Mindful bondage art: Shibari

Author: Marina
A to Z | Kinks

What does Shibari mean?

Shibari is a special style of rope bondage in BDSM that developed from a Japanese military bondage technique called Hojojutsu. In Japan, the term kinbaku is used for what we in Europe call shibari, which is also often encountered in connection with bondage.

In a figurative sense, Shibari means something like “tying down”. Shibari usually involves sexual bondage, in which the tied person is tied up in complicated patterns. As a rule, several pieces of thin rope are used, which are about six millimeters thick and seven to eight meters long.

What is so fascinating about this BDSM practice?

Shibari or Kinbaku differs from Western bondage or bondage in BDSM in general in that the tied person, often called a “bunny”, is not only immobilized, but actually enjoys being under the pressure and tight tension of the ropes, even if or precisely because these squeeze breasts or genitals. Fans of Japanese bondage say that the ropes give them security, bring them to rest and that the action between the rigger and the tied person is perceived as slowing down.

Rope bondage is not primarily about exercising power or torturing anyone. Rather, the aesthetics of the position are important: Shibari and Kinbaku in particular are notorious for using uncomfortable asymmetrical positions to heighten the psychological effects of bondage.

For the person being tied up, the satisfaction lies not only in seeing the tied person lying or hanging in front of him, artistically and unable to move. The mindful process of tying yourself and feeling the trust of the other person is also the greatest pleasure for bondage artists.

What to pay attention to when doing Shibari

As always in BDSM, the same applies to Shibari: approach it slowly. As beautiful and fascinating as the art looks from the outside, the Japanese bondage technique poses some challenges for the mind as well as the body. Take time, both theoretically and practically, to familiarize yourself with the various bondage techniques and ropes.

Physically healthy people generally need not fear any risk. However, basic knowledge of the body, knots, ropes and safety aspects is an absolute must before beginning tying to avoid serious bruising and long-term damage. The blood supply to individual parts of the body should not be restricted for too long, such as when tying. In Shibari or bondage in general, the tied person must never be left alone.

Shibari or Kinbaku is also not for the impatient as it requires a lot of mindfulness on both sides. For example, it can take some time until a sample or even a suspension is completed. The captivating partner must take time to ensure that every move and every knot is in place, constantly paying attention to the reactions of the person being captivated and at the same time keeping all safety aspects in mind. On the other hand, the tied up partner must be willing to give up control over a longer period of time. Because you have to be able to endure being taut, unable to move and uncomfortably wrapped in lots of cords. And want.

For advanced users only: Suspensions

Particular caution is required with so-called suspension bondage. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous types of restraint or even bondage in general. The entire body is suspended from one or more points above the head or from a ceiling. Depending on the level of difficulty, the bunny can support himself with a part of his body, such as his foot or a hand, or float completely. The weight is usually balanced by several cords around the chest and hips.

This type of rope bondage should only be carried out if the person being tied up has advanced knowledge of anatomy and bondage techniques and can intervene immediately or at any time.

Where can I learn to tie?

One of the best ways to learn rope bondage is to take part in special workshops, which are now also offered online. Vaegabound, for example, regularly organizes online courses in German and English for both beginners and advanced learners, for couples and individuals.

If you just want to get a taste of the art theoretically, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for with these YouTubers, who will teach you everything from basics, safety instructions to patterns for advanced users, knot by knot. Books, preferably with lots of illustrations, are also a good source for beginners.

Which ropes are particularly suitable for tying?

In this context, the quality of the ropes is an important factor in making Shibari sessions something that everyone involved finds pleasant. Cotton, jute and hemp ropes are most commonly used, and occasionally nylon ropes from the hardware store.

Although cotton ropes are softer and more elastic, the knots can be harder to untie. Hemp or jute ropes are more rigid and easier to handle, especially for beginners. However, they can sometimes be a bit rough and require special care.

A good selection of ropes as well as care products and valuable information are available at baumwollseil.de or Vaegabound.


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