Enid: Better Bondage for Every Body by Evie Vane

We were in Berlin a couple of weeks ago (Cadi is working on some posts about the kinky events we went to right now!) and went back to the incredible Prinz Eisenherz bookshop for a browse. I wasn’t really expecting to get a rope bondage reference book. We have quite a few of them and, like with recipe books, you can often find the information you need on the internet these days. There are so many good blogs and YouTube channels out there for BDSM.

However, like recipe books, I sometimes can’t resist a good bondage reference book! There’s something about feeling the author or editor speaking to you through the page, holding the pictures in your hands. There’s something really affirming and validating about it. As someone who doesn’t live in a majorly kinky city, sometimes the “community” seems very disparate and ephemeral. Having something in my hands makes me feel like it’s all really real, like I do indeed belong. Incidentally, there are also cookbooks (hello Nigel Slater!) that feel like a hug from a friend every time I get them down from the shelf.

A lot of the other books we have are aimed at the rope Tops, and a lot of the images are of very slender, flexible, professional rope models. That makes sense: models do a difficult, precise job, and rope Tops need to know how to tie! But I’ve found that sections on tying plus sized people or people with different needs are scanty, at best.

Better Bondage For Every Body has lengthy features on curvy rope bottoms, male rope bottoms, older rope bottoms (now I’m past the 30 mark I’m starting to seek out those elders for reassurance!!!), gender non conforming bottoms, bottoms with special physical conditions, and bottoms with a limited range of motion. I’m not talking a paragraph, I’m talking a chapter each! Each chapter also includes some input from people of those groups, and really gorgeous photography with the photographer and model listed so you can look them up.

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The introduction of the book also includes some very helpful diagrams about anatomy, and some ideas for warm ups for rope bottoms. Again, these sections are longer than in other books that we’ve got, so I would definitely recommend Better Bondage For Every Body if you are looking for your first bondage book.

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There’s also a fascinating section on the neuroscience of rope, and why it affects us the way that it does. I’m very much not a scientist, but I still found this section interesting and persuasive! And there are references, for anyone that would like to research further.

I also found the section on pain processing and breathwork very illuminating. At the moment it seems a lot of the rope that we see in popular culture is very much on the decorative, aesthetic end of the spectrum. Even when I know the rope bottom must be under considerable strain, they’re often photographed looking completely serene. I like rope that is purely for show (I often get Cadi to tie me in a way that peeks out of my clothes for LGBT/BDSM events) and I like rope that is about safety and security, but I also like rope that pushes and challenges my pain tolerance.

We did a partial suspension scene a while ago that featured a devilish crotch rope, and I had to safe word out of it in the end. I wish I’d been able to manage the pain a bit longer as there were other elements (like Cadi kicking me…drool) that I was really enjoying. This book has some fantastic ideas for ideas for pain processing to help the bottom endure more pain, but also keep ourselves safe.

The introduction to the book is gentle, compassionate and empathetic, and I’d really recommend it to every bottom that is too hard on themselves. For example:

“After the bliss of a rope scene fades, maybe in an hour or two, maybe in a day or two, thoughts of all my shortcomings start rearing their ugly heads. I curse my lower back’s inflexibility, feel ashamed about asking for adjustments, wish I had been able to stay in the rope longer, wish I had been graceful or more attractive…just more. Better.”

Evie then goes on to talk about the techniques she uses to deal with these feelings, and the qualities she feels make her a good rope bottom.

If you want a book with informative articles, beautiful pictures and a writer that makes you feel like she’s your friend coaching you through your experience, definitely invest in this one!

 

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