To Tie Or Be Tied, That Is The Question

Shibari Model With Bunny Ears

If you’re like me, you may have noticed in recent times a growing prevalence of rope tying and bondage in the media, with classes, shows and exhibits occurring all around the world. It wasn’t so long ago that I discovered the beautiful art of Shibari – otherwise known as Kinbaku or Japanese Rope bondage – and already I have experienced some beautiful moments of connection, pleasure and healing in my explorations.

There exist multiple ways to approach rope bondage, with some people using it for sexual play, others in performance art and even as a tool for healing (Check out the incredible video below). My desire to be tied up and bound confuses some so I thought I would share what it is about rope bondage that has me so hooked.

Why I Am Hooked To Rope Bondage

During an experience of being tied and bound, I feel a deep sense of surrender which allows me to let go of the stressors in my mind and be completely present in my body. We live in a world that encourages us to be in our minds thinking constantly, so much so that we forget to feel (Read more on this at Revolutionize Sex With Your Primal Instinct). Getting out of our heads and into our bodies is important for our wellbeing and rope allows me to enter this space of embodied presence. The sensations of the rope tickling and pulling at my skin, my partners’ breath on my neck as he wraps the rope tightly around my chest and the incredible relief once it has been taken off all makes for an exquisite sensory experience. Also combining rope bondage with impact play from whips, spankers and ticklers is an added delight for your senses.

Shibari is a beautiful way to connect with my partner. Choosing to take time to be completely present with each other is particularly important to remain passionately in love, with a session of rope tying more than enough to bring us back to a place of deep connectedness. Being tied up and bound for me is all about surrender and trust. If I do not trust my partner, I remain in a hypervigilant & anxious state which is not enjoyable and prevents me from gaining pleasure out of the experience. As my partner ties me making me physically powerless, I am consciously trusting that he will take care of me throughout the experience which allows me to feel a sense of freedom like nothing else.

Fully Nude Shibari Models
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Rope bondage can be an amazing outlet for exploring dominant and submissive roles within a partnership. The person tying is often referred to as a top, dom or rigger and embodies a very important role throughout the experience. Presence, safety and solidity are important qualities for the top to possess in order for the person being tied (known as the bottom, sub or rope bunny) to feel well supported throughout the experience. It is wonderful to play in this power dynamic and can make for some very juicy fun!

A combination of being held and connected with my partner and feeling present in my body often means intense emotions arise during a rope tying experience. I can go from being in a relaxed, meditative state to bursting into tears in a split second, never knowing what is going to arise throughout the experience. Despite what we may have been conditioned to believe, feeling and expressing emotions is a beautiful part of what it is to be a human being and should be encouraged. Suppressed emotions can cause a host of physical and mental health issues so better out than in I say! Shibari can allow us to access feelings we may have pushed down in the past, freeing us from our own s**t and making way for more pleasure, love and joy in our lives!!

Last but certainly not least, being tied up is so much fun!! I have recently begun suspension classes which involve rope harnesses tied around my chest & legs or hips and hung up on the ceiling. I see it as the next best thing to flying! As children, we are so good at playing yet when we grow into adulthood, we tend to neglect our innate desire to have fun in life. As well as been an intense and connected experience, being tied up makes me feel so much joy and excitement.

What I Recommend To Get Into Shibari

Now if you are thinking that Shibari is something that you would like to try, I would strongly recommend attending classes taught by experts in the field or visiting an experienced practitioner for a session. There are many safety precautions to take into consideration when tying or being tied. It can be a risky thing for all involved to be tying without professional instruction so I discourage you from picking up some rope from Bunnings and trying it on your own.

Happy tying everyone!!

Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

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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.

Author: Bree is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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Ancient Art of Shibari

Shibari And Kinbaku Rope Bondage Model

Shibari is Japanese for “to tie” and less known but more correctly known as “Kinbaku” (Erotic Bondage).  It is really straightforward for what it is but as simple as the name’s meaning the actual art of Shibari and it’s origins are very detailed and advanced.  So the exact origin of Shibari to no surprise is from Japan but specifically the martial art of  Hojo-Jutsu (which is also the martial art of restraining someone with rope or cord) in the years 1400-1700 roughly, it was used to humiliate and capture enemies or criminals but due to the strict respect within Japanese culture they had to treat their captive well so this was a non lethal manner of achieving this.

Brought into specifically western culture in about 19-20th century, this art translated from martial art to purely an erotic play. The main aim of Shibari is to use rope or cord and create geometric shapes around the body, if done correctly it will look beautiful and will flow with the curves and natural way of the body but it does take a long time to perfect as it is an art, much like painting.

There are also different mindsets the artist and the canvas will go through (The person performing the bounding is referred to as a Rigger and the person being bound is known as the Art) the canvas will most likely go through a trance like phase as they receive a rush of endorphin’s and the Rigger will usually experience sexual arousal or adrenaline. The act of sexual penetration isn’t usually performed during this act and both can achieve orgasm through just the rope bondage. There is an enormous amount of trust when going into this and i have attached a few photos of some beautiful Shibari art.

 

Male in Rope Art
Photo: Ancient Art of Shibari – Male in Rope Bondage

 

The photos i have attached aren’t the generic Shibari they are more artistically based by *Garth Knight and just shows how beautiful it can be done. Here is Garth Knight’s biography from beautiful bizarre:

Garth Knight is an Australian artist living and working in Sydney. His multi-disciplinary practice covers various areas including installation, sculpture, and photo media. Many of his works include the use of rope bondage pieces based in the Shibari tradition, both as erotic and sculptural forms, creating tableaux of intricate, decorative networks that connect ideas of strength and pleasure with those of surrender and abandonment. Garth uses the rope both in a decorative sense, to draw the image, as well as psychological, to place the subject and himself into a state of altered or transcendental reality which is reflected in the images.

In his latest series The Enchanted Forest each person is tied within a suspended tree constructed from rocks and ropes, a process which can take many hours. Each individual “tree” is created over of a series of images, where the rope from the previous tying is used to extend and develop the tree for the next image. In a very real sense the tree grows over the course of the series by absorbing the process that came before.

My Personal Story of My First Shibari Experience:

My first experience was at a play party; there was a Shibari artist there. I had known about it for a really long time and even had some rope, but i had never used it because I didn’t really want to with my then husband.  The guy (J*)  that bound me. He was very smart, practiced, and sweet. It was a suspension and it was more than I thought it would be. It was public, but all that disappeared through the experience. It really felt like it was just me and J*. Can I recount the actual experience? Not really, I spaced out, it was very emotional coming down and I felt very vulnerable. There was no sex or other power play involved. When i came down, I saw this lady who had taken off her top and had just taken needles out of her face. Of course, I didn’t know that, all I saw was blood dripping down her face, all over her chest. It was disorienting and a little surreal. Another girl was laying down doing fire play with someone and all I could see were shadows and blue flames riding over breasts. It was crazy! Shibari was like flying, like leaving my body.

 

About the Author:  Nick is a consultant at the Oh Zone Store, Penrith.

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