Shibari and Hollywood

Mainstream Hollywood movies have scarcely portrayed BDSM. Even worse, it has traditionally portrayed it as something perverse and sick, something that only villains would do. However, with the spectacular success of Fifty Shades of Grey, there was an increasing expectation that BDSM would finally make its way into mainstream movies, as a legitimate expression of sexuality. However, the relationship between Shibari and Hollywood seems to have come to a halt.

This is part of a shift due to political correctness. If you remember the movies of the 80s and 90s, they were way more explicit in their portrayal of sexuality —think of Basic Instinct or 9 ½ weeks. However, when political correctness became the new censorship, Hollywood quickly became modest and, instead of moving forward to a more honest, complete portrayal of sexuality, it took long steps back to a self-censored, oblique portrayal of sexuality.

This is not to say that sex has disappeared from Hollywood movie, although it is true that nudity and intercourse are scarcely shown as openly as they were in the 90s. What it means is that, if it doesn’t promote diversity, Hollywood seems uninterested.

Bondage is part of diversity, of course. And Shibari is a clear example of cross-culture success. Nevertheless, Hollywood still sees bondage in particular and BDSM in general as too asymmetric, and patriarchal. (They seem to ignore that women frequently take the dominant role, and that many women eagerly participate in Shibari, without feeling mistreated or humiliated).

So, in spite of its aesthetic beauty and the fact that every day more ordinary people practice it, Shibari is not likely to appear soon on Hollywood screens. Even worse, it might appear in a deformed way, as an example of how men abuse women.

It seems that Hollywood is not ready for Shibari yet.

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