Monday, 1 December 2014

Head over heels for Japanese Bondage?



I like bondage because I like being in control. It’s a huge turn-on for me. 
I like to see the rope as an extension of myself, holding my partner in the position in which I want her.

When he binds me, I feel completely calm. I feel so safe. 
Like he’s holding me in his arms and protecting me. 

I hate bondage. When we tried it, it brought tears to my eyes.




By Gwen Windpassinger & Nicolas D.

First of all, could everyone make sure NOT to tell my mother-in-law we abused the cuddly sheep she gave Momo or we'll be in serious trouble!

Anyway. Variety, variety, variety. It's the spice of life, and the spice of sex life. So today I'm going to give you an introduction to the Japanese bondage art of Shibari (Kinbaku). Shibari is a very aesthetically pleasing type of rope bondage. It’s really intricate and the “model”, as the person who’s bound is called, ends up with two or all four limbs tied up in beautiful patterns, and is sometimes even suspended from a ceiling bolt, and then spanked, licked, f*cked, etc., just in case you thought this was purely for artistic purposes, you little naïvelings!

First of all, I’ve got a confession to make. This really isn’t my field of expertise, but I found someone who has been practising Shibari for years: Nico. Nico and I sing in a Jazz band together, and when we first met we had the following conversation:

Nico: ---“So what do you do for a living?”
me: ---“Ehm… I am doing… research on sexuality”.
Nico: ---“Cool, I’m really interested in that. I’m totally into free love."
me: ---“Free love? Yep. I used to be into that but not anymore.”
Then he said “that’s a shame! It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread” or something along those lines. And then, later that day:
---“Have you ever tried Shibari?”

I hadn’t. Ever. But with variety being the spice of sex life and all, I decided it was time I learnt a thing or two about it. I figured that, even if I wasn’t going to like it, I could always share it with you guys. Now unfortunately there was no way I was going to get Shibari tutorials from Nico, because I’m in an exclusive relationship with my partner, and I’m not sure Nico would have been up for it anyway. Hang on, he's saying he would have been up for it:)

And he agreed to write this post with me! And thank Zeus for that, because otherwise I might have ended up like a friend of mine whose forays into Japanese bondage ended up in disaster. He had decided to start with what, in theory, looked like a very simple harness around his partner's hips:
So I looked at a few different types of knots and then had to go to a DIY store to pick up two different strengths of rope. One was 8 meters, which was ok, but the other one I got was 12 meters long and that turned out to be a complete pain in the ass to tie around her because it was far too long, so I had to keep pulling, pulling, tying, pulling, pulling, pulling. So the whole thing started off as a pretty frustrating experiment.
So we had planned this as part of our foreplay, and I started tying this long cumbersome rope around her hips, which just wouldn't fit properly. It was either too long on one side, or too short on the other. In any case, it was never symmetric. And I wanted to get it right, but no matter how hard we tried, it just looked SHITE.
Then when her wonky harness was finally ready, it was pretty ok for holding her and directing her movements during sex, but there was so much friction of that bloody rope between her legs and my penis that the whole experience was bringing tears to my eyes. We've never tried it again. A complete and utter waste of money if you ask me.

Ok, I think we've all got tears in our eyes now. What do we learn from this? Nico says: make sure you get the right length of rope. It's better to have several, shorter, 6 meter pieces (for smaller people), or 8 meters max. for larger people, and tie them together as you go along. Also, when tied correctly, there should not be any friction. I'm deliberately saying "people", rather than "women" by the way, because I realise that most depictions of Shibari are of women being tied up. But I see no reason why that should be the case. Just be careful not to tie those ropes too tightly around your partner's balls or they'll explode.

Speaking of which (tight ropes, I mean, not exploding balls), one of the most important safety measures in Shibari is to make sure that ropes are tied correctly. If done wrong, it can cause permanent injury and paralysis. If you want to try it, you should first read a bit to avoid cutting off circulation or straining tendons. Nico strongly recommends getting an instruction manual and/or DVD! If you are planning to do a suspension, then you must be damned sure the thing will hold, so follow instructions very carefully. Also, be sure to test the ceiling eye bolt and check the rope for any faults before suspending your partner. Their legs and wrists are likely to be tied up when suspended, so if they fall they might actually break their neck and die.
Shibari bondages take a very very long time to do and undo. In case of an emergency (the model is starting to feel numbness or a tingling sensation in one limb, there is a fire in the building and the apartment needs to be evacuated quickly, …), it might take too long to untie all the knots. This is why one of the first rules of Shibari is to always have something to cut the ropes at the ready. A pair of EMT shears is perfect for this. You know, the type of scissors emergency doctors use for cutting off your clothes after an accident? They can cut through anything very quickly, without injuring your partner. They can also be fun to use for cutting through your partner’s clothes while playing.

Also, make sure the rope is the right strength, as too thin means it'll cut into your partner's skin, and too thick means it might be too rigid and you might not actually be able to tie it the way you want to. A good diameter is between 6 and 8 millimeters for harnesses and tying up limbs. Ropes for suspending your partner from the ceiling should be thicker (10-12mm). Rope material* is also something you should consider as some ropes are abrasive, which is something you might, or might not like.

Anyway, enjoy playing around with this, but remember: with Shibari, preparation and safety is paramount. If you want to go for the real artistic stuff, it's a major investment in terms of (preparation) time, and you're also going to need to spend a bit of money. It's certainly not something you can just try spontaneously on a Sunday afternoon and expect to be doing amazingly artistic stuff with immediately. The best thing might be to start by tying your partner's limbs to the bedpost or simply tying their wrists together. With a few basic techniques you will already be able to have fun after a few hours of practice.

Nico:
I've been attracted to Domination and bondage for some years now. It started with an ex girlfriend, telling her she had to be “punished” whenever she said something to jokingly make fun of me. Her punishments were not really elaborate, and consisted mainly in me (clumsily) tying her hands together or to the bedpost with a scarf, then f*cking her. We both loved it but it stayed pretty tame at that time.


It was only a few years later that I discovered Kinbaku, and it appealed to my artistic sense. It is not just sexual bondage, it is really something beautiful, a piece of art that you make with your model and rope. I started to read a lot of documentation online, and to watch videos explaining the basics. That’s when I bought my first set of ropes. I was lucky I lived very close to a store specialized in ropes! Of course they had hemp ropes, so I went and bought a couple of dozen of meters of pre-treated rope. I just had to cut it myself and tape the ends so they wouldn’t fray. After experimenting a little bit with Kinbaku and other types of bondage, I decided to buy an instructional DVD for Kinbaku which gave me a solid base of techniques for experimenting and start creating my own designs. I started experimenting more with girlfriends and f*ck-friends, trying new stuff, sometimes experimenting and rehearsing new techniques on myself (tying my leg to a bedpost to learn a new knot) so I wouldn’t look clueless in front of a date.


For me, bondage is linked to domination and submission play. I like to be in charge, and to have someone else relinquish control to me, surrender completely to my will. I like bondage for the same reason: to be in control, to feel the other person surrender to my will. This is a huge turn-on for me. I like the concept of the rope being an extension of myself, holding my partner in the position in which I want her.
I prefer Kinbaku to Western types of bondage for aesthetic reasons. However, I still use some techniques that are not really part of Kinbaku, and sometimes even leather restraints when I don’t have the amount of time required to do bondage, or when I just don’t feel like spending the time to do it but still would like my partner to be bound.


Another testimony:
A friend of Nico’s told him she liked being tied up, not for the thrill of being powerless against him, but because she experienced some kind of serenity doing it. Knowing there was nothing she could do and that she had to trust him completely, knowing she had to accept what he was doing to her, put her in a trance-like state. She told him she felt safe when she was bound, like he was holding her in his arms and protecting her. She had reached that kind of inner peace before while practicing yoga.


*Nico says that the most widely available (and used) types of ropes for bondage are hemp, nylon, and cotton. However, traditional Shibari is always done with hemp rope. While no type of rope is perfect, he thinks hemp rope is the best compromise, even when not doing traditional Shibari. Actually, cotton, while easy to dye and less abrasive than hemp, has a tendency to extend during use, which causes knots to come loose too easily, and is not only annoying but can be dangerous during suspensions. Nylon, though more durable and resistant, is very abrasive and knots also come loose too easily because it is somewhat “slippery”. You can buy sets of hemp ropes for bondage in online bondage stores. Some of these sets come with EMT shears and instructional DVDs. You can also find hemp ropes in DIY stores, but then they might not be treated with oil to make them smoother and more resistant to fraying. Buying them in online bondage stores ensures they have been treated, but of course they will be more expensive. If you want to save some money, you can buy the oil and treat them yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment