It’s not every couple where trying bondage together comes before the relationship but then again, non-hierarchical London-based lovers Nina and Conor are not every couple. To put things into perspective a little, Nina is a rope bottom while Conor is a rigger, so it’s npt too surprising that they first bonded over their shared love of Shibari. As the explain, “We connected really well through tying and great conversations and it stayed like that since then.” 

What might come as more of a surprise is that their first encounter happened a week before the coronavirus lockdown in London and the pair ended up isolating together. “It felt just right,” they say. “We felt really attracted to each other since the first moment but we didn't have sex until the next time after a rope session, and it was nice to take the time and just feel – no pressure, no expectations, just playfulness and exploration, a passion left free to flow.”

From not-so-conventional beginnings, their relationship structure has also developed into one that defies norms. “We are more like siblings than lovers,” they say. “It kinda feels like that. Sexuality is just another way to express ourselves together.” While their kinks are rope and other SM elements, they don't always come into the bedroom. “Sex together is fluid – sometimes Conor takes control, sometimes Nina leads, it's all very intuitive and spontaneous. Nina is non-binary but there is no gender expectation from neither of us, and that allows everyone to explore the more hidden parts of ourselves.”

They say that they don't have a favourite position or setup but they also reckon that that's the beauty of their relationship. “It keeps changing and evolving, so it’s always stimulating and it has a lightness to it that paradoxically makes it easier to go deeper.”