I like to be restrained … I love the slither of rope snaking around my wrists, the close embrace of coils of soft cotton squeezing me tight and the fluttering anticipation of muscles bunching and pulling against the tenseness of controlled want. I like feeling exposed and open, to have choice removed and desire invoked. I love the feeling deep inside my soul when the restraint of my body resonates through my mind and heart and then slips into my soul to free it to fly.
Thus, when Finbar asked me to partner him in a workshop on bondage for Midori (who apparently is world-renowned – go figure) I was amenable.
He has been to several workshops on various subjects from flogging to ropework and beyond. In fact, not long ago he attended another instructor's workshop on flogging (see Flogging ). Midroi herself is currently on a spring turning into summer circuit as she is based out of San Francisco but travels all over to impart her own particular type of wisdom, technique and mindset.
Entering the venue at Come as You Are with no expectations, I was confronted with a very crowded small room chockfull of couples (there was a few prerequisites – one being to BYOR – Bring Your Own Rope AND the other - BYOB – Bring Your Own Bottom), all of whom were ready, willing and eager to learn the art of rope bondage.
I’m probably committing some form of BDSM karmic wrong by admitting right now that I was neither impressed nor enamoured of the workshop that followed. While there were positive elements I took from it – thus no regrets for attending – both Finbar and I left feeling vaguely dissatisfied. Ultimately, of course, it is a personal preference – for us a local instructor, Carey, and her straightforward, practical teaching methods are far more palatable and preferable to the clever technique and showman qualities of Midori.
After introductions and a synopsis of her qualifications, the very lovely Midori created a scene for the edification of her audience … using ropes of course and setting the mood. The “scene” as it were, probably took the better part of 45 minutes as she used rope in a rather masterful way, combining restrained dominance and forceful but carefully planned movements to orchestrate (in the truest sense of the word) the subjection and domming of her volunteer assistant.
And I found the whole thing both yawningly boring and if I’m honest, unpalatable. The contrived writhing and simulated moans of passion of the “assistant” were distinctly vulgar inasmuch as it was about as convincing as a counterfeit bill. Admittedly, Finbar and I seemed to be in the minority and the other workshop participants seemed quite enamoured of the spectacle. But it made me uncomfortable enough that I seriously contemplated leaving at that point. Although not a prude by any means, this type of prurient “come on” and acting is distasteful at best, insulting at worst. Were we seriously supposed to believe that this girl was coming right there in front of us? At a WORKSHOP?
My other bitch of course is that practical selkie wanted some hands-on instruction. Midori`s teaching methodology has a very strong element of performance art – without doubt, decent performance art but without a practical nuance. Had I wished to indulge the voyeur in me (which apparently does not take up a whole lot of my inner desires), I would have sought a different venue. What I signed up for, however (or what Finbar signed us both up for) was some straightforward advice and guidance on the possibilities of rope.
Thankfully, the balance of the 2.5 hour class (perhaps 45 minutes) did indeed involve knots and ties and in that sense, the evening was not a complete waste of time.
I did take away some salient information from my evening, including some excellent bondage techniques. Most revelatory, however, was Midori’s instruction on using the ropes not simply as a means to an end but as a sensual tool in itself. Certainly I was smitten with the way she used rope to form gags, blindfolds and more pertinent, how to use them as a sensuous tool of seduction and mastery in the process of bondage.
The scene in essence is the creation of the bondage – not the end result of being tied up.
Fancy knots and complicated binding can provide a visual feast to the eyes of the beholder.. but to the Bottom half of the equation (speaking from experience), extended time taken to form complicated knots and visual feints of hand create a suffocating sense of boredom simply due to the reality of the AMOUNT of time and effort needed to create a masterpiece of visual acuity.
In the doing, my own flesh is almost superfluous; certainly the Dom is not that focused on soft breasts and smooth thighs but rather on how the rope lies across the jut of hip and embraces the rib cage and whether that knot will hold or whether the visual of the entirety will be satisfactory.
Midori uses a simple knot – and I did find her reference to it as `THAT knot`- endearing, good serviceable cotton rope and imagination to create in the tying a sensual feast and in so doing, she points out that the focus remains on the moment and the sensations and experiences actually being imparted right then.
She rightly points out that overthinking a scene, getting caught up in the mechanics and forgetting the focus can ultimately destroy not just the mood of the moment, but the dynamic between Top and Bottom – leaving both frustrated and dissatisfied.
Thus, she counsels practice, practice, practice, simple knots, decent rope (of shorter lengths rather than longer) and using movement, surprise and skill carefully yet spontaneously and ALWAYS with what she labels GUSTO
All in all, I’ve spent worse evenings. There is no denying Midori is charming and extremely knowledgeable – certainly her books are a must have in any BDSM reference library – but given my own practical bent (and Finbar’s), we would have preferred less flash and more substance.