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What is Japanese Bondage - The history, culture, and cautions.

If you're interested in Japanese bondage but have zero idea what it's about, you're in the right place.

 

We'll look at some brief history, erotic elements, and what to keep in mind before learning how.

 

First, let’s try to sort out some terminology and wade the confusion around it.

 

  • Kinbaku (緊縛) – tight binding
  • Kinbaku-bi (緊縛美) – the beauty of tight binding
  • Shibari (縛り) – Decorative tie
  • Nawashi (縄師) – A maker of rope - A rope artist in BDSM

 

Chthonic series by Garth Knight 

 

Some people differentiate the terms Kinbaku and Shibari (one having BDSM or sexual tones and the other not).

 

Shibari simply means a beautiful knot, like you would make a piece of art or an adornment to a gift.

 

Kinbaku, however, refers to the aesthetic nature of binding someone – aka. Japanese bondage.

 

But…

 

Many Japanese practitioners use the terms interchangeably AND westerners have mistakenly adopted the word Shibari to have sexual overtones.

 

There is also another point of view of Shibari being erotic because of the study of the knots themselves and the history or ritual behind them while Kinbaku is erotic through functionality and bondage.

 

So what we have is a muddled mess of language.

 

 

THE BEAUTY AND HISTORY


 

The ancient Japanese took their knots quite seriously. 

 

  • Armor was wooden panels tied together.
  • Shipped goods were wrapped and secured in cloth.
  • Gifts were interracially wrapped with cords.
  • Kimonos were ritualistic (and functional) knots/folds around the body.

 

One of the most interesting things was the local authorities. There weren’t jails in the traditional sense, so prisoners were tied up – often with a certain colored rope that corresponded with the particular season and direction.

 

 

THE KINDS OF ROPE


 

There are two kinds (synthetic and natural), with each type having their own pros and cons. There are also considerations towards stretch, texture, color, and other factors. We’ll save these details for a dedicated article (there's a lot to cover).

 

Hemp and Jute are common fibers. - Image source.

 

Also, certain riggers (the person who does the tying) will insist there is only one "right" thing to use etc. But as long as the practices are safe, there are really no rules for rope material.

 

 

THE EROTICISM


 

The answer of “why” varies from person to person.

 

Some love the looks of rough rope against smooth skin or appreciate the hard angles against soft curves. Others enjoy the art from a bondage aspect and uncomfortable or asymmetric positions a model holds.

 

Then there’s the enjoyment from the knots themselves and turning their model into a pure, naked work of art.

 

Even simple knots can be gorgeous. - Image source

 

Daniel Kok, a Singaporean Shibari artist stated it beautifully...

 

“It can be very gentle, as well as really hard. There is a whole range of emotions that are as flexible as the material itself … a sense of communication through rope.”

 

 

PATTERNS AND DESIGNS


 

You have your basic knots and functions – things like handcuffs or arm binding. But things can get really complicated and creative. Also, some of the names don’t refer to the finished products of the knots themselves, but from the positions the “bunnies” take (bunnies = the person tied up).

 

For example:  The Shrimp...

 

Image from Rope-topia.com

 

Then there's hanging shrimp, reverse shrimp, and altered shrimp. Kinbaku not only can make you horny, but apparently hungry.

 

 

LEARNING HOW


 

It is possible to start on your own by learning some basic knots. Just don't tie them on anyone. There are plenty of youtube vids and other resources out there.

 

 

However...

 

After that, you’ll need to find formal classes.

 

They'll be in many major cities and some medium-sized ones. It’s always a good idea to check out the instructor before signing up, to make sure they are legit.

 

And when I say legit, I mean someone with a significant amount of experience and the correct mentality.

 

Why?

 

Although the act of tying someone up can be fun, the rigger needs to be aware of so many things:

 

  • Using the correct kind of rope for the knot or function
  • Knowing how to make “on the fly” adjustments
  • Decent knowledge of anatomy and location of nerve centers
  • Different bodily sensations and what they mean
  • Knowledge of possible dangers
  • Clear communication skills
  • Ability to monitor mental and emotional states
  • Basic first aid
  • At least a minimal amount of empathy

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Have you ever been a bunny? How about a rigger? What were your experiences?  

 

Maybe you're interested but have never tried? What positions or "work of art" would you like to be turned into?

 

Have a knoty day!

Robyn


Article cover source.

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