Complete Shibari: Volume 1 Land Review

June 12th, 10   •   Posted by Mistress Kay   •   13 Comments
Complete Shibari: Volume 1 Land Review

The cover of Complete Shibari: Land. Jor likes to just pull out the book 'cause the girl on the cover is adorable.

The Complete Shibari book series is a new book series just released by Douglas Kent (he wrote The Better Built Bondage Book). I own the first book into the two-book series that is entitled “Land” and is all about decorative ropework that isn’t used for suspension. The second book, “Air”, is all about decorative ropework that’s used for suspension. Both books have 96 pages, are softcover, and are done in full-color unlike most bondage books. The book uses tons of beautiful and gorgeous photography to help the learner understand exactly how to do the tie. According to the statistic of the book, there’s over 450 different full-color pictures included to help learn the ties. For most basic information as well as some examples of the pictures included, you can check out the Complete Shibari book series website.

I was a little surprised by how the book decided to show the reader how to do things. Instead of showing every knot, step-by-step, he shows the knots step-by-step in the beginning, and after that, he just makes a little icon in the “progression” of the tie that lets you know that you need to use that specific knot there. This avoids cluttering up the instructional pages, but at the same time, it also makes it a little more confusing than if he had included the knots on that same page. I’m honestly not sure about how I feel about that way of doing things.

The icons can be a little confusing honestly. Instead of using text on the explanations of the ties, Kent chooses to use icons that will represent what he means, like whether it needs a lot of force, a little force, or many other shibari-like distinctions. Again, saves room, but unless you end up memorizing (or photocopying, you sneaky person, you!) the pages with the icons, you’re going to find yourself flipping back and forth between the icons and the pictures.

All of the models in the book are wearing at least underwear. There are a lot of bare breasts in the book, but it honestly doesn’t bother me. There’s a large representation of ethnicities used as well though most of the models are also of the same body type. However, instead of just being skinny, most of the models look healthy and average, and that’s something that makes me pretty happy since they really seem to be enjoying the ties that are being used on them. It’s worth mentioning that all of the rope bottoms are female – most likely because of the author’s sexual preference as well as females are most common as rope bottoms.

Complete Shibari: Volume 1 Land Review

The icon guide as well as one of the gorgeous photos

The pages in the book are relatively high-quality. They honestly look like regular photopaper that you’d find in a book full of photography. The spine of the book is high-quality, and it looks like it’s going to last for a long time. Despite this being published by a sole guy who just loves shibari, it looks like a high-quality book that you’d find from a publisher. I’m actually pretty surprised.

The book itself is arranged pretty intelligently. I was surprised at the arrangement. It doesn’t have specific chapters, per-say, but it does take the time to let the reader know about all of the basics before it goes into the different ties. Unlike other books that just use text in the Table of Contents to reference the ties, Complete Shibari uses pictures in the table of contents to show the ties that its referencing which makes me really happy. It’s much easier to figure out what sounds appealing when I can see all of the pictures lined up at once.

Kent starts with an introduction about Shibari and how it’s a personalized style. He also talks about why he chose to write the book, and why he chose to write it in the manner that he did. After that, he talks about how the book was written and what are the basic elements that you need to know to understand the book. After that, the next four pages talk about the safety involved with bondage. I was actually surprised because he did this in a smart, intelligent, and easy-to-follow way. Each safety issue is given a “1-5” star rating on both consequence and risk. The safety issues include breaking trust, rope marks, impaired blood flow, chills, nerve damage, and quite a few others. He talks about what each one is, why is matters, and how you can reduce the risk and the consequence. I’m really quite impressed that this was included how it was.

Complete Shibari: Volume 1 Land Review

Step-by-step Diamond tie

On the safety portion, he also includes a diagram of a cute half-nude girl that points out the specific areas on the girl that are dangerous to tighten ropes around because they are vunerable. It shows a diagram of a hand that shows where specific nerve damage can occur as well. Both of the diagrams go above and beyond what regular guides do, so I’m impressed.

The next two pages talk about the rope bottom’s duties. It’s a refreshing section because you rarely see sections like this in a how-to book about Shibari. It talks about being physically ready, being safe, being mentally ready, monitoring your physical state, and many other things.

The next two pages talk about the rope you should choose to use. Like most Japanese-bondage performers, he recommends using jute rope and hemp rope. It talks about the diameter of the rope you should use, how to prepare your rope, and what you should include in your rope bondage kit.

Complete Shibari: Volume 1 Land Review

The information about what rope to use

After that, it launches into four pages about the basics of the Box Tie. This is the tie where you see the recipient’s arms tied up behind their back with their breasts accented with the tie. Instead of just going step-by-step through the tie, he uses this basic tie as a time to educate you on why rope works, what to avoid when doing the rope work, and how to make sure that your rope tie is going to be comfortable for your rope bottom. It teaches a lot of the basics while explaining them in a manner that will let you try out the tie right along with the pictures and adjust if you do one of the “no-nos”.

After that, the icons are explained on one page while after that, it goes on to, in detail, explain what each knot is going to be with little illustrated rope drawings. These drawings are illustrated and color-coded by rope, but it’s honestly for the best. If it would have been a real picture of rope doing these little knots, it would have gotten confusing quickly. The knots are explained easily in time-line order and are easy to understand.

After that, we have a couple pages of frequently-used rope ties like the vine, the ladder, the limb loop, and a couple others. These are basic ties (not knots) that make up most of the ties that Shibari uses to come together in a complete tie. It’s well-explained and uses real-knots on real limbs. The ladder tie is actually a really basic tie that, when you see a person bound up, head to toe, in rope, it usually has something to do with this tie.

After that, we get two seperate little lessons that will help some of the finer points of your ropework – Shibari or not. You get a lesson on extending your rope as well as using up your excess rope. I’m sure you know that it doesn’t look attractive to leave rope just hanging there, so Kent walks us through a couple different ways to make sure that your rope is tucked nicely and looks attractive. Then that’s it for the beginner lessons!

The rest of the book takes us, step-by-step, through some of the basic and advanced Shibari ties. There’s nothing amazingly hard about any of these. They are honestly some ties that you could do with minimal or no experience at all. There are 27 complete ties to be learned after you finish with the basic lessons, and all of them are attractive, fun ties that will be fun to execute and learn. You won’t be learning anything amazingly time consuming nor amazingly difficult, but Shibari is one of those things that you slowly learn the basics then you learn to apply the basics and new and wonderous ways, and the complete ties that Kent has provided will give you the experience and practice you need to get a grasp and understanding of how Shibari works while still showing you attractive ties.

So me? I’m impressed. I’ve been lusting after this Shibari how-to book for awhile, and it really does live up to my reputation. I didn’t think that it would be quite as helpful as it honestly is. It provides a great book for beginners and those curious about Shibari to learn some of the specific ties that set Japanese-style bondage apart from Western style bondage. Even if you are scared about learning, this will slowly lead you into the “depths” of rope bondage with gorgeous pictures, cute girls, and well-explained instructions. This book is available from this rope bondage store, so pick up Complete Shibari: Volume 1 Land. If you want to move onto the suspension work (Kent recommends you read the first book first), then you can pick up Complete Shibari: Volume 2 Air as well.

13 Comments on "Complete Shibari: Volume 1 Land Review"

June 16th, 2010

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June 16th, 2010

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Pleasurists #82 « On Intimacy says...
June 16th, 2010

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June 16th, 2010

[…] Complete Shibari: Land by Mistress Kay […]

June 16th, 2010

Wow, thanks for all the detail about the book! It’s nice to know just how detailed about things the author is :) I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes on this one.

Great review!

June 16th, 2010

[…] Complete Shibari: Land by Mistress Kay […]

June 16th, 2010

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June 23rd, 2010

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Esinem says...
August 30th, 2012

I wonder if you’d be interested in reviewing my DVD’s ‘Japanese Rope Bondage: Tying people, not parcels’? See my web link for more info: http://www.shibari.co




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