Monday Reviews: Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage

Every Monday, The CSPH takes a look at a book or film focusing on an aspect of sexuality. This week we are featuring the film “Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage”.

In this film, directed by feminist activist, pornographer, and sex educator Tristan Taormino, beginners to the bondage world are invited to learn some basic techniques of tied-up and handcuffed sex using a variety of materials and in a variety of partnered positions from Midori, a leading kink expert.  The film is split up into several lessons and scenes, highlighting different skills and techniques in each one.

Opening with a practical lesson from Midori about common bondage practices and, importantly, safety, the film features Midori explaining basic vocabulary like “safe words” and “top and bottom”, making the terms accessible even for beginners.  She provides information about how to safely use collars, cuffs, and scarf restraints.  Midori then teaches the viewer how to tie some basic knots in scarves; as she wants to make sure that bondage is easy and accessible for everyone, she mixes in items that viewers will already possess, along with kink-specific cuffs and belts.

After Midori’s instruction, the film shifts to allowing the viewer to watch couples—Adrianna Nicole and Mark Davis, and Madison Young and Danny Wylde (all veteran porn actors)—demonstrate bondage techniques as they have sex for the camera.  The featured couples seem genuinely happy to be there and respectful of one another and each others’ safety.  These scenes give the viewer a great way to see how bondage could look during partner sex with a respectful and enthusiastic partner, underscoring the message that contrary to many cultural messages, bondage sex and kink can be an aspect of a loving and caring sexual relationship.  I especially love the beginning of the Madison/Danny scene where Danny, who is topping Madison (at that moment), asks for her safe word and then shares his; the whole exchange flows well within the scene and is a great way to demonstrate how having a serious moment during fun sex doesn’t have to be awkward or mood-killing.

At the beginning of the film, Midori suggests that the viewer take advantage of the DVD format and pause or re-watch scenes, and I’d recommend that as well.  Although she initially explains a few basic techniques for tying scarves, for example, we see knots and harnesses made during the film that may happen too quickly for a beginner to learn the first time.  I would have also liked to see even more planning and communication between the couples than we see in the film, although it certainly happens.  Midori talks about the importance of communication at the beginning of the film, but it’s especially important for newcomers to the bondage world to know that a ton of conversation and communication happens leading up to the “actual sex” part of bondage sex.

Overall, Midori has some great ideas and techniques for beginners who are interested in bringing bondage into their lives with a heterosexual partner, and I would recommend this video to those who fit that description.  Viewers should keep in mind that though the film is “educational”, it includes explicit sex scenes and language, adding an erotic component and function.

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