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What is shibari in a few words?

The erotic Japanese art shibari (or otherwise known as kinbaku) is based on the martial art hojo-jutsu (using various techniques of restraining captives with rope), used in Japan from the year 1603 till 1868. With time this martial art faded away and from the beginning of the 20th century some of its techniques and appearance find their application in the creation of the erotic art. Shibari is based on the partnership between two people (most frequently a man and a woman) and the combination of the delicate female body with the rough ropes. On the principles of mutual consent and respect the leader (known as a rigger) creates a statue of a sort as he works with his partner’s body. This statue radiates tenderness, femininity and helplessness. The man does not abuse his partner, nor does he harm her. He gives the woman the opportunity to release control over her body and to enjoy the sensations and emotions that arise in her.

More important than the final result (observing a woman in a finished tie) are the steps that both partners make until they reach the final tie. They trust each other completely and the woman can commit herself entirely in the man’s hands. She can relax and stop thinking about the stereotypes that the society has imposed on her. The process of relinquishing control can provoke intense emotions that can cause a person to feel like they have experienced an intense massage – free from the accumulated stress and more attached to their partner.

In the last 20-30 years the shibari culture has become popular world wide. Many people in Japan, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom etc. enjoy this art form both as audience or as practitioners. Shibari is mostly unknown in Bulgaria. With our country’s typical 20-year delay from the global tendencies shibari has just recently begun gaining popularity in our society. With my shibari photography I attempt to give more people from Bulgaria the opportunity to gain a wider perspective over this art form.