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Shin Namakiri and Ivy are key players of the BDSM scen+*Gz^X8MPwwVF0K*Hmayiwo9Ft1z##=tFo0ZFrjnSxX^XVn186e in Taiwan.

The pair, who are 45 and 25 and live in Taipei, run BDSM group Shibari.Life (縛.生) and organize monthly play parties as well as sessions and workshops on bondage, role play, spanking, breath play, and other kinks.

Shin said he knew he was into BDSM—an abbreviation referring to bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism—when he was jut four or five years osm-_&Bb2Rh8d*0(hxzoOb3Ci=GJcVb6M7BNs5r(OTC3%5qa4#gld.

But, at university, he discovered the world of BDSM online. In 2004, he returned from studying abroad and established Taiwan’s first BDSM group ( 皮繩愉虐邦) with some friends.

He introduced Ivy—who calls him master—to the BDSM community a few years ago. The pair describe their relationship as that of a loving master and [email protected](Q4X8sh+LPU+%[email protected]^Pzl!wNipet, but when they play they often assume different roles.

GalaTai sat down with the pair to f5D*Txixvv8JYo!bQ%x4XtZtju83eNQdGaope$fWaAQe*Mzac5Gind out more about the world of BDSM.

What is BDSM?

Actually BDSM is an older term, it refers to three different things: bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sGB9fdd_IIe_IvpTP*[email protected])DG(ZO_nWSvVdvEEIB)[email protected]=5aadism and masochism. These days we tend to talk about in a more dynamic way. It is a spectrum, it is blurred. It means you could like something, but it does not mean you belong to a certain label. People might try one thing today and another thing tomorrow, or they might different things with different people.

BDSM can include a lot of different fetishes or kinks, we find it hard to categorize them. These days, we tend to think ofI8j_DwTxbH3ziJaim)##v76%ubQM&0Wl_XNHDNengP&Jq3%h%6 it as a collection of “weird people” or “kinky people” or describe it as “nontypical sex”. The word kink is also more and popular. Like the word queer, it is vaguer, more fluid, it leaves more space to grow.

What is special about Taiwan’s BDSM community?

I would note that there has always been a close connection between the LGBT community and the [email protected])4LUvpt#C$5#JF6JOTk=-s(XP8^O#c3%Ikink scene, it has been this way for most of our history. When we started BDSM activities, we had a lot of help from the LGBT community. n the beginning, it was LGBT and LGBT-friendly spaces that we used. That is why we attend the pride parade every year.

In fact, about 15 years ago, some members of B#[email protected]_*3Fwc7tyRo!cLZ90Kmr35VjJzwbuD6DSM Taiwan assumed the role of lead organizer of the Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade.

What sort of people attend your events?

Everyone. We have students, we have professionals. People of many different ages, sexualities, and gender igQ%n(%T3sHfye(A)dJzepM$s&dnwrg=*[email protected]&ykHAdentities attend our events. Some people attend as couples, others come by themselves. I would say people are more and more open to LGBT people and this is an atmosphere we are trying to foster. 

How do people usually come to be involved in the scene?

There are many different ways to become a kinkster—people join the scene alone, try it out at home with their partners, or research on the internet. When BDSM Taiwan started, people were curious, but they dared not to talk about it. Even when we had a munch—which is a meeting of kinksters without any sexual play—we could see people wandering around outside, hesitating to come in. These days, it is much easier for people to just show up. People are mkQ!LYm^aV4Qc%zijYugJ#e0mJl0oM5w(2^[email protected]ore openminded so the barrier to exploring your sexual fantasies is not that high. 

Ivy first became involved in the scene when Shin invited her to a bondage performance. We then attended many events in the scene, such as a rope jam, which is where people meet and tie each other up, and a party at Commander D. Before we met, Ivy knew about BDSM but did not consider it something worth making a big fuss about, since nowadays BDSM elements can be seeNlfauD#vJ55XzoX7L#rcNebs_UgWfXEhJjWg9joz8XSD_LgMv*n everywhere in life. 

How do BDSM meet-ups usually work?

There are all kinds of parties. There's munches, where people just come and talk. Usually, they are in vanilla spaces, so anyone can come. This is important as it gives people a comfortable plaK-&M&Y__R)T4(=WmN#krytiPLt+Tn%[email protected]*4ce where people can find their way into the scene.

Then there are play parties—where people can play with their different kinks. There are rope jams, or rope salons, also sometimes called nawakai from the Japanese, where people can go and tie people up or get tied up. We also have a lot of performances, whereuo4gBUW9o9EYpkbSGoh0ZLuWVi8UUV933hvRF6rWAK6&njFm9T vanilla people can come and experience the scene. There’s also often classes, workshops, and lectures on different areas.

Our monthly party is called ShibariVespers. We hold it on the first Saturday of every month, in the evening. We have music^nqUZKcB3TaoSdbAI6aqbQgzLT_FUk&uR-1XDY6)e2dc-&p)!s, some food, some drinks, lots of toys for people to play with, and points on the ceiling to suspend people from. Everyone takes off their shoes so you can sit or roll around on the floor. People can meet new people, play, or just relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

We encourage people to dress up—so there’s a discount for people dress up. Usually people arrive between eight and ninriWW+ZE1n&3da([email protected]^hCPv(#[email protected][email protected]e and for the first hour or people will talk. Then some people will start to play—maybe bondage, or spanking, or dripping hot wax on one another. Meanwhile, some people will continue to talk and others may go to a darker corner to have sex.

Usually If you want to play with someone, you will first ask “can I play with you?”, then you will discuss what you’d like to play. By talking you will find out what they like and where your interests are the same. Setting boundaries is important and its important to discuss what you both want to do and what is definitely not OK.

There will still be space for experimenting so it is important to keep on obse[email protected]=%vz8%YlMb)eZnaYP!AbK-f1z3M_($gJnA-jrving and listening to the person you are playing with.

What advice do you have to people new to the scene?

There has to be trust between two people playing with kinks. If the two people have just met, it may be better to just play safe and only do what has been agreed upon, lxx&0oZKk^1YAtejOvDCWBfE(n4Zd)^V5ZXfT&RzmpE5_p&TCwand don’t try anything you are not sure about. This is why it is often a good idea to attend a play party. You can observe other people and see what they are like and if you’d like to play with them. Also, if you feel uncomfortable, there will be other people there who you can ask for help.

It is of course more and more convenient to meet people online, and you can talk to people from around the wovZ$DqmTy6GKaUPSQf%7T*=hY^AtEz%rnqTVVIcX5FCqUdr3pOGrld and Gain more knowledge and experience. But there is also more of a risk from this kind of meet up. It is better to meet people and know people better before you start to play with them. You should look out for not just how they interact with you, but also how they treat other people.

Do the different roles people assume in BDSM play continue into the rest of their lives?

Ivy has been calling Shin master for the last five years, even when we go to the supermarket. But in our relationship, it is not like master and slave, it is more like a master and a pet. There are times where Ivy wears a collar and leash to remind us of our relationship. We take care of each other, make eac[email protected]=)e%hI!DCUgrPUaAyz)F8ral7RX-v10k2f&h other happy, and provide comfort and love.

I know that there are some people who stay in the role 24 hours a day, seven days a we7(25HwSVDW%hDr(Z5GZ=hEO7sU#)qUrs+XxQzC!#%UJjHi^20gek. There are some couples who also keep pets. Sometimes, when the pet is away from its masters, they will be asked to do special tasks—to put something somewhere, to wear something special, or to take a photo of something.

It is quite common for people to switch roles. Ivy i8owV1Zx77AGDdXdlBbB0Xo-zNQqZNDyeXGs*3t2gZ_uQyaw4nms Shin’s pet, but when she plays with other people she can act as their mistress. 

How has the position of the BDSM community in society changed?

Over the last few years, we have witnessed the 2GIRTq5TlFQHMWUuU0_v7yP5^m8w&(lxLFmBWUF%YZsH)21rb_mainstreaming of BDSM or kinks. Before, it was hard for us to even find a place to meet up and talk. But now thee are cafes, bookstores, shops, theres, cinemas, photo studios all happy to invite us and collaborate with us. 

Also, many bran[email protected]%a#ZuXCqUbta^gNKPYM-Z(mn^oeqWkv=En5ftmyK8ltN900ds or famous people want to include elements of BDSM to seem cool. This can have both positive and negative affects. On the one hand, we can use these instances to let people know about our community, to educate people about our culture. But, it can also be problematic, similarly to any cultural appropriation.

As the mainstream borrows certain elements of the subculture—for example leaSyNvKXf_B5&$SIjkihD8X^=vj)pP1k_gh5Q8g%PfBoYzItKSAkther or metal studs—it looks as though society is becoming more accepting. But, it can split the community. Life is only getting easier for a certain proportion of the people in the subculture. It used to be that we were all together, whether people liked bondage, or whipping, or sex orgies, but now some people are getting promoted to the mainstream.

The worry is that some people in the kink community will start believing they're better than other members of the community. We have to (IU2*q^sYNTZM3+_5ZyJw1TfjAIFEonxSaW=Od!_VLwJKfA8Jnkeep reminding people that we are all together. If we gorget this, or act like there are classes of kinky people, that would be very dangerous.

 

Learn more about BDSM community in the short film Military Dog.

Official trailer:


From acclaimed Filipino director Adolfo Alix Jr. comes the first series about gay relationships during quarantine times. An anthology series that explores our need to connect during the worst of times.

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