Shibari 101: Hogtie

Welcome to Shibari 101, your chance to learn the building blocks of Japanese rope bondage! If you missed them, check out shibari’s history, rope basics and safety, and brush up on the foundational single- and double-column ties, basic chest harness, and a leg tie.

Today, we’re going to take two ties we’ve learned before and combine them into a hogtie. A hogtie places your bottom on the floor, face down, in either a chest harness (which we learned already) or a box tie which includes the wrists. Then, the ankles are secured to the chest ties and pulled in tightly. This tie is safer than tying the ankles to the wrists in a more Western-style hogtie as the weight of the legs is distributed across the chest instead of putting pressure on the sensitive wrists. You can either do a simple double-column tie on the ankles, or get more decorative with tying both legs into the leg tie we learned earlier.

Start by tying a chest harness on your bottom. Be sure when you extend rope for this tie that you don’t have any knots right in the sternum or areas on the chest that might hurt once your bottom lies chest-down. Lay your bottom down on their belly. If you’d like to incorporate their arms, either use a new rope or the ends of the leftover rope from the chest harness and tie a single column tie around the wrists. Make sure the inside of their wrists are touching to keep the sensitive inner wrists protected. Then, tie a double column tie on their ankles.

Next, take the ends of the ankle ropes and pass them through the center column (spine) of the chest harness. Go over and do not include the ropes used to tie the wrists (if tied), so that pressure isn’t being applied to the wrist tie.

Then go back and loop the rope through the bight at the ankle, and around back through the center column/spine again.

Tighten the tie until snug, but don’t make sure your bottom isn’t overextended and super uncomfortable. Tie off with a half hitch.

And secure with another half hitch.

If you find the rope places too much pressure on the wrists, you can try tying it around the top of the chest harness instead. Pass the ropes behind both shoulder ropes, right above the top knot, and tie off the same way.

If you want to be more decorative and use the leg ties instead of the double column tie, you’ll need a new rope to do a single column tie around both ankle ropes to the chest harness. Use that new rope to tie to the chest harness with the same pulley system as the tie above. You can even use two different ropes and tie the ankles apart so the legs aren’t tied together.

Resources & Continuing Education

If you want to learn more, check out these books and resources:

Miumi-U Teaches Japanese Shibari. Miumi-U is a Japanese shibari rope artist who trained extensively in Tokyo. Her book is beautiful and she’s clearly a very skilled artist. This book is more advanced.

Essence of Shibari: Kinbaku and Japanese Rope Bondage. Shin Nawakiri was also extensively trained in Tokyo. His book is excellent and more advanced.

Shibari You Can Use and More Shibari You Can Use. Lee Harrington is trans guy and the books are very gender-inclusive and easy to understand.

The Beauty of Kinbaku. This book dives deep into history, theory, etc, and is light on instruction.

Midori is a Japanese-American sex educator who has been teaching Japanese bondage since the 1990s. She does traveling workshops; check the schedule over at ropedojo.com. She also has a book, The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage.

Hitchin’ Bitches is a female and trans/genderqueer (all genders but cis men) rope top monthly workshop held all over the world. Cis men are allowed only as bottoms and only if they understand it’s not a space for them. Find your local chapter on FetLife. It’s also a great way to meet local rope folks in your city.

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