Bondage for people not parcels

Posted on Sun, 21 July 2013


In all of my years exploring rope, the most important thing that I have discovered about bondage is that it should not be like wrapping a parcel. It is not simply a matter of being able to tie a particular knot, or replicate a specific tie exactly, but also to do it with feeling and create an energy flow with your partner. I find that too often people become distracted by learning elaborate knots, discussing rope and other technicalities at the expense of this. Bondage is more about the way that you do it than what you do or what materials are used. However, this does not mean that safety, good technique and appropriate equipment are not vital. My Japanese bondage classes are based around these principals, which I teach from the outset to avoid becoming knot focused.

I would compare a bondage scene to a passionate dance like the tango- you're in very close contact with your partner, one of you leads and the other follows, and together you produce something magical. If one were to merely follow the steps laid out in a dance instruction manual, the dance could be millimetre perfect but, without passion, it would be nothing more than a mechanical exercise and emotionally dead. Bondage is no different. Sadly, many people miss the point. They fail to make the emotional connection, end up becoming detached and merely 'wrap parcels'. Binding your lover should not be a destination to be reached, but a journey to be enjoyed and savoured. I have found a wide variety of ways to avoid 'wrapping parcels' over the years. If I am tying somebody for the first time, I try to get an idea of what will push their buttons and discover from which perspective they approach bondage. Are they drawn to rope for SM, D/s, M/s, or as a sensual experience? As with any for of BDSM or sexual activity, I have found that if I go down the wrong avenue, I will have a loser from the start. The situation will usually determine how I come to my conclusions. If I already know the person to some extent, I might have some insights into their tastes from conversations, a web profile or watching them play with others. However, sometimes I am asked to tie somebody in a club who I have not met before that moment. In these instances, I might whisper in their ear where between 'soft and sensual' to 'hard and nasty' their preferences lie. Other times, I rely on non-verbal cues, such as demeanour and reactions.

For example, when I encounter bratty subs who want to fight back a little or try to escape, they tend to respond to a more forceful approach before finally submitting. Usually, with this type of interaction, my bondage will become opportunistic and struggling limbs will be pinned and roped in whatever position they present themselves. I enjoy the challenge of this sort of encounter and the opportunities for mischief it presents; even though it is invariably not a question of who will win but when they will lose. It always has that exhilaration that comes with any sort of play fighting. On the other hand, the ones that drop their eyes, offer their wrists to be tied and act submissively are more likely to be compliant, allowing me to decide on positions for tying.

The way they react to touch is also a good clue. My most simple 'Litmus test' is to grab a good handful of hair and draw the head back. Their reaction to this simple move speaks volumes. I am not the only one who has used a test like this. Almost 30 years ago in the Japanese magazine 'Venus' Akechi Denki (one of the greatest of modern shibari masters, teachers and performers who passed in 2005) was quoted as saying "I can usually find whether a girl has an M [submissive] side or not. When meeting, one of the ways of finding out is by grabbing her hair and pulling her down slowly to the ground." Just like in good sex, one pays attention to feedback and builds on that feedback. When that feedback is positive, keep following the clues laid out, and when the feedback is negative, pull back and re-examine what messages might have been misinterpreted. Some sessions will be tender, sensual and loving bringing out the deepest connections. Others will be like doing battle. Others still will be frivolous affairs, with a certain amount of teasing, laughter, frustration, play fighting and ultimately satisfaction at having rendered them helpless. I recall the reaction of a Japanese bondage artist to watching me engaged in a scene that involved the latter. She was somewhat bemused as bondage in Japan always seems quite a serious affair. Her comment was:" You two were really having fun, weren't you?" to which, I replied "If We're not having fun, what's the point?"

During any scene, I always try to be aware of the body language, breathing and the look in their eyes, even if I have played with them before. Whilst learning and observation can improve matters,some of it will still come down to intuition and luck. Passionate bondage is not an exact science. It cannot be achieved only by book or formal learning. Communication is another key, whether this is verbal or non-verbal. Both sides spelling out what is working and what is not in a positive and constructive way can also be helpful to this end, allowing each scene the opportunity to be improved.

Sometimes everything will click intuitively, other times it will not, regardless of the skill of the rigger. There is no magic formula that works every time. It is simply a question of improving the odds and,ultimately, it will rest on the chemistry between the two of you. It certainly helps to be tying a true rope-slut, who goes into ecstasy as the mere thought of being tied, and I find this almost invariably makes for a more rewarding session. After all, lack of enthusiasm is the only thing more infectious than enthusiasm.

Another tool to consider is positions. The pose I tie someone in can have dramatic effects on the bottom psychologically. For example, ties where the genitals are exposed and they are unable to hide or protect them can create shame, embarrassment, vulnerability (especially in the case of men unable to guard the testicles) or uneasiness. Playing on the sense of embarrassment seems to be a key element in the Japanese approach, where the concept of shame is particularly intense culturally. This style, which can be seen in much of Yukimura Haruki's, is called 'shuuchi-nawa', shuuchi= shyness, bashfulness and nawa=rope. In my experience, some Japanese girls exhibit an unique demeanour which delightfully combines this demureness with intensive submissiveness. However, this is not the easy stereotype it might seem- my understanding is that in Japan, the game is played a little differently with safe-words being uncommon, the sub giving up all control to the rope top and it being a matter of honour not to back down during a scene.

Other positions can be largely practical. I might want to secure somebody to a piece of dungeon furniture, a bed or in a suitable pose for a particular activity, be it sex or play. Perhaps I would like to enforce a concept of servility- in which case, I can put my partner in a bowed or kneeling pose. If I want to push them into a sense of imbalance or fear, I can destabilize them by lifting one leg off the ground, which can create a constant battle within themselves that some bottoms find quite disturbing. Obviously, you need to make sure that they cannot actually fall by securing the bondage to a suspension point, or by some other method. Adding a blindfold to the equation can also be an extremely potent tool for enforcing an emotion through the way they are tied.

Predicament ties, such as putting a leg into a stressful position then connecting that line to a nipple clamp or hair bondage, can a deliciously sadistic element. However, one should never underestimate the effect of time, which can lead to moments of extreme submission for even the most hardy and recalcitrant. This fact was known to the originators of Japanese bondage who used stress positions in torture, punishment and interrogation long before they became a tool for eroticism.

The order of restraint is also significant for me. In order to assert dominance, I believe that one should take control immediately and assertively when tying. Even for the most sensuous scene, I like to begin by grasping the wrists to move them into position and maintaining a grip until the first wrap secures them. This gives the message straight away that I am in control and clearly indicates that the session has begun. It is an important psychological moment and one that has more significance than meekly offered wrists or patiently waiting for them to be tied while other bondage is completed. It is well worth mastering the technique of achieving this step slickly and quickly. Most impressions are made in the first 30 seconds, and I believe this applies to bondage as well. It is the equivalent to a firm handshake, compared to the limp, 'wet-fish' variety or a strong opening in dance. Start by creating a positive reaction, not a negative, or even neutral, one. Simple details such as being able to smoothly flick out a coil of rope without tangles can make a huge difference. If you are fumbling this initial tie or spending ages trying to untangle a rat's nest of rope, you can easily lose the moment and are unlikely to give the impression of a competent rope top. An opening move I love is when I have a hank of rope stored in a half-bow and, taking an end in either hand, I can look into my sub's eyes and snap the hank undone. It unequivocally says "I mean business", makes a powerful statement and creates a clear beginning.

I like to think of the rope as an extension of my hands. This mindset is probably the most important in avoiding 'wrapping parcels'. I like to be purposeful in my handling and mindful of the routing of the rope in order to maximize the erotic potential, both in terms of providing sensuality and avoiding unintentional discomfort, just as I do with my hands. By being in control of the rope, I am constantly aware of what the whole rope is doing, especially those flailing loose ends. If one is not on top of this, it is easy to lose the mood by causing rope burn by pulling badly routed rope too fast, pinching the skin or allowing the end to whip up into the face. A little attention, a guarding hand and lifting bindings to create room to pull through can avoid this.

In terms of application, I have discovered many nuances. The first is the degree of firmness used to apply the rope. I usually keep some tension on the rope at all times. Not only does this prevent the wraps slipping, but more importantly, it focuses the sub's attention on the deliberateness of the binding and how liberty is slowly being removed. Depending on the sensation I wish to create, this might be a gentle or strong tension. Unlike parcels, people are aware of these feelings. To me, maintaining this is vital and I feel that I am relinquishing control and losing connection if I relax this tension. A further factor is the degree of decisiveness. My movements can be almost dream-like in a soft and sensual scene, yet they might be more abrupt and forceful if dominance and control is the objective. In both instances, tempo is also important. The former example would usually be slow paced, whereas the latter might be faster. Subconsciously I will often fall into step with whatever music is playing, but the mood of the scene will also be a big influence- which is the more significant tends to depend upon whether it is a performance or private play. As with any erotic process I engage in, I attempt to build incrementally to a crescendo. This might be by upping the tempo and/or gradually increasing the tension of the bindings or degree of restriction. I might employ varying tempos during the process; for example, wrapping slowly, yet completing tie-offs rapidly. This places more emphasis on the wrapping, which is the more tactile element, and reduces the time spent on the less tactile tie-offs, whilst providing a contrast between the feel of the two actions.

Osada Steve, one of the world's top kinbakushi, uses an interesting combination of techniques. He will move quickly and decisively to apply a body wrap, yet he will 'pull the punch' by deliberately relaxing to complete the move. It looks savage, but is deceptively soft, whilst nicely accentuating the action. Another technique he taught me was to tug knots and turns, again adding punctuation to one's actions. I use both of these tricks frequently now as I feel they emphasize the act of tying and process of restriction.

A complimentary component is the degree of smoothness. I usually try to create an uninterrupted flow. Smoothness is far easier to achieve with the right length of rope. The magic length is equivalent to four times the span of one's outstretched arms. This allows the rope to be pulled through in a single movement, assuming it is used doubled in kinbaku style, rather than a clumsy hand over hand like a sailor hauling up an anchor.

However, the real secret is practicing until your brain is hardly aware of what you are doing and your muscles have learned the process of tying. A perfect example of this muscle memory is the way if you ask the driver of a stick shift where reverse is, he will probably mimic the motion with the gear shift hand before answering. His hand remembers what his mind no longer needs to be conscious of.

Once my mind became free of having to consciously think about what I was doing, I began to tie intuitively, carried along on the flow of the scene and not being distracted by the practical aspects. With practice, it can become an uninterrupted process without indecisive moments to break the hypnotic effect. It is when my mind is freed in this way that the activity becomes almost meditative and the sense of 'oneness' is most apparent. Nothing else exists beyond the here and now. Even in a busy and noisy club, all distraction drops away and I have frequently been unable to even say what music was playing, let alone answer somebody's question about what I thought of the DJ.

Consider also that you cannot successfully tango at arms length. Bondage can thus be one of the more physically contact intensive areas of SM. You are not distanced in the same way that you might be by a whip or flogger. Body contact makes the whole experience intimate. There is a massive difference between standing two feet away to tie and sitting with your partner between your thighs and reaching around, holding them close, whilst you slowly wind rope around their body. Parcels don't care, but for many people, the turn on is the embrace of the rope. How much more powerful is this when combined with a physical embrace?

Again, as in dance, how you choose to use physical contact will influence the mood. It can be soft or aggressive, seductive or dominant; it can even be teasingly withdrawn. As an integral part of this, one's whole demeanour should be appropriate. I am not of the school of poker-faced Japanese rope-masters with their ubiquitous dark glasses, which appear to hide the last vestiges of emotion. From my perspective, it appears rope is usually a serious business for them. I suspect the image of the inscrutable, apparently emotionless dominant is a favourite role. However, I prefer to draw on a wider range of emotions and share those with my partner. Choosing the demeanour that matches your intention is of great importance. Good bondage is not just about creating a work of art and then sitting back to admire your handiwork. Admittedly, simply 'gift wrapping' might be the name of the game for a photo shoot but I am discussing real bondage scenes. This is not to say that I don't enjoy the aesthetics, part of the joy of good rope work is the way it can enhance the beauty of the person I am tying. I find a more dynamic and interactive scene, where there is some tying and re-tying, more fulfilling.

A common mistake is to think a scene is over once a particular tie has been created and to forget that untying can be just as erotic as tying. It should be a conscious process receiving the same degree of attention as the tying. Unless there is a good reason, such as it being appropriate to a role play, removing rope should be a leisurely business to ensure a smooth landing from sub-space. If the untying is rushed, it can be as unerotic as having bedding suddenly ripped away on a cold morning.

My interpretation of bondage is not simply 'a means of restraint'. It should become a medium of exchange and communication. The key to this is to understand your partner's needs and meet them through a combination of physical contact, mindful rope handling and, above all, passion. If you cannot transport your partner to Cloud-9 with a little rope, some simple ties and a lot of feeling, adding more rope, learning exotic technical skills or suspension will never make them fly. Learning to create that magical connection is the most important skill and the one which will make your rope scenes special. I have found that when thinking of binding people not parcels, Japanese photographer and kinbakushi Araki sums it all up perfectly when he tells his models "I'm binding your heart, not your body".

In all of my years exploring rope, the most important thing that I have discovered about bondage is that it should not be like wrapping a parcel. It is not simply a matter of being able to tie a particular knot, or replicate a specific tie exactly, but also to do it with feeling and create an energy flow with your partner. I find that too often people become distracted by learning elaborate knots, discussing rope and other technicalities at the expense of this. Bondage is more about the way that you do it than what you do or what materials are used. However, this does not mean that safety, good technique and appropriate equipment are not vital. I would compare a bondage scene to a passionate dance like the tango- you're in very close contact with your partner, one of you leads and the other follows, and together you produce something magical. If one were to merely follow the steps laid out in a dance instruction manual, the dance could be millimetre perfect but, without passion, it would be nothing more than a mechanical exercise and emotionally dead. Bondage is no different. Sadly, many people miss the point. They fail to make the emotional connection, end up becoming detached and merely 'wrap parcels'. Binding your lover should not be a destination to be reached, but a journey to be enjoyed and savoured.

I have found a wide variety of ways to avoid 'wrapping parcels' over the years. If I am tying somebody for the first time, I try to get an idea of what will push their buttons and discover from which perspective they approach bondage. Are they drawn to rope for SM, D/s, M/s, or as a sensual experience? As with any for of BDSM or sexual activity, I have found that if I go down the wrong avenue, I will have a loser from the start. The situation will usually determine how I come to my conclusions.

If I already know the person to some extent, I might have some insights into their tastes from conversations, a web profile or watching them play with others. However, sometimes I am asked to tie somebody in a club who I have not met before that moment. In these instances, I might whisper in their ear where between 'soft and sensual' to 'hard and nasty' their preferences lie. Other times, I rely on non-verbal cues, such as demeanour and reactions.

For example, when I encounter bratty subs who want to fight back a little or try to escape, they tend to respond to a more forceful approach before finally submitting. Usually, with this type of interaction,my bondage will become opportunistic and struggling limbs will be pinned and roped in whatever position they present themselves. I enjoy the challenge of this sort of encounter and the opportunities for mischief it presents; even though it is invariably not a question of who will win but when they will lose. It always has that exhilaration that comes with any sort of play fighting. On the other hand, the ones that drop their eyes, offer their wrists to be tied and act submissively are more likely to be compliant, allowing me to decide on positions for tying. The way they react to touch is also a good clue. My most simple 'Litmus test' is to grab a good handful of hair and draw the head back. Their reaction to this simple move speaks volumes. I am not the only one who has used a test like this. Almost 30 years ago in the Japanese magazine 'Venus' Akechi Denki (one of the greatest of modern shibari masters, teachers and performers who passed away in 2005) was quoted as saying "I can usually find whether a girl has an M [submissive] side or not. When meeting, one of the ways of finding out is by grabbing her hair and pulling her down slowly to the ground."

Just like in good sex, one pays attention to feedback and builds on that feedback. When that feedback is positive, keep following the clues laid out, and when the feedback is negative, pull back and re-examine what messages might have been misinterpreted. Some sessions will be tender, sensual and loving bringing out the deepest connections. Others will be like doing battle. Others still will be frivolous affairs, with a certain amount of teasing, laughter, frustration, play fighting and ultimately satisfaction at having rendered them helpless.

I recall the reaction of a Japanese lady watching me engaged in a scene that involved the latter. She was somewhat bemused as bondage in Japan always seems quite a serious affair. Her comment was:"You two were really having fun, weren't you?" to which, I replied "If We're not having fun, what's the point?" During any scene, I always try to be aware of the body language, breathing and the look in their eyes, even if I have played with them before. Whilst learning and observation can improve matters, some of it will still come down to intuition and luck. Passionate bondage is not an exact science. It cannot be achieved only by book or formal learning. Communication is another key, whether this is verbal or non-verbal. Both sides spelling out what is working and what is not in a positive and constructive way can also be helpful to this end, allowing each scene the opportunity to be improved.

Sometimes everything will click intuitively, other times it will not, regardless of the skill of the rigger. There is no magic formula that works every time. It is simply a question of improving the odds and, ultimately, it will rest on the chemistry between the two of you. It certainly helps to be tying a true rope-slut, who goes into ecstasy as the mere thought of being tied, and I find this almost invariably makes for a more rewarding session. After all, lack of enthusiasm is the only thing more infectious than enthusiasm.

Another tool to consider is positions. The pose I tie someone in can have dramatic effects on the bottom psychologically. For example, ties where the genitals are exposed and they are unable to hide or protect them can create shame, embarrassment, vulnerability (especially in the case of men unable to guard the testicles) or uneasiness. Playing on the sense of embarrassment seems to be a key element in the Japanese approach, where the concept of shame is particularly intense culturally. This style, which can be seen in much of Yukimura Haruki's, is called 'shuuchi-nawa', shuuchi= shyness, bashfulness and nawa=rope. In my experience, some Japanese girls exhibit an unique demeanour which delightfully combines this demureness with intensive submissiveness. However, this is not the easy stereotype it might seem- my understanding is that in Japan, the game is played a little differently with safe-words being uncommon, the sub giving up all control to the rope top and it being a matter of honour not to back down during a scene.

Other positions can be largely practical. I might want to secure somebody to a piece of dungeon furniture, a bed or in a suitable pose for a particular activity, be it sex or play. Perhaps I would like to enforce a concept of servility- in which case, I can put my partner in a bowed or kneeling pose. If I want to push them into a sense of imbalance or fear, I can destabilize them by lifting one leg off the ground, which can create a constant battle within themselves that some bottoms find quite disturbing. Obviously, you need to make sure that they cannot actually fall by securing the bondage to a suspension point, or by some other method. Adding a blindfold to the equation can also be an extremely potent tool for enforcing an emotion through the way they are tied.

Predicament ties, such as putting a leg into a stressful position then connecting that line to a nipple clamp or hair bondage, can a deliciously sadistic element. However, one should never underestimate the effect of time, which can lead to moments of extreme submission for even the most hardy and recalcitrant. This fact was known to the originators of Japanese bondage who used stress positions in torture, punishment and interrogation long before they became a tool for eroticism.

The order of restraint is also significant for me. In order to assert dominance, I believe that one should take control immediately and assertively when tying. Even for the most sensuous scene, I like to begin by grasping the wrists to move them into position and maintaining a grip until the first wrap secures them. This gives the message straight away that I am in control and clearly indicates that the session has begun. It is an important psychological moment and one that has more significance than meekly offered wrists or patiently waiting for them to be tied while other bondage is completed. It is well worth mastering the technique of achieving this step slickly and quickly. Most impressions are made in the first 30 seconds, and I believe this applies to bondage as well. It is the equivalent to a firm handshake, compared to the limp, 'wet-fish' variety or a strong opening in dance. Start by creating a positive reaction, not a negative, or even neutral, one. Simple details such as being able to smoothly flick out a coil of rope without tangles can make a huge difference. If you are fumbling this initial tie or spending ages trying to untangle a rat's nest of rope, you can easily lose the moment and are unlikely to give the impression of a competent rope top. An opening move I love is when I have a hank of rope stored in a half-bow and, taking an end in either hand, I can look into my sub's eyes and snap the hank undone. It unequivocally says "I mean business", makes a powerful statement and creates a clear beginning.

I like to think of the rope as an extension of my hands. This mindset is probably the most important in avoiding 'wrapping parcels'. I like to be purposeful in my handling and mindful of the routing of the rope in order to maximize the erotic potential, both in terms of providing sensuality and avoiding unintentional discomfort, just as I do with my hands. By being in control of the rope, I am constantly aware of what the whole rope is doing, especially those flailing loose ends. If one is not on top of this, it is easy to lose the mood by causing rope burn by pulling badly routed rope too fast, pinching the skin or allowing the end to whip up into the face. A little attention, a guarding hand and lifting bindings to create room to pull through can avoid this.

In terms of application, I have discovered many nuances. The first is the degree of firmness used to apply the rope. I usually keep some tension on the rope at all times. Not only does this prevent the wraps slipping, but more importantly, it focuses the sub's attention on the deliberateness of the binding and how liberty is slowly being removed. Depending on the sensation I wish to create, this might be a gentle or strong tension. Unlike parcels, people are aware of these feelings. To me, maintaining this is vital and I feel that I am relinquishing control and losing connection if I relax this tension.

A further factor is the degree of decisiveness. My movements can be almost dream-like in a soft and sensual scene, yet they might be more abrupt and forceful if dominance and control is the objective. In both instances, tempo is also important. The former example would usually be slow paced, whereas the latter might be faster. Subconsciously I will often fall into step with whatever music is playing, but the mood of the scene will also be a big influence- which is the more significant tends to depend upon whether it is a performance or private play. As with any erotic process I engage in, I attempt to build incrementally to a crescendo. This might be by upping the tempo and/or gradually increasing the tension of the bindings or degree of restriction. I might employ varying tempos during the process; for example, wrapping slowly, yet completing tie-offs rapidly. This places more emphasis on the wrapping, which is the more tactile element, and reduces the time spent on the less tactile tie-offs, whilst providing a contrast between the feel of the two actions.

Osada Steve, one of the world's top kinbakushi, uses an interesting combination of techniques. He will move quickly and decisively to apply a body wrap, yet he will 'pull the punch' by deliberately relaxing to complete the move. It looks savage, but is deceptively soft, whilst nicely accentuating the action. Another technique he taught me was to tug knots and turns, again adding punctuation to one's actions. I use both of these tricks frequently now as I feel they emphasize the act of tying and process of restriction. A complimentary component is the degree of smoothness. I usually try to create an uninterrupted flow.

Smoothness is far easier to achieve with the right length of rope. The magic length is equivalent to four times the span of one's outstretched arms. This allows the rope to be pulled through in a single movement, assuming it is used doubled in kinbaku style, rather than a clumsy hand over hand like a sailor hauling up an anchor.

However, the real secret is practicing until your brain is hardly aware of what you are doing and your muscles have learned the process of tying. A perfect example of this muscle memory is the way if you ask the driver of a stick shift where reverse is, he will probably mimic the motion with the gear shift hand before answering. His hand remembers what his mind no longer needs to be conscious of. Once my mind became free of having to consciously think about what I was doing, I began to tie intuitively, carried along on the flow of the scene and not being distracted by the practical aspects. With practice, it can become an uninterrupted process without indecisive moments to break the hypnotic effect. It is when my mind is freed in this way that the activity becomes almost meditative and the sense of 'oneness' is most apparent. Nothing else exists beyond the here and now. Even in a busy and noisy club, all distraction drops away and I have frequently been unable to even say what music was playing, let alone answer somebody's question about what I thought of the DJ.

Consider also that you cannot successfully tango at arms length. Bondage can thus be one of the more physically contact intensive areas of SM. You are not distanced in the same way that you might be by a whip or flogger. Body contact makes the whole experience intimate. There is a massive difference between standing two feet away to tie and sitting with your partner between your thighs and reaching around, holding them close, whilst you slowly wind rope around their body. Parcels don't care, but for many people, the turn on is the embrace of the rope. How much more powerful is this when combined with a physical embrace? Again, as in dance, how you choose to use physical contact will influence the mood. It can be soft or aggressive, seductive or dominant; it can even be teasingly withdrawn.

As an integral part of this, one's whole demeanour should be appropriate. I am not of the school of poker-faced Japanese rope-masters with their ubiquitous dark glasses, which appear to hide the last vestiges of emotion. From my perspective, it appears rope is usually a serious business for them. I suspect the image of the inscrutable, apparently emotionless dominant is a favourite role. However, I prefer to draw on a wider range of emotions and share those with my partner. Choosing the demeanour that matches your intention is of great importance. Good bondage is not just about creating a work of art and then sitting back to admire your handiwork. Admittedly, simply 'gift wrapping' might be the name of the game for a photo shoot but I am discussing real bondage scenes. This is not to say that I don't enjoy the aesthetics, part of the joy of good rope work is the way it can enhance the beauty of the person I am tying. I find a more dynamic and interactive scene, where there is some tying and re-tying, more fulfilling.

A common mistake is to think a scene is over once a particular tie has been created and to forget that untying can be just as erotic as tying. It should be a conscious process receiving the same degree of attention as the tying. Unless there is a good reason, such as it being appropriate to a role play, removing rope should be a leisurely business to ensure a smooth landing from sub-space. If the untying is rushed, it can be as unerotic as having bedding suddenly ripped away on a cold morning.

My interpretation of bondage is not simply 'a means of restraint'. It should become a medium of exchange and communication. The key to this is to understand your partner's needs and meet them through a combination of physical contact, mindful rope handling and, above all, passion. If you cannot transport your partner to Cloud-9 with a little rope, some simple ties and a lot of feeling, adding more rope, learning exotic technical skills or suspension will never make them fly. Learning to create that magical connection is the most important skill and the one which will make your rope scenes special. I have found that when thinking of binding people not parcels, Japanese photographer and kinbakushi Araki sums it all up perfectly when he tells his models "I'm binding your heart, not your body".

 


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