EROS bonds with students on campus


James Wyatt

Mark Sade presents a bondage 101 class for SF State students in the Cesar Chavez Center on the SF State campus Feb. 26 2020. (James Wyatt/ Golden Gate Xpress)

Jacquelyn Moreno

Different colored ropes covered the conference table in the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center. Student Director of Education & Referral Organization for Sexuality Joseph Sweazey, put together gift bags with condoms and brewed fresh tea as students started to trickle in the room. 

EROS organized the workshop Bondage 101 to inform students on the safe ways to perform the sexual kink- bondage. 

In the past EROS has done a kink 101 that was more broad and not just solely on rope play and I thought, ‘Oh well I was in boy scouts for 12 years. I had to do a bunch of ties and i like to be tied up. How about lets show it off,’”Sweazey said. 

When the workshop began, facilitator Mark Sade and his sub Treavor Drew asked students to go around the room to introduce their name, pronouns and level of expertise in the bondage community. 


Mark Sade ties a knot on his model during a bondage 101 class for SF State students in the Cesar Chavez Center on the SF State campus Feb. 26 2020. (James Wyatt/ Golden Gate Xpress)

The degree of expertise amongst students in the room was in between beginner to intermediate in practicing bondage.

BDSM is a continuum of consensual sexual practices that includes bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadism and masochism according to the American Heritage Dictionary of Medicine. The sub stands for being the submissive in the relationship. Bondage carries other vernacular like being either the dom or sub. The dom stands for being the dominant person in a BDSM relationship. 

Macey Kelley, a student did not know much about bondage but has been to the kink-café called Wicked Grounds. 

 “I think it’s a good thing if you’re knowledgeable about it and have experience because it can get kind of dangerous in some situations if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Kelley said. 

Kelley said some of her friends couldn’t make it to the workshop because of their schedules but others are just not as outgoing. 

The importance within the workshop was to destigmatize the notion that bondage is an act of disrespecting your sexual partner indefinitely, which is not true at all according to the Australian Study of Health and Relationships. 

Sade stressed the importance within the workshop to destigmatize the notion that bodnage is about safety and respecting your sexual partner. 

“Communication and empathy were the top two things that really stood out, which is so diametrically opposed to this concept of the 50 shades of someone is a scary individual and has collections in their basement or something like that,” said the facilitator Mark Sade. 

A repeated phrase said throughout this workshop was, ‘Did you ask for consent?’ Whether in public at Folsom Festival or in the confines of your bedroom, this concept reins within the bondage community.

Vanessa Salcido, a computer science major, watches Mark Sade tie up his model during a bondage 101 class for SF State students in the Cesar Chavez Center on the SF State campus Feb. 26 2020. (James Wyatt/ Golden Gate Xpress)

The question did you ask for consent was repeated more times.

“Any kink player is driven by the fundamental concept of consent. If they’re not working on consent, then they’re not kinky. They’re abusers and they need to be shut down and removed from society,” Sade said. 

There were three different types of knots that the entire room went over. These knots had their own purpose from either hanging to a bedpost or hog-tying legs together. 

 It was also suggested by Sade to not come up with silly safe words because saying “purple hippopotamus” during a time when a sexual partner feels vulnerable is cruel. Instead, use practical terms like green, yellow, and red to indicate discomfort. 

 The verbal aspect of communicating with a sexual partner during bondage with safe words and consent is just as important as the physical safety during bondage Sade said.  

Pressure points and blood flow were discussed in the workshop when students followed along with their own ropes. Bondage players are advised to not cross circulation to prevent nerve damage. 

 Despite your sexual orientation, safe bondage practice is important and making others feel accepted and unjudged within their peer group is promoted by EROS. Kink is not usually talked about amongst other students, let alone on campus in the Cesar Chavez center. 

 “What that’s omitting is the fact that with consent, none of it is abuse. It’s an exploration of sexuality, which is beautiful and powerful and amazing,” Sade said.