I've taken to calling the incident "the drop heard round the world" as I understand the accident has been the topic of more than a little ongoing discussion and controversy across the globe. It's a phrase I've co-opted from history books, as the "shot heard round the world" was the precursor to First World War. It's not a perfect analogy, but it's close enough to be a fairly apt description.
In the first and second installments of this sad story, we read a statement by Midori about the accident, I editorialized about the extreme importance of safety, and I also editorialized about being trained and prepared for emergencies before they happen. For this third installment, I'm going to re-post a public statement from Mistress Tokyo, the individual who was dropped:
Hi A/all,As you've just read, there appear to be some pretty strong (and hard) feelings about this accident. I hate to say it, but these kind of feelings are almost inevitable when there's an accident, and kind of accident.
I’d like to make a public statement regarding the suspension bondage accident between Midori and myself while performing a show for the Uber Cabaret on Oct 2nd 2011, Sydney Australia.
I feel the need for a formal statement regarding this incident to silence any factual inaccuracies regarding what actually happened. I’d also like to communicate my sentiments about how the incident transpired and my feelings about my personal involvement.
What happened fact by fact is thus; I was tied by Midori in suspension bondage as a human puppet. Midori tied a slipknot on my sole load bearing suspension line, causing me to fall out of suspension onto the bare concrete floor. Thanks to luck, I fell in such a way that the full force of the fall was distributed relatively evenly. Unfortunately, due to the fact that my hands were tied up, I was not able to shield my head from slamming into the ground at full force. On witnessing my fall Midori failed to check in with me, either verbally or physically, and continued with the show. I was in shock at the time, but I believe we continued the show until it was apparent I was bleeding from the head. Upon this, Midori assisted me off stage.
My chin took the brunt of the impact of the fall, resulting in a deep inch long cut. I went to hospital and received three stitches. Cone beam CT scans resolved I had sustained no serious damage to my head, neck or jaw. My front teeth in my lower jaw have been slightly re-arranged, I’ve clicking in my right jaw joint and a permanent facial scar. Essentially, I got off lightly. I can report that Midori has paid my medical expenses. I credit my years of Aikido and Jyujitsu training in break and high falling with saving my neck.
Personally, I strongly feel how this accident was dealt with showed how suspension bondage accidents SHOULD NOT be managed. I feel this situation purveyed the worst response that could be offered in reaction to a potentially grave accident. Additionally, I’d like to distance myself, both personally and professionally, from how this incident was dealt with.
I’m a professional Mistress with my own private studio based in Sydney with over 12yrs experience, both locally and overseas. Privately, I’m an experienced bondage switch. I’ve attended workshops and/or been privately trained by Osada Steve, Kinoko Hajime, Arisue Go, Esinem, Satomi Tokyo Love Doll, Lee Harrington and Midori. Professionally, I specialize in heavy and suspension bondage. I intermittently run workshops in Sydney on a variety of BDSM topics, inclusive of Shibari inspired rope bondage. I run an invite-only Queer female-identified/expressed rope group. Personally, I am a deeply passionate player at ends to scene SSC, purvey RACK and also to see these things demonstrated by others. I also do occasional First Aid volunteer work at rural alternative lifestyle festivals.
The potential for human mistake in scenes is an unfortunate aspect of risky activities with consequences we must bear. This element is forgivable. It is how we deal with our mistakes though, that proves who we are. This is correct irrespective as to whether the situation is a private scene, professional session or public performance.
I find it unconscionable a Dominant/Top would not check in with a sub/bottom during an accident. I find it equally unthinkable a Top might choose to down-prioritize a bottom’s medical and emotional health for any reason. Neither of these two things constitute safe, sane play. I also believe a Top who can’t hold their own space emotionally during a worst case scenario incident is not a safe player.
I believe care of the bottom is the most important precept in a scene. I believe if a Top cannot completely support a scene they should not undertake it. I also believe that it is only human instinct that, if misadventure occurs, the bottom’s needs are immediately responded to in a manner that holds their medical and emotional safety foremost. I cannot explain why this care was not delivered to me. For me, this is a necessary and vital constituent of any safe, sane and consensual BDSM play.
When there is an accident of any type in our lives, whether at work or at play, hard feelings, ill will, and animosity are common emotions to feel. I've been involved in a recreational accident (non BDSM related), and I've witnessed others, it's tough stuff.
In the case of some kind of drop or fall, the question most of us ask upon impact would be some version of the phrase, "What the fuck happened?"
Naturally, the next thing we'd all wonder is, "Am I going to be ok?"
That's quickly followed by, "How the hell did this happen?" or perhaps "What did I do to deserve this?" It's my experience that the latter is a more common response in abuse survivors.
Everything I'm describing here happens in a matter of moments. Over longer periods of time accident victims go through a whole myriad of emotions above and beyond the quick simplistic responses I've described. Every one of these emotions is somewhere between difficult to agonizing to experience. Experiencing an accident will at best challenge us, and at worst it will change us is ways we'd not like to imagine.
When a person feels as though they've caused an accident, or allowed it to happen through inattention, they will inevitably feel the full range of doubt, regret, and remorse expressed by Midori in her statement.
There are other impacts too. An accident of this sort has the potential to impact the willingness of promoters and venues to host similar future events, for simple liability reasons. Who knows, it might have an impact on insurance rates for events too. I don't hope any of that happens, but logic says it could happen.
In the end, after hearing both Midori and Mistress Tokyo comment on the accident, I know we can say for sure that the incident was regrettable, that it might have been prevented, and that it was also handled in a less than optimum fashion. I also know that all parties involved need heeling. And for that reason, I do ask that we all remember both Mistress Tokyo and Midori in our thoughts, wishes and prayers.
Healing energy to all, and to all a good night (for now . . . )