Currently reading : interview with Hebari
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.