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Shibari Style: Understanding Japanese Rope Bondage

Japanese Shibari (Suspension Ring)Shibari means to tie or bind in the Japanese Language. In the 1990’s this word became the term used in western culture to describe the Japanese art of Kinbaku (sexual bondage). Shibari has a rich and colorful history, and has recently become very popular as part of the western bdsm culture.

 

Shibari bondage is an artform that can be sensual, sexual or cause mental and physical discomfort depending on what the top intends. Asymetircal positioning of the bottom will create the greatest psychological effect on the person who is bound. No matter what you wish to experience from a bondage scene involving shibari, it will take time, patience and skill to reach your destination. Shibari is not a cuff em, beat em, and fuck em activity.  People who enjoy shibari say that it can set many moods, from reflective to intense arousal.

 

Both the eastern and western methods of Shibari are intricate and beautiful, and they do differ somewhat. Western bondage uses long lengths of rope and traditional Japanese Kinbaku utilizes multiple pieces of shorter rope. Kinbaku uses no knots or only one knot called a lark’s head or an overhand knot. Western shibari enthusiasts often like to use many intricate knots. People who were awarded the Pioneering Merit Badge would be likely to enjoy this artform as adults. One never knows when a sheep shank or a clove hitch might come in handy.

 

Different types of rope are utilized in the art of shibari. Traditional methods used rope made from vegetable fiber like jute or hemp. Western shibari was performed using cotton rope until some time in the 1980’s when nylon became popular. Most recently, mono filament polypropylene (MFP) rope has been used by shibari enthusiasts. Certain tedchniques involving minimal knot tying requires a rope that has a high friction quality to it. Rope made from some synthetic material is too slippery for use in shibari.

 

One of the best ways to learn to do something is by doing it. You can purchase some quality rope and begin the practice of shibari. You can work on learning how to tie the knots on yourself, common household items, or better yet a companion who likes to be tied up. Once you have the basics down, you might want to add suspension to the experience of shibari. The Shibari Japanese Rope Bondage ring is a useful tool for suspending the bottom above the ground or if you are not set up for that, you can hang the ring just high enough to create pleasant pressure from the ropes or a little higher to create more tension. Frequently check in with the person you are tying up, be sure they are not having tingling in the extremities and that the blood flow to their limbs is sufficient.

 

Remember to have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment, shibari is a journey of the mind as well as the body with the quality of being a different experience each time.

This guide was written by Justine Case, Sex Toy Connoisseur