The Morality of Shibari

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Many people, especially those with a mainstream mindset, are quite suspicious about the whole business of BDSM practices. It doesn’t matter that psychologists have already agreed that alternative lifestyles and sexual practices are not symptomatic of mental illness by themselves, they still have their doubts. And when it comes to the morality of Shibari, they are even more suspicious. That’s why, in this article, we try to clarify some key points about the matter.

First of all, when we talk about the morality of an action, what we mean is whether that action is morally right or morally wrong. Even though there’s an ample—and as yet unresolved—debate about what exactly constitutes moral right and wrong, we can still establish a guiding principle. Something is morally wrong when it harms others or the person who performs the action. In the same manner, an action is morally right when it contributes to one’s own and others’ wellbeing.

Secondly, the foundation of any true BDSM practice is consent. And if an interaction of any kind takes place between consenting adults, then we can say that it is kind of morally shielded against any wrongdoing.

Keeping those two things in mind, we can conclude that the morality of Shibari is positive. And that’s beacuse it is a consensual interaction among adults. Under these conditions, it is acceptable. On the other hand, if it’s not an interaction, but rather an act of oppression, it is inadmissible. Likewise, if participants are not consenting adults, then it can’t be morally valid.

There’s a lot of information about consent on this website. As a reminder, we can say that it stems from a conscious and informed decision. If the decision is not conscious (because the participant is drunk or high, for example), then it is not valid. Similarly, if the participant is not fully aware of what the interaction is going to consist of, it is not valid.

Keep this in mind. It will save you a lot of trouble.

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