Gender Equality in Ropes

Shibari news

Gender equality in ropes is a topic worth discussing. Since we live in a sexist society that holds men and women in different positions, shibari, with its foundation in the binary opposition between dominant and submissive, might appear problematic to some. We are used to having doctors and female doctors; electricians and female electricians; while thinking, by default, that both doctor and electrician, by themselves, are synonymous to male. It would be nice to live in a world where we just have doctors and electricians.

Gender Equality in Ropes: Shibari Riggers

In shibari or rope bondage, the situation is the same. It is common to hear of a female rigger, even though you never get to hear about a male rigger. When thinking about shibari riggers, you would probably describe them as older men tying younger women. And yes, this describes some of the participants, but not all of them. One of the biggest assumptions about riggers is that men are always tying women.

This assumption does not come out of nowhere. When we look at rope bondage videos, the previous assertion is almost always true. Similarly, it is more common, when we attend events, for them to be full of males performing as rope tops and women as bottoms. We are trying to break this way of thinking where there is no gender equality in ropes.

Speaking about shibari, the reality is multiple and diverse and not exclusively restricted to these conventions. Thankfully, the traditional way of thinking is changing. The definition of a bondage rigger is a person of any gender who practices the art of tying bondage, usually with rope.

All About Diversity

There is a diverse range of people who tie. You can find women, men, trans women, trans men, and people with physical limitations who are all very dedicated and talented in shibari. These people, all of them, play both as riggers or top bottoms. In rope bondage, no matter the gender or the physical capabilities one possesses, everyone can be a rigger or a top-bottom.

Gender Equality in Ropes: Bound

Speaking of gender equality, the trailer of the shibari documentary Bound has just released. This documentary explores the ancient Japanese art of rope bondage—shibari or kinbaku. It focuses on how many women in Japan take the role of the dominant. It brings awareness to the diversity in rope bondage, even if the practice it is still more common to associate it with the image of a man tying a woman.

Image Totem Films – Bound

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