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WTF is Shibari?

Shibari

Image: creativereview.co.uk

 

Shibari = to tie

 

Shibari is a Japanese word that came into common use in the West in the 1990s to describe the erotic bondage art Kinbaku (the beauty of tight binding).

 

If you’re still thinking “SRSLY WTF, MORE STRANGE WORDS?!” then please, do read on so we can enlighten your curious mind 😉

 

As you may have seen already on the big bad internet, Shibari is a type of rope bondage that is often practised within the BDSM community. It originally started out as Hojōjutsu (a form of imprisonment / torture in Japan) before it later merged into the erotic bondage art Kinbaku in the late 19th and 20th centuries. In Shibari, the Nawashi (rope artist) creates patterns and shapes with the rope that purposely contrast with the female’s natural curves; the juxtaposition of the tight, textured ropes and the soft, bare skin creates a visual and sensual masterpiece. The model typically feels pleasure from ties across her breasts, va-jay-jay(!) and other sensitive areas and in many cases, the model is involved in suspension which means she is hanging from the ceiling. Erm, can someone please explain to us why ‘Spiderwoman’ is not a thing yet?! #girlpowerandthat…

 

Many people use the terms Shibari and Kinbaku interchangeably although some suggest that Shibari specifically refers to the aesthetic rope bondage while Kinbaku describes the whole ‘sexual’ experience.  We’ve put the word sexual in inverted commas because it isn’t always a sexual experience.

 

@Sophia.Shibari on Instagram explains that “it is so many things; whatever the two people connecting in that moment sharing energy want it to be…erotic, artistic, playful, tough, comforting, loving. Allowing someone to tie you up and move your body takes a special kind of trust, to be put in a potentially vulnerable position, but also gives you freedom and safety to express and explore your innermost desires and feelings.”

Sophia Shibari

Image: @sophia.shibari, tied by @fred.r.hatt, photo by @missannabones

 

Also, unlike many forms of bondage and submission, Shibari isn't necessarily meant to evoke a sense of helplessness for the person who's tied up. Instead, it primarily focuses on the visually aesthetic art and geometry of the relationship between the artist, the body and the rope itself. The art of arranging the ropes and knots on the female’s body to stimulate certain pressure points is derived from Shiatsu (a form of Japanese massage) and the rope becomes an extension of the Nawashi’s hands and is used to communicate. Who knew you could communicate without using emojis, huh 🙄

 

Amazingly, it’s possible for the female to enter a trance-like state as her hormone levels increase. The term "rope drunk" has been used to describe the state of recovery from a Shibari session - no tequila needed! We know what we’re doing Friday night…

 

Check out this video about basic seated suspension and we also recommend taking a class before trying anything yourself!

 

Cover Image: The Japan Diaries

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