It’s hard to talk about BDSM without touching on some kind of bondage. People are bound in any number of ways...the creative options are endless. People in my books have been bound with cuffs, leather straps, belts, garters, rope, cut-up bedsheets, even the straps of a ballet costume. So much is communicated by these various forms of bondage...control, caring, protection, nurturing, restraint, love.
Even art. I recently became interested in the Japanese art of shibari. Well, it’s widely called shibari in the west, but in Japan, from what I understand, they call it kinbaku. Upon further research, rope enthusiasts explained to me that shibari is the word for the actual knots or the tying, but kinbaku is the emotional/erotic aspect of the act, the energy and connection between the rigger and the person being tied.
That really touched something within me. It’s not just the knots and lengths of rope...it’s so much more. I love that “so much more” has been given a name. It is so very emotional to give up control to another person and allow yourself to be bound and made powerless. In some cases, after people are rigged, they are suspended, or lifted up in the air. They call these people “flyers”, another word that seems, to me anyway, hopelessly lovely and apt. You can see many photos of riggers and flyers in the Hall of Hotness on my site. I’ve become a little obsessed with these fascinating people and their ropework. In fact, I was moved to write a romance based on the emotional impact of binding and ropeplay between lovers. It’s called Fortune and it will be out next month. I’m very proud of it since it really explores the powerful emotional ties forged not just literally (with rope) but figuratively too in the practice of BDSM. I don’t think you’ll have to be “into” rope to enjoy it.
As of this writing I have never been bound in any shibari style, but I still understand the concept of kinbaku. Erotic connection, by whatever name you call it, is always something to strive for in my book.