We recently reviewed the English translation of Shin Nawakiri's Essence of Shibari and subsequently tried out his suggested method for treating your own ropes. That article is here: Treatment and Maintenance of Rope. It was all looking good, but as the expression goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating... and there was plenty of eating!
We mention a couple of related courses on ShibariClasses, for reasons that will soon become clear...
In the background, a Lovehoney Deluxe Magic Wand waits patiently. Oral sex and the deep rumbling vibration of a Magic Wand have always been a perfect tie in for us with this style of rope-play, so we thought what better way to put these new ropes through their paces?
Starting with legs, the hubby went with a basic futo momo tie on my left leg. This is a simple spiral approach where we've been experimenting with the position of the shin wraps - which is where I've tended to feel the pressure. Bunching the wraps together like this is pretty comfortable, but there's always room for improvement. A more conventional approach is to start with a double-column tie, but that's something we're still practising.
The tie on my right let is purely aesthetic, but I love the pattern. It starts with a fairly snug single column tie around the top of your upper thigh; it should sit just nicely under your bum cheek! Proceed to create a laced pattern down to your calf using a series of looped hitches. (Taking on board a recent comment on one of our photos on Fetlife, we'd like to call it a Yukimura Hitch, but it may have other names...) It may not strictly serve a purpose, but you still feel it's unyielding embrace, and it gives your partner something to hold onto! ;-)
So far, so good. Our newly prepared ropes handled every bit as nicely as we'd hoped. Still a little stiff perhaps, but they are very new and I'm sure they will soon soften. You often hear discussion about "compressibility" and there is a certain hardness to the feel of this at this stage, meaning knots and frictions don't seem to be lying quite as nicely as our older ropes. Again - hopefully just a reflection of their newness, but time will tell.
Eagle eyed viewers might note the use of a Sheet Bend to join the ropes (left side-boob!) which has become our preferred joining method. It's another learning point we picked up from Shin Nawakiri's Essence of Shibari. It lies very flat and allows for easy joining at any point along the rope.
We went for a hands in front tie (wrists in a double-column tie to the left) which is very comfortable, and the hubby says he like to pleasure me more leisurely! This position lends itself beautifully for oral sex. Your partner's right arm can embrace the futo momo on your right leg, it hugs you both together and provides support at the same time. The low left leg leaves his left hand free to explore your body. Simply perfect! :-)
From the 40m hank of rope that we purchased, so far we've used 36m (it shrank to 33m after washing) and we created a set of 4 ropes. Each end is currently finished with a simple overhand knot, but we've ordered some waxed red whipping twine and the hubby is going to upgrade each end to a thistle knot.
The lay is pretty tight, but the ropes left some lovely marks once they were untied.
For our first impressions, look no further than the photograph above! ;-) It's new rope and obviously needs to be broken in with some more use, but we're very pleased with the results so far.
In terms of learning, the leg tie here was rather better than the upper body tie and we're about to subscribe to this course on ShibariClasses: Upper Body Ties Made Easy. It looks at seven upper body ties, but our experiences of these courses so far has been that after a little practice, we'll soon be able to mix and match the ingredients in many other ways.
We also mentioned a couple of the courses on ShibariClasses, and that's a website that's well worth checking out for these courses and others.
Finally, no household should be without a Lovehoney Deluxe Magic Wand, which is like a Hitachi wand, but with a built in dimmer switch! Definitely take a look if you don't have one already - you won't regret it.