In the interest of Research
Shibari (translated means “to tie”) was started as a way to bind prisoners of war ages upon ages ago in Japan. Over time it became a competition and eventually involved into complex art and used as a form of bondage. Shibari is different from your normal everyday rope binding. Some people wish to be bound roughly and then ridden hard and fast. They want to be tormented and tortured and used until they can’t take it any longer and then pushed beyond even those limits. (I’m not talking about everyone, just some people.) I am not one of those people.
I discovered the name of the rope bondage from an audio book I was continually screaming at (mentally because I was listening to it through headphones in public) because there hadn’t been anything discussed. Nothing at all. Not hard limits. Not safe words. The woman was blindfolded, led into a room that she’d never seen inside before, bound and then allowed to freak the fuck out when the blindfold slipped. Now, if you live in the lifestyle (which I don’t, but I understand it thanks to friends and long hours of research) I’m sure you would have been screaming right along with me.
I had to work my way through the audio book. It was difficult to listen to – not just because of the non-consensual happenings, but also because of the narrators. It was either robotic, or freaking out. There really wasn’t an in-between voice. Sometimes, I think female narrators have a more difficult time because most of the male narrators I listen to tend to have very vivid narrating skills.
Anyway. I was intrigued, to say the least. While I have excellent pain management, I’m really not that big into pain (spanking is allowed and if done properly, hair pulling, nibbling,) and I wondered if it were painful. The character didn’t indicate any pain while bound, and that intrigued me more. I wondered if it were something the author had decided not to include or dismissed outright. I started doing some research and looking up some of the names of the styles from the book.
When I felt I was at the end of my searching quest, I wanted to be able to use this type of BDSM in a story. I wanted to write it better than the author who had decided to torment her character in such a way that, if in reality, may have put herself in some form of shelter for battered women after the first incident.
I’m a writer. I understand torturing or badgering characters – they aren’t real. But if you do something to them that would traumatize a real life person, and they read this book, and have experienced this form of trauma, they are going to trigger and end up in a panic attack. If you’ve read Danielle and The Jock from the Fix-It Fast Series, she’s attacked for all of 100 words, if that, and rescued – yet I did put a warning in the blurb to let people know this happens and it turns out to be okay. It’s my highest read story in the series.
The three rules of the BDSM Lifestyle are Safe, Sane, and Consensual. I don’t live the lifestyle, but I know them by rote. (Off topic: This goes along with me knowing about the Wiccan Rede – “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”. I’m not Wiccan, but it makes sense to follow if I wanted to be Wiccan.) I know the symbol they use to mean these three very important words. I know more about this lifestyle than I really ought to since I’m not inclined to live within the boundaries. It’s sort of like studying a culture you’re going to be visiting abroad so you don’t offend someone. Writing non-consensual acts may be a turn on for some readers, but it pushed my anger buttons pretty damn hard. And no, I wasn’t reading 50 Shades. I couldn’t get passed page 13 of book one other than reading Jenny Trout’s hilarious and very poignant reviews.
My interest piqued, I decided to allow myself to be tied up by a very trusted friend. He took his time and we did Dragonfly Sleeves first. I thought I would have to work up to them, but when I couldn’t find anything else that interested me as much, I jumped in with both feet. They turned out beautiful on our second try.
We played around with the rope and a book and searched the internet for some other types of binding, but I absolutely love how this turned out. It’s so pretty. Now, while I block a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders (it’s where I hold my stress) I felt no pain at all. I have rounded shoulders from not sitting up straight growing up (wearing heels helps to force myself to straighten up a bit) and I have a bit of scoliosis, and (yep, there’s more) a touch of carpal tunnel syndrome.
We attempted to do some two-column arm gauntlets, but it wasn’t looking like it did in the photo in the book and they hadn’t included instructions on them. We couldn’t find anything on a two-column arm gauntlet in any of our video searches. I don’t think I could be suspended due to the carpal tunnel issues but there wasn’t any pain in those types of two-column bindings. The dual arm gauntlet that we tried, did cause me some discomfort and since it didn’t turn out the way we wanted I don’t have a photo.
The feel of the rope against my skin wasn’t bad at all. The marks went away pretty quickly, too. It all depends on the kind of rope, the size of the rope, and how tight your partner pulls on them. I’m sure the dragonfly sleeves could be painful if the person being tied wanted them to be. Personally, I’m glad that they weren’t. For more information about shibari, visit www.TwistedMonk.com or watch Two Knotty Boys on YouTube.
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experience as much as I enjoyed it while it was happening.