Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sex and the Single Avatar in Second Life XV – An Introduction to Shibari

Fear can be a potent aphrodisiac. 

Kele Moon



          This story’s title may have attracted you because you’re participant in, or at least knowledgeable, about shibari, the Japanese technique of elaborately tying up a submissive for sexual bondage.   Or, you may be like me and just happened to stumble across it while in Second Life (SL)!

          Either way, you’re here with me now, so allow me to tell you my story. 

          While having only a theoretical knowledge of shibari from Real Life (RL), (Significant Other indicates that’s all it’ll be.) I haven’t had much opportunity to investigate this practice inworld.  Recently, I visited a friend in SL who happened to be in a bondage cell when I arrived to meet her.  (Another story for another time there.)

          My friend was a place called Madame Jenny’s Tea and Shibari House.  A Japanese themed tea house which also served those interested in shibari.  There’re also many cages and cells for those who prefer that.  While there, I was introduced to the owner and proprietress, Madame Jenny.  Always quick to grab a story for my three loyal readers, I
asked for and received an agreement for a future interview.  And, that’s how we arrived here!

          When I return subsequently to meet Madame Jenny for our interview, she’s wearing a colorful kimono telling me that she has always been fascinated by Japanese culture. 

          We seat ourselves on an outside deck adjacent to the teahouse and Madame Jenny tells me her story while she sips her tea from a traditional Japanese tea set. 

          Madame Jenny was first introduced to SL when a friend told her about roleplay in SL and being curious she joined.  Her first month was spent having fun and then she became interested in building thanks to a former sub.  When I ask if she’s a domme herself, Madame Jenny nods affirmatively.  (She asks that I highlight this point, she has many visitors who show up expecting her to be a sub!) Her interest in bondage started early when she was fascinated by photos and a few stories.  Her attraction to Japanese culture came from around them same time.  Madame Jenny’s not sure when she first encountered shibari, but she always found it to be very beautiful and erotic.  However, she does not practice shibari in RL.  It's a bigger study for her, but she smiles as she tells me that she does like having fun with ropes. Her involvement with SL bondage is a supplement to her RL practices.  Typically, Madame Jenny is tying the sub up or ordering another to make a "show."  She’s not into pixel sex as she terms SL love making because she finds teasing is far more fun inworld.  Sometimes sex happens, but mostly her bondage activities are limited to domination.  She has an aversion to chastity explaining that she leaves that joy to others. 

          However, Madame Jenny calls herself a halftime dome because the rest of the time inworld she just jumps around doing a lot of chatting, shopping and exploring too. 

          I next ask about the tea house itself and what led to its construction. 

          Madame Jenny explains that it started with she talked about building a simple Japanese house with a sub.   She tried building it and suddenly she was working on a really big challenge.  But, she built it.  As for her motivations, she was not very happy with most of the shibari places she’d found inworld.  They weren’t very Japanese. 

          Madame Jenny’s teahouse was built in classic Japanese style overlooking the sea.  The structure is four stories in height.  The bottom three floors are open to the public while
the fourth is Madame Jenny’s private residence.  The landing zone in front of the building is a deck with a sitting area with shibari devices and cages also on display.  In the floor of the deck is an entrance which leads down to a dungeon filled with cells and cages.  (Madame Jenny enjoys putting people into cages.) 

          The ground floor of the tea house has a large sitting area for serving tea along with ropes for suspension of subs and other shibari furniture.  Walking through the sitting area, one arrives in a small Japanese style garden.  The construction of the building is timber floors with tatami mats covering them.  Sliding panels, fusuma, made of paper and wood comprise the walls.  Noren hang in the doorways.  Off the main room is another large room given over to shibari practices. 

          The second floor opens onto a balcony overlooking the waterfront.  A tokonoma, or recessed space, contains an exquisite example of a bonsai tree. 

          Ascending to the third floor, one finds a large Japanese bath tub underneath a shibari
suspension rope.  Alongside is a massage area in front of a shoji screen. 

          Throughout the teahouse is evidence of Japanese art and culture.  Prints hang on the walls, lanterns, and furniture are on display.  Madame Jenny is particularly proud of her vase which she scripted herself.  They can be purchased either in her own store or in MarketPlace. 

           Madame Jenny offers the teahouse to all visitors who are interested in shibari and bondage.  All are welcome to come by and to have fun.  She does not run it as a business and cites making monthly tier payments as one of her challenges.  She laughs as she tells me that if she ran the teahouse as a business she would have shut it down long ago.  Many of her visitors are just interested in sex and not the actual practices of shibari and bondage.  She does not meet most of them but sometimes introduces a couple for their own entertainment.  While admitting that sex and bondage can be combined, Madame Jenny is more interested in bondage and teasing, the erotic aspects of domination, and having fun. 

          As our interview draws to a close and being mindful of Madame Jenny’s time, I ask her about the challenges of running the teahouse. 

          Madame Jenny replies wishing that more of her visitors came from Japan in RL.  She would also like to retain subs to act as geisha in the teahouse but has yet to meet anyone suitable.  She does not see the shibari toys here as good shibari devices, more a combination of rope bondage and sex.  Overall, she doesn’t believe shibari is very realistic inworld.  She has to occasionally give the toys a “kick” to get them working but that’s all. 
Like many owners inworld, she complains of not having enough time to do everything.  (I can relate!) She has a little dream of having ikebana (japanese flower arrangements), so she can change them often.  One pleasant surprise for her was that she didn’t have as much trouble from griefers and “jerks” and she’d expected. 

          With that, I end our interview and thank Madame Jenny for her time and candor.  I return home. 

          Madame Jenny’s Tea and Shibari House is an excellent example of a traditional Japanese structure and is well worth visiting for that reason alone.  For those interested in shibari and bondage, the site is worth visiting as well.  It may not be as true a shibari experience as Madame Jenny would like but the atmosphere and lack of crowds makes up for that.  It can be found here. 

          In the future, I’ll be taking a more indepth look at shibari in SL so watch this space for more!

          I’d like to thank Madame Jenny again for taking time away from her busy schedule to meet with me and for her very frank answers to my questions. 

          I’d also like to thank my friend, who will remain anonymous, who introduced me to her in the first place! 

Additional pictures from my visit can be found on this flickr page
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.
          Open roads and kind fires!          


No comments: