. Yeah it's hard. It's also so boring. It's not (…). No one's got a [00:40:59]communicatio class. [0.0s]

[00:40:59] Lu No, it's not (…). You don't want to have a confrontational situation or tell somebody that your feelings are hurt, you know? It's not, it's not cute and fun, but, like, I think some of the deepest relationships that I've had have been with (…) partners, you know? Sometimes even deeper than you get with, like, someone you're casually dating for a little while.

[00:41:19] Wicked Wren I think it is good. It requires conversations in a way, which is nice, and I think in a lot of standard dynamics, like, just like a monogamous cis-het relationship. It's hard. Like, the communication bones aren't being flexed, if you will. Muscles aren't being flexed, you know, in those things. Whereas like in a (…) thing, it is. Very different. I want to thank you for being on. This is awesome. Where can folks find you?

[00:41:53] Lu You can find me on Instagram. I'm bimboxdaddy. I supposedly have my ex formerly Twitter account back, which is the same handle, but I still can't log in, so I'm working on that.

[00:42:07] Wicked Wren I love it.

[00:42:07] Lu But yeah, Instagram is probably the most reliable place to get a hold of me.

[00:42:11] Wicked Wren Cool. That's awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on. This is really great.

[00:42:17] Lu Thank you.

[00:42:18] Wicked Wren You're welcome.


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