OCEAN CITY, NJ–On March 18, 2020 shibari rope expert Jim “Sir Shinjun” Macallester was suspending from an elaborate web of expensive hand braided Japanese rope his sub/rope model, Angora Sweater (not her real name) at Yo Dojo, a rope BDSM dungeon on the Jersey Shore. A monitor in the private facility, known as a “dungeon master” ordered the club closed due to COVID that night, stopping all activity in the club.
For the last 378 days Macallester showed his dedication to his charge and his amateur mastery by feeding, caring for, bathing, and helping Sweater regain circulation in her limbs while their scene remained “on hold.”
“A master doesn’t stop,” said Macallester. “The focus, attention, and seriousness of rope play requires complete kensin–uh, mastery, of the craft. I wasn’t going to untie Angora. We were going to wait it out until we could finish the scene.”
Sweater, still rubbing out rope marks from her flesh, added, “I lost my job in April last year, and Sir Shinjun just kept coming each day to feed and bathe me, shift my position, and offer me moral support. We’ve been through a lot.”
Sir Shinjun only shrugs. “It was hardest at night when I went home to sleep. ‘Would she be okay in the dojo? Will her legs fall asleep? When can we go back to normal?’ These thoughts just kept running around in my head night after night, particularly when I sat alone at the sushi bar with my thoughts.”
Three days ago the New Jersey regulations on pandemic response were altered based on CDC guidelines as vaccines became more widely available. Since that time, Yo Dojo reopened to private members and Macallester finished the scene. “Angora cried,” Macallester noted. “It was a long journey and we finished as only a master could.” Sir. Shinjun did not elaborate.
“It just really hurt to move,” Sweater stated later. “I was so relieved to just be able to swing my arms after a year.”