More Shibari You Can Use: Passionate Rope Bondage and Intimate Connection

More Shibari You Can Use: Passionate Rope Bondage and Intimate Connection

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780977872756
Publisher: Mystic Productions Press
Publication date: 02/01/2015
Series: Shibari You Can Use Series
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 456,195
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Lee Harrington is an internationally known spiritual and erotic authenticity educator, gender explorer, eclectic artist, and award-winning author and editor on human erotic and sacred experience. He is the author of On Starry Thighs: Sacred and Sensual Poetry, Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond, Shibari You Can Use: Japanese Rope Bondage and Erotic MacraméShed Skins: Journeying in Self-Portraits, and Toybag Guide to Age Play and the coauthor of Playing Well with Others: Your Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Negotiating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities. He lives in Anchorage, Alaska. RiggerJay is a photographer and Shibari enthusiast. He is the photographer of Shibari You Can Use: Japanese Rope Bondage and Erotic Macramé. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Read an Excerpt

More Shibari You Can Use

Passionate Rope Bondage and Intimate Connection


By Lee Harrington

Mystic Productions Press

Copyright © 2014 Mystic Productions Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-9778727-9-4



CHAPTER 1

Purpose and Passion


We are called to rope bondage for a thousand different reasons. Why we are into rope or restraint can dramatically affect our choices of the ties and poses we play with.

But that's not all. Our purpose determines how long we will engage in a scene, the type of rope we will use, and even the wardrobe (or lack thereof) we will wear. Our "whys" allow us to understand where we are coming from, where our partners are coming from, and each of our needs, wants and desires.

The reasons individuals are drawn to rope are myriad, including but not limited to:

• Restraint

• Sensuality

• Fun

• Trust

• Beauty

• Excitement

• Naughtiness

• Struggling

• Experimentation

• Dominance

• Fetish Play

• Connection

• Sacredness

• Sex Positions

• Firmness

• Softness

• Endurance

• Submission

• Playing Dress-Up

• Partner's Interest

• Ferocity

• Desire

• Teasing

• Pain

• Silliness

• Contortion

• Being Artistic

• Tantra

• Touch

• Playfulness

• Sexy Photos

• Taboo

• Something New

• Yoga/Stretching

• Performance

• Exhibitionism

• Suffering

• Tactile Experience

• Role-Playing

• Feeling Pretty


There is no right reason to be into bondage. As a pair of individuals (or triad, or group of friends) exploring rope, you will likely have a variety of reasons you want to tie or be tied. Maybe your reasons today are different than what your reason will be tomorrow. It is important to know not only why you are into rope, but why your partner is as well.


Communicating Desires

Communicating what we are into, our desires, our limits, our concerns, and our delights is referred to cumulatively as "negotiation." Styles of negotiation can include:

• Curling up in bed and sharing fantasies

• Looking at pornography together and letting each other know what turns you on

• Examining someone's erotic "toy bag" and asking questions

• Sending notes or pictures back and forth over the internet

• Having a phone conversation ... or twenty

• Filling out a negotiation form/checklist (either to help you figure out your own desires, or to share the form with a partner)

• Discussing your interests over a nice dinner or coffee

• Attending classes and talking about what you are each into, then asking questions of each other afterwards

• and more!


Let's say two players share their desires with one another. One says they are turned on by speed bondage, and the other says they are delighted by being made beautiful. Does that mean they aren't compatible? Not at all. It means that they, as a pair, get to explore possibilities such as some of the ideas shown here on these two pages.

Staying open and creative helps us find something that works for everyone.

If your partner says that an image or concept is interesting to them, there are many types of responses you can have. Responses to someone that gain more information (rather than making assumptions) include:

• Thank you for sharing that with me.

• What about that appeals to you?

• Would you be interested to doing something like that with me?

• What about that turns you on?

• What might that look like for you/us?

• Please tell me more.


Inter-personal connection is aided through these sorts of energetically open questions, presented in a loving tone, as compared to statements such as:

• That is so strange.

• Who would like that?

• What is wrong with you?

• You're kidding, right?


The first category helps engage and ally with our partners. The second might shut them down, making them wary of sharing more about their desires — they do not help construct open and loving dialogue.

Exploring language and ideas in advance, such as why you like rope or what kinds of play appeals to you, can help a dialogue be more successful as well.

Being able to say you enjoy the notion of sensual rope because it would allow you a chance to be present and connect with your beloved might help them understand your interests. You might just be running into the projections other people have about what they think bondage (or that type of bondage) is about. There are some individuals who associate bondage with abuse or negative media representations rather than consensual passion, beauty or fun. Sharing your wishes, as well as what you are not interested in, from a place of compassionate communication can help build intimacy and trust.

Remember that sharing our fantasies is not the same thing as demanding activities or placing guilt and blame on our partners. Just because you have asked for a specific type of activity does not mean your partner should be required to do that activity — everyone needs to freely consent to the activities involved. Fully engaged consent is not just about "not saying no." It is about sharing an enthusiastic yes! And just because someone says they fantasized about something, or wanted to do something on the day they first talked about it, does not mean it is what they want to do today. Make sure to check in to make sure everyone is on the same page before playing.

Beyond all of the words, our body shares a lot of information. Consider negotiating with someone who you know is already into bondage by sharing passions through the flesh. Consensually bind a lover's wrist to see if they respond with a smile, or grinding hips. Getting this sort of information is a valid form of negotiation, as long as it is clear in advance that everyone has consented to, and agreed upon, this style of information sharing. An enthusiastic yes is a must.

This sort of information sharing also includes the body language involved when our partners tell us their desires. Watching for additional information through their eyes, lips, body adjustments, heartbeat, and perspiration offers the chance to communicate further information. Combining words with our bodily passions can help give us the best of both worlds, while also confirming that our "hunches" are correct.


Communicating During Play

Wait! Don't I have to have a safeword and have signed waivers before we do bondage? Safewords can be a good idea, especially if engaging in fantasy role-playing scenarios. Safewords are words or physical cues that can come up in the case of an emergency or need to pause the play. For example, three rhythmic grunts can show the need to check in for a Model who is gagged, or the military-themed scene can be paused with the words "Sir, no Sir." Some folks choose something even more deliberate, like the word "asparagus" meaning that either the Bottom or Top is finished, or using "red" for stop, "yellow" for pause and "green" for go. Others choose a physical cue, such as dropping a bandana or jingly toy if the bound partner needs to pause the action or get untied.

Safewords do not have to mean "stop right now or I will sue you." The code you create may mean, "I have five minutes left," or "can we talk out of character?" No matter what system you create, make sure everyone is on the same page before your scene begins. It can be upsetting having one person think the word "gorilla" means "can we pause for a moment," and the other one thinks it means "get me out of rope now!" It may also be potentially damaging to a relationship or your partner's health.

For that reason, I encourage working with as clear of communication as possible when initially exploring together rather than relying on codes. "Ouch" means ouch. "Stop" means stop what you are doing. "Get me out" means please get me safely out of this tie. Ask questions in both directions to get further information, such as:

• Does that hurt?

• Is it a good pain, or a bad pain?

• How soon are we changing poses?

• Can you make this pose more challenging for me?

• Is this tie meant to be painful?

• How could we make this even hotter for you?


Sometimes a request to stop may mean your partner needs to change positions, or it may mean the entire scene is over. Finding out which desire a partner is trying to express, without judgment, can help immensely. The bulk of in-scene communication is not about safewords. By watching their face, their subtle shifts in body language and auditory responses (such as words, moans, and grunts), we build rapport with them. Being attentive and aware of their reactions can also help us be more present in the moment.

Tops, this does not negate your responsibility. Clear communication and safety are an active dance between partners. Checking in with your partner, avoiding body zones that you know are potential health risks, and staying alert and aware during a scene or erotic encounter can help keep you and your partner safe. Restraint may look simple and sexy, but simple issues can become big ones, so stay alert. Staying attentive and attuned with your partner also gives you a chance to connect on a deeper emotional level.

We can also choose to ask verbal questions of our playmate. They will have a chance to share their thoughts, feelings, and body experiences with us. It is also worthwhile to develop cues for keeping it all positive, rather than only sharing information when things are no longer good.

Be careful though. Some bondage Models think they need to tough out a tie, even if they are in horrible pain or have had a limb go numb. Others are in such an altered state of consciousness from the bondage that they don't realize how much duress their body is under. It is also possible for someone who is bound to forget how to communicate verbally. If you are a Bottom who toughs it out or knows they go into an altered state of consciousness (sometimes referred to as "sub space" or "rope space"), it is important to share that fact before playing. Every Top will have to decide for themselves whether they feel comfortable tying someone who is no longer able to verbally communicate based on what they know about their partner.


Body Realities

Though we can bind chairs, guitars, or wine bottles, erotic rope bondage is intended to be done on human bodies. Whether we are decorating our own form, binding our lover, or doing performance art with friends, an awareness of our own body is key.

We live in a world where we are taught to ignore our bodies. We work long hours on our feet or in uncomfortable chairs, and are told to "deal with it." However, when we are aware of pain, it becomes information we can use to reduce future pain in our lives. When we are aware of pleasure, it becomes information we can use to bring even more pleasure into our lives. We are able to share what gives us pleasure, and what to do to reduce the things that get in the way of that pleasure.

Sharing information with our lover about our joint challenges, past injuries or a troubled spine will reduce the chance of those things being an unexpected issue or disruption during a scene. Do you have allergies, asthma, or diabetes? Are you on any medications? Do you wear glasses, contacts, hearing aids, or prosthetics? Are you receiving ongoing mental health treatment or do you have phobias that might affect a bondage scene? Sharing these details in advance can help smooth things along, rather than finding out in the middle of a rope mummification that a Bottom is claustrophobic.

Tops, Riggers, and rope artists, this is important for you, too! Letting a partner know you have blood sugar challenges lets them know that getting you a snack prescene and post-scene will help your play be as fantastic as possible.

However, once we hear about body challenges, there may be a concern that the two of us are incapable of playing well together at all. This is not true. Trust and connection means that upon being vulnerable (about our fantasies or our body experiences), our partner will work with us to find solutions. For example, we could have someone with a shoulder injury be bound asymmetrically and able to stay in rope longer, rather than being bound symmetrically and having to end the scene prematurely (or injure themselves).

The author, however, is not a medical professional. It is importance to do due diligence when making these decisions around your own body realities.


Exercise: Learning Breath

Breathing and bondage are intimately interlaced. This applies not only to where on the body we tie, but how tight we tie and the positions we are contorted into. You can do the following exercise with yourself, or paired up with your play partner.

Sometimes having someone else assist will give us a less biased experience. There are times when we have a self-perception of how we breathe and move that may or may not match how we actually breathe and move.

Doing body-awareness exercises with someone else can help develop connection and trust. Other examples include watching our partner do slow stretching and giving feedback on what we see. If they moved with less flexibility on the left than on the right, we can share what we saw and learn if there are ties that would be better for their body. When sharing information with a partner about their body, try to do so with loving kindness.

No rope is needed for this exercise.

This exercise is important because of the potential for positional asphyxia, which is the technical term for reduced airflow due to the pose we are in. It can be caused by cutting off the ability to get a full breath of air into the body, or by compressing the lungs, diaphragm, or rib cage in such a way that there is no way to take a breath.

Anyone can have this happen, and it is one of the many reasons autoerotic restraint (tying yourself up in a way that restricts movement for sexual pleasure) can be dangerous. This is doubly true when done alone, as no one is there to notice if your bondage has left you too lightheaded to get yourself out of the tie. Assessing what type of "breather" someone is can help us reduce (but never fully eliminate) the chance of positional asphyxia.

Riggers — keep your own breathing style in mind as well. Are you a belly breather yourself? Instead of bending in half when tying your partner on the ground, consider sitting down next to them. Mid-chest breather? Wear a looser fitting top when binding lest you end up becoming light-headed.

Just because your body breathes in a certain way does not mean you cannot do that pose! For example, if a belly breather is going to be hogtied, consider rolling them on their side from time to time, or propping their chest up with pillows. Don't aggravate the pose with challenging gags. Work with them to focus on slow, full breaths where each breath moves their upper chest.

Awareness of how we breathe can help us be bound for longer, and have it be a more enjoyable experience in the tie. Respecting our partner's limits is key. If someone says they can't breathe, it is better to err on the side of caution and change their position. Telling someone to "just breathe through it" is not always the appropriate choice.


Circulation and Nerves

When you tighten ropes at various points on the body, you can disrupt blood flow. This leads to limbs changing color, tingling, losing the ability to grip, going cold, and eventually losing sensation.

A test for circulation begins by squeezing your Bottom's hand before you begin tying. Have them squeeze back, and encourage them to squeeze your hand or speak up if any challenges arise. Tell them that any time you squeeze their hand, you want them to squeeze back. Periodically, when the Bottom is tied, check their circulation in this manner. If their hand was warm at the beginning but now it's ice cold, can they still squeeze you firmly? If they can't open and shut their hand at all, it is time to move that limb. Are they squeezing back multiple times in rapid succession? They are likely trying to get your attention, and it is time to check in with them.

If you have to move a limb, is the scene over? Not if you don't want it to be! There are Models who get upset if they feel it is their fault they couldn't hold a pose. To offset negative emotions, consider saying something like, "I have an idea. I want to tie you this way instead." As a Rigger, you can claim the power to change poses. Make it your idea to move your partner, and affirm that having them share their experience is valued. This is also a chance to connect with them, touch their body, breathe with them, or add other intentions into your interaction. This is the case whether you are changing their pose, or giving them a quick break from having their wrists tied.

The other issue that can arise from rope bondage is nerve pain or impingement. If the bound person feels any unusual sensations including, but not limited to, electric shock running down their limbs, tingling, burning feelings, loss of sensation in half of the hand, pain, or weakness in the hand — act upon it. Move the limb or change the rope position as soon as you can without panicking. Nerve pain, if it continues, can lead to long-term or even permanent damage. Both extended duration circulation loss and nerve damage can cause serious problems.

Bottoms, speak up! If any of these issues arise, tell your partner. This is not the time to push through a tie, lest you risk your health and well-being. The likelihood of nerve and circulation impingement can be reduced by avoiding ties over the major nerves, arteries, and veins, and in various ties we will look at places to avoid pressure to some of these regions. Poses that involve hands being overhead challenge circulation as well, and hands in general can lose circulation. This is one of the reasons to tie wrists last, or have speed-release options on ties that hold hands in place.

Unfortunately, not all nerve damage will manifest in obvious manners during tying. If after a scene circulation is overly slow to return, you have sudden pains of any sort caused by the rope or position, continued tingling or numbness persists, or a limb that is not responding as expected, don't be afraid to see a doctor. Most medical professionals are more concerned about getting you healthy than they are about your sexual preferences and predilections.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from More Shibari You Can Use by Lee Harrington. Copyright © 2014 Mystic Productions Press. Excerpted by permission of Mystic Productions Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction,
Chapter One: Purpose and Passion,
Chapter Two: Columns and Cuffs,
Chapter Three: Upper Body Ties,
Chapter Four: Facial and Detail Ties,
Chapter Five: Rope and Erotic Power,
Chapter Six: Modified Ties,
Chapter Seven: Moving Forward,
Acknowledgements,
About the Author,
About the Photographer and Collaboration,

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