How to Do Japanese Rope Bondage

If you enjoy the more elegant things in life, Japanese rope bondage may be a sophisticated sexual sensation that is right up your street.

Also known as Shibari and Kinbaku, Japanese rope bondage is an artful and precise approach to restraint play. Generally more complex than popping on a pair of handcuffs or strapping into a spreader bar, Shibari takes dedication, patience and imagination to make it work properly.

One particular aspect that differentiates Japanese rope bondage from other forms of restraint is that on top of immobilising a partner, there are also rope patterns especially designed to stimulate your partner’s genitals, breasts and other erogenous zones. This means that your rope binding is not only beautiful and functional, but deliciously pleasurable for both of you.

There are so many Japanese rope bondage techniques that we can’t cover all of them in this guide, but we do have a few tips on how to explore Shibari and Kinbaku, whether you’re exploring self-tying or playing with a partner. If you’re curious about Japanese rope bondage or new to the art, read on for our advice on how to enjoy knotty fun.

Video: How to Make a Bondage Rope Corset

Interested in the world of rope bondage? Find out how to make a corset from Shibari rope with Jess Wilde in this Lovehoney video.

Slow and safe

Rope bondage poses some additional risks on top of the standard risks involved with bondage play, and therefore requires a bit more extra preparation to be safe. Be sure never to leave a bound partner unattended, avoid trying rope bondage while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and always have a pair of bondage scissors on hand in case of an emergency.

With rope bondage, you need to take extra care to avoid restricting the blood flow or causing nerve damage to the bound person. Be sure not to overtighten ropes and check in regularly, especially if you’re tying your partner in a whole body tie, as several rope patterns can create breathing difficulties.

“If you’re going to be doing rope bondage with your partner, these scissors or similar are an absolute must-purchase. Safety scissors are then a godsend. Add these to your next order.” - Jay2409

If you’re curious to try rope bondage for the first time and concerned about the risk involved, why not try some pre-made rope restraints like the Bondage Boutique Soft Bondage Rope Restraints? These versatile restraints let you explore the sensation of playing with rope while providing a safe, adjustable restraint that’s easy to use and remove in a hurry.

Get some guidance

But Lovehoney, you say, I’m already here for guidance – which is great, and kudos to you! If you’re hoping to explore rope bondage seriously, we highly recommend investigating fetish clubs or Shibari classes in your area.

If you’re a beginner, check out a book guide like Two Knotty Boys Showing You the Ropes for some great tips on getting started, as well as illustrated guidance through basic knots and some decorative Shibari ties.

“The step by step photos of each knot make the instructions really easy to follow and have enabled me to quickly learn several new knots.” - KcK2016

You could also take a look for guidance online, but be sure to find a safe, well-regarded community to ensure you’re accessing the best advice.

Dos and don’ts

Make sure the person you’re tying is comfortable before you start, and ask them to manipulate their body as you tie so you can get the best grip on their limbs. For example, it’s easiest to wrap the breasts when your partner is leaning forward.

Do talk beforehand and establish limits and boundaries before ropes even come into play. Japanese rope bondage is explorative, sensual and can be wildly intimate - but as with any play that leaves one partner fully restrained, it’s important to start slowly and progress together, with full consent.

“My OH likes the colour, and looks super sexy once the harness or karada has been tied off. I can't wait to try lots of different ties and harnesses and neither can my OH.” - ZestyBeef

When tying wrists and legs, try to match the level of tension on both sides so it both looks good and feels good. Additionally, if you’re tying around the neck, be extremely careful - this area is sensitive and you may cause breathing problems even when tying a rope loosely.

Once you and your partner are comfortable with some Japanese rope bondage, you could try adding it to other bondage scenarios you enjoy. For example, you could use a full-body tie to expose your partner’s genitals and then run a feather tickler or flogger along their inner thigh while they’re helpless to resist.

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