A type of bondage rope. The word “shibari” means “to tie” in Japanese, and the term is thought to derive from hojōjutsu, a punishment technique used on Samurai prisoners beginning in the 15th century. Shibari ropes became popular in erotic play sometime in the 1800s or early 1900s.

Many practitioners of shibari create complex and artistic patterns with ropes to hold the submissive partner in place, but simple ties and knots are also popular. Complex rope arrangements may provide an added aesthetic stimulus for both partners. Shibari ropes are typically very soft and comfortable for the submissive, and a variety of materials are used for different effects.