How to Practice Shibari
“The best way to get started in shibari is to learn as much as possible before touching a rope,” says Leila. “Reading articles and looking at pictures and videos online is a great way to get a sense of what’s to come.” The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage by Midori (Buy It, $28, amazon) is a great read to start. Or try Shibari Study: If you’re a new user, use the coupon code “SHAPESTUDY” for 35 percent off the first month of a monthly subscription.
- Scene time: The time you spend playing with skills you’re comfortable with and are actively tying or being tied.
- Lab time: The time you spend learning and practicing skills at or above your skill level before trying them on yourself or someone else.
- Bottom: The person being tied.
- Rigger/Top: The person doing the tying.
- Self-tie: When a person ties themselves.
- Suspension: An advanced skill in shibari that involves lifting your body off the ground.
- Floor-play: Rope play that’s done on the floor.
- Single column tie: The foundation for every other tie you’ll learn.
- Rope switch: Someone who enjoys practicing both as a rigger and as a bottom.
2. Find teachers that align with your values.
“There are a lot of ways to learn about and experience rope bondage, especially now that everything is virtual,” says Fuoco. “When looking for a teacher or studio, don’t just look for competence, but also look to see if this instructor’s values match your own. There is a shibari instructor out there for everyone; all you need to do is take the first step and start exploring.” Whenever COVID-19 permits, in-person conventions and local events can be a great way to connect with other people who’re also interested in rope.
3. Be okay with going slow.
“I think a lot of people from the outside look at bondage and see eroticism,” says Fuoco. “But they don’t see the years of education that’s behind that crazy video. There’s this entire unsexy education that precedes it and has to exist.” You won’t find yourself two weeks from now an expert rope artist, and that’s completely okay.
4. Practice with people you trust and who trust you.
“Find someone that you trust a lot,” recommends Lyra. As an intimate style of rope bondage, trusting the person you practice with is major. “Don’t be afraid to have an honest and frank conversation about desires, boundaries, and consent with your partner,” says Leila. “Consent goes both ways. It’s crucial for everyone involved to explicitly state their expectations, limits, and experience.”
Oh, and you don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to practice Japanese rope bondage. In fact, many times, the person you’re practicing with won’t be your romantic partner. While you won’t feel sexual pleasure from those sessions, you’ll still experience intimacy – a closeness with the other person because of how much trust goes into the practice. “The beautiful thing about rope is it can meet just about any relationship where the relationship is,” says Fuoco. You can practice shibari with a friend, roommate, or family member. You can also practice solo via self-tying as an act of self-care, in the same way you might make time for meditation or another mind-body practice like yoga.
It’s also a good way to hush the world around you. “It’s that balance between discomfort and equanimity. Being comfortable and okay with what’s around you,” says Lyra. “Sometimes I may be in hookupdate.net/quiver-review an uncomfortable pose or a painful spot, but I can feel it in my body when I release and I let go of my breath. It’s like releasing a big deep breath you’ve held for a long time.”