Proof that untying is as important as tying?

Posted on Thu, 11 July 2013

I have long said that a kinbaku session should be a seamless process from the first contact until the last rope is removed and that each stage is equally important. Too many riggers see the tie as the goal and once completed the rest of the scene is relevant. This seems as illogical as going for a walk in the country to enjoy the scenery but running back on the return journey with blinkered eyes. The route home can be just as delightful and so it is with rope. Energy and connection should be maintained throughout. Turning off once the tie is done and untying casually is like withdrawing after sex, rolling over and falling fast asleep. If you have managed to get your partner where you want them literally and psychologically, why pour cold water on it (water bondage and interrogation excepted)?

An experiment was conducted recently that showed that the untying created observable changes to brain waves. Interestingly, it was also observed that what was termed 'negative spaces' also had a significant effect and both parties exhibited altered EEG patterns. Ropetastic wrote on Fetlife about Graydancer's podcast which talks about the experiment. He said:

"…Essentially a top and a bottom (in two separate but similar scenes) were measured throughout an Ichinawa session with an EEG machine. In the interview, the neuroscientist Neuromancer does a nice job pointing out that the primary peaks of arousal (awareness, really) and meditative quiet occurred during either 'negative space' in the scene (twisting a loop or rocking back) or during untying. While nothing revolutionary occurred for ME in this interview, understanding the underlying brain activity during scenes may deepen some of what I believe I already understand about connective rope. Oh and for those wondering, the top also had similar patterns with his bottom, but could not become as meditative about it, as he was preoccupied by the act of tying (and maybe those wires?)."

You can listen to Graydancer's podcast here.

Again, I have always maintained that movement is a vital component, whether it be simply drawing your partners body into you or away to provide access for tying or to unbalance them to create a feeling of control. I'm intrigued by the observation that pauses during 'twisting a loop' produced an effect, although I wonder if deliberately created pauses creating anticipation have a greater one. Certainly, changing the mood of your tying unpredictably is a powerful technique. The uncertainty of 'will he be nice, dominant or or just plain nasty next?' can be a powerful aphrodisiac in my experience.

One should always take an experiment without a good size sample and controls with a pinch of salt. However, from my own experience, I suspect such results might well be reflected by wider experiments. It is something I'd love to do but lack the kit. If you know a man who might have access, do let me know. It would be interesting to see what techniques are producing the best results and how much it varies between individuals. I'd bet some are almost universally hard-wired primal responses but other are more individual and specific.