Some great footage of the Czechoslovakian Spartakiad games which were used under Communist rule to oppose and suplement the Olympics. Working as one group effort rather than an individual performance more recent examples of this kind of practice can be seen in North Korea.
INTERVIEW WITH AUSTRALIAN KINBAKUSHI HEBARI
What does Hebari mean?
It’s Japanese for skylark, I like the imagery of a light touch and freedom.
Where are you from, what kind of childhood did you have?
I’m from a small country town in Australia called Wagga Wagga, though we actually moved around quite a bit because of my father’s work. I was a typical ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) child I think; bloody annoying and into everything definitely trouble.
How did you first get into kink?
I was always into sex and bent ideas; I remember reading kinky stories in my father’s penthouse magazines when I was 9 or 10. To be honest that was probably the start of it for me. After that as I grew up I experimented, had sex early all that sort of stuff. By the time I was 16 I left school and headed off to be a roady, that’s where it really kicked off for me. Playing with girls (and boys at the time), I naturally used rope as part of play because it was something I knew a little about. As I got more exposure to kink through the gay leather scene and through clubs like Hellfire, kink and rope specifically became a more regular part of my sex life.
Can you link your kink personality and/or your fantasies to other traits of your personality or personal experiences?
I definitely have a strong and dominant personality, it’s something I’ve had to learn to tone down to give others space. I think that translates into being a top, I don’t really think of myself as a dominant. I’ve also always been quite empathetic, though not always sympathetic. I think empathy has led me to enjoy being a service top, I love taking my partners on a journey and I think empathy is integral to that.
And how did you evolve towards kinbaku especially?
Shibari/Kinbaku is certainly my focus now. My rope was mostly functional/Western for most of my journey to date. Sometime around 2000 I discovered images of Japanese bondage, that lead to copying the ties depicted as best as I could. Eventually I purchased books and videos from Japan and finally took part in workshops with Arisue Go in 2010. That was really the turning point for me, before that it was just about replicating the image, and then the function of restraint for sex or visuals.
That experience really spurred my interest and now Japanese rope bondage is my preference. I explored more about feel and connection. Studying with the likes of Osada Steve, Satomi and Hajime Kinoko
How did you learn? Who are your main inspirations, and why?
My inspiration has changed a lot over the years; it used to be very visual and now much less so. Images by Itou Seiu and a range of the older nawashi and photographers from the 50s and 60s, along with masters like Nureki Chimuo, Akechi Denki and Yukimura Haruki have all had a big impact on me. Maybe it’s that Shibari is driven by the Japanese view and aesthetic, something that feels very organic and at the same time precise, it’s a real challenge trying to understand another culture in that way.
Now my focus is much more on the connection and what I think of as the quality of the tie, the tension and the way it accentuates the body and mental state of the model. So masters like Yukimura Haruki, Osada Steve, Akira Naka and Kinoko are those who have guided my journey. Also there are Nawashi who are less known in the west such as Shishiwaka, Ero Ouji and Shiganawa Bingo that do amazing work and are incredibly inspiring to me.
What makes a good rigger?
A good rigger is someone that views rope as a craft to be constantly improved on, and someone that has the interest and empathy to take their partner on a journey. For me a rigger is art craftsman, part story teller and part lover.
How important is to you the “artistic” or “cultural” side of BDSM. I mean you perform and organize events, is BDSM something to share or something private?
Both really, a thriving community brings richness and diversity to the world I love. As the community grows people develop their own styles and sufficient numbers allow for events like the Sydney Rope Festival to work, and in so doing provide access to resources previously only available in Japan, locally. So working to grow the community is a big thing for me.
On the other hand there is an intensely private side to rope and play in general for me, my partners and I share things that are just between us and take journeys that aren’t for public display. In the end both are important to me
How is the Australian “scene”? Are you involved in it?
The scene in Australia is great actually, certainly in the major cities there are thriving communities with different flavours. Living in Sydney, my focus is largely here and luckily there are quite a few events running each month.
There is always the politics which you find in an small group but it’s minimal compared to other places I’ve been, which is great. Aside from the festival we run an event called Ligature which is a heavy play party. We’ve focused on performance to help develop that side of things here, aside from us, Hellfire has been running for about 20 years and fosters performers as well, with some luck we’ll start seeing more of that.
How did social media change the scene (if it did)?
It’s had a massive impact I think, just the fact that people can interact and discover kink without having to search out underground events, and build the courage to go means that a lot more people are giving kink a go in and out of the bedroom. Sites like Fetlife particularly are great, bringing the global fetish and kink communities together and facilitating that dialogue.
Do you make a living from BDSM-related activities?
lol definitely not, in fact to my knowledge, outside the largely female driven world of pro Domming there don’t seem to be many people that do, even the likes of Hajime Kinoko and Osada Steve have other jobs. My website Naturally Twisted, has a store that makes a little along with teaching etc, most of which just goes back into resources for the community such as the Sydney Rope Dojo space and maintenance of the websites I run such as the Peer Rope Site, which any Peer Rope Group can be a part of for free.
If not, what is your profession? (if you don’t mind answering)
I’m actually a network architect, so yet another IT guy :)
Do you have non BDSM-related hobbies?
Cycling and sailing really, though the sailing has taking a big back seat to kink over the last couple of years. Other than that there is photography but that is mostly kink now to, so not much no.
Tell me about the SRF; what is your involvement?
Sydney Rope Festival is something I’ve been working towards for a couple of years now along with the Rope Dojo team. The festival itself is all about bringing some of the best Japanese rope bondage talent to Australia from around the world. In the end most people can’t afford to trip off to Japan or Europe to learn so it’s great to be able to bring the talent to them along with some great teachers we have here already. I think it will really boost the rope community.
Who will we see there? What did you base your selection upon?
From the local pool of teachers we have Avalon, Zero, Mark, Lani and Aleni CV8 along with __S__, Lionne and more, all of which are world class educators. Then from out of town we are lucky enough to have people such as Peter Slemrian, Tatu, Wildties, Dr Phil and Milla Reika. We also have two special guests from Japan that we’ll be announcing soon.
Who else is involved in the SRF?
With anything like this there are always a huge number of people that put in time and effort to create the final event along with the organisational team, just have a look on the website for the full list, suffice to say I’m blessed with some great people around me.
What would you recommend to someone starting to practice bondage, or interested to start?
To be honest go and do some classes with someone reputable, that’s hard to say but asking around is the best bet or checking somewhere like Fetlife rope groups etc, if there isn’t anyone close by then look at resources like my website or Esinem’s DVDs, videos are definitely better than books. But the most important thing is not to get too caught up in the technical, in the end it’s about the connection with the person you are tying, so keep that in the forefront of your mind always.
Pleading in the Blood: Life and Art of Ron Athey, WILL COME OUT IN JANUARY 2013. It is edited by Dominic Johnson, through Live Art Development Agency and MIT Press. We very much look forwards.
Ron photographed by Regis Hertrich
Sang Bleu contributor Mr. David Coggins talks about the state of tennis style on tennisdigital.com.
The first time I watched the below video was a revelation. It was perfect. Violent and sweet. Elegant and raw. The kinbakushi (Riccaro Wildties) and the model (Gorgone) were having a wordless debate, ending on an agreement. I then had the pleasure to meet in person and see Wildties perform at the London Festival of Japanese Rope Bondage. The rope-prodigy effortlessly lived up to my expectations and confirmed my own fascination for this practice.
Where are you from?
I was born in Genova, but I lived most of my life in Rome. Now I live (delete the word around) travelling around Europe.
What kind of environment did you grow up in?
A middle class family. I lived with my mom, my uncle and aunt and my grandmother. I had the luck to study in very good private schools from kindergaden to middle school. I lived in a very safe neighborhood with lots of friends. It was a very average envirorment.
What kind of kid were you?
I was a very normal kid, quite shy, quite good at school and with a very normal life.
As a kid, were there any harbingers out of your future interest in SM?
Not at all. I discovered S and M relatively late. Despite this I had an interest in rough sex since the age of 15. But at that time there was no internet and it was not so easy to get information on kinky sexuality.
How did your entrance into the S and M world happen?
I have been involved in swinging, rough sex, and kinky sex in general, since I was 18 but I got to S and M when I was 30. I had a partner who I was trying to “pervert” and get her interested in my kinky sexual preferences. To do so I used to show her pics and videos of alternative sexuality and make her read kinky books. Once we started reading The Story of O together, it turned her on and we started searching for S and M related material and got involved in the lifestyle.
And how did you get into kinbaku especially?
In the begining of my S and M experimentations I really didn’t like rope. It seemed complicated, something that kills the mood. I would rather had used leather or metal bondage gear. Than my partner and I started dating a girl that who was into rope and I started learning rope bondage mainly to seduce her. Yet most of the rope bondage I did at that time was used only to shoot pretty pictures to be posted on social networks. I did not really understand yet what an incredible tool rope is, what intense play scenes it may give and the connection it can create between two people. It was only after the London Festival of the Art of Japanese Rope Bondage in 2011 that I understood what a big potential rope has.
What is so special about kinbaku?
It lets you get into your partner’s soul as well as a few other things. The range of feelings you may give is very wide, from a sensual caress to heavy S and M. Also I’ve noticed than many woman that prefer a topping role can easily bottom when it comes to ropes. I think ropes just appeal to the feminine soul. Also I’ve seen totally non masochistic woman take incredible amounts of pain when in ropes. Rope can connect two people in a very special way and it’s also a very versatile tool.
How did you develop your skills? Who did you study/train with?
Kinbaku is a discipline, not a mere practice. I trained almost two hours a day for a year to develop my skills. Actually I never had a teacher or any classes. But there is a lot of information on the internet and many videos available, plus some friends shared their knowledge from time to time. Non the less I suggest people interested in Shibari to get tuition with qualified teachers. I was lucky and had no accident during my learning, but I advice people to be safe. There are a lot of good events and teachers in almost every country and that’s the best way to learn.
Who are your favourite kinbakushis and why?
My overall favorite is Akira Naka. I simply love his very traditional style. His work displays very well the beauty of suffering which is what I love about Kinbaku. Each and every piece of rope he places on a model gives her some kind of sensation, there is no mere decoration. Also I love his slow timing, placing a rope, giving it time to create the desired effect, than adding another and so on. For performance and stage my favourites are Hajime Kinoko and Shishiwaka. Among the western riggers I’d mention Wykd Dave and Esinem.
How did you get into performing?
After my first six months of rope bondage I self-produced a little book with my pictures that had some success. Therefor a friend that organized events in Milan asked me to hold a performance and present my book at his event. After that I performed another couple of times in minor events and then started to hold my own bondage events in France that were actually private sessions rather than shows.
What reaction are you trying to provoke in your audience?
Well what I love is when girls from the audience approach me after a performance and say “wow that was hot!”. I’m really not into the artistic side of bondage. To me kinbaku is an erotic activity. On stage I do try to keep its aesthetic beautiful to see, but I like to transmit some erotic tension to my audience. I do perform at festivals and events just because it gives me some visibility that’s good for business. But my real personal performances are usually kept in a very private environment, with a limited public. I call them “Private Sessions”, and I actually show real rope intimate play.
And in your model?
Honestly, I do like my model to get sexually aroused when we do rope. I like to see her space and get high but essentially I’m looking for erotic tension rather than the introspective meditative state that many like. I like to see her yield, to see her pass her limits and feel beautiful in her suffering.
Do you have an interest for Japanese culture outside of kinbaku?
Yes I do, although just because I like Japanese Rope Bondage doesn’t mean that eats sushi twice a day or reads mangas. Indeed they have great art and actually they make art out of almost anything, like calligraphy, tattoos, ikebana etc.
What do you think about the development of a “western” kind of kinbaku? Is it necessary, interesting, or should it be rejected?
Well there is already a western style of rope bondage and even a fusion one. I do not particularly enjoy them. Still I see nothing wrong in developing different styles. What matters is the effect your rope has on the model. A Japanese girl could cry just because you open her kimono, western girls will barely feel something about it. Our cultures are so different when it comes to sexuality, shame etc. So we have to adapt our S and M rope play to who we are tying. Also it must be said that many western models are simply not fit for japanese style bondage, so there is nothing wrong to make some technical adjustments.
What are you focusing on right now?
I have in mind to shoot videos of Kinbaku sessions. Real sessions, nothing to do with show and performance, just like I do when I play privately. Also I will continue teaching ropes because I find it very fulfilling. And obviously I’m still developing my skills and I am constantly experimenting with different styles.
What do you think about the popularization of fetish and S and M? Do you think kinbaku should proactively open to a “vanilla” public or it should the public to come to kinbaku. For example, would you perform in places where the audience has nothing to do with BDSM?
I do perform in non BDSM events even if I do not really like it. But it’s part of the game. Essentially anything that brings visibility to this discipline is welcome as long as it made clear to the public that artistic rope, shows, performance are just a part of shibari and the real deal is rope used to have incredible BDSM sexual experiences. Unluckily part of the popularization of shibari has somehow made people forget that bondage is essentially a BDSM activity, most people tie models in a totally non connected way just to shoot pretty pictures. It has happen to me that some people ask what does shibari have to do with S and M and sexuality and that’s rather sad.
In your opinion, what is the biggest achievement for a kinbakushi?
Well I guess the biggest achievement is that of making his models happy and keep them safe at all time. Also being able to develop a personal style without merely reproducing what others do is a crucial step in a riggers career.
What are your interests outside of kindaku? (Music, art, politics, etc)
I’m a great fan of hard rock music especially from the 70s and 80s, I love animals and have a great passion for nature. I love mountains and go hiking every time I can. I love books on physics and philosophy and in general I’m interested in all subjects that around alternative sexuality and alternative lifestyles.
Im in a good mood so I thought I’d start with a high-level wordplay. Anyway, browsing some Kinbaku-related discussions on Fetlife.com, I found the work of Naka Akira. I downloaded a couple of videos and to be honest, it is one of the most beautiful bondage I’ve seen. Far from the boring photo—graphic occidental approach, Naka Akira is always very close to looking messy which gives an uncanny realism to the scene, in spite of the obvious staging. And for some reason, a japanese bondage masters, although geeky remain credible while an occidental one usually looks like he should just go back to eating pizza and playing World of Warcraft.
download here (about 10£ the 3 movies. worth it)