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All you need to know about shibari

If you’re looking to spice up your sex life, then one of the things that you might have encountered is Japanese rope bondage or officially known as “Shibari”. This is one of the most common sexual fantasies among American adults with around 90% of men and women having considered or thought of this at some point during their sexual exploration stage.
Just like any type of sexual exploration, there are certain fears that might act as a barrier to perusing our curiosities. Here, we’ll give an overview of Shibari, including its history, guide, and other tips that might come in useful for those curious or looking to learn more before fully trying it out the bedroom. One thing is for certain, both you and your partner must be comfortable in trying it out to make sure that in the end, both of you are enjoying the experience as hesitations or doing it out of compulsion can make the experience an unpleasant one.

What is Shibari?

Shibari in a more technical sense translates to “tying”. The art mainly follows a pattern using a rope that covers the entire body. It is a practice that can be done by all regardless of gender, body type, or even sexual preferences as the sexual dynamic can be adjusted depending on your personal comforts. As there are different styles and ways to apply shibari, it offers flexible choices ranging from beginners to experts.

Shibari isn’t a full sexual activity. In fact, this practice is widely considered a form of meditation and a means to create a meaningful and intimate connection with your partners. This is mainly since the art of tying up requires trust and comfort, which are important elements in building up an intimate moment that both partners can enjoy. Despite this, considering the enate tension, it has also been used to add color to the bedroom since it can be a bit of a kinky activity.

History of Shibari

Based on historical records and imagery in Japan during the medieval and Edo periods, the rope was commonly used against prisoners and criminals when they were being restrained during transport. This may have led to the development of the rope kink among Japanese people similar to how European medieval tools were also inspired by prison tools like chastity devices.

Since then, and during the growth of pornographic media and underground adult entertainment venues, Shibari has become a staple kink that would continue to attract huge crowds including during the World Wars where American soldiers exposed to Shibari would, later on, carry the kink with them back to the United States. Now, it is widely considered one of the biggest kinks common across the world.

What makes Shibari unique?

If you take a look at the principles behind Shibari, it has a common theme of restriction similar to other types of bondage such as handcuffs, tape, and scarves. But in contrast, shibari is a particular type of restriction using a rope-like material in order to bind you or your partner. It is not focused on the restriction, but on the intimacy between the person tied and the person who did the constraints.

Moreover, what sets it apart is the visual aesthetic and the unique emphasis on the emotional and psychological connection between the persons trying it out. This means that the build-up in order to make a pleasant experience dwells more on the emotional aspect while engaging in the act.

Things to consider when trying out Shibari

In engaging in any new sexual experience, the first and always the most important consideration is being able to communicate to one another the different limitations that both you and your partner have. This can be in a form of who will be the one to be tied up, up to what extent will you or your partner be tied up, or even the selection as to the form of the tie that you will engage upon.

For beginners, the default question is “how to shibari?”. It is best that you start off with something simple like the tying of hands together similar to cuffs. For those who already have experience, you can try to jump on bigger restrictions such as those that wrap the body with the legs or so on. Just make sure that you always have a safe word in order to easily flag whether you want to pause or stop during the act. Essentially, understanding each other’s boundaries will truly help guide both of you on whether to continue, pause, or proceed with other correlated stunts.

How to get started with Shibari?

As Shibari bondage offers a huge range of art and procedures, it is easy to get lost in the amount of information available. Here are some of the basic information that you should have as a starting point when doing Shibari for the first time:

  • Practice the single-column tie, as it is the most basic and essential element of the practice where the majority, if not all, of the different tie designs, would mainly depend on or start with this.
  • Do not go straight for suspension ties as without the proper understanding, this may cause injuries down the line. It is highly recommended that you try out floor tie styles first in order to practice your different methods and safety procedures before trying out much riskier practices.
  • Always have scissors or safety shears on hand, this makes it easier to cut and release the person being tied just in case anything uncomfortable happens. Just like having a fire extinguisher on standby despite how little the risk is, it’s just always better to be safe. Also, you can never be too prepared so try to approach it like responsible adults.

For more information, you can check out this shibari tutorial and website that offers a lot of general education for experts on the subject. It’s always great to learn and familiarize yourself before trying out any activity so take as much time as you might need.

What type of rope should I use?

The most common material associated with Shibari rope is jute and hemp ropes. Usually, the ropes used in Shibari are around seven to eight meters long and four to six millimeters thick consisting of three small strands twisted together to form the main rope. As Shibari does not rely on the Shibari knots to create the restriction, natural fiber ropes such as those enumerated above are well-recommended as it has more grip compared to other types of rope. For example, synthetic or silk ropes don’t respond to friction well and can result in rope burns.

However, you don’t just purchase a jute or hemp rope and use it immediately. Experts often recommend that these ropes must be boiled in order to make them softer against the skin, be signed in flame to remove the fuzzies that can cause irritations, and be oiled if it’s dry. These are just simple tasks as part of the preparation stage to fully enjoy the experience without worrying about bruises and other small injuries. If these tasks would seem like a lot of work, there are pretreated ropes available in the market that already makes them ready for use. But if you’re planning on sticking to the kink for quite some time, you might find it much more interesting to buy a raw rope and condition it towards your preferences for a much-matching experience.

Safety tips for both partners

If you’re the rigger or the top:

  • Ask or check out any physical injuries or conditions that might be affected or aggravated when doing the ties. This might be in the form of knowing the positions that you will try out as this can place stress on different body parts.
  • Ask what parts they don’t want to have tied up or those parts that they prefer to be heavily restricted.
  • Learn about the basic muscle groups and understand which parts by default should not be tied up. This can make it easier to navigate the safety areas and the non-injury-prone areas that you can work on.
  • Never leave your partner alone, always be in a place where you can hear them and answer them just in case anything happens.

If you’re the rope bunny or the bottom:

  • Always check yourself to make sure that you don’t feel nervous or claustrophobic in the rope. It is always important to have a good mental state throughout the ordeal – including when being fully restrained.
  • Check out if there are any tingling, numbness, or burning sensations in any of your limbs, especially in the hands and fingers area. Being able to communicate these can prevent any serious or permanent damage.
  • Never be embarrassed or ashamed if you want to get out of the rope. If you’re forcing yourself to stay for the sake of your partner’s experience, then you’re approaching the entire thing incorrectly. It is supposed to build up intimacy for both of you.

Conclusion

Shibari, just like any form of sexual pleasure or play, requires communication between partners in order to be appreciated fully. This means that it is best to be studied and talked about in order to ascertain the different pleasure points and boundaries of each other. Once you have understood your and your partner’s parameters, it is important to know that Shibari is not about creating a very restrictive environment but one that allows intimacy and emotional connection to be nurtured during the entire experience.

With this in mind, always make sure to have thorough planning as you bring your experience with the Shibari harness. It is a common kink that a lot of people around the world enjoy and you shouldn’t allow preconceived notions about sexuality to hinder you from being able to explore the different experiences that you might be curious about. There are a lot of materials and resources available around the internet that can help guide you towards creating the best experience possible.