What Is Shibari and Why Everyone Should Try It

Whether you are a BDSM fan or not, it may come to your mind at least once in your lifetime to be tied up during sex. There’s something about that tying—excitement, total trust, bringing intimacy on a whole other level, and eventually, there is a pain. Some people simply love the pain that comes from sexual activity.

Although being tied up or tying someone up during sex is not a science, there are a few things to consider before attempting this act. And if you enjoy regular tying, shibari will take your breath away! It’s a really basic method that will add a lot of fun and excitement to your bedroom, and if you like art—shibari is certainly the way to go.

Let me tell you why.

What is shibari?

What Is Shibari and Why Everyone Should Try It

Let’s first clear up something—shibari is not only for kinks, BDSM lovers, or fetish practitioners. Shibari is for everyone who wants to add some spice to their sheets and level up their sex game, all with a touch of artistry.

Shibari (also known as kinbaku) is a Japanese rope tying technique. Shibari is a Japanese term that means “binding” or “tying,” but it is used in BDSM to refer to this beautiful bondage technique.

It’s different from rope bondage popular in Western societies because it uses rope made of natural materials that are non-stretchy, such as jute or hemp. Also, Western bondage has a distinct appearance that’s more about tying the knots for the function of limiting, compared to Japanese rope bondage, which cares a lot about aesthetics. Western bondage also emphasizes tying as a prelude, aperitif, or means to an end for what follows the binding. Each knot bears meaning in Japanese bondage, and this is what truly distinguishes it; the sensation of tying or being tied is the main course with shibari.

A brief history

What Is Shibari and Why Everyone Should Try It

Shibari is developed from Hojojutsu, a military technique employed by Samurai to apprehend and hold criminals with rope during the Edo era (1600 to the mid-1800s). Before being executed or imprisoned, criminals were sometimes publicly disgraced by being exhibited bound in ropes, which generally communicated their class and guilt. 

People in Japan began to implement Hojojutsu ties for BDSM, as well as to experiment with the physical constraint and mental shame of being bound. 

In the 1990s, the term shibari became widely used in the West to denote the bondage art Kinbaku.

Where to start with shibari?

What Is Shibari and Why Everyone Should Try It

First and foremost, it is beneficial to empower yourself with knowledge and information. Of course, those who are already experienced with the act of bonding during sex will have an easier time, but even total novices may perform quite well if they educate themselves and practice prior to the deed.

Before you begin practicing shibari, keep the following points in mind.

Conversation, information, and security

As mentioned, collecting as much information as you can before even trying the main act is utterly important. Shibari is not a mere deprivation of freedom of movement to a partner, but an artistic act that is an end in itself.

Google, articles, videos, and even chat with strangers on forums can help you become well acquainted with this ancient technique (along with this article from Emma’s Sex Store).

You and your partner must be totally on board with the concept of incorporating the shibari method into your bedroom. Discuss everything, educate yourselves together, and then determine when the ideal moment is to begin shopping.

Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a fortune to have the pleasure this way; all you need is a rope of the appropriate length for your needs. Emma’s Sex Store has a large range of shibari ropes.

  • When it comes to safety, you should both be aware of and explain your boundaries, experience, and capabilities.
  • Make sure you have complete trust and are completely at ease with your rope partner.
  • Also, at least the first couple of times, make sure you’re both sober.
  • During the act, always check-in to see if everything is fine.
  • Before you engage, be aware of and convey your post-game requirements (snuggles, comfort, munchies, privacy, and so on).
  • Just in case, have a pair of safety scissors near ready.
  • Consider a safe term (which should not be “stop” or something similar that can only further excite the partner).

Choosing the rope and tying techniques (plus some terms)

The most common materials utilized in shibari are jute and hemp. The rope is generally 23 to 26 feet long, 0.1 to 0.2 inches thick, and braided together from three smaller threads.

Natural fiber ropes offer greater grip, which is important here because shibari doesn’t utilize many knots and its encircling techniques need grip and are thus superior to cotton or synthetic ropes, which don’t hold friction well and can also cause speedier rope burn. Natural fiber ropes also look nicer and feel a lot better on the bottom because of the unyielding strain.

Before usage, jute and hemp ropes must be boiled to loosen it, dried under pressure to retain its form, sung with fire to eliminate fuzzies, and oiled to keep it from drying out. You can buy untreated rope and handle it yourself, or you may purchase prepped rope.  At initially, it’s recommended to get treated rope, but later on, it might be enjoyable to buy fresh rope and treat it personally.

Here are some commonly used terms:

  • The “Rigger” or “Rope Top” ties the ropes, whereas the “Bunny” or “Rope Bottom” is the one who is tethered.
  • According to shibari experts, a rope is folded in half at the center in traditional Shibari, forming a circle or “bight” at one end and the “tail” or “working end” at the other.
  • A “self-tie” is when someone ties himself up, whereas a “floor tie” is ropework that is done solely on the ground.

And here are two techniques that are great for beginners:

  • The single-column tie is perhaps the most frequent. A leg, a waist, a chair leg, or a bed frame are all examples of columns.  Make sure the bottom first removes any hand jewelry. To begin, locate the bight (middle) of your rope. Wrap it twice around the wrist (just above the joint), leaving enough gap between the rope and the wrist for a couple of fingers to slide through. Cross the working ends with the bight (the two ends of rope opposite the bight). Under all of that ropes, tuck the bight. It’s preferable to reach beneath and draw the rope rather than forcing it through since the lay (twist pattern) will be preserved and the rope will not get out of form. With the working end, make a circle and draw the bight through. Try bringing the bight through the opposite side if the result does not produce a knot and merely comes apart. Make another loop and pull the bight back through. Pull the knot firmly, but not so tight that it pinches the wrist. You should still be able to insert a couple of fingers between the ropes and the wrist.
  • A double column connects two columns. You can bind a wrist to an ankle, an ankle to a chair leg, a wrist to a thigh, a wrist to an upper arm with the arm folded, leaving the arm useless, or an ankle to an upper-thigh with the knee bent. Begin by locating the rope’s bight or center. Wrap it twice around both wrists. Make sure your bight has a lot looser than the single-column tie. At the top and middle of the wrists, cross the bight over the working ends. Return to the front by passing the rope through the wrists and behind both sets of ropes. The double-column tie wraps the bight over both the top and bottom sets of ropes, unlike the single-column tie, which only wraps the bight under the top set of ropes. The rope passes between the two columns, over both sets of ropes, and up the other side. With the working end, make a loop and draw the bight through. Try bringing the bight through the other side if it doesn’t make a knot and just comes apart.

Aftercare

What Is Shibari and Why Everyone Should Try It

After this action, give importance to each other. The person who was tied up may get a bruise or an injury as a result of such sex, so pay attention to the feelings that overtook you during this sexual act. Discuss the most essential question: do you want to play this game again? Did you find it enjoyable?

When it comes to the rope itself, it is not recommended to treat it with chemicals or aggressive cleaning agents. In time, it will wear off and lose its purpose.

Why should everyone try it

Shibari can provide a personal and creative method of surrendering and developing trust with a partner.

Some people love the splendor of the rope and its arrangement on the body; others like the personal connection between partners; and still others are more interested in sadistic/masochistic components and use it as a way to deliver or accept pain as part of their BDSM activity.

Rope may be used to confine oneself or a partner, to generate feelings, and to experiment with unusual sexual positions.

It’s crucial to emphasize, however, that Shibari isn’t solely erotic. Tying someone up (or being tied up) can help lovers form an intimate bond.

Shibari is a technique for learning about your partner’s body, establishing trust, and discovering new and thrilling closeness. You’ll figure out what makes you feel great and what doesn’t.

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