Top-Bottom Coordination

shibari news logo

Whenever you’re working with someone else, you’re coordinating yourself with that person. Coordination might sound like just another way to say “working together”, but it goes way beyond that. The Oxford Dictionary defines coordination as “the organization of the different elements of a complex activity so as to enable them to work together effectively.” As you can see, this definition applies very well to the top-bottom coordination that is so necessary in a Shibari scene.

Let’s begin with the first key word, “organization”. In bondage, this includes the previous planning of a scene, the negotiation, the consent, and all the necessary logistical arrangements. The latter may include from the rent of the studio to the selection of ropes to the safety measures.

The second key word is “complex activity”. We have said it before: Shibari is neither easy nor something you can do quickly and carelessly. Since there is a real risk involved, participants should be responsible toward each other. That is why it is so important that the top and bottom coordinate their efforts. Otherwise, the scene won’t be successful.

Finally, we have the word “effectivity”. We can understand it as a job well done and satisfactory to all parties involved. Notice that these two don’t always go together. For example, you can do a good job in a scene suspension and still not be satisfied. This would happen if you and the bottom quarreled all the time and had a terrible emotional connection. On the other hand, if all you care about is feeling good but you don’t tie the knots properly, you may cause an accident.

As you can see, organization, complexity, and effectivity all come into play when we talk about top-bottom coordination. It is not just a matter of being there together in the same place at the same time, but of truly working together, opening up to each other, and mutually enjoying the scene.

shibari academy horizontal