Review: Bridgett Harrington’s “Shibari You Can Use”

Keeping it real.

What is the number one danger of the rope world? Nerve compression? No. Asphyxiation? Nope. Rope burns? Nope, nope, nope.

Tedium.

Rope afficionados, much like the rest of the kink world, tend to be geeks. And geeks love to talk about the details, the fine minutiae of this knot or that lay of rope or where that particular woodcut came from, often to the point of fisticuffs (or, at the very least, flamewars) with those who disagree.

Seriously. I’ve seen it happen.

Which is why a book like Bridgett Harrington’s “Shibari You Can Use” is such a joy. Make no mistake about it, Bridgett is a geek. She would be the first to tell you she loves her toys, her sci-fi, her cybersessions and she knows her camera’s focal length as intimately as her strap-on.

And she loves her rope. She loves tying it, touching it, breathing it, being bound by it, using it for play, for sex, for fashion…and that joy, that absolute passion for the fibers literally oozes from the pages of this book. There is no snobbery, no pretension, no super-secret Shibari decoder ring. There is humor (“Step 1: locate the breasts to be bound” accompanied by a picture of cute mammaries with Bridgett’s finger helpfully pointing them out), there is clear information (a bevy of male and female models illustrate every step) and of course, there is sex (her liquid eyes staring up at the wearer of a rope strap-on, her lips stretched around the cock…just YUM).

Now, before I gush too much, as wonderful as the pics were…they were also black and white, and the resolution could have been better. But that’s why I want EVERYONE to buy this book, so that the next one will have the budget to have the kind of photography that she is capable of (check out www.blackbookart.com to see what I mean).

Of course, the big question is, does it work–does it actually teach you rope bondage you can use?

My slave minx and I put it to the test the other night. I’d read through the book, and there was a nice textured layering of rope through a basic corset that had caught my eye and I decided to try it. I used black flat braid and a rich burgundy, both from Rainbow Rope, to wrap my minx in her favorite soft corset, the black layering and shaping her body to just under her breasts. The burgundy was tied in a quick and simple chest harness, the tails curling in and out of the black in staggered loops just as described in the book. It wasn’t that I had to go step by step–I’d read through it, and very quickly had rope that looked exactly like the image in the book.

Except it didn’t. This is where the grayscale images really didn’t do the tie justice–in color, on the flesh, the tie I learned from Bridgett’s book took my breath away. Literally, as minx began to move in it, and when she–well, I’ll leave the rest as an exercise for the class.

Rest assured, this book lives up to its name: it is Shibari You Can Use.

DISCLOSURE: Graydancer happens to know Bridgett personally, and thinks she’s one of the hottest sexual beings currently populating the planet. This should by no means be considered an unbiased review; he likes her even more than he likes the book, and can’t wait until the next time he can get his hands on both…

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