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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