Audiences Are Not Ready for Shibari

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BDSM is becoming popular; that’s a fact. However, it is still a niche market. Mass audiences are not ready for Shibari; not yet. I know because I work at a local TV station, and I tried to bring bondage to our viewers. It was a disaster.

I’m a kinky person. I’ve always been. And I have no problem at all with that. I belong to a generation in which it was best to keep those kinds of things secret. When I realized that people are more tolerant nowadays, I thought about contributing to the normalization of bondage.

I convinced the manager to show a Shibari exhibition on Friday night. It would be something quick. It’ll be over in half an hour. As for the performers, I have a friend who does bondage exhibitions with his wife all over the country.

Things were going fine. My friend even agreed to charge half the usual fee. He did that because he also wanted to bring Shibari to the masses. We taped the demonstration the day before, and edited it to make it look more dynamic and attractive.

We asked my friend and his wife to do a suspension, which is the most popular bondage practice. Also, we recorded a warning about the risks of bondage, and the safety measures that must be taken before, during, and after a scene. We even recorded a brief interview, in which my friend explained to the audience, in the simplest terms, what Shibari is and what its benefits are.

It was a disaster! We failed to grab an audience. And those who actually saw it, didn’t like what they saw. We got a dozen complaints and very bad feedback on social media.

I think that people need a lot of context before being exposed to Shibari. Otherwise, they easily misinterpret what happens in a scene.

Audiences are not ready for Shibari yet, but some day they will be.

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