Japanese bondage and smart shopping

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Twenty-five years of BDSM lifestyle can skew your world view just that little bit, so I sometime have to remind myself that not everybody is familiar with the kind of kinky practices that by now I take as a given. In example, even if I am far from being a bondage master I find ties like the one in the picture elegant but trite – especially because it’s true, as it is just a little variation on a basic figure of the Japanese style.

That’s in fact… «A karada!» I can hear many experts shouting.
But no. In the Japanese language ‘karada’ just means ‘body’, and as a term nobody used it earlier than thirty years ago, when it was introduced by an American divulgator. If you want to show your expertise, the correct name to use would be ‘hishi’, or ‘lozenges’. The reason is obvious.
By the way: no matter what you read, even Japanese bondage isn’t called ‘shibari’. In fact that word only means ‘to braid’: in the Land of the rising sun they say ‘kinbaku’, which translates as ‘strict and sensuous tie’.

These are however finesses for fanatics. What really matters is that to create that sort of figure you don’t need much skill: the principles are so simple that they can be explained just in a manga page.
Knowing this you can imagine why I laughed when I discovered this “beginners’ kit” composed of a pre-knotted piece of rope, sold at the exorbitant price of sixty dollarsplus twenty-one for shipping. It is just one example of the scalper prices of that online shop, which under the pretext of importing the most original erotic items from Japan speculates on the naivety and the lack of experience with extreme eroticism of its customers.

This is nothing new. Most of those who sell merchandise related to sex – kinky sex especially – use to put outrageous price tags on their stuff, knowing that very few customers will object. Arousal, ignorance and shame get people make impulse purchases, and nobody wants to fight over unfulfilled expectations. That rope is an exemplary case, but there have been many other scandals in the past, from rubber items releasing poisonous phthalates to toys that broke on their first use, from expensive fetish clothes that only a cubist body could wear to “BDSM” tools that would be lethal if actually used.

My little solution was as always to try and make my fellow unusual sex explorers’ lives easier. In the Resources area of this site, under Websites, you can find a few hundreds handpicked online shops I have selected for the quality, originality or value for money of their offering. I haven’t unfortunately been able to polish the interface to select them, but I’m sure you won’t have any problem in finding anything you may want… and probably something you never knew you want to try!

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