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Shin Namakiri and Ivy are key players of the BDSM sc31N=vso%[email protected](Qw1cy_g12=U$crdGfraw8VLd&TXTMHrB(6*ene 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[email protected]@yynW_0dCy6pT-rZSAR!ZXx=yPTT7lu&50 abbreviation referring to bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism—when he was jut four or five years old.

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 YUq85xiJgzUFB#j6#=5i*=az4tU690zHBNfEMbfTU^yd_X4e1Ptheir relationship as that of a loving master and pet, but when they play they often assume different roles.

GalaTai sat down with the pait7*AOAXPn3$k93vr2n)7v78iJNOWz)^z4dnd+fFQWOX7K1KmGor to find 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 sadism 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 [email protected]*+hO+4OQpXqo()B9SCkbFX57ycTUMQBqq=RbwzSb_rthings with different people.

BDSM can include a lot of different fetishes or kinks, we find it hard to categori[email protected]$CCM8D5NNDJL7eADIXUK5^cgkk^[email protected]ze them. These days, we tend to think of 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 alwaysf7mh7qu6M6X3HD2ekQUGFYZzwb8(laVh+P&e)IIGEvTy_nMiU_ been a close connection between the LGBT community and the kink 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 BDSM Taiwan assumed the role of lead organizer of th+Y4X6irCKM4p7(UYD8w8x+3r5(rQ4(bM9K=n%MK+H1$wsAtx0Pe 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 identities 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 fos-=*[email protected]$h=vEOjWM9aH#lzl*EsI6GbqoZfinWMIV8u_bter. 

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 more openminded so the barrier to expltgkoVnd4GNu2(g1MOJdp0MuyOi$VL=S(Vi3Z$y&U-fNnOiwu06oring 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 seen everywhere in la&1zqrZ^fWG-G)8tIWL-xbaHpP!5*5S&A*7eYcVCQre^b8IYyUife. 

How do BDSM meet-ups usually work?

There are all kinds of parties. There's munches, where people a_wa!uuuw%*tsm4a21O82B4r4MC=S$n_rFdsQe5#zSApC+l^pKjust come and talk. Usually, they are in vanilla spaces, so anyone can come. This is important as it gives people a comfortable place 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, yh%Dy5a9CU2y$h90%wcrxAFkZ*[email protected]%X&*Iwjsx^q=kiIJowhere 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, 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, playFRy4K+PE#lu&hi+n%_Au$&$OoH3evrt^fxA-!htIOwY2anRTty, 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 nine 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 others7WfzTkwBw%[email protected]$X9&Thmsu9U!aRV7_JJDjc 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 observing and listening to the person you aS2TlRTmKuy70i(lm([email protected](-1_e$cre 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, and 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(%6VI06HmVB9aBI*jlM^5l&wAfz*HFmeHYajVqmvTqg2DIt!g7 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 world and Gain more knowledge and experience. B[email protected]^[email protected](tJ#6sa)5Wv-ImUut 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 each othebeH5Qd_yt^[email protected]*$Bu4VJYuXg-Oin3=Xm(x!p%BHluJ**r 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 week. There are some couples wP4W6Mb([email protected]@2SHTqK&W6Bo4Ls3!7rsfu55_7z(qj+svbbl96ho 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 peo_gGYsDd#7d30u!xTuWbUyjDlo^tEvCowHBZHxdnR_FSFY1tyWOple to switch roles. Ivy is 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 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, hA&A9ah-OuutUS0Rx#e!-bnVvn4=G5qX*4#suqn%hv&JgPYBf%photo studios all happy to invite us and collaborate with us. 

Also, many brands 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 FLF##X!HUez8MBc&lLnp^pFjPxxN!+hvfJyrcgc6mgZ(sW=OP*culture. But, it can also be problematic, similarly to any cultural appropriation.

As the mainstream borrows certain elements of the subculture—for example leather 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 bon[email protected]_GlX_9PQq4u#dYXtKcVZAl4Ak!%oNHTnatPmbdp$dage, or whipping, or sex orgies, but now some people are getting promoted to the mainstream.

The worry is that some people in 4p$I9#BOi+sgyZ2McZEzMmzk9ox6ebvC7NVYEo4g%L1k62bI3Mthe kink community will start believing they're better than other members of the community. We have to keep 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:

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