Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy (LIIST)

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Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Bondage by Mistress Couple

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book cover for the ultimate guide to bondageReview of The Ultimate Guide to Bondage: Creating Intimacy Through the Art of Restraint. By Mistress Couple, Jersey City, NJ, Cleis Press, 2018. 294 pp. $ 16.95 (softcover). ISBN: 978-1-62778-274-6

Dr. Rosara Torrisi, LCSW, MEd, CST, PhD

The Ultimate Guide to Bondage is exquisitely written, from nose to tail. With Mistress Couple’s writing style, it is easy to be right there with her. This book is encompassing of all the information necessary to become a rising bondage practitioner. If you find yourself struggling against Mistress Couple’s instruction throughout this book, consider what this might say about your own relationship to dominance and submission. It is not feasible, however, for 294 pages to make up for real-world experiences. As a sex therapist and educator, I recommend that you make note of where you have questions, meet up with respected bondage experts in your area, and learn more.

The introduction follows Mistress Couple’s journey to bondage and is the beginning of a thoughtful examination. This primer underscores the quality of her training and expertise as a Mistress. She is honest, cautious with her reader, and tenderly nudges as she engages the reader on this journey. Her expert advice is evident, as she effortlessly speaks to the novice and the professional alike.

As a researcher and professor, I appreciate that Mistress Couple gives credit where it is due. The historical contexts are part of the cultural sensitivity needed when appropriating techniques. It is an act of privilege to disregard the historical implications of what one might be using for play. Although my academic background would have done this differently, I do appreciate that Mistress Couple’s footnotes link to sources that are not in scientific journals. This means the resources are more readily available to any reader.

Mistress Couple utilizes recognizable educational pathways to instruct her readers. There is a well-rounded definition of terms used throughout the book. These definitions allow everyone to understand her vocabulary the way she intends to use the words. She also uses accessible examples for complex ideas. The flow chart provides a structure for readers to absorb how bondage techniques crystalize or bifurcate. The number/color system of pain/pleasure considers multiple dimensions to quickly convey receptivity. The overview of the most common materials used in bondage is outstanding. There are also valuable pictures, drawings, and first-person-account essays. She also provides a quick overview of prevailing ideas within the mental health community about the origins of fetishes.

I agree with Mistress Couple’s connections of bondage to birth, trauma, consent, intimacy, and finding the authentic self. The Ultimate Guide to Bondage persistently reminds the reader to enact emotional and physical safety measures. More than sexual tension is released through sexual connection, so trauma-informed bondage is crucial. The conversation about how to receive and give consent is refreshing and woven throughout the book. It would be wonderful for everyone to understand consent so well, regardless of involvement in BDSM. I find Mistress Couple’s assessment of restraint as a method of returning to the universal experience of being in a womb, and the release of traumas such as birth, to be quite interesting. Developmental, trauma and attachment therapists will recognize their theories echoed in these pages.71MQJ8rUA9L

The Ultimate Guide to Bondage is comprehensive for those personally and professionally interested in bondage. There are some areas of BDSM in general that are not discussed in this book. For example, further exploration is needed for anyone interested in learning more about anatomy and physiology, role play, specific fetishes, penetrative play, impact play, and non-monogamy. This book could easily be used in an academic course, along with scientific journal articles and supporting primary documents.

Timing and TTC

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08502a85-1af3-4aff-bf43-8fe66fd20ed9-romperstock_ab-3022Dr. Torrisi offers some very advice on approaching sex when trying to conceive (TCC) for Romper. Read here for more! Interested in learning more about sex and pregnancy? The therapists at LIIST are experts in helping couples retain and regain intimacy before, during, and after pregnancy. And for some extra support, consider visiting with a pelvic physical therapist after giving birth. Give us a call at 516-690-6779.

Babeland @ LIIST

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If you’ve been working with any of the therapists at the Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy, you know we love Babeland. LIIST has now developed a relationship with Babeland, so you can find all of their best products simply by clicking right ::here::!

Along with their website, Babeland also has three stores in New York that we highly recommend you pay a visit to.

 

LIIST on the Radio talking about Sex Addiction

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Did you listen to Rosara Torrisi on LI News Radio this evening with host David Levenstein and author/advocate Frank Vetro? Curious about sex addiction or out of control sexual behavior? Call us at 516-690-6779 or email us at RosaraTorrisi@lisextherapy.com. In collaboration with with Peter Kanaris in Smithtown, we have weekly therapy groups for both the identified client and a separate group for their spouses or significant others.

Moving ahead!

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The Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy (LIIST) has assisted many couples and indivudals with their relationships, their sexuality, and generally making their lives happier. A top goal of LIIST is to help clients enhance their experiences of intimacy and pleasure, whatever the context. We work on reigniting passion, enhancing communication, and promoting healthy sexuality.

In order to better serve our community, LIIST will be expanding. In September 2015, two new staff members will join us, we will have office hours Monday through Saturday, and a sliding scale will be introduced for those in need of financial assistance.

Keep posted for upcoming bios.

Q&A at Jericho High School

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Rosara Torrisi, 2015 Best Sex Therapist on Long Island, was recently invited and presented to a group of high school students in Jericho for the second year in a row. All of the students were eager to ask sexologist, Rosara Torrisi about her work as a therapist, her work as a sex therapist, and some education about healthy sexuality. Here are some of the questions and answers. Continue reading