In Japan the arts of shibari and kinbaku have been practiced for centuries and are growing in popularity among Western practitioners of BDSM. Shibari translates from the Japanese ‘to tie’ while kinbaku translates as “to bind tightly” both are used interchangeably to describe the seemingly visually intricate patterns and knots that are the hallmarks of this form of bondage. Traditionally, the nawashi (or rigger) used rope of natural fiber only like hemp, linen, or silk.

Of course Western subculture has its own version of shibari, commonly called rigging. Suspension bondage and ties that focus more on body presentation than pattern aesthetics are popular with Western riggers, but many are combining both to create their own unique style. The person being bound in rope play is referred to as the bunny.

If you are curious about binding or being bound, it’s important to educate yourself. Especially if you want to learn rigging. Rope is serious business and should be treated as such. Safety first! Knowing pressure points and quick release knots is essential. Also, your quickness and competency are a huge turn on for your bunny. So practice, practice, practice. If you are a potential bunny, be sure your rigger knows what he/she is doing and let him or her know immediately if something doesn’t feel right.

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