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Get to know the intricate Art of Shibari

Ever heard of Shibari? Chances are you might have, as Google does not let us lie: Nearly 18 million hits on a simple search show that the term sparks interest all over - all this interest seems to be growing exponentially in recent years, with the rise in popularity of Shibari images in social media.

However, there is still a lot of confusion when it comes to what Shibari actually is or isn’t. In this article, we will untie - pun intended - all the secrets of this art - and give you golden tips on how to get started with it.



Let’s get started: What is Shibari, anyway?

Shibari is a Japanese word which literally means “tying” or “binding”. It is an ancient art which actually came from restriction methods used as a form of torture in the 19th and 20th century. Slowly, it has developed into a bondage technique which has several ritualistic meanings and is practised all over the world.


What are the differences between rope bondage and Shibari?

Basically, think of the concept of rope bondage as an umbrella that encompasses Shibari. In other words, Shibari is a form of rope bondage - a specific one. What sets Shibari apart is exactly its ritualistic characteristics. The focus is on the tying techniques, specific knots, and the aesthetics of the binding. In Shibari, the tying is not merely the end goal - it’s the most important part of the whole experience.


Why do people do Shibari?

Sex might be the first thing that comes to mind when one hears Shibari - and while kink is a big part of it, it’s far from the sole reason people are interested in it. For many, it’s truly a form of art and self-expression - especially due to its big aesthetic potential. For others, it can be meditative and a form of connecting to others. After all, Shibari can be incredibly physically challenging, as well as request a lot of focus.

When it comes to kink, we are not talking about Shibari per se, but actually its naughty cousin, Kinbaku. You’ll find out more about it ahead.






Shibari as a ritual

The materials used are a big part of the ritualistic aspect of Shibari. While bondage in general can accommodate a multitude of different ropes - such as the ones made from synthetic materials like polyester, Shibari usually requests ropes made from jute or other natural materials.

The Shibari knots are also an art in itself. Practitioners call the knots “building blocks” to creating beautiful Shibari art, and for this reason they are crucial. There are some basic ones as well as more complex ones and dominating them is of great importance.

After all, these knots not only contribute to the aesthetic results of the tying experience - they also have a key role in creating the right amount of pressure and restriction without any nerve damage.




Flying with Shibari - The art of suspension

Shibari suspension is one of the most skilful forms of body art out there. Usually done by professionals, the expert uses the support and tension from the ropes to make the one hang from the ceiling. Suspension is considered by many a form of intense meditation and contact with oneself.


However, it can be dangerous and painful, and cause damage to innervation if not done properly. So while Shibari can be learned by everyone, suspension should be done with the help of a professional.




Shibari and sex - Get to know the Kinbaku

As we have said before, the “kinky” side of Shibari is called Kinbaku. This is one type of Shibari is used specifically to create erotic experiences.

The slow, sensual, and attentive tying process can facilitate deep intimacy between parties. In Kibaku, other forms of stimulation might be used, such as masturbation, oral sex, and even sex toys. Dirty talk can also be a great ally in making the whole experience steamier.

Beyond the sheer motion deprivation provoked by Shibari, Kinbaku uses strategic tying to create sexual stimulation. The ropes can be used to create specific pressure points in erogenous zones to enhance sensation.





How to get started with Shibari

Curious? Intrigued? Ready to dive into the sensual world of Shibari? Then - make sure to do your homework. Consider this article your entry point, but be curious! Watch videos, look for Shibari enthusiasts on social media, and soak up information. Shibari is a millennial art, and there is so much about it, no amount of information is “too much information”. Another thing to have in mind is to look for high quality, Shibari appropriate ropes.

We would strongly advise you to consider seeing a pro before trying a hand out at Shibari. There are workshops and specialists ready to share their knowledge. For couples, the experience of having a guided Shibari session can be an amazing way to embark on this journey. Especially if you are looking for more extreme sensations - such as suspensions - a professional Shibari artist is the best person to get you started.

Shibari is an ancient form of art - it is intriguing, sensual, and complex. Incorporating it into your life can bring about a whole new world of sensations and pleasure.


Now we want to hear from you! Have you ever tried Shibari? What were your experiences with rope bondage? Share it with us in the comment section below!