Better Bondage for Every Body – Making it work for the rest of us

Better Bondage for Every Body

Better Bondage for Every Body

Evie Vane et al.
Createspace
$ 34.95
204 pages
Language: English
ASIN: 153315211X
@: buy it online

Evie Vane is one among the two dozen billion rope bottoms in the global BDSM scene. She also is, however, one of the few who set getting tied up aside long enough to dedicate part of her time to make that scene better in a more concrete way than merely looking pretty when bound. In fact, she curates the Rope Bottoming website and in 2014 she wrote a book titled The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up (Including Suspensions), which was exactly what it said on its cover.

Now she is back with another book written from the bottom’s perspective: a rare sight in a field overloaded with bondage manuals, workshops, schools and whatsnot intended for the riggers. Fact is, to be the bound partner takes more than just standing there and letting someone run their ropes and knots all over your body. At the very least, you have to know how to warm up your body, stretch, recognize the warning signs of various types of dangers (from fainting to faulty suspension points or incompetent riggers), deal with pain, with marks on your skin and more. But you also want to be knowledgeable with more technical topics – of which Better Bondage for Every Body abounds.

Skimming the index you will find stuff like: anatomy, neuroscience, breathwork, professional rope bondage and managing kinky relationship. It pleased me enormously to see that each subject was tackled by actual experts instead of rehashing – as it often happens both on- and offline – a limited number of excessively simplified notions. The neurology chapter, for example, rival serious science textbooks in its depth and yet is far more readable; the anatomy part finally goes beyond the tired «you gotta be careful not to pinch the radial nerve» I heard hundreds of times since the advice was first posted on kinky social networks and lists… all the other dangerous nerves, which of course are just as important!

The book title however refers more specifically to another, larger subject that pops up in several chapters: extending bondage play to those body types that do not conform with the apparent photographic standards of the archetypal lithe, dainty twenty-years-old female rope models you usually see when you google ‘bondage’. Mrs. Vane tackled oversized persons, males, older bottoms, gender-nonconforming bodies, physically challenged persons, reduced mobility individuals and more. The little bow on top of it all is represented by chapters about self-bondage and guerilla bondage, with their own sets of special challenges.

In a nutshell, Better Bondage for Every Body just entered my personal suggested readings on the subject, along with Douglas Kent’s technical manuals Complete Shibari and Axsterdam’s Osez… Le Bondage, which focuses on the sensuality of rope play. If only more people had a similar down to earth approach to kink, the scene would just be so much more fun…

Oh, and as a bonus I got in touch with the author to hear her take on the whole affair. Here are my questions, and the terse answers they got…

 

The Evie Vane interview

As I wrote in the review, Better Bondage for Every Body struck me as a very welcome change from the slew of bondage books I had seen so far, which almost always only focus on rope placement and knot tying disregarding other aspects of the bondage experience. Can you tell me about the process that brought you to write a guide that feels much more grounded in the practical reality of kinksters instead?

There was such a dearth in writings available for rope bottoms, who are such an important part of creating fulfilling scenes! And many classes for tops start with the knots, which misses the whole point. So I wanted to put something out there that gave a voice to a wide range of rope bottoms and also to a range of experts with some amazing ideas about things beyond mere knot-tying.    

 

Fun fact: during the very first bondage workshop I attended, the teacher spent a lot of time stressing how this was a purely technical hobby, utterly and absolutely removed from anything sexual nor sensual. Even the many riggers and performers I met throughout my travels in the subsequent years seemed more concerned about “rope for rope’s sake” than about the relationship with their models – to the point that I always thought of bondage as a terminally boring craft, not as an art whose purpose was to elicit emotions. It is only in the last few years that I am seeing the rise of a different and frankly much more fun approach I also noted in your book. Would you elaborate on this evolution, if you will?

Well I would imagine that rope has been sexual and sensual since ancient times… but maybe only recently have people started embracing the idea in more public ways. I can’t imagine why anyone would even want to do it for just “technical hobby” reasons, but I don’t want to judge anyone either. There are so many reasons for doing rope bondage, and none are necessarily more valid than any other.

 

Two items in Better Bondage for Every Body really won me over. The first was the chapter on bondage neurology, for I spent years ranting against “experts” who only repeated the one notion about radial nerve damage they had read in an online article ignoring… well, all the other nerves in the human body! Yours was the first time I saw such an obviously vital topic addressed in a serious way, but this also invites the question: why? How comes that self-professed rope gurus can invest decades into learning the intricacies of the various Japanese styles of tying, but there seems to be a general lack of interest toward proper education about subjects like this one, or how to actually calculate the safety of a suspension rig? Has the bondage scene a learning problem?

Gosh, I think there’s some wonderful rope education happening, and more information is out there than ever before. I can’t speak specifically to education on the tying side, though, as I’m a bottom.

 

The other welcome surprise I got reading your book was stumbling onto pictures of differently-bodied subjects – sometimes in quite extreme ways. It was refreshing to see wheelchair-bound people having fun in inverted suspensions, amputees or simply reduced-mobility or XXL-size persons enjoying kink as much as your standard dainty-lithe issue fetish model. Inclusive body acceptance is an important topic in every field, and even more so with eroticism, yet it is usually very underrepresented. Can you elaborate, maybe telling about the experiences behind these choices?

Everywhere I turned–on FetLife, at parties, at our local rope bottoming meetups, etc.–there were similar comments: “Someone told me I’m too big to be suspended; is it true?”; “Are there any other rope bottoms out there who have a problem with…?”; “Why can’t I find a partner?!” I realized that many people have gotten the impression that tyers are always one type of person and bottoms are only one type of person. But the truth is so much better, so much richer. And I wanted to send that message as far and wide as possible!

Newton vs. fun

All in all, I am under the impression that your work features several characteristics that make it particularly suitable to bring rope kink into the mainstream, exchanging its air of undue elitism with some much-needed happiness and accessibility. Something similar happened a couple of decades ago, when the fetish scene suddenly ditched the stark Helmut Newton aesthetics for color and smiles – and blossomed into widespread acceptance. Is it just me, or is such an evolution really on the way?

Gosh, I hope we’re evolving toward more acceptance and happiness! It really is my goal to help everyone embrace their kink without shame or fear, and to present kink in a way that’s as accessible as possible. We only have one life to live, and so many people are stuck with a life that doesn’t fulfill them. With this new book – and actually with everything I write – I hope to help people realize that their kinky desires, if fulfilled consensually, are healthy and beautiful self-expressions.

Line
Line