Is Shibari still a Scandal?

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Twenty years ago, the answer would have been yes, without a doubt. However, in the last couple of decades, there have been huge cultural and social changes. Many of these have been related to sexual diversity and alternative lifestyles. That’s why we have to ask ourselves: Is Shibari still a scandal? And the answer is not a simple one.

“Normalization” is one of the key words of our time. The dictionary defines it as “bringing something to a normal condition.” In other words, to normalize is to make something current, even ordinary. In the last twenty years, and particularly in the last five, we have witnessed the normalization of many things. Each one of those things represents a cultural and social change.

From that point of view, the answer would be no; Shibari is not a scandal anymore. You no longer have to hide the fact that you’re kinky. Quite the opposite, alternative lifestyles have become not just acknowledged, but also appreciated.

Yet, the degree of normalization is not the same in all social groups. Whereas in younger, more liberal environments, people see something like Shibari as one more option among many, in more conservative environments, this might not be the case.

Another important consideration is this: Shibari will be more widely accepted in the same measure it is properly understood. That is, most people who dislike kinky lifestyles have a very distorted idea about what kinky is. If they actually understood what alternative lifestyles are all about, they might not have such a negative opinion about them.

In the end, as in most human affairs, it is all a matter of communication. Is Shibari still a scandal? Yes, up to a certain point, but quite less than it used to be. And that’s good news for all those rope lovers who want to share their enthusiasm for bondage.

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