Hi, I’m Sakura. As a submissive, kinky Japanese individual, shibari holds a special place in my heart. My first experience of a proper Shibari session was with a professional rigger and photographer in Dublin last year, which was such a powerful experience that it left me in a sub-state for two whole days. To understand further what is so unique about this form of kink & BDSM, I had the opportunity to hear from three experienced shibari practitioners on Sensuali on their journey into the art, understand what the draw is for them, and receive advice for those who want to get started. Grab a cup of tea, and enjoy!

 

Lee (they/them), IG: @pleetherx 

Dublin-based rope switch

Voices from Sensuali Shibari Practitioners, lessons in rope

Q: How did you get into Shibari? 

A: My journey into shibari began in 2020 when I stumbled upon @daemonumx on Instagram. I initially followed her for her content on polyamory, but I became captivated by her rope work. I researched a lot about it, but since we were in lockdown, it wasn’t until November 2021 that I was able to properly start learning. At the time, I didn’t know anyone in Ireland that practiced rope, so on a month-long trip to Brazil, I booked about eight private classes and started tying my partners. I found the Irish rope community shortly after, and it very quickly took over my whole life.

 

Q: ⁠⁠What do you enjoy most about Shibari?

A: Rope fulfils so many different parts of me and my desires. The most compelling aspect for me is that I get to experience a kind of intimacy that is unparalleled and play with emotions that are created in this erotic space where two people communicate with their bodies. I’m deeply attracted to the aesthetic of kinbaku and the mechanics of tying. I love how versatile rope is and all the different dynamics that can be created.

 

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to either tie or get tied for the first time?

A: For beginners, whether tying or being tied, I strongly recommend seeking in-person classes from an experienced and reputable rigger. It’s really worth it to get the fundamentals right from the start. Finding a local community and watching others tie and be tied is also very important, there are so many different styles of rope, and you might not know what kind of rope you want to do until you see it. A local community will also help with vetting potential partners so you can get started as safely and well-supported as possible.

 

TiedAngel (she/hers), IG: @tiedangel

Queer rope bottom and self-suspender, based in Dublin

Voices from Sensuali Shibari Practitioners: all tied up

Experienced and strong rope model with a preference for suspension. Self-tie and self-suspend, in addition to regularly suspending with riggers. I am a sexual creature, so that comes through strongly in all forms of play, but especially with rope. While I focus on exploring and building connections through my chosen shibari style (“Naka- style”), I recognise the value of different paths in rope. I love being fucked in rope, so enjoy showing this fun to other people to enjoy. For suspension, I guide and teach from within the rope as a model. I also love teaching people new to rope – sharing fun ties that people can go home with and have fun with straight away. It’s important to first fall in love with rope and then figure out how entangled in learning you want to become. There is so much you can enjoy with one or two ropes and a hot connection with another person.

 

Q: How did you get into Shibari? 

A: I originally started exploring rope over a decade ago with my partner after seeing videos online. He wasn’t as interested in it, and we had so much kink to explore, so we dropped it for a few years. Then, when living in London, I saw a couple tying, and my heart couldn’t be denied anymore. I found an incredible rigger almost immediately, and we started on a path of exploration together – he had 10+ years more experience than me, but I had incredible communication, consent practices and body awareness from my experience in kink, so we shared our skills, and both learned from each other. Since I’ve met some incredible riggers and people in the scene to share my love of rope. When I moved back to Ireland, I made some wonderful connections, sharing all my knowledge, guiding and teaching from within the rope to bring people to the next level. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it. Ironically, I’ve taught my partner some fun ideas which he enjoys when playing with others. For me, I’ve an incredible rigger (Lee) who has grown so much with me, and I can’t wait to see what our future holds. 

 

Q: ⁠⁠What do you enjoy most about Shibari?

A: I play with “seme-nawa”, which is submission and surrender in rope; it’s deep and intoxicating, and the world melts away with nothing existing but us at that moment. There’s something very vulnerable about Shibari, your body held with rope, and you are completely mouldable by your rigger and their desires. I love being contorted in shapes that challenge my body, feeling my strength and acceptance of my body as I suffer, and the energy that is shared with the person tying me. The air feels heavy, and your breathing changes as you move as certain positions steal your very breath. And there is tenderness in the end, gentle touches, a feeling of being treasured, gratitude for the scene – for the trust, for the moment, for the memories.

 

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to either tie or get tied for the first time?

A: Same for aspiring riggers and models – Rope is ultimately about trust, regardless of what you do, and vulnerability and responsibility can heighten feelings. Really think about consent and talking out all the possibilities beforehand. If you’re not sure or you haven’t talked about it, don’t do it. There can always be a next time to try, but if you cross the line, there won’t be. Make sure to consent to what kind of aftercare you both need, too – it’s so important and often overlooked. Cuddles and reassurance; you will both need this, but also checking in the next day is a good one when the floaty feeling has subsided enough to think clearly. And I always recommend both models and riggers learn one basic knot (in person if possible) – usually called the single-column tie. It is non-collapsible, so while it’s essential in suspension, it also keeps limbs safe when you’re on the bed, so you won’t get injured. As a model, I feel safer when I can see it’s done correctly, and I can also opt-out if it’s not safe. Lastly – take your time and enjoy every moment because they’re all precious.

 

LawBringer (he/him/it/its), IG: @_lawbringer_

Polyam pansexual Dom based in Milan

Voices from Sensuali Shibari Practitioners, lawbringer

Q: How did you get into Shibari? 

A: Small note before I answer – the distinction between shibari and Kinbaku is moot in Japan, but pretty important in the West. I practice traditional Japanese bondage, which most of us in the West refer to as “Kinbaku”, whereas the term “shibari” was appropriated by Westerners to describe decorative, western, and fusion rope, which are not of Japanese origin (even though some Japanese folks practice these types of rope.). I had about ten years of BDSM experience, and I’d tried almost everything – impact, blood, needles, sensory deprivation etc. I always thought tying was just decorative rope dresses or pretty people floating in the air. I couldn’t see what was BDSM about it. Kinky, maybe, but not what I was interested in. It’s only when I saw kinbaku happen in front of me that I immediately understood that it had the potential to be the most powerful activity in kink and BDSM. I immediately started learning it and dropped all other practices I had explored up until then as they paled in comparison.

 

Q: What has been your experience so far with Shibari?

A: I’ve been trying for almost five years, but I’d say I only started really learning it properly for 3. I’ve had the privilege of learning from the best of the best, and I’m now on a journey to define and discover my own style. I’m also interested in learning how to photograph better.

 

Q: What do you enjoy most about Shibari?

A: The power it gives me over the person I tie, the trust I, therefore, am given by the person, and the beauty of it.

 

Q: ⁠⁠What advice would you give to someone who is looking to either tie or get tied for the first time?

A: Like I said before, rope has the potential to be the most powerful of all kinky activities: however, most practitioners don’t unlock this potential and keep things fairly mild. This is fine, but be aware that the experience varies wildly depending on the person tying, the setting, the rapport between the two practitioners, and, of course, the person being tied. Then there are people that do purposely use the full power of rope to take advantage of others. To new folks, I’d say: 

1: Learn in person and respect the time it takes to learn skills and risk-averse practices

2: Getting tied is a skill, too. It also takes time and knowledge of your body and mind. 

3: Don’t rush into anything. That’s a recipe for injury or violations.

And — that’s a wrap. I hope you enjoyed the words from the three Shibari practitioners on our platform. Speaking to these individuals really made me realise there are so many layers to uncover in the world of Shibari and Kinbaku. The beauty is that there will be no two of the same Shibari experiences – so keep connecting and keep exploring. I hope that this has served as a guide to either start exploring this art or taking it further in your journey in Shibari/Kinbaku. 

Sign up to Sensuali today to discover UK Shibari professionals.

Check out the Sensuali Beginners Guide to Shibari. 

Advice
BDSM
bondage
shibari
Author

Sakura

Author

Sakura is a queer digital content creator & online adult worker based in Dublin, Ireland. As a submissive in both personal and professional life, she is passionate about raising awareness around BDSM, kink, sexual wellness, sex worker rights and women’s health.


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