I've just come back home after a lovely weekend, finally starting to overcome my block about rope bondage with the help of a world-renowned expert. If you get the chance to go and see her demos or to learn in workshops with Midori, do it! This is unmissable, and she's only in the UK for a short visit. We attended the workshop day on aural sex and Japanese rope bondage in Birmingham and the demonstration at the BBB.
I've had a major block about rope bondage for years. All those 'bondage bores' I've met who tell you that about the great masculine art of tying up girls in the Japanese style, banging on about the Zen of rope and how spiritual it all is, who work intricate patterns that I couldn't even begin to see as practical or useful. The bored-looking 'statues' they've trussed up help to add to my desire to yawn and their chauvenist pig attitudes just make me angry.
Don't get me wrong, I can get into Zen - I'm a Reiki practitioner, so I'm familiar with elements of Oriental medicine and spirituality. An old flatmate holds a black belt in Aikido and I was first exposed to the spiritual side of martial arts through him 10 years ago... but even so, I had a real problem seeing bondage as a spiritual thing. To me, bondage is very much a turn-on - wriggling helpless people who can't easily prevent you using that nasty-looking toy they have been staring at nervously...at least not without safewording.
I developed prejudices from meeting the 'bondage bores'. My hang-up I know, but I doubt I'm the only one who's ever felt like that. I allowed myself to be put off and ended up an utter fumblefingers with rope - even after being an experienced crew member for hot air balloons and setting up flying wires safely, for instance, without any problems at all.
I needed every ounce of my concentration for the simplest rope bondage. Rope-happy friends drew me in to their scenes lots of times in an attempt to help. I managed to have fun, but I'd resigned myself to just helping out. This weekend has really been a major step in getting over all that. Most of the time, learning new things is about practice and patience, but then there are those occasional moments of clarity where it all just 'clicks' and that happened for me this weekend.
Midori may bear the name Fetish Diva Midori, but she is definitely not a diva in the haughty celeb sense! We found her warm, down-to-earth, witty, knowledgeable and passionate. Her passions come across in her teaching and although a class of reserved Brit-pervs took a while to come out of our shells, the conspiratorial dirty giggles emerged eventually and we relaxed and my feeling is we all got a lot out of the day.
In the morning we explored aural sex - seduction with the voice. Midori used her voice with volunteers to show how to heighten the anticipation of a play date. I know one of the volunteers was squirming happily for the rest of the weekend when his Mistress took up the reins with the trigger words Midori used. And my boy being the slut he is, he was empathising and squirming and blushing too. I love to use my voice as part of scenes - before, during and after and have always been turned on by voices, so I like to think it's one of my strengths and I already use a lot of what Midori taught. But I have come away with new ideas. I won't say what though, as my boy reads the newsgroups *wicked grin*
The afternoon session was on Japanese rope bondage. Midori talked about the art form as seen in those familiar pictures, and about ropes as part of the Japanese psyche and social history. But then she pointed out that it's about sex - those 'spiritual' pictures of Japanese rope bondage *are* designed to be erotic. The beauty of them is not only the rope work, but also the waiflike models, able to twist themselves into unbelievable positions (how useful!). She also pointed out that the facial expression assumed by bondage models in Japan is a look of pain and why would that be if it's not about arousal and erotic torment??? It was refreshing to hear - a very different attitude to the 'bondage bores' that put me off for so long. She covered safety aspects too, but I can't say I found that intimidating - it was delivered in such a relaxed way it was informative instead.
The first practical thing we did was to create an upper body harness with Midori showing how and us doing the same as her. The first few turns of the rope and I was starting to get fumblefingers. I panicked a little and had to ask for help - Midori came over and put me back on track quietly and patiently. With that encouragement I took a deep breath, focused and no more fumblefingers. By the time I pulled the ropes across his chest together, compressing the breast tissue, taking him off balance for a second and making him gasp, my focus was firmly on him. I'd found the headspace I never managed to in the past using ropes and he was floating happily. It was like being a little girl tugging at my kite rope and watching it soar - exciting and uplifting. The struggle for me from then on was to remember I was in a class and this wasn't playtime. Good feeling!
Even working as part of a 'tag team' later on with two experienced rope bondage players we know well, I didn't get too fumbly again, just enjoyed myself and felt very close to my boy and to the friends we worked with. We had our two 'victims' tied up on white towels, facing opposite ways with their knees bent and cradled together with legs touching each other's backs - kind of like a picture card and still able to tickle and torment one another (with their feet) as they often do. And we could just sit back, staying close enough to touch and watch to check they were ok.
I returned to Birmingham the next day to watch Midori demonstrate techniques from her book, as well as suspension rope bondage. It was lovely to watch, but with the new insight I'd gained from the workshop I was able to get into it far more than I've done before with bondage demos, and Midori isn't content to have someone in ropes as a model without giving them pleasure from the experience too - no bored 'statues' here! Well worth the round trip to Brum!
My warmest thanks to Midori and to Sensual Edge (Pagliacci and MsDemmie) for organising the workshops, also to the BBB crew and Roissy for the demo in Birmingham and to everyone else involved in Midori's visit to the UK. Wonder when she's over again and what she'll come up with next time round...
For info on the workshops, go to http://www.sensualedge.com/Midori/index.html