A Models Glimpse Into Japanese Rope Bondage

Shibari Photo

I have been privileged to be the subject in some intimate Sydney exhibitions in the art of Shibari and Kinbaku. The feeling is almost indescribable, I felt euphoria, relaxation, arousal, and intimacy in eye contact with the rope master while the rope was softly stroking my bare skin it was better than any tickle or tie-up I’ve had before. I became what they call ‘rope-drunk’ and although there was an audience I could only see myself and the rope master in the room. It makes me wonder why more people don’t invest in this artistic bondage. It is never intended to be painful but more a form of art which provides both physical and sexual release as well as physical and mental support to the subject.

There are a few different types of rope bondage intricately connected with Japanese culture both ancient and modern. Their main purposes are to exude and unleash euphoria, trust, strength and power, submission, pleasure, pain relief and much more.

The 3 most known practices in Japan are Kinbaku, Kinbaku-bi and the popular now westernised term, Shibari which is a fusional word used by westerners to describe Kinbaku in a milder sense. Many people who decide to introduce rope bondage into their daily life particularly in western countries usually intend to use the rope only for one-dimensional restraint during sex by doing a humble scout tie on either wrist and or ankles. Someone slightly more adventurous may even use it for auto-asphyxiation too which when done properly can heighten sex pleasure and climax.

While the general knots and ties that we may have learned as a kid are reflected through our later adult adventures in eroticism and sexual play, it barely quenches ones’ thirst. It is only the surface to a more artistic and far more beneficial bondage tying. This is why I have decided to overview a brief but interesting review on Japanese rope bondage to give you a different idea of the versatility and uses of rope bondage.

 

Shibari Photo
Photo: Shibari

 

Primarily, Japan is quite conservative, even still in 2017 you will see older generations who are still very traditional and quite closed minded. However, connecting to that conservatism is this plethora of some of the most radically sexualised pockets of Japanese culture and somehow, they all seem to intertwine much like the rope that is used to connect people and give a person a sense of sexual freedom.

Kinbaku means “tight binding”, while Kinbaku-bi literally means “the beauty of tight binding”.  Kinbaku is a type of Japanese bondage or BDSM which involves tying a person up using simple yet visually intricate patterns, usually with several pieces of thin rope like Jute, Hemp, or linen. They are generally 6mm in diameter, but sometimes even as small as 4mm, and between 7-8 metres long. Much like Shibari’s historical roots, the allusion is to use the hemp rope for restraining prisoners, as a symbol of power, in the same way that stocks or manacles are used in Western BDSM context.

There is much discussion about the distinction between Shibari and Kinbaku, and whether one term is more appropriate than another. For westerners wanting to distinguish the terms, Shibari refers to purely artistic, aesthetic rope, while Kinbaku refers to artistic, connective, sensual, sexual practice. Itoh Seiu, is generally considered one of the fathers of contemporary Japanese rope bondage and used the terms in the 1950s.

Bondage as a sexual activity first noticed in Japan in 1603-1868 during the late Edo period. It was generally recognized by “father of Kinbaku” Itoh Seiu, who started studying and researching Hojojutsu the martial art of restraining. He is credited with the inception of Kinbaku, though it is noted that he drew inspiration from other art forms of the time including Kabuki theatre and Ukiyoe woodblock prints. Kinbaku became widely popular in Japan in the 1950s through magazines such as Kitan Club and Yomikiri Romance, which published the first naked bondage photographs. In the 1960s, people such as Eikichi Osada began to appear performing live SM shows often including a large amount of rope bondage, today these performers are often referred to as Nawashi which means “rope master” or Bakushi from the word Kinbakushi which means “bondage master”.

In recent years, Kinbaku has become popular in the Western BDSM scene and has also profoundly influenced bondage, combining to produce many ‘fusion’ styles. In its most mainstream form thus far, Kinbaku in the fashion industry and has featured in a music video for FKA Twigs’ song “Pendulum” where the music artist was suspended by intricately tied braided hair throughout the clip.

Kinbaku is based on specific rope patterns, many of them derived from Hojōjutsu ties though significantly modified to make them safer for bondage use. Many Hojōjutsu ties were deliberately designed to cause harm to a prisoner and are therefore not suitable for erotic bondage. Ushiro Takatekote which is a type of box tie which surrounds the chest and arms, forms the basis of many Kinbaku ties. The Ebi or “Shrimp” was originally designed as a torture tie and codified as part of the Edo period torture techniques.

Similarly, like many other forms of BDSM and eroticism many of Kinbaku’s roots stem from corporal punishment and medieval torture techniques. Over many years they have been carefully deconstructed and modified to make welcomed additions to the BDSM culture and sexual lifestyles.

Having many friends who play many different roles in the art of Kinbaku, this artful rope bondage is not only restricted to an exhibition both private and public but you many also wear Kinbaku rope ties underneath clothing. Much like the Victorian corset it is hidden underneath clothing during the day. Depending on the certain tie can be used for pain relief in areas of the body, also a form of restraint tied by a Dominatrix on his or her submissive counterpart to wear as a form of training, control and discipline. Some will even wear these ties to assist with lifting breasts and offer more core support in some cases.

 

Shibari Photo
Photo: Shibari

 

You can also incorporate sex toys, massagers, surgical steel anal hooks, and flowers which can all be interlaced with the tying too. It adds another element to the general Kinbaku or Shibari play. This is very popular mostly for aesthetics but still adds a different feel, look and experience. I highly recommend everyone at least try this unique form of bondage once, which is very easy to learn and very fun to try! You can check out tutorials on YouTube which may ignite a new-found addition to your personal erotic repertoire.

 

About the author: Bree is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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Review: Lovense Nora and Max

Lovense Nora and Max Photo

Do you and your partner spend a lot of time away from each other? Do you rely on phone sex or Skype calls? Well what if I said that there was a couples sex toy you could control via app with not only a female sex toy but a male sex toy too. Lovense has developed two toys that can be paired together for couples play and controlled via internet connection, Nora a rabbit vibrator for women and Max a high tech male masturbator. All you need to do is install the unique Lovense application to your smartphone that allows you to control each other’s sex toy.

You can also sync the sex toys physical controls where every move you make will be transferred to the opposite toy for their hands-free pleasure. The harder the male thrusts into the Lovense Max the more Nora will vibrate and rotate. Likewise, when the female thrusts into the Lovense Nora the more Max will vibrate and contract with air pressure. The toys will respond instantly no matter how far away they are from each other. Lovense Nora and Max can be paired in different combinations. For example, male/male, female/female or female/male. The sex toys do not have to be paired but used for masturbation. This makes it a great toy no matter your orientation or relationship status.

Lovense Body Chat Application

Lovense brings virtual sex to life with endless possibilities through the application named “Body Chat”. It is available to easily download on an iPhone, iPad, Android, PC and Mac devices. It provides local wireless control, long distance control, simultaneous sensation, record new patterns, music syncing and solo smart application controls. It has built in voice call, toy call and a text messaging system to make it easier to communicate with your partner whilst the sex toys are in use. The toys automatically pair with the other when you voice call or toy call your other half. You can use the application to sync with your own sex toy or sync it with your partner’s sex toy. The application will show you how charged the toys are, making it easier to know when it’s time to charge them. There are no mood killers here. The application is also updated regularly.

 

Lovense Nora Womens Vibrator Photo
Sex Toy: Lovense Nora Review

 

Lovense Nora

The Lovense Nora is a rabbit vibrator made from body safe silicone that is soft. The shaft is shaped with perfect curves for g-spot stimulation and has a clitoral mound which can’t really be felt. The shaft is slim making it easy to insert which is suitable for beginners. The insertable length of Nora is a comfortable 4.75 inches. The beads of the rotating shaft are pleasurably pronounced and pretty strong making it great for women who like internal simulation.

Nora is not a super powerful vibrator, she has medium vibrations that I compare with an iPhone vibrating. I recommend this sex toy for someone who prefers light to very little vibration. The vibrations are super quiet but the rotation function is pretty loud that could most likely be heard if the house was quiet. Although the vibration and the rotation functions can be used separately when your partner is using the app or if you are just using it for solo play. If your partner is controlling it via the opposite toy both functions will be activated simultaneously.

 

Lovense Max Mens Masturbator Photo
Sex Toy: Lovense Max Review

 

Lovense Max

Lovense Max is a high quality, rechargeable men’s masturbator made with a well thought out design. It offers not only vibrations but suction pressure via an air pump. There are three different vibrations settings that include low, medium and high. The vibrator is located at the base of the toy where the feeling is most concentrated. Unfortunately it can’t really be felt as much through the rest of the toy. The tightness from the air pressure feels exactly like a vagina with kegel motions. You can control the pressure by a hidden air vent. Just like Nora the vibrations are super quiet but the air pumps are again very loud, something you can’t really hide behind closed doors without some kind of background noise.

The entrance to the sleeve features a vagina that looks pretty lifelike with an opening, inner labia and clitoris. It’s made entirely of body safe silicone and has a lifelike feel. The entire sleeve can be removed for easy cleaning. You can also clean the interior of the plastic tube with water but unfortunately due to the toys mechanics the outside is only slash proof. 95% of men will fit into this toy.

Like Nora, Max can be used for solo play or couples play. It is controlled by the Body Chat application or can be paired with another sex toy responding to the physical controls of that toy. Max can be synced to music as well.

Conclusion

Overall the Lovense Nora and Max are great toys, that bring a sense of intimacy and closeness in an otherwise sex-less relationship or can be used to spice up your sexual lifestyle. I feel that the vibrations of both toys are best suited for beginners but if you can look past that then we have a winner.

 

About the author: Lauren is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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Review: Wildfire Product Range

Wildfire Pleasure Oil Black Photo

I’m about to be 100% honest with everyone taking the time to read this review. I absolutely can’t stand all the gimmick lotions and potions on the market claiming to “improve your sex life”, “turn your partner on”, “make you irresistible to others” or “make you into a superhero, sex god, crazy freak in the sheets human being”. I am very particular with recommending products in this category as I am sceptical of “Aphrodisiac” products in a bottle. They are often filled with chemicals and nasty substances that, quite honestly, are more of a turn off than a turn on. The fact that I writing an article raving about a particular brand is saying something.

The Wildfire range is made in Australia and is my all-time favourite product line available to purchase from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres and Adultsmart. They offer body oils, scents, candles, essential oils and arousal gels to appeal to those with sophisticated taste.

Wildfire products are made from 100% natural ingredients which for me is the most appealing thing about them. Many products claim to be natural however when you read the fine print, you discover this to be a misleading statement. Wildfire stay true to their claims, with the ingredients of their products coming from only natural sources. I am so excited to discuss their products with you and hope it encourages you to try them for yourself or spoil your loved one with a gift.

Wildfire All Over Pleasure Oil

Wildfire All Over Pleasure Oil is a massage oil, lubricant, bath oil and body oil. Sounds too good to be true, right?! On top of all that, the oils are infused with natural aphrodisiacs including Maca, Horny Goat Weed and Ginko Biloba!! As I mentioned previously, I am a huge sceptic when it comes to aphrodisiacs so you can trust me when I say these oils get you in the mood. I’ve discussed this with my co-workers from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres and they agree that using these oils is a sure way to feel more relaxed and aroused. The beautiful aromas of these incredible All Over Pleasure Oils are made up from a combination of essential oils including rose geranium, lavender, ylang ylang and patchouli (Just to name a few).

The All Over Pleasure Oils are available in 3 types: Original, Enhance Her and Black. They are available separately in 100ml and 50ml bottles or even better if you desire to try them all, the gift pack includes a 50ml bottle of each oil. I love to use the Black as a body oil before I leave the house, I always seem to get compliments from shopkeepers and people passing telling me how good I smell!! If you’re looking for a beautiful way to spoil yourself or your partner, these oils are sure to lead to many pleasurable experiences. These oils can amplify the experience of a sensual massage or a soak in the bath.

*Oil based lubricants like these are not condom-friendly.

 

 

 

 

Wildfire Fire it Up Arousal Oil Image
Image: Wildfire Fire it Up Arousal Oil – Wildfire Product Range Review

Wildfire Arousal Oils

One of the things that makes sensual and sexual pleasure feel so great are the sensations we feel in our body. Anything from tingling from the light brush of a feather to stinging from a spanking on your bottom can feel exquisite. It is for this reason that I welcome the Wildfire IT clitoral stimulation range for women as these products can provide incredible sensations in your body. Like all Wildfire products, the Warming and Cooling Arousal Oils are 100% natural and body safe. I’m all for women treating their vulva’s and vaginas with tender loving care. I highly recommend using only natural products for increased arousal. The Arousal Oils increase vaginal blood flow and lubrication resulting in more intense orgasms. It works by simply placing 2 drops onto the clitoris and within 3 minutes there is increased sensitivity. Every woman’s body is different, with the Cooling Oil being my personal favourite out of the two. These oils are great to use for solo play or to spice up your sex life with your partner.

Wildfire Mood Mist

If you’re a fan of the Wildfire oils and love the idea of the subtle scents lingering on your bedsheets or clothing, then the Mood Mist range is just for you. These sprays can be used as fabric and linen sprays, as well as beautiful, aromatherapy room mists. They come in 50ml bottles, with the Feels Like Lust, Feels Like Bliss and Feels like Love available singularly or in a gift pack with all three. These sprays are perfect for a fresh and invigorating feel as you go about your day or night for that matter!

 

Wildfire Oil Tantalize Image
Image: Wildfire Oil Tantalize – Wildfire Product Range Review

Wildfire Essential Oils

If there’s one thing I couldn’t live without working in the Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle centres it’s burning the Wildfire Essential Oils in the Warming Oil Chalice every day. These are the best essential oils I have come across. 2 drops in some water is all you need to fill a whole room with sweet and succulent scents. They are available in 10ml bottles, with Tempt-Bergamot & Rosewood, Tantalize-Ylang Ylang & Sandalwood and Tease-Lavender & Rose Geranium to choose from.

I had a customer who was hooked on Tempt and bought all the available bottles in the store. He was not willing to even smell the others!! However, if you’re like me and like to mix it up every day then the 3 pack means you have the option to combine them together to create your own signature scent. They are super strong so the fact that you only need the smallest amount for each use means these bottles will last you a long time. The gift packs with the Warming Oil Chalice, Essential Oil and room fragrance make for the most incredible gifts for a friend or lover.

If I haven’t convinced you of how incredible the Wildfire range is, feel free to come into the Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre stores and try them out for yourself. You will not be disappointed!!

 

Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA NursingSave

Review: Romant Kawayi 3

Romant Kawayi 3 Sex Toy Photo

Romant have a series of especially cute and extremely reasonably priced personal mini massagers in a range of shapes. The cutest of which is the bunny shaped “Kaywayi 3”. I was lucky enough to take one home to review and I will now tell you what I think. When I review sex toys I like to I take note of the shape, texture, how easy it is to use and most importantly the quality of the vibrations. I am also judging it on so very much more like the packaging, colours, materials and extra features. Sometimes it can just be a case of liking it or not liking it for reasons even I can’t explain. Within my review, I like to keep in mind that 70% of females orgasm through clitoral stimulation.

The Romant Kawayi 3 comes packaged in a white cardboard box with a rather deceiving picture of two of the products on the front. I say deceiving because anyone would think the box contained two bunnies, a hot pink and a purple one. If you take a closer look though there is a small circle underneath which gets coloured in to tell you which two is inside. They have obviously done this to cut costs and to be fair at this reasonable price you would be foolish to think the box contained two massagers.

The box is the quality you would expect and you will have to find a better long term home for this little one. What I do like about the box is the description of the product on the back. It has clearly been translated from another language and it takes me a few reads to conclude that the intriguing “powerful shake sense” spoken of, is simply a fancy way of saying ‘vibration’. Though that didn’t stop me from shaking it a bit once I got it started, just in case the sex toy did in fact have some magical new feature I hadn’t come across before… it didn’t.

Inside the box the toy is in a plastic tray along with instructions, a USB charge cord and a port. The description in the booklet is similar to what is on the box. Read it if you like a bit of a laugh as it’s actually quite charming. The description itself reads “You’d even don’t need read the user manual, this is totally different like traditional way, people love easy thing” To put the description in plain English, you barely need a manual as it is that simple to use. The Romant Kaywayi 3 is charged on a small base via magnets which means the toy is fully waterproof and can be used in the bath. I tested it and can vouch that it does indeed work just fine underwater.

Romant Kawayi 3 Sex Toy Photo
Sex Toy: Romant Kawayi 3 – Review

 

The Kaywayi 3 is more of a neon pink than the box shows but I actually think it is a cooler colour and it is bigger than the picture too. It is ergonomically shaped like a Japanese cartoon bunny character which is made to look even more friendly with a smile on its face and a light on its tummy. The light flashes when it’s charging and just makes you want to give the thing a cuddle. It is 4.5 inches from top to bottom. It has two separate, fully flexible, slightly squidgy and lovely feeling ears that are 1.5 inches long. The small charge point on the bottom is plastic but the rest is covered in a seamless silky smooth silicone that is as luxurious as any deluxe range vibrator. It is all 100% body safe, as are all Romant adult lifestyle products. Since it is waterproof it is really easy to clean.

So down to the nitty gritty what is hot and what is not about this adult toy. Well I am pleased to say there is a lot to love about Kaywayi 3. As I previously mentioned, it’s easy to use with the press and hold button on the tummy to turn on. I found I sometimes had to press it again to get it started but that could just be me. In the dark the whole toy lights up like a night light which I appreciated. When it slipped out of my hands once I had covered it in lubricant I was easily able to find it.  There are seven vibration patterns, one is continuous and the rest are various combinations of lengths of pulses. There is unfortunately no variation in intensity. This was the toys only real downfall. I really love gentle and slow pulses though there was no option for that.

The saving grace is that the motor is at the opposite end from the ears. The lovely, squidgy and flexible ears provide a less intense experience than the body of the toy which makes them perfect for nestling around the clitoris. The lack of intensity settings isn’t going to bother most people. In my experience more people appreciate power and if this is the case for you, you are not going to be disappointed. This sex toy is almost as powerful as the similarly priced NU Sensuelle bullet, it arguably provides better quality rumblier vibrations. It isn’t the quietest toy but it is not so noisy that it will distract.

I would have no problem at all in recommending this toy to anyone. I had fun with my partner, he wanted to stick it up his bum which is not advisable as it has no flared base or retrieval string. I trustfully used it in conjunction with a handjob with some success and placed it under my chin to give a blow job that was greatly appreciated.

The downsides are the lack of intensity options and the on button is not easy to find in the dark. The upsides are absolutely everything else especially at this price. Romant Kaywayi 3 is a great little addition to a toy box. It is a very friendly looking, unintimidating and impressive first sex toy.

 

About the Author: Emily is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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What You Need To Know About HIV and AIDS

HIV Red Ribbon Photo

I have just returned from an intensive week of university completing my post graduate studies in Sexology and have so many things to share, I don’t know where to start!! Throughout the week, we explored a range of topics ranging from gender and sexual identity to paraphilia’s and BDSM. The intention for the intensive week was to explore our personal assumptions, judgements and beliefs regarding sexual health and human sexual expression. For someone who thought she was already educated in this field, it was invaluable experience to know there is so much more out there to know!

As I write this, I am listening to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen which reminds me of one topic in particular which I find so important to share. The lead singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, died on the 24th of November, 1991, due to complications associated with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). According to The World Health Organisation, his death was just one of over 35 million deaths associated with this illness since the early 1980’s outbreak, with 70 million people having contracted Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in this time.

So much has changed since the early days of HIV. Being infected with HIV used to be a death sentence, now thanks to advancements in treatment options, HIV positive individuals can live a long and healthy life. I wish to share some information that I believe is so important for all people to understand. It is obvious to me that in our society, there still exists a strong stigma and lack of education regarding HIV and AIDS. This lack of education can lead to wrong assumptions and unhealthy judgements for people living with HIV so I hope this article can shed some light on the reality of HIV and AIDS.

HIV is a blood borne virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If a person contracts HIV and does not seek treatment, the virus can develop into AIDS, which is the later stage of HIV infection and leaves an individual susceptible to opportunistic infections. Developing AIDS leads to a significantly lower life expectancy. Luckily treatment for HIV in Australia is readily available and the large majority of people who have contracted HIV will not develop AIDS.

 

PrEP Photo Banner
Photo: PrEP – What You Need To Know About HIV/AIDS

 

HIV can be contracted from semen, pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, breast milk or blood. If any of these bodily fluids of a HIV positive individual enter the blood stream of another, there is a varied risk of contracting the virus depending on their viral loading (Viral loading being the level of HIV detectable in the blood).

This virus can be spread in many ways, the most common ways include anal sex, vaginal sex and intravenous drug use. Just to be clear, you can not contract HIV from the following: Air, water, mosquitoes, ticks, insects, saliva, tears, sweat that is not mixed with the blood of a HIV-positive person, shaking hands, hugging, sharing toilets, sharing dishes/drinking glasses, closed-mouth or “social” kissing with someone who is HIV-positive, drinking fountains and other sexual activities that don’t involve the exchange of body fluids (For example, touching).

As is with all sexually transmitted infections and BBV’s, abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid contracting HIV. I am a realist and understand that with many people, abstinence from sexual activity is not a healthy option. Luckily there are many extremely effective precautions that can be implemented into your sexual experiences so that your chance of contracting HIV is diminished.

Taking precautions such as using condoms with oral, vaginal and anal sex, getting tested regularly and avoiding contact with bodily fluids are some effective ways to avoid contracting HIV including the use of PrEP and PEP.

PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an antiretroviral drug taken by HIV negative people to prevent HIV infection. It is becoming more readily available to certain demographics in Australia who are at greater risk of HIV, in particular for men who have sex with men. Talk to you doctor or discuss with a health care professional at a sexual health clinic for more information.

PEP (Post-exposure prophylaxis) is a 4-week course of an antiretroviral drug taken after potential exposure to HIV. It must be taken within 72 hours of exposure for it to be effective and is best taken as soon as possible within this time frame. It can be prescribed from Emergency Departments and sexual health clinics across Australia.

For those diagnosed with HIV, antiretroviral drugs are the most common treatment option. These drugs work by keeping the viral loading of the drug (viral loading being the level of HIV in the blood) down. These drugs are so advanced that the viral load of individuals taking them as prescribed can be undetectable. This means that the chance of these people transmitting HIV to another person is extremely low.

HIV is not a death sentence like it used to be. Despite being a virus that will stay with an individual for life, there is extremely effective treatment available in Australia which means a person with HIV can be undetectable and completely healthy.

Have safe sex to avoid being infected with an STI or BBV is extremely important for all sexually active individuals.  For more information, I highly recommend checking out the Ending HIV website and the Family Planning NSW website. There can be so much misleading information out there, it is important to learn from reputable sources.

 

 

Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

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