Friday Spotlight: Annabel Joseph

Kinbaku – Emotional Ties

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.

Comments

  1. I have seen pictures of shibari but never had kibaku explained before. Looking forward to Fortune.

  2. I agree with lindseye. I’d read and seen pictures of shibari. But kibaku is what actually turned me on. Thanks for explaining the difference.

  3. HI Annabel
    I just popped into Whipped Cream as I’m up for an interview next week. I saw your post and went hey!
    I’m in the middle of writing “Bound” the sequel to my GLBT novella “Caught” and the book starts off with a scene featuring Shibari, or as you point out Kinbaku, because it’s more about the emotional journey and the art than bondage.
    What a great coincidence. I’ll definitely visit your site and will be interested to see and read anything you have on the subject. Most photos are of girls being tied. Mine will be a guy.
    Best of luck with your book
    cheers
    Alison

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