Toronto
3 min

‘I am the main woman’

Rope expert turns bondage into art

JUST LIKE FLOWER ARRANGING. Midori's been in knots since grade school. Credit: Steve Diet Goedde

Midori has just arrived at her home in San Francisco from one of the kinky workshops she teaches – and she’s fit to be tied.



Her luggage didn’t arrive with her and when it finally appears at her house, her suitcase of toys and clothes has been rifled through, with thousands of dollars in goods missing.



That’s no way to treat a fetish diva and renowned rope-bondage expert.



“I have always hated people who tack on ‘mistress’ because it is so not me. It’s too commonplace for me,” explains Midori, who will be making two trips to Toronto this winter to teach workshops on bondage, domination and SM. “Besides, the other meaning of mistress is unpleasant. I’m not the other woman, I am the main woman.”



Midori received the “fetish diva” title from Fakir Musafar, who is himself best known as the father of the modern primitive movement, which explores body modification and tribal rituals as modes of contemporary life.



“He made that reference to me in a body play magazine,” says Midori. “Because he is someone who I respect and it suited my character, I took the name in respect to a leather uncle.”



Though Midori doesn’t like the title “mistress,” it’s hard to avoid the word – I find “ma’am” on my tongue a couple of times when I interview her – when talking to the whip-wielding, ex-professional dominatrix.



Rope bondage is a favourite of Midori’s and one of her many areas of interest and expertise. Her recent book The Seductive Art Of Japanese Bondage, published by Greenery Press, sold out 10 months after publication.



“Her rope work is what interests me first and foremost. It’s so beautiful and you can just see how much passion goes into it,” says Toronto Midori fan Sabrina Olender.



Leanne Franson from Montreal attended one of Midori’s rope bondage workshops at the Michigan Women’s Music Festival.



“It started out with an incredibly erotic demo, where Midori did what I would call rope seduction on a willing and expressive participant,” says Franson. “It was electric with much eye contact and rope sliding. Quick decisive movements that took the breath away coupled with beautiful and efficient knot placement. Until suddenly the bondee was tied into a little bundle Midori could sit on in her kimono, and also could pick up.”



Midori was raised in Japan by the dynamic duo of her mother and grandmother.



“My mother’s side are German-American liberal intelligentsia feminists, but I was raised in Japan,” Midori says. “I went to school and grew up like an average Japanese kid outside of my household. Japan – where it’s patriarchal, extremely conformist, conservative and traditional. So here I am with two completely different messages.”



She came to the US at age 14, and later attended the University Of California at Berkeley. She was playing kinky sex games with lovers in college.



“In San Francisco I began to sow my wild oats and explore the riches of the city by the bay,” she says. “There were strip joints, sex shows, swinger parties – lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”



Her rope bondage fascination started way back in grade school in Japan.



“On cultural arts day we had to bring in old sheets and they taught us to make rope. We made huge coils of rope so that if there was ever a fire in the building you could escape out the window,” Midori says. “I lived on the ground floor, but made daisy chains obsessively.”



After that Midori played around with rope in college, and then about a decade ago started experiencing heavy rope bondage as a bottom in the San Francisco SM scene.



Her goal is to take rope-tying to a new level of art.



“When I am doing rope bondage it allows me to have the creative outlook,” she says. “There is something in me that needs to create and to create things of beauty in the environment around me. It’s very much similar to the attitude of flower arrangement. Taking an object that is already beautiful and natural and organic, and then combining that natural beauty with my aesthetic sense.”



That concept of beauty flows into her most recent project, a website called Beautybound.com. Featuring both a public and pay section, the site is geared to bondage enthusiasts of all levels.



As for sexual orientation, Midori defines herself as an opportunist.



“I don’t know if could deal with monogamy,” she says. “I do come from the land of sushi after all and like lots of little dishes.”



* Midori is giving three workshops at Come As You Are (701 Queen St W) in February: Introduction To Japanese Rope Bondage on Fri, Feb 7 at 7:30pm; The Art Of Feminine Dominance on Sun, Feb 9 at 7pm; and Seduction By Voice And Erotic Storytelling on Mon, Feb 10 at 7:30pm. For more info, check out Comeasyouare.com or call (416) 504-7934. All workshops are open to men and women. She returns in May to teach a rope bondage course for the AIDS Committee Of Toronto’s Safer SM series; more info at Actoronto.org when the date is closer.