I recently participated in a photo shoot for C, a friend of mine. It was a "Last Supper"-esque tableau of several people in various states of undress doing kinky/bizarre things. My assigned role was pseudo-suspension; another student, H, who's a fellow shibari enthusiast rigged up a chest harness, tied my bent leg up to my chest, and then threw the slack over a hook in the ceiling while I sat on a cleverly-hidden stool. When the time came to take the picture, I wrapped the slack around my wrists, stood up so I was balancing on one foot, and voila! - the appearance of suspension without the actual hassle.
This was the first time since Master left that I got to participate in significant shibari, and it reminded me exactly what I love about it. The feeling of the rope against my skin, the meditative aspect of waiting patiently while all the knots are secured, and the aesthetic appeal of the ropes were all delicious, even though the sexual aspect was stripped as much as possible from the situation. (This was for art, after all; we needed to stay professional. Or as professional as one can be when frolicking around a room, naked.)
But the artistic atmosphere lent its own appeal. I love art, and I love performance, and I love consciously trying to pose my body in a way that is artistic. The concept of the body (male and female) as a work of art is one that I enjoy exploring; the human form was my favorite subject of my own photography, and one I was most successful in shooting, I think. So I got an intellectual thrill (and a way to indulge my vanity) from the shoot, too.
I wasn't the only one trussed up; Z, another friend of mine (who played the role of the "supper") was hog-tied on the table while wearing nothing but stilettos and panties. H used a technique that I don't think Master has ever used on me; it involved a series of loops - I think she called the knot a butterfly knot - around Z's arms, which were held extended behind her back. The results were breathtaking; it basically was one of these made out of rope. Having the rope loop around the heels of Z's stilettos (one of my favorite images when viewing shibari) only added to the awesomeness. (Z was also very pleased, of course.)
I'd known before then that H was interested in shibari, but I'd never really seen her work before, and I was blown away (as I told her many times). I kind of want to ask her to tie me up again - just tie me up and let me bask in the sensation for a while, maybe take some pictures for posterity - but she's a very shy woman and we're not terribly close. I think it'd be too awkward. However, when C found out I enjoy being tied up and photographed he said he'd might ask me to pose for him again. If it means I get to satiate my kink drive, I'm all for it!