SMBD

by Tatu
July 2001


SMBD

When we think of erotic power exchange, there are numerous approaches. Most Americans approach it with a European Style. This is most likely to the literary images brought to us by "The Story of O", the Anne Rice novels, and simply because of the cultural similarities.

Only a few in western BDSM have learned D/s from the Eastern School. The Eastern School is a pure product of Japanese cultural and societal invention. While there are many similarities, there are also many striking differences. Learning these differences and respecting them is the basis of good protocol.  

1) First and most importantly just about the entire SMBD scene of Japan is centered around rope bondage and suspension, not corporal devices like floggers and whips which take center stage in the Western American or European scene. In Japan if you don't do rope, you are not doing SM. While in the west, most people in the BDSM scene have no clue what to do with rope and one would get the opposite response. Indeed I remember when I started doing rope in the early 90's in the local clubs, almost no one knew what it was. Some in the west will tell you, "oh yes, I started with a little rope, but I've moved on to the real S&M".  That is not to criticize anyone, but it points out how little the west knows about the Japanese/ Eastern School of D/s.

2) In the Eastern School, the acronym is often seen as "SMBD" or simply "SM", not BDSM as it is in America and Europe. To speak of BDSM in Japan might not be probably understood clearly.

3) Teamwork. While there is definitely a D/s (Dominant and submissive) component to the Eastern style, your typical Japanese Dominant does not think of himself or herself in that light. In the Eastern School the whole erotic power exchange is seen as teamwork. Teamwork, just as it is emphasized in Japanese business, the Japanese SM-ers and Rope Artists see themselves and what they do as a team undertaking.

4) The Japanese SM player or bondager sees himself somewhat as a "Rope Artist".

In fact one of the newer and trendier words in use today in Japan to describe Rope ARt is "Nawa-kesho". Which literally means "rope make-up" or the "cosmetics of rope". Nawa = rope and kesho = a cosmetic art.

The old word for this Rope Art is "Kinbaku" and is still in use today. It refers to the ancient cruel forms of use of rope. A newer term "Nawa Shibari" , which means to bind with rope has been popularized  recently for the most part by commercial websites.

If you used the term Shibari in Japan the average Japanese on the street would probably you are talking about fabric weaving and dying (Shibori).






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