No, aural, i.e. sound, not oral sex! Not that anything precludes the latter, of course. As I frequently say, kinbaku is not about knots and all about the way you use rope to create the experience. I often compare ‘just tying’ with eating simply to fill your stomach, which could be achieved with a bag of fries or loaf of bread. By comparison, kinbaku is the experience of a good meal in romantic company. In this case, the full stomach is merely a by-product, yet the enjoyment is in the richness of the journey: the ambience, the company, the service, the presentation of the food, the dressing of the table, the smell, the texture, the colours, the flavours etc. In kinbaku, the experience comprises many elements, amongst these is sound. Add this to your armoury and you will find it a potent weapon.[private] Sound can be used in many ways. One of the most obvious is the choice of atmospheric music or, conversely, absolute silence. I have no need to tell you about the influence of either as the same rules apply in any SM play and completely vanilla situations. Barry White’s voice has become almost synonymous with seduction, after all. I hasten to add he has never been my choice.
Rope, however, offers additional opportunities. For example, the sound of the rope as it is withdrawn from the hank creates anticipation and, with continued exposure, can implanted as a trigger, just like Pavlov’s dogs. Rope with a defined twist and good ‘tooth’ makes the most noticeable sound. Freshly treated jute is the good for this as it will often creak as well. Don’t underestimate the simple things like the sound or vibration as a knot is firmly and deliberately locked off. These underline the fact that you are in control and add punctuation and finality to your actions.
Slowly withdrawing the rope by you partner’s ear not only makes this audible but also allows the rope to gently touch the erogenous zones of the neck and ear. At the other end of the scale, the noise of dropping rope onto a hard floor or the snap of jerking open a hank tied in a half bow can be surprisingly shocking in an otherwise silent environment. Even the sound of your movement on tatami matting takes on a special quality for me.
The most powerful form of sound is human, the voice and breathing. If you have ever seen Yukimura at work, you can’t help but notice his heavy breathing and mutterings. Whether, the former is deliberate or due to smoking or other causes, I’m not sure but what I do know is that it works. I have found many women I have tied have responded very well to lecherous heavy breathing and dirty old man type growling. This might be due to the fact that they recognise I’m a dirty old (gentle)man and that is something they want from being tied by me in the first place, so anything that enhances that is all good. I asked Osada Steve what sort of things Yukimura might say. If I recall, he said it might be along the lines of some very personal comments regarding humidity levels between his models legs or coarse remarks about her “cute little titties” and what he planned to do next. Sometimes, it might involve a story as to why they are being bound, maybe some fictitious infidelity or the like. I hear that Trash, the photographer featured in another article, is an expert in ‘kotoba-seme’ which I understand is guided fantasy using only the power of words to give orgasms! This guy doesn’t even need rope, so you can see the potential. Even if you aren’t a word-smith, a spot of dirty talking or even incoherent mumblings and growls can often add some spice to the mix. A sense of excitement and anticipation might be built up by describing what you are about to do, or could do, given such a state of helplessness and exposure.
I have noticed that Osada Steve tends to huff and puff a bit when he applies ties strongly or with speed. I suspect it is something he has picked up from his tuition from Yukimura sensei. It certainly adds emphasis to the moves and it’s something I notice myself doing when tying more vigorously. Although, I think we all have a way to go before we can equal professional tennis players in this respect.
Another stimulus rarely discussed, other than in respect of hemp rope, is smell. Since most of us use jute, which has little noticeable odour, this avenue seems to be excluded. However, this need not be so. I have been experimenting with adding a few drops of fragrant oil to my ropes. The idea being to imprint a connection between my rope and the smell. Whether this will lead to my rope partners becoming inexplicably aroused by certain fragrances remains to be seen. As we all know, it works with hemp and things like latex and leather. One must not forget that smell can be incredibly evocative and lead to enduring memories. We have all been swept back years to an experience or place by a certain specific smell.
Again, we can draw from our general SM experience by using a blindfold to enhance the effect of using smell and sound. When sight is removed, the mind is concentrated on the remaining senses.
When you tie, think what you can add, especially directly with the rope, to the experience and how many senses you can play with. Kinbaku requires a more holistic approach than ‘just shibari’.[/private]