The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage by Midori

The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage by Midori
Photography by Craig Morey
Publisher Greenery Press (2001)
175 pages, Softcover.

A few years ago (2005) I was lucky enough to take a bondage workshop with Midori: “Intro to Japanese and other Creative Rope Bondage Essentials” in Halifax at Venus Envy, one of the local sex shops.  It was one of two workshops I took with her and was an amazing experience.  Midori—only a small woman in stature—has a powerful and dynamic charisma; cool and collected with an authoritative presence that demands people sit back and listen.

A friend of mine Kate volunteered to be Midori’s guinea-pig.  Kate is quite a bit taller than Midori, very butch and buff.  Although quite submissive, Kate plays mostly as a dominant as she doesn’t find too many Dom/mes who can handle her.  I was interested in seeing what Midori would do with her.

First Midori stood before Kate and the audience dressed in a gorgeous sea foam and silver Asian-style dress, slowly unraveling a long piece of hemp rope and running it through her fingers as she stared Kate down.  The room was completely silent, except for a few uncomfortable giggles that were soon silenced by Midori’s schoolmarm stare, as Kate stood blushing profusely.  In “The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage,” Midori explains this technique in detail in her “Analysis of a Scene”: “While effectively setting the tone and head space for the dominant, the visual effect of the top methodically stroking the ropes may be quite profound on the bottom…  Many different moods and attitudes might be presented… powerful and slightly intimidating… playful, humiliating…”  Of course, running the ropes through the hands at the beginning of the scene has many other practical uses as well such as untangling the rope, finding debris, and ridding the rope of its “bad habits.”

Next, Midori began to rub the rope over Kate’s body and head.  She held the rope up to Kate’s nose to allow her to smell it like an aromatic aphrodisiac.  Midori explains in her book the strong connection that many bottoms will make with the scent of the rope, associating it “with the sensual, sexual and magical experience of wonderful rope bondage scenes.”  This technique was obviously effective on Kate as she nearly swooned and leaned against Midori who took her weight.  Midori then made a rope blindfold to remove Kate’s sight and place her more into the scene, effectively blocking the audience from her view.  While Kate knew she was still on display, she quickly fell into the grove of Midori’s quick, clever hands working magic on her body.  Midori spun Kate around as she skillfully tied knots, moving the larger woman to her will, sometimes holding her a little off-balance, and then capturing her again within her strong embrace.  In her book, Midori says that the top should make the bottom move to their whim using “firm decisive moves, sometimes punctuated by a quick change in pace… to emphasize the emotional dominance and control the top has over the scene…”  She also calls this to tie with “gusto” where her rhythmic handiwork would suddenly change to a quick yank as she synched the knots which would rouse a sharp intake of breath and sigh from Kate.

Reading “The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage” was almost like being at Midori’s workshop once again, where rather than teaching the technical aspects of knot-work (Midori only showed us three knots), she demonstrates the dynamics of the scene itself.  In the book Midori talks about her personal history with rope bondage, the visual aesthetics of shibari including symmetry, tension, and balance, as well as introduces the reader to a brief history of Japanese bondage.  She covers safety elements and aftercare as well as explains the various types of rope and what they are best suited for.

The final section of the book shows seven classic positions with photographs by Craig Morey and simple diagrams, focusing on the techniques and knot-work.  Most of the techniques are fairly easy to follow, although some of them can get confusing, especially when a few illustrative steps are missed.  I would have preferred the images to be more step-by-step and photographed rather than line drawings.  As mentioned before, Midori doesn’t focus on difficult knots, but only shows a few basic ties, as she did in her workshop.  Her focus is not on technical skills but rather showing how bondage can be accomplished by a novice.  Any boy scout can learn to tie intricate knots and there are many books on that, but very few people can show effectively the dynamics of a scene that left my friend Kate a pile of wet, hot, quivering mush afterwards like Midori can.

If you haven’t had a chance to see one of Midori’s excellent bondage workshops I highly recommend this book.  It is a great introduction for beginners and I know many so-called “experts” in my BDSM community who would benefit from learning the dynamics of a scene as well.  For someone like me who has had the advantage of seeing Midori live, this book is a great reminder of all the techniques that are taught in her workshop (many that I had forgotten) and may inspire you to take up your rope again and begin practicing.

Together, “The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage” and the Japanese Bondage Rope makes a great beginner’s rope kit to start playing with, and is also an excellent gift for your lover if you want to give them a subtle, yet effective hint.  You can purchase both items from PopMyCherry Shop.

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2 Responses

  1. Wow, thanks for the review- its definitely a fascinating topic and it sounds like that workshop was intense! I write a relationship blog with my fiance, and are looking to include more candid sexual discussion as great sex is vital to any relationship- I wanted to let you know that we like your site and really appreciate your awesomely frank discussion about all things sexual, kinky, erotic, and fun! you have the courage to say what many people don’t.
    Thanks for the post and keep em coming!

    • Domina Doll says:

      Thanks Meg! I’ll come and check your blog out. It is so refreshing to get some real thoughtful comments, instead of just the same ole spam! I appreciate it! Glad you have enjoyed the reading 🙂 Now off to delete those 11 spams…

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