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Shibari (縛り) - to bind or to tie. 
Kinbaku (緊縛) - Tight bondage or sexual bondage. 

describe in Japanese language the practice methods of bondage by ropes.

The meaning of  
Shibari \ Kinbaku

The origin of Shibari / Kinbaku lies in the integral link between rope and the Japanese culture, the martial art of Hojojutsu - the torture methods in feudal Japan and its appearance in Kabuki theatre and Ukio-e art in Edo period.

The “culture” of torture and punishment were an inseparable part of daily life in Japan, thus, appearing as a dramatic element in Kabuki theatre and art. Kinbaku developed by keeping the technique of tying in Hojojutsu while adjusting the aesthetics and safety for the stage. 

Even though Shibari / Kinbaku appeared in Japan during the mid-19th century, it gained popularity only after the second world war and gained new life in erotic magazines who included naked and bound prints for the first time. In the 60’s japanese riggers (“Nawashi” in japanese) started giving live shows.

Nowadays Shibari / Kinbaku is adopted in the BDSM community and gains popularity in Japan and out of it as an erotic, but also artistic element. It contains many characteristics of kinky behavior such as the urge to experience the inability to move as a part of a power exchange, Sado-Masochistic elements that come to play depending on the level of difficulty of the tie.

As any healthy intimate activity, Shibari / Kinbaku requires consent. Moreover, to avoid injury, a deep technical and physiological understanding is needed, as well as preliminary communication and an open discourse and transparency throughout the whole process.


Although the Shibari / Kinabaku includes a very powerful physical, mental and mental experience, and can take the relationship to new and experiential places it is not mental or psychological treatment in any form. This warning is widely accepted and recognized worldwide because of cases where people have presented themselves as healers and have done considerable mental damage to their associates or exploited them physically and sexually in other cases.

Why Shibari / Kinbaku isn't a treatment?

  • Shibari / Kinbaku is a tying technique methods, not a treatment techniques.

  • “Certified therapist” or “therapy” in Shibari / Kinbaku doesn't exist (for now) and there is no institutional recognition of such treatment.

  • Authorized therapists don't refer patients to do bondage as a treatment.

  • If some person is personally relieved of his physical or mental pain as a result from Shibari / Kinbaku activity - he chooses to engage in this activity like any other activity, for example: extreme sports, camping, etc.

  • A person who wants to do Shibari / Kinbaku activity to deal with his own fears and concerns - is not doing therapy - but personal coping. For example: skydiving as dealing with fear of heights, performing on stage as dealing with stage fright, etc.

  • There are complex emotional effects created in Shibari / Kinbaku - so it is difficult to bring the desired effect as opposed to the effect that can cause damage.

  • A person asks to be tied up by a rigger to experience Shibari / Kinbaku. If the model sees it as a treatment - it will be his personal and non-binding interpretation, since the rigger isn't a therapist and therefore does not have the therapist's responsibility.

  • Intimacy that are created in Shibari / Kinbaku - is contrary to any accepted ethical code in a therapeutic setting. 

  • Alternative therapists who present themselves as Shibari / Kinbaku therapists - are not necessarily knowledgeable in therapy or Shibari / Kinbaku and are not necessarily aware of the dangers and clinical side effects.

  • If a rigger presents himself as a "Shibari / Kinbaku therapist" -  there will be no personal relationships of any kind, including friendship,  relationship, sexual contact or any contact beyond the minimum required for laying ropes. Even if he is a authorized therapist, treatment within BDSM relationships may not be possible - since the therapist is emotionally involved.

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