My best friend relaxed into my hands as I guided the red rope past the softness of her breasts and under the knot of her biceps. Ember had agreed to help me practice Shibari a while back. She knelt in front of me now on the couch. Usually, she was such a formidable woman, but it seemed that even she was susceptible to being disarmed by the sensation of jute rope being coiled tightly around her body.
Time and again, I tied the knots and untied them. Trying each time to get a tighter, smoother and more aesthetic form. With each time, my best friend got a little more relaxed. She fell limply from one side to the other as I wove the rope around her, falling about heavily in my arms like an old Victorian Doll. I steadied her by the lace of her corset, running my hand up her back to sweep her hair up from behind her neck and brush it to one side.
“One more time, maybe. Doesn’t seem tight enough, still. Doing alright, Ember?”
My best friend’s eyes were rolling back into her head.
“Yeah… I feel… I feel…. yeah…”
I chuckled to myself that Ember, knowledgeable High Priestess and writer, was having so much trouble formulating words. She was sliding off into reverie, which I took as the unspoken compliment it was. I still had an issue with the knots however. They looked lumpy. Exciteable. I undid them and did them again, until I was satisfied.
However, for all the imperfection in the binds, Ember certainly looked as though she was enjoying herself. I sat behind her, curling my legs around her thighs for support, allowing her to fall back against my shoulder.
It’s funny what we notice when we are close and tuned in with another. Without any intimate parts being touched, the sensation of rope alone, of being held and confined in another’s power – or wielding that power in every knot and tug of the rope – is electric. The world becomes smaller, sounds louder, scents sharper. While the one I tie is enjoying their own escape from the burden of their autonomy, I am savoring the taste of minuscule delights, bought into sharper focus. The smell of their breath, the way their rib cage, on inhale and exhale, pushes them closer to, then away from my own. The smell of their hair, the intricate matte of lines around the eyes and a wonder to what stories bought each of them to being.
It’s the little things…